Sunday, January 23, 2011

stories that shouldn't be funny but almost always are... [cuentos diarios]

So I work with refugees.  I do things like call AT&T to set up phone service for people without an identity, fill out DHS and Social Security Applications and help volunteers understand that it's nearly impossible to meet all the needs of a foreigner and succeed in helping them become self-sufficient within the six months the government gives us to do so.  I make doctor's appointments and call Medicaid and sometimes pretend I have an accent and say my name is Ahmed.

The refugees come from many different countries, speak many different languages and come from a variety of social and economic backgrounds and have anywhere from no education to masters and doctorate degrees.  So to say the least, every person that comes seeking refuge is very unique.

Now, working with people that do not speak English and who come from cultures much different than ours, makes for some interesting encounters.  At this point, so much unbelievable stuff happens on a daily basis, that the un-ordinary or unusual, has become to me, ordinary and unsurprising and often times, terribly amusing.  

Here are a couple of stories my co-workers and I find highly amusing but at the same time slightly disheartening...

- A guy who works an hour south of here got so lost on his way home that he ended up in Chicago and slept in his car parked in a gas station.

- A lady didn't understand what the "do not disturb" sign on the door meant at her new hotel cleaning job and subsequently walked in on an "intimate" situation.  She was mortified and I think quit the job. 

- A while back we received a call from a landlord stating a concern that people were cooking up roadkill and that a resident had reported their dog missing.
yes, we do have these posted in the restrooms at our office
more to come...

1 comment:

  1. my favorito es el de la mujer que entró al cuarto de hotel :-)