Multilinguals Answer: What's The Most Outrageous Thing Someone Has Said When They Assumed You Didn't Speak The Language?
In a world that grows seemingly smaller each day, it's more and more common to speak multiple languages. So why are people still assuming that the people around them can't understand? Here, multilinguals tell stories of things they overheard when the other people in the room assumed they couldn't speak the language. Boy, are we in for a treat.
Thanks to everyone who contributed! If you'd like to read more stories like this, check out the source link at the end of this article. Comments have been edited for clarity.
I speak French, but not completely fluently, although I am a French/American citizen. At my first girlfriend's house for the first time eating dinner with them. We go upstairs afterwards and her little sister (2 grades below us) comes in as we are selecting a movie to watch. Well they are Canadian and speak French at home a lot. The girl comes in and starts talking about how I am cute and so forth to her sister. And then her sister banters back about how she agrees and then turns to me and asks me in French if I agree. I responded in French that it I appreciated it. Cue bashful run up to her room.
I lived off that high all year.
My grandma could speak Arabic fluently. One time we are out and some women behind us in line are mocking her, calling her tacky, making fun of her bad dye job etc. She turned around and said in Arabic "I may be tacky, but at least I'm not stupid enough to assume nobody can understand me." They were so mortified.
Working at a front desk with two co-workers who were related. They are speaking Spanish and one of them is talking about how she thinks I'm weird and act too professional all the time. She then asks "where is the stapler?" in Spanish. I picked up the stapler and without looking at her I extend my arm to pass it. She then asks if I speak Spanish and understood the whole conversation. I told her I speak fluent Italian and took Spanish classes in school.
Another story. At the mall eating McDonald's when I was a teenager. Bunch of older Italian guys hanging around the food court and one asks "how can he eat that crap?" In Italian, while looking at me. I look up and stare at him. I say "because I'm really hungry" in Italian. All his buddies started laughing.
I was waiting in line with my sister to take a boat tour in California and ahead of us was a group of 5-6 German-speaking people. The wait to board the boat was long and they got to talking. At first, it was about how nice the weather was, and then it turned to how annoying Americans can be, especially tourist Americans. They cracked a couple of jokes having to do with American stereotypes (like everyone is dumb, fat). While this was happening, the line started moving and people started boarding the boat. But the group was too wrapped up in their own jokes to realize it. So I finally turned around to them, and in fluent German asked if they were part of the tour and if they were getting on the boat. They stopped dead in their joking tracks and said yes. So I replied that they had better get a move on, because the dumb, fat, American tourist standing right behind them wanted to get on the boat too. They all looked really embarrassed.
Not me but my mom's friend. Her and her aunt were on a bus. A very sickly looking woman sat in front of them. They just started talking between themselves and said something along the lines of "that lady looks like death." She turned around and in Polish said "I have cancer."
I'm Mexican but I studied my college degrees in the US. When I was studying abroad in Germany I only spoke English to my German classmates. Four months in, one time we were waiting for a train at a station and a group of young south American tourists were being loud and just waiting beside us. I could understand every word they're saying (except for some slang) and they suddenly start talking crap about our group. I don't blame them at all, they were just bored at the train station trying to pass time, but I smile and look at them. One of the guys looks back and says in Spanish: "Do you not like what I'm saying a-hole?" I respond in Spanish: "It's been a long time since someone insulted me in my language."
The guy has a speechless look on his face and all his friends look at me. We have a laugh and soon after that both our groups sat together and had a nice time talking, their English was good enough to have small chat with.
I'm Japanese and live in Japan, but I went to college and law school in the States so I'd like to think I speak fluent English. It's always pretty funny when foreigners realize I speak English because there are so many bilinguals in Tokyo that you'd think they'd learn by now that talking crap in English isn't going to be as discrete as they think. Anyways, I have two stories.
First, is when I was drinking in a pretty small town in Niigata prefecture. It's not known to get too many foreign visitors except in the winters when ski/snowboard season picks up, but this was in the spring so I was actually quite surprised when I walk in to an izakaya and a foreign couple is sitting at one of the tables. I was alone so they seat me at the counter and I order a couple of yakitori and a sake. As I was waiting I could hear the couple behind talking about how none of the things that came were what they ordered/expected and that its so difficult since no one seemed to speak English. Now, the Izakaya we were at was like a hole in the wall, no pictures and the menu was handwritten in Japanese, so I could understand how difficult it would have been. Anyways, I come over and to their delight I translate the menu for them and help them with their order. I ended up sitting and drinking with them that night and we still message each other on facebook!
