They’re A Crafty Bunch

, , , , | General | August 16, 2018

Friend #1: “I didn’t know there were this many white people in Durban!”

Me: “We’re at a craft beer festival.”

Friend #2: “It’s, like, their habitat.”

Careful, They’ll Be Watching You

, , , , | Working | July 2, 2018

(In our weekly lab meeting, one of my colleagues is presenting a complicated experimental plan with a lot of procedures over the course of several days.)

Boss: “You’re putting yourself at risk here by having so many steps. Every step you take…”

Me: “Every move you make?”

No Money, No Problem, No Second Date

, , , | Romantic | June 17, 2018

(A friend has made plans to go on her first date with a guy she met on Tinder. They’re both in their early 20s; he’s a university student, as is she, with a decent part-time job. He suggests a nice, upmarket mall in the area and chooses a restaurant which is fairly pricey, but has reasonable prices for the mall he’s chosen. After sharing a large meal — with a beer for him and free tap water for her — the check comes to about R300 — $24. Having previously agreed to split the check, she puts her R150 — $12 — on the table.)

Date: “Oh.. um.. That’s a lot. I don’t have that much money.”

(My friend, feeling backed into a corner by this guy who apparently brought less than $12 with him on a date, offers to cover his half of the check, as well. Unfortunately, he seems eager to get as much out of the evening as possible. After turning down a suggestion that they catch a movie — which he will be unable to pay for — and recommending a bar nearby, my friend excuses herself and calls in an SOS to me. Fortunately, a small group of our friends has a plan to always be nearby when one of us is on a first date, for a rescue in this exact type of situation. We “bump into” our friend and her date in the mall and “remind” her of an important obligation she supposedly forgot about.)

Date: “Wow, when you mentioned your friends, you didn’t say they were models. Hi, I’m [Date]. I like your outfit.”

(He was being really cringe-y and laying it on thick, obviously, and we managed to get our friend out of there in record time. Later, he messaged her to tell her which of her friends was the most attractive and asked for her number.)


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A Token Caller

, , , | Right | June 13, 2018

(I work for a pet food manufacturer, and we are presently running a competition on one of our foods. Twenty tokens have been placed in bags of food, and if you find a token, you win a hamper. At least 100,000 bags have been released nationwide, with banners on them indicating the competition, and all the rules. All information is very clear and straightforward, yet many people still seem to be confused. These are some of the interactions I have had so far:)

Me: “Good morning, ma’am. How can I assist you?”

Customer #1: “Hi, I’m calling about that competition you guys are running. I’ve just bought two bags of food, and I haven’t found a token yet. Why haven’t I won?”

Me: “I’m sorry; did you say you have purchased two bags? Ma’am, we have made a very large volume of food that is distributed nationwide, with only twenty tokens available. It may take more time to find a token.”

Customer #1: “Oh… Well, that’s very misleading! I thought I’d win! I wont be supporting your product anymore!”

(Later:)

Customer #2: “Hi, I bought that bag of yours that has the banner about the competition! How do I get my hamper?”

Me: “Oh, that’s great! Did you find a token?”

Customer #2: “Token? What are you talking about? The bag says I get a hamper. Where’s my hamper?”

Me: “You have to find a token inside the bag in order to win.”

(Later:)

Customer #3: “Hi, I see you’re running this competition, and I wanted to find out: will the token be inside the bag, or outside the bag?”

Me: “Uh… It will be inside the bag.”

Customer #3: “That’s great! Thanks!”

(Later:)

Customer #4: “Hi, I’ve bought three bags of food and I haven’t found a token yet. Is your competition over? Why is your company still selling these bags if the competition is over?!”

Me: “Apologies, ma’am, but our competition only began about two weeks ago, so it is still running.”

Customer #4: “THEN WHY HAVEN’T I FOUND A TOKEN YET? I BOUGHT THREE BAGS!”

(Later:)

Customer #5: “Hi there. I think I may have found a token! Is it the same size and color of the food?”

Me: *wondering WHY we would ever make it look like the food* “No, ma’am, it’s very large and noticeable, and has a reference number on it.”

(Later:)

Customer #6: “Good day. I have been buying your product for years; it’s the only food my pet will eat. I see you are running some kind of competition, but I haven’t found a token yet. I think I should be compensated for being such a loyal customer! It’s not fair that I haven’t won yet!”

(We had numerous customers calling, all with the same type of complaint or query. We have yet to have anyone actually call about finding a token.)

Only Trafficking Excuses

, , , , , | Working | May 29, 2018

(I just moved to a new country and need to set up a bank account. The HR manager at my institution puts me in touch with a field representative of one of the major banks, who will meet me at work so that I don’t have to go the bank. The first time we are supposed to meet, she calls and says she’s running late because she’s stuck in traffic. When we meet, she has a bit of a strange vibe, very chatty and fake-friendly instead of just professional. She leads me to understand that it’s very complicated to set up a bank account for a foreigner. According to her, I need additional documentation to set up the account, so we have to meet a second time.)

Bank Rep: “I’m sorry; I’m stuck in traffic again.”

Me: “Okay, no problem.”

(Since I’m not familiar with the local traffic, I don’t make any assumptions as to whether or not it’s normal to have a jam in the midafternoon. She finally shows up 45 minutes late again. There are a lot of forms to fill out and she seems to be giving me conflicting information as to what documents I need, compared to the first meeting. While we are going through the forms, her phone rings:)

Bank Rep: “Hello! Yes, I’m sorry, but I’ll be late; I’m stuck in traffic.”

(She said this while we were sitting in a building, nowhere near her car or the road. That was the final straw. I took my documents to the nearest branch of the same bank and had an account set up in less than an hour.)

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