A Cents-Ible Assumption

, , , , | Right | August 12, 2017

(After touring a famous museum in Greece my friends and I decide to order something from the museum café. The woman in front of us is purchasing one water bottle.)

Employee: “That will be 50c.”

Woman: “Let me find you a quarter.”

Employee: “Ma’am, a fifty cent coin will do.”

Woman: “I don’t have any quarters.”

(She spills all of her coins onto the counter. She has a few fifty cent coins.)

Me: “Madam, this will do.”

(Points out a fifty cent coin.)

Woman: “So I need fifty of these?”

Me: “No, you pay with that.”

(The woman then picks up a one euro coin.)

Woman: “Can I buy a bottle with this.”

Employee: “You can buy two water bottles with that.”

Woman: “Oh, okay.”

(She hands him the one euro coin and he goes to the fridge to get her water.)

Woman: *to me* “A one dollar coin. Who thought of that?”

Me: “Most countries have one dollar coins.”

Woman: “Oh.”

(She took her water and left.)

From Apoplectic To Apologetic

, , , , | Right | August 11, 2017

(I used to work at a bike rental place at a popular tourist location. Occasionally people call us if they’ve had a problem with their bike and we will drive out to replace or repair their bike for them. Earlier in the day a customer had been through with his family to get bikes.)

Me: *answering the phone* “Hello, [Company]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “It’s [Customer]. I need someone to fix my f****** bike right the f*** now. I was supposed to go for a ride with my wife and my kid, but because of your s*** f****** bike I can’t go.”

Me: “I’m very sorry about that, sir. I’ll have someone out there straight away. If you could just tell me your location and what’s wrong with the bike so I know if we can repair it or if we need to replace it?”

Customer: “I’m at [Location] and your stupid f****** bike’s brakes lock on whenever I try to turn right.”

(At this point I realize that he’s just twisted the handlebars around which took all of the slack out of the brake cable, so when he turns the bike it pulls the cable and the brakes lock on. All he needs to do to fix it is turn the handlebars around the other way. It’ll take about two seconds, compared to over half an hour for us to drive out to him.)

Me: “Oh, it sounds like you’ve just…”

Customer: “I haven’t f****** done anything. Just get someone to fix my f****** bike” *hangs up*

(I told my coworker what I thought was wrong and she drove out to him. It turned out I was right, and she just turned the handlebars around the right way and it was fixed. The next day he came in the store to apologize for being rude.)

You Can’t Beat Airport Security

, , , | Working | August 11, 2017

(I’m traveling with my family and my in-laws, going through airport security. My father-in-law is pulled aside for wanding. He doesn’t look much like a terrorist to me, but maybe I don’t think like they do. More likely, it’s his hip replacements that just sets off the alarm each time. The agent wanding him is a congenial older man.)

Agent: “Have you been through this before?”

Father-In-Law: “Many times.”

Agent: *holding up handheld scanner and smiling* “Then you know that this is the part where I beat you with this.”

Father-In-Law: *nervously* “No, that part is new.”

Hawaii Five-OMG!

, , , , | Friendly | August 9, 2017

(I’m in the water at a beautiful, sunlit beach in Hawaii, surrounded by sea turtles, tropical fish, and other natural beauty. A teenage girl pulls out her phone and is obviously disgusted by what she sees:)

Girl: “I’m only getting a 3G connection! How do people LIVE out here?!”

They’re Never Above Your Station

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 24, 2017

(This happens a week or two after I have just arrived to Japan for a student exchange program. I have yet to have my phone connected to the Internet at this point, so I have to rely on memory to get around. This, coupled with my liking to walk rather than go by transport, results in me getting lost a lot. This time I’m trying to walk home from university, but end up in a different part of the town altogether, and it’s getting late so I decide to just find the nearest subway station. Luckily, I at least speak some Japanese.)

Me: *walks into a convenience shop* “Excuse me, could you tell me what the nearest train station is and how to get there?”

Clerk: “Well, it’s a 20-minute walk from here and it’s a little complicated… Hey, [Coworker #1], there is a foreign customer asking how to get to the train station. Can you explain to her?”

(Coworker #1, an extremely nice middle-aged lady, calls Coworker #2, a young man, and together they try to explain the way to me in half-English, half-Japanese. Unfortunately, I am not yet familiar with local landmarks and find my Japanese vocabulary significantly lacking for words such as “highway” and “T-crossing”. Eventually they draw me crude map and, having thanked them, I walk out with it. They had even offered to walk part of the way with me, but that seemed like an obnoxious thing to accept, so I refused. As I am trying to follow the hand-drawn map, I hear footsteps behind me, and see a young man dressed like a typical office worker trying to catch up.)

Young Man: “Excuse me! I heard you talking to the clerk in that convenience store, and was wondering if I could help you find the way? Where do you want to get?”

Me: “[Neighbourhood where my dorm is], but I’m fine with just finding the train station.”

Young Man: “Well, if you keep walking like this, you’ll end up in Nara!” *a town over 20 miles away in the opposite direction from where I need to get*

(He then walks with me to the train station, making polite conversation as we go. I assume he just needs to go in the same direction anyway. As we get to the station:)

Young Man: “Do you know which station you have to get off at? I can look up on my phone.”

Me: “Oh, thank you, but I know. It’s [Station].”

Young Man: “Than you just need to board the next train from [Platform]. Here, use my train pass.”

Me: “Oh, no, thank you. I have the money.”

Young Man: “Are you sure? It’s [fare]. My pass is unlimited, so it’s okay if you use it. My company pays for it anyway.”

Me: “No, no, but thank you. Thank you very much.”

(As I head to the ticket gate, I see him waving and turning to walk off.)

Me: “Aren’t you going?”

Young Man: “Me? Oh, no. I actually live in an opposite direction; this isn’t even the station I have to board from. I just wanted to make sure you were all right!”

(Young man, thank you so much for helping me get home that night! This encounter meant so much to me back then, especially since I was in the middle of adapting to the new country!)

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