Second time isn't the same type of feel good story. Anyways, I'm in a small city outside the 23 ward which has a pretty prominent language school so there are a lot of foreigners in the area. I used to bartend when I was younger and one of my coworkers from that time had opened a small BBQ restaurant in the area, so I decided to stop by and congratulate him. There were a couple of American guys, probably in their early 20s, just completely trashing this place, saying it's not authentic and that they did it better in Texas or wherever they were from. So after I had finished talking with my ex-coworker I turn around and tell the two American men that if they wanted authentic BBQ they should just go back home to America, no one is subjecting you to this restaurant.
I was in South America, and had made friends with a guy who was living in Paraguay, but was originally from Jordan. He spoke like 5 different languages. I asked him if he could help me out buying a cell phone. So we are shopping around, we stop at one place with 2 Middle Eastern guys selling cell phones. They say some things in Spanish, then some things in Arabic, and then my friend just says, "lets go." I asked him what happened and he said the guys said something in Arabic along the lines of "ohh we'll screw these guys over" To which my friend responded, in Arabic "is that right? you're gonna screw us over?" I thought it was really funny.
My friend said he had no idea why they would assume he didn't speak Arabic.
I speak fluent Hungarian, and the thing about the language is it's so obscure that Hungarians will always assume when abroad that no one else can understand them. As you can imagine, this can backfire spectacularly - I grew up in the USA, and I've heard marital spats at WalMart that frankly never should have left the living room, serious goodbyes between lovers that were awkward to hear, all sorts of things like that.
The best story in this genre though is my mother's, when she and my dad were enjoying their first Christmas together. They were in a small village in Austria in the early 80s, and for Christmas Eve when they went out to dinner there was a man in the restaurant with a dog sitting at the table (like, guy putting food on the plate in front of his dog, dog eating it). My mom proceeded to spend a lot of time telling my dad how disgusting and unsanitary this was of the guy to do, and when guy and dog finished their meal he just went up to my parents' table, said "kellemes karacsonyi unnepeket kivanok," and left. In Hungarian, this is the polite way of telling a stranger you wish them a merry Christmas.
I'm an American but my Dad and his family are from Switzerland so I've had to learn some languages other than English if I want to keep up with my grandparents' and cousins' conversations. I'm pretty poor with my French, but good enough that I can still listen in on other people's conversations. I was never expecting to be able to use this skill or surprise anybody's secret conversation since I live in Texas.
But lo and behold, one day I was out shopping with a couple friends - one who also speaks French and German. I'm disabled from an accident that deformed my left leg - it's pretty obvious and people do tend to stare but that doesn't mean I'm going to go around covered up in pants all the time. It's too hot here! At lunch we overheard a mom talking with her son at the table next to us. The boy was about 7 or 8 years old and was totally fixated on my leg and the leg brace I wear - just typical kid curiosity and I was probably one of the few people with a disability he's seen.
The little boy was asking his mom what happened, why's that girl's leg all messed up, why does she have to wear that brace. The Mom then starts talking trash about Americans and tells the boy I probably lost it in the war while killing a bunch of helpless people. She then goes on about how American's are unhealthy, dumb, and should stay out of other people's business.
My friend had gotten up to go to the restroom and came back and just casually asked how the meal was - in French. I answered her back and the mom looked mortified as it dawned on her I had heard the whole conversation. I wasn't rude but I did take the opportunity to tell the boy - who was legitimately concerned. I explained that I was injured in an accident but I'd be okay. So, I got to surprise someone being a jerk and got to show a little boy that people with disabilities are just regular people, so win-win.
Not me, my grandpa.
My grandparents were Romanian Jews living in Europe during WWII. Post-war they fled to America via Italy, and lived in Italy for several years. Now, they largely spoke Romanian, but my grandpa could understand Italian as well. My grandma had a variety of serious health issues throughout her life and at this point (they were probably in their twenties) she had to be taken to an Italian doctor. Thinking they spoke only Romanian, the doctor told his nurse (about my grandma) "She's a Jew, let her die". Well my grandpa understood this and was able to seek out a more underground doctor to save my grandma's life. She lived into her 80s.
