EU Must Be Kidding!

, , , | Right | November 25, 2020

I work at a bar in Slovenia that is about fifteen kilometres away from the Italian border and twenty kilometres away from the Croatian border, meaning that a lot of tourists who are going to or from their vacation pass there and stop at our bar.

I serve a lady, and after she pays, I have this conversation with her in Italian.

Lady: “So, can you tell me if Slovenia and Croatia are in the European Union? They are not, are they?”

Me: “Um… Sorry?”

Lady: “Slovenia and Croatia, they are not in the EU, right?”

Me: “Yes, they are.”

Lady: “Really? But since when?”

Me: “Slovenia has been in the EU since 2004, and Croatia since 2013.”

Lady: “No way!”

Me: “Well, yes. We, Slovenia, are also in the Schengen area. Did you have to stop at the border to have your documents looked at or did you just pass the border between Italy and Slovenia?”

Lady: “Oooh, yes, you’re right!”

After encountering this, I started to really question myself about what kind of world do some people live in, that they live in a neighboring country and don’t have a clue about what’s going on around them?

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Take A Second Look

, , , , | Working | July 26, 2020

For clarification, in Slovenia, you have nine grades of primary school, four years of high school, and upwards of three years of university.

I am browsing a book fair and come across some digital biology textbooks for primary school. I go over to look at them as they are something new at this point and I am always interested in biology. Up comes a salesman.

Salesman: “Oh, hi, I see you’re interested in our textbooks!”

He starts explaining everything about them, how useful they are supposed to be and such.

Salesman: “And they are a great addition in preparation for external exams!”

Don’t ask me why, but this is what final exams in ninth grade are called.

Me: “Umm, well, thanks for the presentation, but I’m kind of too old to use this.”

Salesman: “Well, what year are you?”

Me: “Second.”

Salesman: “You can still use them! Everything in here is up to date and is useful for even children in first or second year—”

Me: “Of university.”

He couldn’t get away from me fast enough. I was twenty at the time and looked like it.

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Can’t Nurse That Gender Stereotype

, , , , | Healthy | January 14, 2019

(In Slovenia, as elsewhere, the schools to become a doctor or a nurse are different; medical faculty to become a doctor and faculty of health sciences to become a nurse and other health-related professions. I am a woman, studying to become a doctor and attending medical faculty, wearing a badge saying so when in a hospital. I can’t explain how much every time I have this conversation stresses me out.)

Patient: *always a male, sees the badge* “Oh, so you are still in school?”

Me: “Oh, yes, I’m close to finishing medicine actually.”

(We usually use “medicine” instead of “medical faculty”.)

Patient: “So you’re going to be a nurse soon?”

(Or:)

Random Person: *after finding out I’m still a student* “So what are you studying?”

Me: “Medicine, close to being done actually!”

Random Person: “Oh, so why do you want to be a nurse?”

(This always happens with men. Never women. It’s happened to me over twenty times already and I hear the same stories from other female students. I usually try to gently correct them and most are genuinely confused, but you can imagine how the conversation continues with those that are convinced women should only be nurses.)

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The Couponator: The College Years

, , , , | Working | January 5, 2019

(In Slovenia we have student coupons; the government gives 2,63€ toward your meal as many times a month as there are working days in a month, up to twice a day, with a four-hour cooldown, between eight am and nine pm. The coupons are tied to your identity and phone number, which are confirmed by devices, kind of like the ones for paying with mobile phones, hence the term ”calling” for coupons. Since eating out with a coupon is often cheaper than cooking at home, students end up being the majority of customers in a lot of places. One day after work I go to a kebab place just down the street. It’s already 20:50, so I’m in a hurry to use my coupon since the price difference can be more than 5€ for a full meal.)

Me: *in Slovene* “Hi. I’d like to order with student coupons.”

Cashier: *English* “Huh? I don’t understand?”

Me: *English* “Student coupons?”

Cashier: “I don’t know how to do that. The guy who knows just stepped out. Would you mind waiting?”

Me: “No problem, but could I just call for coupons? It only works until nine pm.”

Cashier: “Sure. So, what do I do?”

Me: “I call—“ *pointing to the machine* “—and then you confirm my identity.”

Cashier: “Okay, do that.”

(I try but I see that it’s turned off. He has no idea how to turn it on, so I do it. When it comes to confirming my identity, however…)

Cashier: “So, what now?”

Me: “You look at my ID and hit confirm.”

Cashier: “Can’t you do it?”

Me: “Not really; it has to be you. I can’t confirm my own identity, can I?”

Cashier: “I guess that makes sense.” *hits confirm* “So, what would you like?”

Me: “Menu five, please.”

Cashier: “What comes with menu five?”

Me: “Kebab and fries, and since it’s a student meal it should have soup and salad, too.”

Cashier: “We don’t have any soup or salad.”

(They do; offering a menu with soup and salad is. a requirement for entering the program.)

Cashier: “But I guess I could make something. Uh, it looks like the other guy is not coming back. How much do you owe me?”

Me: *already regretting my decision to eat at this place* “3,30€.”

(Note that without student coupons a combo would cost 7,50€, so I could easily be trying to fleece him, but he doesn’t even question it.)

Cashier: “So, you give me 3.30€?”

Me: “Yes, and you give me a receipt.”

Cashier: “I only know how to do receipts for normal orders. Do you really need it?”

Me: “It’s the law that you have to give me a receipt and I have to take it. I don’t want to get you in trouble.”

Cashier: “Oh, right. But I don’t know how to do that for student coupons.”

Me: *trying to remember how these terminals worked from my old job* “There should be a button saying, ‘student meal,’ or something like that. They’re all the same price regardless of what is being ordered.”

Cashier: “I think I found it. It says 5,93€ for a student meal, but you said 3,30€. Am I doing this right?”

Me: “The government gives 2,63€, so I give you the rest. You should apply the student discount to the meal.”

Cashier: “I see. Sorry about. I’m new here, and I have no idea how the system works. I’m not from Slovenia; I just moved here a month ago.”

Me: “It’s all right. I’m just happy I got my food.”

(The food was all right, but I still don’t understand why would they leave an untrained worker to work alone without even an explanation of how the student coupon system works, especially when that is where most of your revenue comes from!)

Related:
The Couponator 10: Expiration Day
The Couponator 9: The Passive Aggression
The Couponator 8: The Fabric Of Reality

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A Hole Lot Of Guessing

, , , | Healthy | June 19, 2018

(I am a type-one diabetic and have been for 18 years. I am using an insulin pump, and to give myself correct amount of insulin, I have to calculate the amount of carbohydrates I have eaten. Note that carbohydrates represent a half of the weight of a piece of bread. This happens when I come home from school with hypoglycaemia when I’m 11.)

Dad: “What have you eaten today? Did you give yourself the right amount of insulin?”

Me: “Well, I ate a piece of bread and gave myself insulin for a third of its weight.”

Dad: “Why?!”

Me: “It had large holes!”

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