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Not In Any Hurry To Make A Deal

, , , , , | Working | April 11, 2020

(We are three students looking for a new flat. I work not very far from campus, but we decide to try and stay in our hometown. I’ve been asking around for some time and I’ve finally found something that I like. I call to set a time and a date.)

Me: “You see, I finish work at 7:00, and I need about fifty minutes to get to the place and find parking. I think we could meet at 8:00?”

Agent: “Fine, we can meet next week there at 7:45.”

Me: “But I just told you…”

Agent: “Can’t you just get out of work ten minutes earlier?”

(I don’t like this at all, but being very anxious about confrontation, I agree. I also tell her my boyfriend and flatmate will be coming, too. Fast forward to the day of the meeting: I manage to get out fifteen minutes earlier, but there is not only a small jam on the way, it’s also August on a very sunny afternoon, and the flat is within thirty meters of the beach. I reach the place at 7:30 but need twenty minutes to find a parking spot. Meanwhile, my boyfriend and flatmate have arrived at the door of the apartment building at around 7:30 and are waiting for me and the agent. When I finally park and pick up my phone, I see four missing calls from the agent, starting at exactly 7:30. I call her.)

Me: “Uh, hi, I…” 

Agent: “You forgot our appointment!”

Me: “No, I didn’t. I’m just five minutes late.”

Agent: “I’ve been waiting for you since 7:30.”

Me: “Sorry, what? I told you I was out of work at 7:00 and needed almost an hour to get there; you were the one who insisted on meeting at 7:45.”

Agent: “Well, I’ve been waiting for you for 20 minutes and now I’m not there anymore.”

Me: “Excuse me?! What do you mean, you’re not there anymore?”

Agent: “I have another appointment now.”

Me: “And what did you expect? To show me the flat in five minutes?”

Agent: “Well, don’t be like that. We can meet on some other day; you just have to actually leave work early this time.”

Me: “No. No. I don’t think we will.”

(I ended the call and refused to pick it back up when she called back. I picked my boyfriend and flatmate up to go home. They told me they had been waiting since 7:30, and that there was a woman, too, across the street, looking at them. She never approached them, despite them being in the precise place she’d told me to wait at, and she left way before 7:45. Despite this, and some other occurrences that I’ll submit at another time, we found a place. Without “help”.)

How Dare You Have Preferences?!

, , , , , | Working | April 10, 2020

(I’m a uni student and I just started working at my family’s courier. Both the campus and my job are about ten minutes apart but in a different city from where my boyfriend — also a student — and I live. We live about a one-hour commute away, driving on a road very prone to jams, accidents, and in general making people late. I’ve been searching for a flat closer for about two months when I spot one I like that allows pets, which is a must since we have a cat. I call the agency five times during their open hours, at two different numbers they provided in the ad, but they never answer. Two days later, an unknown number calls in the middle of work, at an hour the ad stated they weren’t open.)

Me: “Hello?” 

Agent: “Good morning! We had a missing call from this number.” 

Me: “Oh, you must be from [Agency]! Yes, I wanted to ask about that flat in [Street] and…”

Agent: “Well, sadly, that’s been rented off for a month already.”

(The ad was from a month ago and didn’t say such when I last checked it.)

Me: “Oh, well, that’s a shame. Do you happen to have anything in the area? I need a place that allows pets, by the way.”

Agent: “Of course! We have something lovely in [Street in the dead center of the city, as opposed to the outskirts area I was interested in] at [nearly double the price].”

Me: “Um… Sorry, but I was actually looking for something nearer the campus.” 

Agent: “What? You can’t expect to find a student housing that allows pets.” 

Me: “I… don’t? I want something for the whole year, someplace that won’t just kick us out in June to rent it at double the price for tourists.”

Agent: “Well, then, the place I just told you is just what you want.” 

Me: “No, I don’t want to drive around the middle of the city to go to class everyday.”

Agent: “Well, you can just take the bus.” 

Me: *rather incredulously* “I… Sorry, no? My boyfriend is disabled and he can’t just stand by on the bus for a whole hour and a half.”

Agent: “He could just sit!” 

Me: “At that hour in the morning? Besides, he doesn’t want to have to argue with old people about who are entitled to use the special seats.”

Agent: “Well, he can just kick them out!” 

Me: “Sorry, what?!”

(I mean, she is not wrong, but don’t just say that, dude!) 

Me: “No, sorry. No. I really want something nearer the campus.”

(We go back and forth for a while, and I force her to progressively pull things from closer to the area I want, until…)

Me: “Okay, that sounds really nice. And that closed gallery you told me about sounds perfect for our cat.”

Agent: “Cat? No! It doesn’t allow pets.” 

(In the end, I found something. Without her help.)

They Should Have Taken Note(book)

, , , , | Working | March 26, 2020

My mum and I go to the bank to get some cash and she notices her notebook — the one connected to the bank account that you can use to take out money — only has one page left.