I was touring some old dungeons in Germany. It was just me and my family, and an older German couple. They were kinda dissing my country the whole time, thinking we couldn't understand them. We got to a room where they locked people by their feet and the German man said to his wife and the tour guide in German, "This is where you should go if you can't speak German". I turned to him and in perfect German replied, "then it's a good thing I can speak German." The look on his face was priceless.
I'm not the multilingual in this story, but my friend's mom is from Vietnam, and her dad is from the States and is white. My friend looks like a typical white brunette girl, but speaks Vietnamese with her mom's side of the family all the time and is fluent.
So, one day we got off school. We went to a Catholic high school and walked over to a nail salon a few blocks away to get our nails done. The ladies running the salon were speaking Vietnamese, and according to my friend were talking trash about us the entire time we were there. They were talking about how rich we must be and how, "These little white girls can probably sleep with whoever they want and get ahead."
I was completely oblivious to this the entire time, but as we were about to pay, my friend told me all the terrible things they were saying, so we didn't tip them.
We started to leave and one of the workers said something about how the rich white girls couldn't even afford to tip. My friend turned around and yelled at them in perfect Vietnamese about how if they expect their business to stay open, they shouldn't talk badly about their customers in front of their face. I didn't understand a word of it, but the workers were in utter shock and sheepishly apologized to the both of us.
I was at a party a couple years ago and there were these two really beautiful Asian girls. I started chatting one of them up and we seem to be having a good time. Anyways, the party keeps going and we split momentarily (I grabbed myself a beer and her friend came over to talk to her). I hear them speaking in Korean and the one I was talking to was explaining how she thought I was really cute. Her friend starts talking in Korean "that's not a good idea. Don't go after him. He's not that good looking. He just wants to sleep with you. Blah blah blah" (the usual protecting your friends line, which I have no problems with minus the not good looking part).
Now at this point, I'm OK with that and I just try to enjoy the party. However, later on I overhear the same girl again speaking in Korean how much of a lowlife I am and I'm a horrible person with some added vulgar swear words (remember, this person has never met me before today). She was basically describing me as if I was the enemy of all women, how I live in poverty, and trying to label me with as many negative things she could think of. Obviously the girl I was talking to is listening to her friend and is clearly no longer looking at me with interest. Before leaving the party I go over to them and I try asking for her number (just for kicks), which she politely refuses to. I turn to her friend and speak in perfect Korean "Thanks so much for telling your friend about me. It was really nice getting to know you and I'm glad you know so much about me, even though we've never met before"
The look on her face was worth not getting laid.
When I lived in China I went to an international school so would frequently use English with my classmates, even though I spoke and understood Chinese. One day, I was walking with a classmate when I overheard these old Chinese ladies talking about how it was obvious we were American because we were so fat. We were both average sized--neither fat nor thin, even though that doesn't matter at all. My friend doesn't understand Chinese so I decided to ignore it since we were just passing by.
Later, we were at the fruit stand and the ladies come around looking to buy fruit. I'm standing in front of whatever they were trying to look at and any time they'd try to move around me I'd shift subtly so they couldn't. I hear one of them start huffing about how she can't get by, and in Chinese I respond with, "I'd move but as a fat American it'd do no good." The ladies just looked at me then started laughing and were like "Ooh, the fat American has good Chinese!"
Happened to me actually, really funny in hindsight
I was in Poland for a holiday with 2 friends. We went outside a bar to smoke, and I said to my friend (in Dutch): "Those girls over there are really hot, should we ask them to join us?" One of the girls turned around, and said in almost perfect Dutch: "You won't find out, if you don't ask."
Que my friends laughing and me standing there flabbergasted.
Wasn't me but my dad.
We, as many Canadians do, went on a ski vacation to Quebec. While my dad was parking his car a tour bus backed into our van. After seeing the damage, my dad marches on to this tour bus and starts talking with the driver. The driver apologizes profusely to my enraged dad, but when my dad starts asking for his name, employee number, and insurance information, he starts pretending that he doesn't understand English. My dad is fluent in French so without skipping a beat he continues questioning the driver en Franais. The driver was super shaken up by this turn of events and his face turned red but surrendered his information in the end.
