Their Sharing Tactic Is Golden

, , , , , | Related | March 26, 2019

Two boys – about five and eight years old – enter my store carrying a bag full of empty bottles and cans. They head straight for the recycling machine. Five minutes later, they come to my register and hand me a 30-kronor recycling receipt — about $3. I hand them a 20-kronor banknote and 10-kronor coin in change.

The older boy says to the younger boy, “Do you want the piece of paper… or do you want the golden coin?

Needless to say, the younger boy chooses the less valuable gold coin.

It’s An Inherited Condition

, , , , | Healthy | February 25, 2019

(I am a family doctor. A man in his thirties books an appointment because he has felt so extremely tired the last three years. It turns out he has got a job that requires a thorough physical test every year, and he just recently passed one of them, so I am a bit confused about the situation with the extreme tiredness that has lasted so long. I order some standard blood tests just to be sure and continue my conversation with the man.)

Me: “And how does your family situation look?”

Patient: “Well, I got a wife and two kids.”

Me: “All right, and how old are the kids?”

Patient: “Two and three years old.”

(The diagnosis turned out to be parenthood.)

Avoid Taking These, But When You Do… Go Crazy!

, , , , | Healthy | February 19, 2019

(I typically never get ill, but when I do catch a bad cold, I tend to get pink eye, an ear infection, and a sinus infection all at once. This happens between Christmas and New Year’s about ten years ago. I’m miserable and decide I need to see a doctor to get some antibiotics. I go to my local health center, but since it is holiday time, my normal doctor is not there. Instead, a temp doctor sees me. At the time I am very overweight.)

Doctor: “You know, you could benefit from losing a few kilos!”

(As if I didn’t know!)

Me: “Okay, but what about my cold?”

Doctor: *while listening to my lungs* “You have really light skin and a lot of birthmarks. Make sure you use sunscreen!”

Me: “Okay, but do I need antibiotics?”

Doctor: “Mmm, but we should only take antibiotics if it is absolutely unavoidable. I’ll give you a prescription, but don’t use it unless you don’t get better in a few days!”

Me: “Fair enough!”

Doctor: *looking through his big book of drugs* “So, how many pills do you need?”

(Yeah, he is serious. He asks me what the dosage is. Then, he calculates from my weight that I should have 21 pills per day! When I protest, he becomes irritated and snarky and gives me the largest dosage in the book.)

Doctor: “Are you happy now? “

(Eh, yeah. Sure! I just left as soon as I could. A few days later, I needed those pills, as I wasn’t getting better. When I spoke to the pharmacy, they were horrified to hear about the 21-pill dosage. They said that they would never, EVER have given me that much. Later, I returned to my regular doctor for a follow-up, and he was just as horrified. He also told me that the dosage I did get was what they give to bad cases of pneumonia. So, yeah, I was cured, but my doctor said that they would never use that doctor again.)

Taking Stock(holm) Of The Language

, , , , | Right | January 31, 2019

(I’m Canadian, currently doing a study-abroad semester in Stockholm. It’s just before Christmas, when I’m set to head home, so I’m browsing a well-known department store for some gifts. I’m looking at a display of scarves when an elderly woman comes up to me with an armful of items.)

Customer: *speaks Swedish*

(Although I’ve tried to learn the basics, I’m nowhere near fluent in Swedish and have no idea what this lady is saying.)

Me: “Um… Jag kan inte… pratar svenska. Um… sorry.” *I can’t speak Swedish.*

Customer: *scoffs and rolls her eyes, and keeps speaking Swedish*

Me: “I don’t speak Swedish. Um, I’m sorry. I can’t help you.”

(I turn back to the display of scarves, but she forcefully grabs my arm and tries to pull me back. I can’t stand random people touching me, so I give her hand a brisk slap.)

Me: “Please don’t touch me! I have no idea what you’re saying and I can’t help you. I’m very sorry! Now, please leave me alone!”

Customer: *starts screaming at me in Swedish*

(Her expression makes her look like she wants to claw my eyes out. Thankfully, an employee comes over and tries to defuse the situation. It doesn’t help much, and eventually, the lady has to be escorted out by security.)

