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Sorry For Not Knowing What You Want

, , | Right | August 18, 2021

I work in an electronics store. It’s a slow day, so when a customer finally comes in, I am thrilled.

Customer: “Do you have these cushions you put on your headphones?”

Me: “Unfortunately, no. We used to but have been out for a couple of weeks.”

Customer: “Well, that’s weird, because I was at [Electronics Store #2] and they looked up in their computer that [Electronics Store #3] should have it.”

Me: “Okay, maybe you should go there instead and ask them?”

The customer looks confused.

Customer: “You mean this is not [Electronics Store #3]?”

Me: “No, this is [Electronics Store #1].”

I gesture at the store logo on my shirt which is in no way shape or form the same as [Electronics Store #3]’s.

Customer: “Oh, you could have told me you were not.”

Me: *Sighing* “Have a nice day.”

The Time When Actually Having ID Gets You Into Trouble

, , , | Right | August 5, 2021

I am a UK expat living in Gothenburg, a cosy town on the West Coast of Sweden. I get a job in “Biljettkontroll,” which roughly translates to a ticket inspector in English. We basically board the town busses and trams and make sure all aboard are paying for their transport. The penalty for not having a valid ticket is rated at 1500kr, which is roughly £130. We are all dressed in work uniforms, so it’s hard not to spot us. My team and I board a tram, and I make my way to a younger chap who’s on his phone.

Me: “Hi, can I see your ticket, please?”

Young Passenger: *In an English accent* “Oh… yeah, hello! I’m going to [Town Destination], please.”

This is a very common tactic most people try to employ: feigning being a tourist or unfamiliar with the rules in order to get out of a penalty. He’s not faking his accent, but straight away I know something’s not quite right with his routine. We go back and forth for a bit, and he says he’s “in town to see his friends.” I point to his phone wallet.

Me: “Okay, so what’s that?”

I pointed at his Swedish identification card, which he would not have had if he was “in town to see his friends.” He sighed and I issued him a penalty fee. If you’re going to lie, at least make some effort to make it believable.

Isn’t Therapy Supposed To Be Therapeutic?

, , , , | Healthy | June 30, 2021

I have been overweight for my entire life. It’s something I’ve come to terms with, and I don’t consider it to be the end of the world as long as it doesn’t prevent me from keeping an active lifestyle. I did a lot of damage to my body and psyche dieting in my youth and I don’t want to revisit those times, instead preferring to be as healthy as I can at the weight I happen to be at for the moment.

I also suffer from hypermobile joints. They make me overly flexible and occasionally give me pretty bad joint and muscle pain from overstraining them. They also put some limits on how physically active I can be, and I have to factor in recovery time every time I do something physically demanding. Again, I don’t consider it the end of the world, and after twenty years, I have a pretty good idea of how my body works and what I need to do to take care of myself.

I recently moved to a new town and have to deal with the hassle of finding a new physical therapist. I’ve put it off for too long, but after an intense period of getting my home in order and lifting heavy things, I can feel that I’ve overdone it and that I might need to change my PT routine a bit. I ask around, get a few recommendations, and make an appointment with a physical therapist who’s supposed to be an expert on my type of troubles. We have public healthcare in Sweden and this PT falls under that.

I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with members of the medical profession in the past, so whenever I meet someone new, I tell them that unless my weight is the direct cause of whatever medical issue I’m having at the time, I’d prefer not to discuss it.

Therapist: “Of course. Why don’t you tell me a little about what you’re dealing with?”

Me: “I recently moved into a new apartment and I’ve been carrying a lot of heavy boxes up and down the stairs, so my knees and shoulders are worse than usual, and my right hip is making this weird clicking sound that it hasn’t been doing before.”

Therapist: “Do you have an exercise program?”

Me: “Yes, I brought it with me. That’s my main reason for coming here. I want to know if there are any easier versions of these exercises that I can do while I wait for the pain to get better? I know I need to rest for a few weeks, but I don’t want to stop working out entirely.”

Therapist: *Looks at my program* “Oh, no, this won’t do at all. I’m going to give you some new exercises. How often do you do this program?”

Me: “I do the full one three times a week, and a shortened version every morning.”

The therapist shakes her head and starts compiling new exercises.