Canadian - with an English group in a very french town in Northern Quebec. Waitress trash talked us, being anglophones, the whole night to her coworkers and the bartender. She was doing it fairly loudly, which I found weird in a bilingual country.
When she came around with the bills I put on my best Qubcois accent and said in French, "I hope you aren't expecting a tip from these stupid English people, because you sure aren't getting one" and told the group we were leaving.
She chased us out of the restaurant screaming at us in French, I flipped her off and we left.
I'm Brazilian, but extremely white and I do look like a white American when travelling abroad. I speak Portuguese, English, Spanish and I can understand some French.
The most memorable moment of understanding what people are saying when they believe you don't, happened to me in Portland (OR) when I lived there.
With all that rain, I've became even more white, and I was wearing my Pittsburgh Steelers cap. There was these 2 Brazilian girls speaking Portuguese in front of me in a line of a Blazers game, and they were being extremely rude to everyone, saying that everyone in America was unhealthy, ugly and full of themselves.
So, one of them looked at me and said to the other one, "bom, esse aqui no gordo nem feio, mas aposto que se acha com esse bon" (well, this one is not ugly, but probably is full of himself with this cap), I just replied "obrigado pelos elogios, e cuidado com o que vocs falam" (thank you for your compliments, and watch what you're saying).
They apologized and got out of the line.
This actually just happened a couple of days ago.
I'm an American traveling abroad in the Middle East, and went on a date with an Arab guy. He asked me if I spoke Arabic, but since I'm not comfortable speaking it, I just said no. I can understand most things, though, and can speak if pressed.
Dinner was great, we got along well, and then went to smoke shisha at a local cafe. The owner, who was my date's buddy, asked who I was in Arabic.
He smiled at me sweetly, squeezed my hand, and told his friend in Arabic, "An American who I'm going to go to bed with later".
I kept a stupid, docile smile on my face. When the owner took my order, I told him in Arabic "and one tea for the American who he will not go to bed with later".
The look on both of their faces was priceless. Needless to say I ended up taking a cab home.
My husband is American born and raised but grew up speaking German with his family. He wanted our kids to be bilingual so speaks only German with them.
My kids and I were at Chincoteague Island in Virginia where a lot of Amish people like to vacation. We were in line at an ice cream parlor behind a group of about 20 Amish, including 7-8 teen girls. My daughter is used to speaking German to me as if it's a secret code, and said, "Look at what they're wearing, those dresses and bonnets. And look at their hair, so thick and shiny! They all look pretty." The girls turned en masse and looked at her in surprise, which in turn surprised her, and I told her, "They clearly understood everything you just said!" She looked embarrassed, then shrugged and answered that she didn't say anything she wouldn't have said to their faces. It was still a new experience for her.
Was walking with my polish friend and all of a sudden we see this gorgeous girl walking through the hallway. I say to my friend, "Wow, she's beautiful" in Polish to my friend and the girl turns around and responds with "thank you" in Polish.
So. I'm an American, living in the United States, fluent English. I did take Spanish in high school and while I didn't really retain much, I can still take a pretty decent gander if I want to. I work in a landscape supply store and most of my customers happen to be Hispanic. Sometimes, they will talk to each other in Spanish while buying materials and I can kind of get the gist of what they're saying.
One time, two guys came in and started discussing what materials they were getting and how much. By the time they came up to me, I had already rung them up for what they had been talking about getting. They were really surprised that I understood them and tried talking to me in Spanish. I had to tell them my Spanish was limited so they tried teaching me a few new words while they finished their transaction.
It was a nice time.
I was on a subway car in Toronto when a French couple were chatting about innocuous crap when the husband starts chatting to his wife about what he wants to do to her. It's graphic. He's going into details about moves, holes, smells. She had a toque in her hand, but unknowingly dropped it. So, I saw my chance. I pick up her hat and tell her that she lost it. Both of their faces went white. She just meekly thanked me. I stood up, got off the subway and felt a sense of glee at having ruined their evening.
