PIN-Headed, Part 7

, , , , | | Right | April 30, 2019

(I work for a big bank. When a new customer opens an account, they are required to set a numeric password in order to access our online service safely. I get cases like this one many times a day.)

Me: “All right, Mr. [Customer], in order to finish the process, you are now required to set a PIN consisting of six numbers. That PIN is strictly personal — we’ll set it via a confidential voice system — so don’t say it out loud. Also, for security reasons, the numbers must not match those of your birth date or DNI.” *this is a Spanish official identification document* “Just tell me when you are ready and I’ll transfer you to our automated system in order to set it.”

Customer: “Oh… Err… Can it contain letters?”

Me: “No, only six numbers, sir.”

Customer: “A maximum of six numbers?”

Me: “Six numbers exactly, please.”

Customer: “Can it be four, so it matches my card PIN? That way I only have to remember one.”

Me: “I’m afraid it has to be exactly six non-consecutive numbers, sir. Also, we don’t recommend using the same password for different services, as separate PINs are safer.”

Customer: *groans* “Oh, boy, how am I supposed to come up with six numbers out of the blue like that?”

Me: *thinking of possible random combinations of numbers and wondering what’s so hard about it* “Sir, you can choose any combination you want as long as they are not consecutive and do not match personal data. For example, you can use a date that means something special for you, using only two digits for the year. Just don’t use your birthday, for security reasons.”

Customer: *after some more time thinking and groaning* “Okay, I got it.” *proceeds to spit the numbers so fast I can’t say a word*

Me: “Sir, you are not supposed to say them out loud. Also, those are the first six numbers of your ID, so they can’t be used.”

(The customer spends a couple of minutes mumbling numbers to himself and groaning as if we had asked him to solve an advanced mathematical equation, then confirms he’s ready.)

Me: “All right, sir, let me transfer you to the automated voice system. You only have to press the numbers or say them out loud one by one without articles, and then the call will return to me.”

(I transfer him and come back after some seconds. The PIN has not been set.)

Me: “Sir, I think there might have been a problem.”

Customer: “Your system is useless! I said the numbers and it didn’t understand me! I went like, twelve…”

Me: “Let me stop you there, sir. Remember, the numbers are confidential. The problem is that you must say them one by one. Let’s try again.”

(I transfer him again, come back and, lo and behold, something went wrong again.)

Me: “Sir?”

Customer: “I’m sick of this system! It fails every time! I’m saying—“ *before I can stop him* “—onetwothreefourfivesix, and it says invalid PIN!”

Me: “Sir, they have to be non-consecutive.” *bangs head against desk*

Related:
PIN-Headed, Part 6
PIN-Headed, Part 5
PIN-Headed, Part 4

How Old Does That Make The Mother?

, , , | Learning | October 21, 2018

(I’m a private English teacher and work mostly with kids. When I first get to know the children, we usually chat a bit about our families, likes and dislikes, etc., to make them feel comfortable and to assess their current English level. One time a student’s mom comes in and tells the kid to pay attention, and he pouts a bit, since we’ve just started and she’s already hovering.)

Me: “You know, moms are always like that. My mom is the same way. Even if I was a hundred years old, she’d talk to me like I was a baby, too!”

Boy: “You’re a hundred years old?!

Unfiltered Story #123741

, , | Unfiltered | October 21, 2018

(I am a delivery guy in a famous Spanish pizza chain. It’s just my second day, and my manager requests that I go pick one of our motorbikes from the garage. At this point, I know where the garage is (it’s a communal car park with part of the lowest level reserved for our bikes), but not how to get in without a vehicle, so I’m looking around for the doorway, lost, with a helmet in my hands, in full, bright red delivery uniform. A married couple with two young girls cross my path, and I assume they live nearby.)
ME: Excuse me, miss, do you know which one of these doors lead to the garage?
LADY: Sorry, I don’t live here-
DAUGHTERS: [in unison, interrupting her] Are you a Formula One pilot?
(The lady’s face turns bright red as the kids keep asking me if I’m a pilot)
LADY: So sorry… You know, kids have a huge imagination…
ME: Don’t worry…
DAUGHTERS: Mommy, is this boy a pilot?
LADY: Yes, sweetie, he is.
DAUGHTERS: Whoa! Cool! Do you know Fernando Alonso?
ME: I… what?
(The lady looks even more embarrassed as she tries to get her daughters to stop bothering me with F1-related questions.)
LADY: I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Bye! [And they all leave]
ME: …what on Earth just happened?

My Body Is My Temple

, , , , | Friendly | September 9, 2018

(I’m doing a year abroad in Spain for my degree. While waiting for the light to change so I can cross the road, an old man comes up to me. I try to ignore him but realise I have no way to escape, so while I’m super nervous, I answer his questions as minimally as possible.)

Old Man: “¿Eres alemana?” *Are you German?*

What I Mean To Say: “No, soy inglesa.” *No, I’m English.*

What I Accidentally Say Instead: “No, soy iglesia.” *No, I’m a church.*

(Well, at least he left me alone.)

Euro-centric

, , , , | Right | July 13, 2018

(I notice a guy apparently harassing a customer and asking for money, so I try to intercede.)

Guy: “Just give me one euro!”

Me: “Excuse me, sir, but you can’t ask for money here.”

Guy: “It’s just one euro; as soon as I get it I’ll go away.” *to the customer* “Give me one euro!”

Me: “Listen, you really can’t do this. He doesn’t even speak your language.”

Guy: “Just one euro! Give me one euro!”

Me: “Okay, that’s enough. I don’t really care if you ask for the euro outside, but you can’t be doing this here.”

Guy: *looks at me, walks away until he’s at the door but just outside of the store, puts his hands over his mouth like a megaphone, and starts yelling at the customer* “GIVE ME ONE EURO!”

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