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    Category: Geography

    Non-Flights Of Fancy

    | Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Geography

    (A coworker is a recent immigrant from The Philippines, who used to work in Saudi Arabia. She is relating her experiences to her coworkers, including our manager.)

    Manager: “So how far is Saudi Arabia from The Philippines, anyway?”

    Coworker: “I don’t know the actual distance, but it’s about 11 hours travel.”

    Manager: “…Driving?”

    (I was straining hard to keep from slamming my head into a table at that point…)

    Unhealthy Set Of Questions

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | Employees, Geography

    (I am visiting Canada as part of my vacation, which, yes, I am taking solo. I come into Vancouver on the train from the USA. The Customs official asks me fairly normal questions like where I was born and when I’m departing, until…)

    Customs Official: “And what is the purpose of your visit?”

    Me: “Tourism. I’m on vacation.”

    Customs Official: “Do you make a habit of vacationing alone?”

    Me: “Um, yes, I suppose I do. I usually vacation alone once a year or so. I like my ‘me’ time.” *laughs*

    Customs Official: “Well, that’s weird. How do I know you’re not trying to cross the border for free healthcare?”

    Me: “Well, I’m in generally good health, so I don’t think that’s a concern unless something sudden and unexpected comes up. To your direct question, I live all the way on the other side of the US, so I suppose if I were trying to cross the border just for free healthcare, I would most likely fly directly to Toronto or Montreal rather than go all the way across the country first? I’ve already shown you my return train ticket for a few days from now, and I have my return plane reservation to go home a couple days after that, if that helps. Besides, I have insurance with international coverage. I’d probably pay more in Canada than the US with that insurance, but I’m happy to show you my insurance card, too.” *takes out insurance card*

    Customs Official: “Yeah, I guess that makes sense, but it’s just weird that you’re traveling alone. It’s suspicious, you know.”

    Me: “I guess you maybe don’t see a lot of people traveling alone for vacation, but I promise you I’m just on vacation. I met up with friends in other US cities on this trip before I came here, and am now spending a little down time alone to relax and do what I want. Taking a few days alone isn’t for everyone, but I really enjoy it!”

    Customs Official: “I don’t know; you seem awfully suspicious to me.”

    Me: “I know many people don’t vacation solo, but I promise I’m just spending a few days solo to relax.” *light bulb* “Hey, maybe this would help? Ask me what I do.”

    Customs Official: “What? Okay? What is your employment situation?”

    Me: “I’m employed by the U.S. Federal Government. Here is my work ID, official passport, and, if you’ll note, my insurance is through the U.S. Federal Government employee plan. Please don’t scan my official passport; I’m only allowed to use that for work travel.”

    Customs Official: “Well, why didn’t you just SAY that? Welcome to Canada.”

    (The most frustrating Customs experience I’ve ever had. Never knew going to Canada for four days alone was so “suspicious!”)

    Only Fools Russian

    | ND, USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Geography, Language & Words

    (I am helping a group of teenagers in one part of the store. They want to look at a different department, and they are looking to spend hundreds each, so I make sure to call ahead on the walkie.)

    Me: “Heads up, [Department]. There’s going to be some Russian customers coming over to look at [Product].”

    Coworker: “Okay, sounds good.”

    Manager: “[My Name], don’t say that. That’s offensive.”

    Me: “What is?”

    Manager: “Russian!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. They are from Russia; I was just describing them.”

    Manager: “But you can’t just call people Russian! What if they get offended?”

    Me: “They are Russian. They are speaking Russian to each other, which I know because I speak a little Russian. Their jackets say ‘Russia’ on the back.”

    Manager: “Yes, but…”

    Me: “And they are part of Russia’s national under-21 hockey team. I don’t think anyone could be prouder to be Russian.”

    Manager: “Well, don’t do it any more.”

    Knows Zip About The Post Code

    | Victoria, BC, Canada | Geography, Ignoring/Inattentive, Technology

    (As a Canadian, a lot of our channels come from the US and, consequently, we are frequently shown commercials for things we can’t actually get without leaving the country. I am trying to find an Internet provider that doesn’t charge extortionate ($60+) prices for the most basic service, and decide to check out the website of a company I see advertised. Before I have a chance to find where they list the areas they serve, a live chat pops up, so I decide to ask the customer service rep instead, figuring a quick yes/no question would be quicker than searching the site.)

    Me: “I was wondering if you provide service in Canada, or if you are US-only?”

    Customer Service Rep: “Please provide your address, as our services vary according to location.”

    Me: *lists address complete with postal code*

    Customer Service Rep: “Thank you for your address. Please provide your zip code.”

    Me: “I don’t have a zip code. My postal code is XXX XXX.”

    Customer Service Rep: “I understand.” *long pause* “If you will not provide your zip code, I will have to refer you to [different level customer service].”

    Me: “I am not providing a zip code because I do not have a zip code. I am Canadian. I have a postal code. That is why I asked if you provide service in Canada.”

    Customer Service Rep: “I understand.” *another long pause* “We do not offer coverage in Canada.” *another pause* “Is there anything else I could help you with?”

    Me: “No, but maybe next time you could read the first question before asking for irrelevant information and wasting both our time?”

    Customer Service Rep: “I understand.”

    (Somehow, I sincerely doubt that!)

    Bridging His Knowledge Gap

    | UK | Bosses & Owners, Extra Stupid, Geography

    (We’ve recently had a massive order for Norway, but due to the urgency of the order we’ve had problems booking the shipment onto any direct freight services. After finally getting the shipment organised and collected the following exchange occurs between my boss, the financial manager, and the warehouse manager.)

    Boss: “I’ve found a much quicker route that could’ve reached the customer much faster than the service you booked.”

    Warehouse Manager: “I called all the freight companies I could find that would ship to Norway. I don’t think there was a quicker route.”

    Boss: “No, look here – there is a direct route from Denmark to Norway.”

    Warehouse Manager: “What are you talking about? We’d need to hire a ship to send it that way!”

    Boss: “A ship? Why would we need a ship? That bridge goes directly from Denmark to Norway.”

    Warehouse Manager: *looks completely dumbfounded* “[Boss], that’s a shipping lane!”

    (The rest of the office started trying to hide the fact that we were all laughing. All the while Boss tried to convince us that it was actually a bridge. It wasn’t.)


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