I'm an American who is fluent in German. This past fall I was studying abroad in Bologna, Italy. I was shopping for food and a German tourist comes up to me and asks if I speak English, I say yes I'm American. He asks "do you know if I can drink a beer in the street, or are there laws against it?" "I'm not sure, I drink outside all of the time and have never had an issue but to tell you the truth I don't know if it's illegal." He says thanks, then turns to his friend and says in German, "I have no idea what she just said." So then I say, in German "I can explain it to you in German if you think you'd understand it better." He was surprised but we laughed and had a good conversation in German after that!
At a hot spring in Colorado after a long, relaxing soak, I was walking towards the exit with all of my belongings in my arms when a big yawn took over me. The woman in the closest spring exclaimed "You should really cover your mouth next time, I thought you were going to eat me!" in Polish. Without hesitation, I turned to her and said "przepraszam" (I'm sorry) and she laughed so hard out of embarrassment that we could hear her all the way to the parking lot.
Two English teens on holiday in France started calling people all sorts of nasty names. I asked them to start respecting people and they turned red.
In Prague I asked a lady something in English and her English was too poor for her to understand. I cannot speak Russian but have learned a bit of it and Czech is pretty close. Her gran was with her and the lady I was talking to said I was an idiot asking stupid questions so I said in rough Russian "I'm not an idiot, I'm sorry I cannot speak Czech". She went red too.
In Catalunya, on a market, a seller spotted us as tourists immediately and tried to sell us his dried sausages more expensive than to the Catalan person before. I told him in Catalan that it is not fair to ask us French people to pay more.
I (African American teenager) Went to a Chinese restaurant and immediately the lady behind the counter looks up, and back at her husband and shouts in mandarin "1 Ape in the door! Go serve it". Took me a minute to realize I hadn't translated that incorrectly. When the husband asked what I wanted and I responded in Chinese "this ape doesn't want to give any money to your establishment" and left. Won't ever forget the look of terror, shock, and stupidity that left.
For those of you who are wondering, I learned Chinese through a mixture of things. I tested out of our Chinese program in our middle school and started learning on my own so that I could join the Air Force as some kind of interpreter. I was just about fluent by 9 or 10th grade in Chinese and two other languages. Still working on enlisting but that's how that happened!
Family owned a business on a beach right outside of a French town. None of us spoke French, but a great friend of my was French and came to work with with us for years.
One of the local townspeople came up to order fries to go while their child walked into the candy/toy store part where my buddy was working. The kid asked for a toy in English and the parent responded in french "No, these are bad people they take jobs from the community and won't hire locals."
My buddy interrupted her and said no that my family was great people and he did not appreciate her telling her kid flat out lies (all in perfect French) woman turned beet red and waited outside for her food.
My buddy told my dad what happened and before he got her food ready he grabbed the stack of tapes we had from local kids we hired stealing from us and even breaking in over night. My dad offered her the tapes so she could be queen gossip of the town (he never would have gave them to her) and explained very nicely how we had to bid on the business and have a business plan, and that there were 5 offers, 4 from the city and only one from the town who only offered 12k for the building, equipment and the 3 acres of property it sits on.
She was kind of shocked at how it all worked. We gave her the fries for free for the hassle of listening to us, but apparently she told the story and we started getting local business for the first time in over a decade.
I'm Austrian (we speak German), but grew up bilingual. Me and a friend used to play this game where we would chat with Austrian guys in a bar, pretending to be Americans on a trip through Europe. Sometimes it was hilarious - we usually convinced them we didn't speak a word of German and when they grew comfortable they'd usually start talking about us - who was hotter, whether or not we'd be up to a night of fun... Some guys talked about their girlfriends wondering if they'd get away with screwing an American they'd never see again, others were worried we'd be too much to handle ;) It was genuinely funny most of the time. The best one was when I asked a guy to say something in German, and he responded with "Ich glaub du bist sterreicherin" = "I think you're Austrian". It took everything I had not to start laughing.
I was in prison in the united States where a lot of people speak Spanish, fortunately I kept it to myself that I did as well. I was at the table playing poker to make a little money and to pass the time and a few Latinos were playing as well. They would tell each other their cards in Spanish then laugh like they weren't talking about cards. Needless to say this gave me quite the advantage! But things got a little more interesting when they started talking about my win streak. One mentioned to the other that he thought I was cheating and suggested that they don't pay me what they owed (which is a good way to get into a fight in prison). So I calmly said to them in Spanish, "Si no me quieres dinero, tal vez no me digas cules son tus cartas." (Roughly translated means "if you don't wanna owe me money then you shouldn't tell me your cards") It was such an epic moment I'll never forget the look on their faces. For those wondering they did end up paying me.