Employee: “I’m so sorry. She thought you worked here and was trying to get you to give her a discount. She’s actually done this to so many people that she’s not supposed to be in the store, but we have so many entrances it’s hard to keep her out. But you’re American, right? No one from here would’ve stood up for themselves and caused a scene.” *pauses* “Not that it’s a bad thing. We Swedes just don’t like drawing attention to ourselves.”

Me: “Canadian, actually. But thanks, I think?”

Employee: “Aha! Well, that explains how you can stand up for yourself and be polite at the same time. Good for you!”

(He went back to work, and I was left there thinking, “What the heck just happened?”)

A Book Of Lies

, | Right | January 29, 2019

(Some variation of this happens regularly, but this user really tried EVERYTHING.)

User: “Hi, I think there’s been some mistake. You sent me a bill for an overdue book, but I don’t have any books at home.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Let me just check your account.” *I pull up his account* “It says here you have several books at home, but only [Title] is overdue. Since it should have been returned two months ago and we sent you several reminders, we’ve sent you a bill for it.”

User: “Well, yeah, I have a few books at home, but not [Title]. I’ve never even heard of that book, and I certainly didn’t borrow it.”

Me: “Are you sure?”

User: “100%.”

Me: “Because it was borrowed using your library card—“

User: “Then someone must have stolen it.”

Me: “—and I see here you called twice to extend the loan as well.”

User: “Oh… Can I see a picture of the cover? Hmmm. Well, maybe I did borrow that one. But I know I returned it.”

Me: “Well, we have no record of it being returned, but let me check the shelf just to be sure.”

(I walk away and check the shelf. The book’s not there.)

Me: “No, sorry. Do you know when and where you returned it?”

User: “Weeks ago. I dropped it through the overnight slot.”

Me: “That’s strange; books in the overnight slot are always recorded as returned the next morning. Tell you what, I’ll keep an eye out for it in case something went wrong with the return, but if you could check once more at home? If the book is returned, obviously we’ll waive the bill.”

User: “Okay…”

(He walks off. Two minutes later, he comes back.)

User: “I just remembered, it wasn’t me who returned it, but my wife. So you must have returned it from her account.”

Me: “That shouldn’t matter. We don’t check ID when people return books, and anyway, didn’t you say she dropped it in the overnight slot? When we record a return, it’s always returned from the account that borrowed it.”

User: “But maybe you wrote in the wrong user name?”

Me: “We don’t write anything in manually when we return a book. We just scan the chip in the book.”

User: “Okay…”

(He walks off. Two minutes later, he comes back.)

User: “Oh, I just remembered. This book comes with a CD, and I’m sure that when you recorded the return, you forgot to write in that the CD was returned as well, so the system doesn’t show the book as returned. But we returned both.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t know how that would even happen. If that was what happened, the system would still show the book as returned.”

User: “But maybe you simply wrote in the wrong title?”

Me: “As I said, we don’t write anything when a book is returned. It’s all done with scanners.”

User: “Okay…”

(He walks off. Two minutes later, he comes back with a book.)

User: “Here, look, it was on the shelf the whole time.”

Me: “That’s strange, I couldn’t find it earlier.” *I check the barcode* “No, I’m afraid this isn’t the book you borrowed. This is a different copy of the same book.”

User: “But it’s the same book!”

Me: “No, it’s the same title, but a different book. We have several copies of the book, since it’s very popular. The one you borrowed is still unaccounted for.”

User: “Okay…”

(He walks off. Two minutes later, he comes back.)

User: “Look, I really don’t believe that you have more than one copy of this book, it’s not even very good. This is clearly the one I borrowed.”

Me: “We actually have four copies.” *I pull up the catalogue and turn the screen for him to see* “See? Two are checked out by other users, one is here, and one is checked out by you and two months overdue.”

User: “Who are the other users?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I really can’t tell you that. But like I said, I’ll check to see if I can find it here, and if you could check at home as well?”

User: “Okay…”

(He walked off. The next morning, the book was in the overnight slot.)

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