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10 September 2009 @ 10:28 am
Everyone does stupid things sometimes, don't they?  
None of these are new; they just all happened to float up to my forebrain this morning, and so I thought I'd share them.

Case 1
Me: *dials phone at work, so it's the last digit of the exchange and a four-digit extension*

Stranger: Hello, this is (somebody I wasn't looking for).

Me: Hi, is person-I-was-looking-for there, please?

Stranger: There's no one here by that name.

Me: Did I dial 4-1234?

Stranger: No, this is 4-5678.

Me: Uh, you know, I think I just dialed her campus zip rather than her extension. Sorry 'bout that.

Case 2
Me: *turns on computer running Windows NT*

Computer: NTLDR not found. *does not boot*

Me: Huh? *turns computer off, turns computer on*

Computer: NTLDR not found. *does not boot*

Me: What the hell does that mean? *asks coworkers if they know what the hell that means*

Coworkers: We dunno; ask Michael.

Michael: *is not in the office*

Me: *calls help desk*

Help Desk: Remember the old error message "Non-system disk in drive; please remove disk and restart"?

Me: Yes....

Help Desk: This means the same thing.

Me: I'm an idiot.

Help Desk: Don't worry about it; we like easy questions. I don't know whose bright idea it was to take a clear, non-threatening, explanatory error message and turn it into something obscure and terrifying.

Case 3
Me, at Subway: I'd like a footlong meatloaf on Italian, please.

Subway worker: Ma'am, we don't have meatloaf.

Me: *pause, while I try to parse what he said and what I meant* Uh, meatball. I meant to say meatball. I'm sorry; I guess I was distracted or something.

Case 4
This was not so much a case of stupid as "lacking vocabulary in local Spanish", but it's still kind of amusing. To me, anyway. I'll present it in English.

Me, to pharmacy clerk in Venezuela: My roommate isn't feeling well, I need to get her something for constipation. ("constipado" was the word in my dictionary.)

Clerk: In the head? (Apparently, in the local dialect, that word meant "congested".)

Me: No. Ah, the opposite of diarrhea.

Clerk: Vomiting?

Me: No, no. Ah, the opposite of diarrhea, she doesn't go at all.

Clerk: Ah! Constipated! (Which sounded like "estopado".)

Me: Yes! Thank you!
Tom the Alien Cattomtac on September 10th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, everyone does those things from time to time. I always remember news stories I heard once about Ph.D.s who had locked themselves out of their apartments.

The saying-one-thing-while-meaning-another is one to which I am prone. Sorry to say, it gets worse with age if one doesn't have a sense of humor about it.

The spanish thing reminds me of my first day in Madrid. I had my phrase book with me as I tried to buy some razors for shaving. The clerk kept looking at me blankly until I opened the book and pointed at the phrase, then nodded and got me the razors right away. I figured out later that, with my mispronunciations, I had been asking for "tea with hair in it".
Janet Miles, CAP-OM: oopsjanetmiles on September 10th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
"tea with hair in it"

Ew. :-)
Miche: battle sporksmicheinnz on September 11th, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
I once had a boss who locked herself out of her office half a dozen times a day. Don't ask me how.