I'm always amazed that people are rude (and foolish) enough to assume that someone doesn't speak their language and just blatantly talk about them right in front of them.
When I was in school (I was 12ish I think), I went on a French exchange. I wasn't very confident in general or in my speaking ability, so I mostly just stayed quiet around my exchange partner and her friends. While we were walking to school with her friend I listened to their conversation and she told her friend I was stupid and didn't speak any French. It was pretty hurtful, but due to the aforementioned lack of self-confidence I didn't say anything and just never spoke to her again after the week was over.
I was working in Japan for six months last year and went on a weekend trip with my then-boyfriend to an onsen (hot spring) town outside of Tokyo. We stayed at a beautiful hotel and the first night my boyfriend and I separate to go into the sex-segregated onsen. I'm used to onsen by this point so I get naked and shower, etc., but, when trying to cover up a bit with the little modesty towel, I realized it's too small and doesn't really cover me all the way as I'm pretty tall and busty. It's not like it's a big deal though, so I basically just stop trying and wrap it around my hair and walk outside. I'm a confident woman, comfortable with being naked, so it's not like I was showing off, but I had my shoulders back, not hiding myself away. In the onsen there are three tourists grouped together, talking in Mandarin, and one woman soaking quietly in the corner.
Note: I speak fluent Mandarin Chinese but am not Asian.
As soon as I walk in the Chinese women all look me over and one murmurs to the others something akin to "Her breasts are so big. Are they fake? Look at her strutting around like that. Westerners, bah!" But I pretend not to hear or understand her and get in the water.
Another note: I am quite ethnically ambiguous.
"Where do you think she's from? She's so dark." another asks, "Brazil? Mexico?"
"Israel," the other says "or maybe Iran."
"No way. If she were from the Middle East she would be more modest!" They all laugh, nodding.
Finally I open my eyes and say in Mandarin, "I'm actually American. And I can understand everything you're saying about me too. An onsen is a place to relax, so please speak more quietly. Thank you!"
The women were all super flustered and start going on about how I must have misunderstood and blah blah and suddenly the other woman, who I totally thought was Japanese, suddenly lifts up her head and says in Mandarin.
"I'm Taiwanese so don't play dumb; this girl didn't misunderstand anything. You were being very rude. You should apologize."
The women just kind of murmur excuses, get out and go inside but me and the Taiwanese women end up having a really nice conversation! I thanked her for standing up for me and she told me she felt she had to because she'd had the same thing done to her by Western tourists and knew how crappy it feels.
Since then I've always confronted people who thought they could get away with talking rudely because the person can't understand them. Gotta look out for each other!
Thanks for reading!
When you go on a job interview, the last thing you probably never think about is asking a question.
But we should also be prepared and ready to ask the right questions to have a leg up on the competition.
"What is THE best question to ask on a job interview?"
A company's history or information about a past employee were suggested subjects appropriate for questioning.
"When you were interviewing here, what would you have liked to know before you joined?"
"This worked for me. I asked my interviewer a question about how she had personally dealt with a company policy she had just explained. She bragged about her stellar adherence to the policy. I nodded my approval. I got the job."
A Previous Employee
"One that has always gone over well for me:"
"What were some qualities that the previous employee in this role brought to the job that you would like to see carried forward?"
"Another good thing to do is research the company you are interviewing with and you can ask things about what they may be involved in or you could drop that while reading about the company, you wondered this."
Hypothetical questions were suggested as helpful examples of inquiry.
Indicators Of How Companies Treat Employees
"A question that landed me a job once was: 'If I asked your direct reports about your management style, what do you think they'd tell me?' Stumped a hiring manager and he emailed me personally to tell me about it, no one ever asked him that question but got the job.
"In my current interviews I'm asking 'what did your company do for its employees during [the virus] to improve their day to day, work life balance, etc.' and I ask 'Is there anything your company adopted during [the virus] that they plan to keep post [the virus]?"
