You’ve Fallen For One Of The Classic Blunders

, , , , , | Working | May 3, 2021

I work for an insurance company. I’m on vacation, enjoying myself and relaxing, when I suddenly receive a text message. It is from my direct supervisor.

Supervisor: “YOU’RE FIRED!”

This particular supervisor has hated me from the day she started working with me. I’m initially puzzled and furious that she’d fire me via text without any reasoning behind it, much less wait until I’m on vacation to do so. I’m about to reply asking why I was fired when I notice something.

She sent me that text message in a group conversation. With my boss.

A few moments later, another message appears in the conversation.

Boss: “[Supervisor], come to my office. Right now, please. [My Name], I’m sorry about that. You’re not fired.”

I ended up getting a few laughs out of a moment that nearly ruined my vacation. When I returned to work five days later, my supervisor was nowhere in sight and her formerly-cluttered desk was now completely empty.

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Rome-ing Off The Reservation

, , , , | Right | March 22, 2021

I’m on holiday in Rome just after high school graduation. I join a tour organized by the youth hostel I’m staying at. After a long trek through the Eternal City, as we go back to the hostel, a boy not much older than me approaches our tour guide.

Boy: “Excuse me, but I want to know: are you Roman?”

Guide: “Well, not quite. I’m Sabinian, but I’ve lived in Rome for years.”

Boy: “Oh, I see. So, can you tell me where I can find the reservation?”

Guide: *Puzzled* “The reservation? What do you mean, exactly?”

Boy: “Y’know, the place where Romans live, and they all dress up in togas and have gladiatorial fights in. Those reservations.”

Guide: “I… I’m pretty sure there isn’t one.”

Boy: “So they demolished it when they banned traditional costumes last year? That’s s***ty as h***. At least they’ve been protesting about it pretty well.”

Guide: “Wait, what? What are you talking about? There’s a law against people dressing up as centurions, but…”

Boy: “But what? Aren’t you proud of your heritage?”

Guide: “If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t work as a guide, but what does that have to do with anything?”

Boy: *Shaking his head* “Never mind, then.”

The guide shrugs and carries on as usual. When we all get back to the hotel, I approach the boy.

Me: “What were you trying to ask to [Guide]? I’m not sure I understood your train of thought.”

Boy: “I wanted to visit the Roman reservation, that’s all, but apparently Italians are too racist to treat the Romans any better.”

Me: “But Italians are descended from the Romans; how’s that even possible?”

Boy: “Explain yesterday’s protest, then.”

He then went on ranting about racism and cultural appropriation. I tried to look up the protest he was talking about, but, as it turned out, it was the 21st of April, which is Rome’s birthday, and has a parade of Roman-era reenactors going down the streets around the Colosseum. But I still don’t understand how he could even think Romans were still existing as a separate population!

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A Change Of Pace Can Change Everything Else

, , , | Friendly | December 19, 2020

This is a story about my friend and her husband. [Husband]’s father came to the USA from Europe shortly before World War II. The family only had enough money to send one of their two (very) young sons and [Husband]’s dad was the younger one and he got to go along with his mother. They never saw the family again. [Husband] grew up without paternal grandparents as his grandmother died early on, and because she really didn’t know how to go about searching for them, no one knew what became of the family in Europe.

[Husband] is notorious for going on vacation and driving past restaurants, scenic views, and motels because “there might be something better around the bend.” [Friend] says they have sometimes done nothing but drive their whole vacation, and the conversation often goes like this:

Husband: “Gee, that looked like a nice restaurant. Too late to turn back now, though. There’s something better around the bend.”  

One day, they are on a trip through New England, looking for a place to stay the night, and [Husband] is driving along, doing his usual:

Husband: “Oh, oops, that looked like a good place, but we’ve passed it and it’s too late now.”  

They pass a place that looks very homey and cozy, and [Husband] makes his comment and keeps going. I have often wondered HOW they could go a whole week of vacation doing this, but [Friend] seems to think things are fine. They continue driving, and half an hour or more later:

Husband: “I can’t stop thinking about that last place. It’s like a place I’d really like to stay and it looked so inviting.”

And to [Friend]’s surprise, [Husband] turns the car around and goes back to the inn that is now about forty-five minutes away.

She sits in the car while he goes in to see about getting them rooms. And she sits and waits, then waits and sits. Then, she starts getting worried because [Husband] hasn’t come back yet.