Therapist: “All right. You need to do this full program every day. We’ll go over to the gym and I’ll show them to you later. Now, I’d like to discuss your diet.”

I look at the program and I immediately see that this is not going to work for me. I asked for a lighter version of my normal program, but she’s given me a much tougher one and added several new exercises, including push-ups, which my last PT explicitly forbade me to do, ever, because my wrists can’t take it.

Me: “Sorry, I don’t think this is going to work. This whole program is going to take over an hour. I don’t have that much time every day. It’s also going to put too much strain on my joints, which are already hurting. That’s what I came here for!”

Therapist: “Well, honey, I know you don’t want to hear this, but your BMI is way too high. Unless you lose weight, you’re never going to get rid of the pain. I want you to do this program every day and add in at least thirty minutes of cardio every day, and now we’re going to talk about your diet. How often do you eat fast food?”

Me: *A little stunned* “Um, sometimes, I guess. But I prefer to cook for myself. Sorry, I think I said at the beginning of this appointment that I don’t want to discuss my weight.”

Therapist: “Yes, I understand that it makes you feel uncomfortable, but you need to face facts, honey. You can’t sit on your couch and eat fast food all day. You need to lose at least thirty kg or your pain is just going to get worse. How often do you eat vegetables? You know broccoli is very good for you, right? You need to eat more broccoli.”

Me: “I eat vegetables every day; I’m practically a vegetarian. Look, I know my weight doesn’t help matters, but I’m here because I’m in pain now, because I’ve overstrained myself, and I want to do something to make it better now, not in some kind of hypothetical future where I’ve magically lost thirty kg by eating broccoli. Can you help me with that or not?”

Therapist: “Honey, I can’t help you if you don’t want to help yourself. I’m telling you this for your own good.”

Me: “I am aware that I am overweight. I have been overweight my whole life. I’m not here because I’m overweight. I’m here because I have overstrained my hypermobile joints, and your solution to my problem is to overstrain them even more?

Therapist: “I know it’s hard to hear, but you need to take better care of yourself. I want to help you do that, but you need to put the work in yourself!”

At this point, I realised that there was no way I would get through to this woman, so I just stood up and left.

I didn’t really feel like making a new appointment with another physical therapist after that, so in the end I just ended up modifying my exercise program myself, and after a few weeks of active rest, I could go back to my normal routine. I’m still overweight, I still have hyper-mobile joints, and eating broccoli (which I do quite often because it’s delicious) hasn’t cured me.

Lack Of Information Overload

, , , , , | Working | June 9, 2021

I open a ticket to [Cell Phone Company] software centre, including the software, the type of bug, and the version number.

Support: “Your problem is soon to be solved. But we need some more information; please include: 1, software; 2, type of problem; 3, version number.”

I return the email with the information already provided. I get the same response. I open another ticket, fill in the boxes, and so on in an identical way. And I get the same response. Eventually, I end up sending TEN identical tickets and getting no solution, just a constant back-and-forth with requests for further information from me. I get fed up and phone the head boss in Stockholm.

Head: “I’ll be sure to follow up on your bug!”

Then, I get an angry email from the [Cell Phone Company] development department.

Development: “We have over ten tickets from you, but you refuse to tell us the version number, the software, or the kind of problem.”

Me: “I will not use your services anymore. Thank you.”

Some Guys Just Want To Watch The World Burn

, , , , , | Learning | June 4, 2021

I’m working as a student representative for my university at a really large university fair for graduating high school students. My job is to talk to prospective students, promote my school, and answer questions about my program. When we aren’t occupied with a visitor, we are supposed to reach out to the people standing outside of our booth and try to draw them in. I’m currently free and I spot a group of three guys standing close to me, so I go to them and start my pitch.

Me: “Hi, are any of you interested in studying for [University]?”

Guy #1: “Nah, I want to study [program we don’t offer] at [Other University].”

Me: “That’s fair, and you?”

I turn to the next guy.

Guy #2: “I don’t want to continue studying.”

I’m starting to sense that I’m not going to get anywhere with them, but I turn to the third guy anyway.

Me: “And you, what do you want to do when you graduate?”

The guy looks me in the eyes.

Guy #3: *Deadpan* “Burn down buildings.”

I have absolutely no idea what to say, so I just blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind. 

Me: “I… don’t think you need further education for that.”