"These questions give a lot of insight into whether a company treated their employees well."
Past Performance & Adjustments
"If we were currently sitting in my 1 year review, what would I have done in this year for you to say I excelled in my role?"
"If I could snap my finger right now and change anything about your job or the company, what would it be and why?"
The following questions about a prospective company may not be answered from initial digging on their website.
Measure Of Success & Career Trajectories
"How is success measured in this role?"
"What are some possible career trajectories within the company that could stem from this position?"
Being A Solution
"Ask them what is the biggest problem you can solve for them in your first six months with the company. Similar to 'don't think of a purple hippo,' this forces them to imagine you succeeding in the position."
"What do you like best about working here?"
Simply The Best
"Who is your best employee and why is he/she the best?"
"You will then face 2 situations mostly:"
"panicking CEO who can't answer you 'Bob who works 17 hours a day for a slice of bread' so the fear in their faces must be a big nono for you"
"entusiast CEO who actually follow their business and can tell you who is an added value for the company and why."
My experiences with job interviews are different than others seeking work in office environments.
Having had a years-long career as a dancer, my "interview" was the dance audition, where hopefuls dance in small groups of people at a time after learning a routine and then awaiting their fate after the panel evaluates their performances.
The question I may or may not have asked in such a scenario earlier in my career was: "Did I make the cut?"
I did not make the cut. And I learned never to ask that again.
I have a few wealthy friends and I've seen a thing or two that has made my eyes pop out of my head. Let's just say that the priorities of a wealthy person and a dude who has never broken six figures are entirely different. But that doesn't compare to working for the fabulously rich. A friend of mine was a nanny for a super rich family for several years and described the lavish trips she took with them (and how picky and out of touch they were, too).
People told us their own stories after Redditor NeighborhoodTrolley asked the online community,
"People who cater to the super rich: What things have you seen?"
"It is so wide..."
"My dad's client bought a whole block of houses to build theirs. It is so wide that they installed a moving walkway like the ones at airports."
"A friend did some work..."
"A friend did some work on Sylvester Stallone's home. Apparently, there's a ton of statues and art of himself, some of which are naked and very well endowed."
Guess what, guys? It's not a joke! Those statues are weird.
Here you go: You're welcome.
"A friend from high school..."
"A friend from high school worked a few years as a deckhand on yachts in the Mediterranean and he said he once jumped in to get a customer's bag and got tipped €4000.
"Was a boyfriend of a girl from an obscenely rich family. The sister used to have the nanny (who was sleeping with the husband, but that's another story) fly to Paris in their G550 to buy the newest Hermès bag so she could show it off a few days before it went on sale in the U.S."
I did know a rich girl who would do something similar: She would fly to Paris for Fashion Week to get cute new outfits before they ever ended up in the United States.
"I used to work for a company that modified aircraft for really rich people. I'm talking 747s, not Gulfstreams.
This company had made several aircraft for this one customer, who I was told had purchased a new one solely because his spiritual advisor had told him that one of his current planes was bad luck. He still let his wife use it for her personal travel.
To me, one of the most exquisite features of these planes wasn't the gold-plated everything, or rare wood veneers, it was the silk carpet. That stuff costs over $1,000 per square foot and feels like walking on a bed of angel feathers harvested in the most inhumane way possible. Granted, these guys don't deck out the whole plane, just their personal areas (the aft third is usually reserved for staff and such and is more like a fancy economy class), but yeah… silk carpet."
"A woman who owned..."
"A woman who owned a small private jet business told me one time someone paid them to fly their dog (by itself) to NY for about $45,000 for some training. No other passengers."
The service that dog received must have been stupendous... but that's also so wasteful, I just can't get over it!
"I became personal friends..."
"I became personal friends with my boss and his wife; super nice people. The wife turned out to be an heiress and would buy me whatever I mentioned, like in passing during a conversation. I learned gifts were how she was raised to show love.
I've trained myself to only talk about things I already own unless I find something useful she might like and suggest it for her."
"Have the money to support their eccentricity.
One guy I cook for wanted his house built so that his bedroom was right above the cow barn, with a retractable spot in the floor so he could fall asleep listening to (and smelling, I presume) the cows."
Smelling the cows?