FINALLY, almost half an hour later, he comes out.

Husband: “Come with me. You won’t believe it.”

I’m sure everyone can figure out where this is going, but to finish the story, [Husband] and the owner had the same very very unusual last name. They started talking and comparing notes… and [Husband] discovered that he was talking to one of his first cousins. Years after the war, his uncle had finally come to the US. The uncle couldn’t find a trace of his mother or brother, gave up the search, and settled down.

[Friend] said that they spent most of their vacation getting to know various members of [Husband]’s rediscovered family and having a great time doing so.  

Unfortunately, the experience never did — completely, at least — change [Husband]’s habit of driving on without stopping, but at least he had relatives to visit from then on.

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Who Does That?!

, , , , , | Friendly | November 28, 2020

My partner has a long-time friend that is difficult, to put it nicely. She hears that we are planning on visiting my niece’s baptism abroad, where we have booked a small flat.

Friend: “Great news! I just bought my plane ticket and am coming with you! You don’t really need a couch, so I’m sleeping on it.”

Me: “Sorry, that’s not a good idea. My family has planned out the entire three days fully, so we won’t have any time to spend with you. Both of us will even have to deal with work when we get home in the evenings. It’s going to be quite stressful, so it might be better if you book your own room and we meet up when we all are back.”

Friend: “Of course. I just want to spend some days abroad, and I’m happy to see you for a few minutes, should you ever be free. You won’t even notice I’m in the same city.”

Weeks later, we are abroad. After tearfully guilt-tripping my partner and bullying me, the friend takes over half of our flat.

The first evening:

Friend: “You are no fun at all! Why did you stay out until now? You promised to spend at least the evenings with me!”

Me: “No. If you are bored, you could make dinner or go for a walk while we finish work.”

Friend: “Alone? At almost midnight? Do you want me to get murdered?”

The second evening:

Friend: “Why didn’t you call all day? I could have joined you. Your family is mean and should be ashamed! If my child brought along a friend, I would invite them everywhere and pay for them!”

Me: “What if that friend rudely invited themselves? Besides, [Partner] told you that we are spending our own money, as is everyone else.”

Friend: “Whatever! [Partner] said that your family was throwing away money on this baptism, so I’m sure someone is paying for something! You said that you didn’t get to eat outside this flat yet, so whoever paid for lunch and dinner could have easily used what they saved on you on me instead. If [My Sibling] is rich enough to afford a child, they can certainly afford to invite me!”

Me: “I guess one of my old uncles might be interested. Are you really willing to prostitute yourself for some food in a cheap restaurant?”

Friend: “Don’t be ridiculous! I just think it’s a waste that you didn’t eat anything. I would have enjoyed two lavish meals with your family instead of suffering through my day all alone, again, thanks to your selfishness!”

Me: “Do you think I didn’t want to eat? I wish they had picked a restaurant with any food that fit my dietary restrictions. But I’m not going to whine about it and ruin my family’s holiday.”

Friend: “Of course not, but that’s your own fault. I hate cold vegetables and vinegar, so I exactly know what to do whenever I’m served something wrong. Just order any dish that sounds good, and if it doesn’t look or smell tasty, make them remove whatever you don’t want to eat or are allergic to. If I behaved recklessly like you and skipped a meal, I would actually die from starvation, since I’m slender.”

The third evening:

Friend: “You both have made nothing but salad for three days in a row now! Why can’t you cook anything I like? The whole flat reeks of vinegar. I’m going for a walk!”

A year later, the baptism of my sibling’s next child comes up.

Friend: “When are you going abroad again?”

Partner: “Sometime around the first week of June. And no, please don’t even think about joining us, not after last time’s drama!”

We had a very peaceful and relaxing family holiday in May. The friend did not enjoy her weekend away in June.

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What A Strange Salad

, , , , , , , | Related | November 3, 2020

My uncle is relatively nearsighted. Our two brothers both inherited my dad’s stocky build but my mom’s fair and easily sunburned complexion, while the older brother also inherited Dad’s thick crop of chest and back hair. My sister and my uncle are hanging out on the beach on a family vacation.

Uncle: “I can see your family out there in the water, but I can’t tell which one is which.”

Sister: “Oh, that’s easy.” *Points at youngest brother* “Tomato.” *Points at older brother* “Hairy tomato.” *Points at Dad* “Bear.”

And that is how new family nicknames are born.

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