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Something, Something, Square Peg, Round Hole

, , , | Working | September 9, 2021

I work for customer service for a large homeowners’ association. In the Netherlands, homeowners of flats can join a “Professional HOA.” Homeowners can take care of HOA things themselves or hire our services. My company oversees hundreds of HOA complexes this way. 

I get an email.

Client: “Yesterday, my intercom unit was replaced. The new one is beautiful — thank you. Since it was moved to a different spot, it left a damaged spot of concrete on the wall. The technician said he had a plate to cover the spot. It was possible I might see a few edges, which I could touch up with paint. He put the plate on the spot and left right after. I am afraid I cannot agree with this solution. Please, see the attached picture. I assume you will easily understand why.”

I opened the picture and stared at the screen, flabbergasted. The technician had placed a round plate about the size of a fist over a rectangular piece of concrete the size of a lower arm. 

After I composed myself — I admit, it took a while — I sent the photo to our technical department, requesting a “slightly more suitable solution.” When I checked up on the case a day later — I was curious and worried that my sarcasm might not have been clear enough — I saw this picture had been sent to the manager of the technicians. The homeowner would get a normal wall again, and the technician was written up.

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This Teacher’s About To Perform A Student-ectomy

, , , , , | Learning | September 8, 2021

I’m sitting in class, trying to do my assigned work, but I’m really, really tired because I could barely sleep last night. At one point, I let out a huge yawn and my teacher catches me. I am too tired to cover my mouth, and apparently, she doesn’t like that.

Teacher: “[My Name], cover your mouth! I could see all the way to your tonsils!”

Me: “That’s impossible, ma’am.”

Teacher: “No, that’s how far you opened your mouth. I could see them clearly!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, then something very strange happened, because my tonsils were removed when I was a year old.”

Yeah, I know, bit rude, but I was so tired that my brain-to-mouth filter apparently stopped working. The rest of the class got a laugh out of it, though.

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But You’ll Be Late For Being Early!

, , , | Working | September 1, 2021

Every week, one of the teams meets to discuss the weekly affairs and do some planning for the week ahead. Though I’m not part of that team so I don’t have to join the meeting, I often do as my work touches theirs quite frequently. Most of the meeting isn’t that relevant to me, but occasionally, my input is needed. Tomorrow, I’ll be unable to join at the start (which is the least interesting part of the meeting for me) due to a private appointment. I message the team lead of that team.

Me: “Hey, just letting you know I won’t be joining tomorrow’s meeting at 9:00 sharp.”

Teamlead: “The meeting is at 10:00 tomorrow.”

Me: “Ah, okay. My point still stands, then.”

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How Dairy Miss This?!

, , | Healthy | September 1, 2021

When I am around eight years old in the 1990s, I start to get random tummy aches. They appear out of the blue and often come with diarrhoea. My parents take me to our general physician, who can’t find anything. He sends me to a specialist, who does every test he can think of. They find nothing. Since my health seems in order — growing right, not dehydrated, etc. — the specialist tells my parents to keep a good eye on my weight, etc. “Make sure she eats healthy, like enough whole grains, fruits, veggies, and milk.”

I grow up okay and I seem to get fewer tummy aches when I eat at home. My parents deduce that it might come from fats or spices, things we don’t use that much of at home. I don’t like milk, but I love yoghurt and buttermilk, so my desserts are often those things mixed with fruits. I can drink litres of buttermilk or yoghurt in a day, so my parents are not worried about my calcium.

After my marriage, I come across a site that I wasn’t looking for that lists all my symptoms. I go to my new general physician again. 

Me: “Remember all those tummy aches listed in my file? I was wondering… Could I be lactose intolerant?”

Doctor: “You know you shouldn’t read those sites online. They mention cancer every three lines.” 

Me: “Yes, but the list—”

Doctor: “When do you often have tummy aches?”

Me: “When I go out for dinner.”

Doctor: “And why do you think you are lactose intolerant?”

Me: “Because I always end dinner with ice cream—”

Doctor: “That little does not—”

Me: “With whipped cream. And I love creamy sauces or creamy soups, which I often have at a restaurant, as well.”

Doctor: “Do you also get a tummy ache when you drink milk?”

Me: “No, but that’s because I don’t like milk. I drink buttermilk. And I prefer goat’s cheese, as well.”

Doctor: “Fine, let’s get you tested.”

After a while, I get a call.

Doctor: “Hey, [My Name], I never thought I would say this: the Internet was right. You are lactose intolerant. I can prescribe some pills if you want, but there are a lot of vegan alternatives nowadays. You could look into that if you want.”

So, after about thirty years, I finally found out what’s wrong with me, what specialists then couldn’t find. I have no idea why they didn’t look into that, but they no longer work in the field, anyway. I am absolutely not vegan, but I am glad there are many vegan alternatives available.

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Car-Free Makes Him Too Care-Free

, , , , | Right | August 19, 2021

Car-free Sundays happened in several European countries in the twentieth century during times when oil — and, as such, gasoline — were scarce for whatever reason. In 1973, during the oil crisis, nobody was allowed to drive a car unless you had a special dispensation, which you needed to apply for. Examples of people who got these special dispensations were people with disabilities who needed their cars to get around and people with essential occupations, like healthcare workers.

My dad and his coworker both worked at the local hospital and got their special dispensations. Anyone caught driving a car on a car-free Sunday without one of these dispensations got a pretty hefty fine, and you bet police were on the lookout.

My dad’s coworker is driving to work when he gets pulled over by a pair of police officers.

Officer #1: “Sir, you know it is car-free Sunday, right?”

Coworker: “Certainly, Officer, but I have a special dispensation, see?”

He hands the officer the printed dispensation.

The police officer is apparently not very happy about the regulations for giving out these dispensations, grumbling under his breath loud enough for the coworker to hear.

Officer #1: “Special dispensations, hmph! I sure didn’t get one! Had to get up at bloody 5:30 am to go to work!”

Coworker: “Well, then, you should’ve gone to school and studied for a real job!”

The police officer gives him a look that says, “Oh, no, you did NOT just say that!”

Officer #1: “Hey, [Officer #2], does this car look suspicious to you?”

Officer # 2: *Who heard everything* “Very suspicious. And we’re close to the border; we’d better give it a thorough check.”

Officer #1: “Step out of the vehicle, please, sir, and show me your driver’s license.”

The coworker’s attitude earned him such a thorough vehicle search that he was an hour late for work. When he told my dad about it, Dad laughed in his face and told him he hoped he’d learned his lesson. Don’t insult cops, especially when they’re already in a bad mood.

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