We walk over to the desk and she asks the girl for a new one, giving her the old notebook inside the case. The case she has was issued many years ago, and because we keep everything at our house, we are still using it. It’s quite old; in fact it has the name of a bank that no longer exists on it, but it’s made of thick plastic and it works great. It’s also a bit wider than the ones issued nowadays so it’s more comfortable when you need to carry lots of stuff.

The girl from the bank issues a new notebook and gives the old one to my mum, who is now holding the old case so she can put the new notebook in. The girl sees it, grabs the case from her hand, and holds it over the bin while saying, “Oh, that’s an old one; I’ll give you another one,” and then proceeds to drop it in the trash.

My mum and I must look so shocked to have some stranger grab it out of her hand and throw it away that she offers to get it back for us. We say no, though, because who knows what was in the trash?

I’ve dealt with her before, and I can assure this is not because she had an off day. It’s a pity to see someone with no social skills deal with people every day.

Inside The Ring Of Colonialism

, , , , | Friendly | February 5, 2020

(My girlfriend and I are on our first holiday abroad together — both from the UK — travelling with my family. We are both at the evening meal buffet and the hotel is serving calamari. My girlfriend is standing next to the calamari when a stranger approaches her, a British male who is also staying at the hotel.)

Stranger: *pointing to calamari* “They shouldn’t serve that muck here.”

Girlfriend: “Excuse me?”

Stranger: “Those rings — I thought they were onion rings so I put some on my plate. They shouldn’t serve that muck as people will think that they’re onion rings.”

(I should point out at this point that each item of food has a little card next to it that says what the item is in Spanish and in English.)

Girlfriend: “But it’s calamari; it’s a popular dish.”

Stranger: “I know what it is, but they shouldn’t serve it because it’s foreign muck.”

(My girlfriend leaves to get food from elsewhere, and I just happen to approach the calamari. I’m putting the food that is next to the calamari onto my plate when the stranger approaches me.)

Stranger: *points to the calamari* “Don’t put that on your plate.”

Me: “I’m sorry, were you wanting some?”

Stranger: “No, they shouldn’t be serving that foreign muck in a place like this.”

Me: “In a Spanish hotel?”

Stranger: “People could think that they are onion rings.”

Me: “But it says what it is on the card.”

Stranger: “I don’t care; they shouldn’t be serving it. People don’t like it.”

Me: “Actually, I’m glad that they’re serving it because I love calamari.”

Stranger: “Well, not everyone does.”

Me: *pointing to another dish being served* “I don’t like that, but they’re still serving it and I haven’t got a problem with that because I know that people do.”

Stranger: “But people could think that they’re onion rings.”

(At that point, I realised that you can’t fix stupid and pushed past the stranger to get to the calamari. Surprisingly, he didn’t block me. I began to walk away when my mum approached the calamari and loaded some onto her own plate. The stranger just stared before walking off.)

Feliz Navi-Bad

, , | Learning | January 21, 2020

(I work at a language school that also offers different kinds of student accommodation. I manage the homestay — local host families that take our students. Fall and winter were slow, but spring and summer come with a bunch of groups, so I have spent the last four weeks calling families to check if they are available. The Christmas season in Spain ends January 6th and both the 8th and 12th of December are bank holidays. In short, it’s a busy month for Spanish families, so to get in touch I have to call several times. Also note that we can call a family any time; we don’t control when a request for host family comes, so families are expected to answer the phone.)

Me: “Hi, [Lady]! I’m [My Name] from [School]; I’m calling to check if you can host some of our students.”

Lady: “Oh, hi, sweetie!” *has a small chat about the Christmas holidays and New Year* “So, [Guy that no longer works here] told me months ago about this group coming in March–”

Me: “Yeah, that group cancelled, but–”

Lady: “Cancelled?!”

Me: “Yup. They are not coming but–”

Lady: “Why didn’t you tell me?!”

Me: “Well, I’ve been calling lots of host families for the past four weeks, but I guess you might have been too busy with the Christmas season. Anyway, I have–”

Lady: “Well, it was Christmas. I was busy!”

Me: “I understand. There’s no big deal since the group is not coming but–”

Lady: “YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME!”

Me: “Again, I called you several times and couldn’t reach you but–”

Lady: “You should have kept trying!”

Me: “I did. I called several times, different days and hours.”

Lady: “I had no calls from you! I had several calls from an unknown number, but not you!”

Me: “That was probably me, [Lady]!”

Lady: “Well, I don’t answer if I don’t recognise the number.”

Me: *stunned silence for a few seconds* “Well… I can only speak to you if you pick up your phone.”

Lady: “I don’t answer numbers I don’t recognise! You should have tried calling [Husband] or [Daughter]!”

Me: “Your number is the only one in the file.”

Lady: “So?! You should have tried!”

Me: *speechless*

(I’m still trying to understand how on Earth I am supposed to get in touch with someone if I only have one phone number and she chooses to not pick up the phone.)