Posted: February 27, 2009 in 101 in 1001, Music, Video, work, WTF

1iconbangheadoncomputerLanguage Barrier:

In my job, I work a LOT with people from countries outside of the U.S., and of those, I communicate most often with folks from Asia. One person in particular has struggled with the language barrier for the entirety of our working relationship. De-fragmenting and interpreting his messages is always a challenge. Case in point is a very typical e-mail that I received from him this morning:

“Hi [Laura],
Pls inform what will the status now & the PO [12345678] claim request.
Pls advice”

Insert slow blink here.


Knockin’ ’em out:

I am at 27% complete on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I find it interesting that I have completed items in every section of the list except “creative things”. I shall endeavor to remedy that this weekend.



We left the house last night in the truck, windows down to enjoy the evening air. In between songs, we heard a “tink tink tink tink tink” as we drove along. Calvin pulled over and discovered a screw (and washer!) stuck into our front driver’s side tire. So we tink-tink-tinked over to the nearby auto parts store, and he bought a tire repair kit. We then tink-tink-tinked back home where he attempted to fix the tire. It thwarted him (I think the kit was faulty), so he took off the punctured tire and put on the spare.

I praised him on his manliness and ability to do ANYTHING (have I mentioned?), and we went to Chili’s for dinner. Where he impressed me YET AGAIN by ordering off of the “Guiltless Grill” menu, Chili’s “healthy alternatives” option. There was broccoli involved, people.

I know! OMG, right?

Anyway. This morning I called the nearest “Discount Tire” to see how much they charge to fix a punctured tire (neither the limited warranty on the tires, nor the warranty on the truck, cover it). The dude on the phone said, “We don’t charge anything, ma’am! Just bring it on over!”

I boggled, thanked him, and hung up. Then I immediately dialed Calvin to tell him the information:

“Hey, I called Discount Tire and they said it won’t cost anything to repair the tire.”
“Cool! Then just drop it on by.”
“You don’t think there’s something fishy about that?”
“Fishy about what?”
“Well, it’s free!”
“Wait, we’re getting something for free. What’s fishy about that?”
“Play that back in your head and you tell me.”


Currently stuck in my head:

  1. dyskinesia says:

    I deal with ESL doctors regularly and actually have to be the one that hears what they are saying and tells everyone else, and I have a staff of people who look to me to help them do the same. A new person on my staff was dealing with one particular doctor the other day and said, OMG, how do you understand her?!?! I said, “Get drunk?”

    Go Calvin, I am very impressed. And when did broccoli become the cheapest vegetable ever? It’s all they use in the restaurants now as a side. I swear to you, I miss green beans and carrots. And for the record, I could get my kid to eat those when we went out somewhere! Broccoli? Uh, NO.

    Actually, if you bought the tires there, free doesn’t surprise me. But, if you didn’t, it shocks the shit outta me!

    I’m pretty sure I can tell Steve’s religion and grooming habits in those pants, and I’m pretty sure he got very much laid in the 80s. Wa-hoo.

    • Laura says:

      Dys – I’m usually the one to interpret for folks in my group, too, during teleconferences. My boss and I are frequently in the same TC together with a guy from Asia, and my boss is always IM-ing me, “WHAT DID HE SAY?” “Um… rabbits eat lettuce?” “Oh, yes. They certainly do.” (spot the reference!) We’ve bought tires from discount tire before, but not the ones that are on the truck right now. And yet, they are fixing it for free! Boggle. Finally, I WAS going to say something about Mr. Perry’s Package, but I thought I’d let you guys have the fun. When did tight jeans go out of style?

  2. angelcel says:

    Totally love that song. Gonna go on over to You Tube and put it in my faves. 🙂

  3. Heather says:

    Discount Tire does that stuff whether you buy your tires from there or not. Because they want you to give them your business when you DO want to buy tires! 🙂

    I liked them a whole bunch when I lived there and needed a repair. Ken Judy told me about them and, you know, when I did need new tires I went to them.

  4. Kim says:

    I’m going to remember that about Discount Tire because we got RIPPED OFF at Pep Boys a few months back. Wouldn’t you think it would be prudent in this day and age to offer as MUCH customer service as a business can realistically afford? I would think so, but nobody ever asks me. I’m happy it worked out for you guys though.
    I’ve been a huge Journey fan ever since I was a wee lass, but now that song will always remind me of the last few minutes of the last-ever episode of the Sopranos and because of that gives me the chills every time.

    • Laura says:

      Kim – we’ve always been very happy with discount tire, and have never gone anywhere else for all the different sets of tires and rims we’ve gotten over the years. And, you know, I watched The Sopranos all the way up until the last season, only saw one or two eps of the final season, and have NOT yet seen the final episode. Did you like the way it ended?

      • Kim says:

        I think I may have been one of five people who liked the way it ended. It was the fade-to-black heard round the world and even David Chase, the creator of the show, high-tailed it out of the country to spend a month in France when the final ep aired because he figured he’d get death threats. I won’t give away too much because I don’t know how much you know, but if you do watch it, at first you’ll be like, WTF? Then you’ll think about it for two or three days and start to remember how the whole show was sort of that way at times, and you’ll end up loving it. At least that’s what happened to me. The night it aired, my phone was blowing up with my fellow Soprano friends calling to scream obscenities and I’ll admit I was right there too. But it was a completely unique and original thing to do and it served the show well.
        Can you tell I liked the show a little? :/
        I still feel its loss every Sunday night. Someday I’ll have every season on dvd; right now I only have the first one. I pray for a movie, but I doubt it’ll ever happen. I love James Gandolfini more than life itself, but dude is stubborn when it comes to Tony Soprano.

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