Russian Right Over To The Globe Store

, , , , , | Working | January 8, 2021

I will start by saying that I realize I was a jerk to the fraud agent that I spoke to in this story. My brain-to-mouth filter broke when she revealed herself to be extra stupid.

I travel quite frequently — every six months or so — back and forth from New York to Russia where some of my family lives, and I always put a travel advisory on my account prior to travel.

I use my credit card in a supermarket in Moscow. I then try to use it to buy something from another store and it doesn’t go through. I look at my bank’s app to find that my card is frozen. I call the bank and speak to the fraud department.

Fraud Agent: “We froze your card because it was used in an unknown location.” 

Me: “Oh, really? Where?”

Fraud Agent: “Moscow.”

Me: “Uh, don’t I have a travel advisory on my account?”

Fraud Agent: “Well, yes, but that was for Russia, not Moscow.”

I stared at my phone for a minute wondering if someone could possibly be this stupid.

Me: “Uh, Moscow is in Russia. Now please unfreeze my card.”

Fraud Agent: “Oh, we can’t do that. Once it’s frozen due to fraud, we have to send you a new card.”

I lose it. I definitely am THAT customer.

Me: “Let me get this straight. You’re a moron who doesn’t realize that Moscow is the capital of Russia, which I have a travel advisory for, and have had a travel advisory for every six months for the past ten years I’ve had the card, so you froze the card because you can’t read a f****** map? Now you are telling me you have to send me a new card, even though I am out of the country and obviously won’t get it until I get home two weeks from now?”

She speaks in a sweet way like what I just said made perfect sense.

Fraud Agent: “That’s right. Anything else I can help you with?”

Me: “Uh, yes, you can transfer me to your manager and buy yourself a globe.”

The supervisor was able to unfreeze the card and cancel the new card, and they apologized for the issue. I feel bad that I lost it on the fraud agent, but I seriously could not believe that she was that dumb. What’s worse, there are actually two people in the fraud department that need geography lessons: the one who froze the card in the first place and the woman who answered the phone.

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Okay… Fine

, , , , | Right | August 11, 2020

It’s required to wear facemasks indoors in any shop in the city, not only ours, but people are stubborn in their beliefs. One day, I accidentally invent a fun way to spare myself some nerves on fighting those people; it mostly works to this day.

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re not allowed to serve anyone without a facemask.”

Customer: “Afraid, huh? Afraid of me infecting you?”

Me: “No, I’m not. But it’s a requirement not only from our management but from our government itself.”

Customer: “You know it’s all fake, right? Facemasks won’t protect you from anything!”

Me: “Actually, facemasks will 100% protect you from being fined.”

Customer: *Laughing* “Okay, you convinced me!”


This story is part of our Anti-Masker roundup.

Read the next Anti-Masker roundup story!

Read the Anti-Masker roundup!

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Mother Russia

, , , , , | Related | December 17, 2018

(I have been on holiday with my parents in Russia. We are now catching our flight home so obviously, we have to pass through border control. Although I am in my late twenties, I am baby-faced and quite short, and I dress very casually. A number of people we’ve met have assumed I am around 14 to 16, something we’ve found quite amusing. Until…)

Border control: “Passport.”

(I go first and hand over my passport. The officer looks at me, at my passport, and back at me. He frowns. He looks at my other documents and back at me, and then frowns again. He then reaches for a magnifying glass and begins to inspect my documents page by page, occasionally pausing to stare at me. My father goes through in about thirty seconds. My mother goes through after a minute or so, as she has to answer a few questions. I wait. And wait. And wait. After about five minutes, I see my parents poking their heads around to see if they’ve lost me. Another minute or two later, and I’m finally allowed through.)

Mum: “We thought we’d never see you again!”

Dad: “Come on, delinquent.”

Me: “Was it just me or did he keep me there for a really long time? I got really nervous; I thought he was never going to let me through.”

Dad: “Did he ask you any questions?”

Me: “No. I thought maybe he might ask me to take my glasses off, but…”

Mum: “You realise he thought your documents were fake, right? I could tell when I was stood next to you. He couldn’t put the teenage girl in front of him together with the 27-year-old woman your documents suggested you were.”

Me: “I have no idea. But at one point, someone else came into the booth and I thought, oh, God, I’m about to be arrested at Russian border control. But the other guy just wanted to unlock something.”

Mum: “You thought you were going to be arrested? He saw you with us. I was waiting for them to arrest us for child trafficking and was debating making a run for it.”

Me: “Thanks.”

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In Soviet Russia, Mother Translates You!

, , , , | Related | October 7, 2018

(I am on holiday with my parents. To enter many tourist places in Moscow, you have to go through metal detectors and a bag check. My first language is English but I can understand some Russian. However, I struggle if it’s spoken quickly. My mother, who is fluent, has gone through the detector. The guard says something quickly to me, which I don’t catch. I look at my mum for help, so she comes over.)

Mum: “Put your bag on the table and walk through.”

(The guard looks confused as I place the bag on the table and walk through the detector. The guard says something else, and I glance at my mum again.)

Mum: “Take the bag.”

(I do so. The guard frowns but says something else.)

Mum: “Open it.”

(I open the bag. The guard, still looking really confused, checks it and nods to indicate I can go. It is at this moment that I realise why the guard is so confused.)

Me: *in English* “Mum, thanks for translating all of his instructions into Russian for me.”

Mum: “Wait, did I really?”

(The guard apparently understood some English because at this point, he looked at us and laughed before returning to checking the next person.)

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A Lot Of Passengers Come In Already Spoilt

, , , | Right | September 10, 2018

Passenger: *putting his bags into the X-ray machine* “Oh, I have pies in these…”

Me: “Is something wrong, sir?”

Passenger: “It’s just, won’t they get spoilt?”

Colleague: *sitting at the X-ray monitor* “Well, you don’t get spoilt when you receive an X-ray, do you?”

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