Are we certain he ever smelled a cow? Because I've been on a farm and I have and it's a terrible smell.
Would not recommend.
"I am an art student..."
"I am an art student working as a gardener. We work in one of the wealthiest areas in my country. Some customers are really eager to show me their collection of artworks that they have hanging on their walls once they find out that I study it.
I remember one time standing in a bathroom, with my dirty gardening clothes and there was a Picasso above the toilet."
"Once saw him..."
"I used to 'work' for an Arab billionaire's son, a Daddy's money guy, terrible garbage human being.
Once saw him spend $16 000 on a wallet, was a fancy one with little gold spikes on it and stuff. He had shoes with gold on them.
I remember one year for his birthday he received like 30+ cakes, big fancy cakes and he told us to leave them on the floor in the hallway outside his room.
We walked by those cakes every day for two weeks waiting for instruction, after the two weeks we were told to throw them away."
Anyway... might as well ask: Any of you rich people out there looking for a poor friend?
Need a houseboy?
Or just someone whose bills you can pay?
I'm totes available.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!
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Oh the matters of the heart are just never going to be easy. Love seems to be a never ending mess. I've dated a lot and can attest that the percentage of bad to good is 70/30. And that may be generous math.
I've heard about people fighting on dates, setting fire to the restaurant, discovering hidden identities and dramas I thought only ever occurred on daytime television.
I use to believe the biggest fear about dating was that the other person may turn out to be a serial killer, but they at least tend to show you a respectable time before they strike.
Oof. Let's see who has been left scarred by the hunt.
Redditor u/givemeyourfreefood wanted everyone to share the stories that almost made them re-think searching for love, by asking:
What's the worst date you ever had?
I remember the worst date I ever had. My biggest regret is that I stayed for the entire thing. I should've left as soon as I realized this was not going well, which was basically at hello. But he was paying so I drank, a lot. I'll keep names and dates to myself to protect the innocent.
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"Went to brewery, date said I had hairy arms and that meant I was horny, said "you look really awful in this light" and then tried to dig out of that hole by saying in his native language that was a term of endearment long term couples said to each other. 0/10 did not date again."
"My wife wanted to plan our 13th wedding anniversary. I was excited because usually, I plan it. She bought us some new disc golf discs and after a quick supper, we went to play. We hadn't played in forever. We were laughing and I had a great time. She served me with divorce papers and told me that the date was a test to see if she still had feelings for me. I also learned that she was having an affair that started well before our anniversary."
Two Hours from Home
"Not necessarily a date but a person I was dating invited me to his parent's house for the afternoon. He wanted to introduce me to them and show me the house he grew up in. I thought it was super sweet and had no problems going. He was also in the middle of moving and needed to pick up a few things, so it really didn't seem that unusual."
"Yeah, we got there and it was awful. His entire family was there. They traveled from hours away too. This was not just meeting the parents, it was meeting the ENTIRE family. Even worse? At some point, this idiot told his parents that he had proposed. We had been dating TWO months. I spent the entire afternoon dumbfounded and just playing along."
"We were two hours from home and I had no cell service, no way to leave at all. We ended up spending the afternoon brainstorming wedding ideas and planning an Alaskan honeymoon that his parents planned to gift us. His brother even called to say congratulations! We drove back to his apartment in silence. When we got there, I got in my car and left, didn't even bother grabbing my stuff. Weirdest experience ever. I have no idea how he broke it to his parents that we weren't getting married."
You're Cut Off!
"Got set up on a blind date once between mutual friends. She shows up to the restaurant already a little tipsy, orders multiple appetizers and only takes like one or two bites from each one. Then she proceeds to order 3 or 4 more drinks and is visibly drunk at this point. She gets up and says she's going to the bathroom and staggers off. About 15-20 minutes go by so I try to call her several times but no answer."
"Finally I decide to pay the check and just leave. About 2 hours later I'm sitting at home and I get a call from an unknown number. It's the police department. She was picked up on a DUI on her way home after she ditched me and gave the cops my number to see if I could go bail her out!"
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"Well, I gave this answer on a different topic, but it ties in with this. We were out on a date, we had been seeing each other for a while, close to a year maybe. She gets a phone call. Suddenly she looks destroyed. Her fiancé had just died in a motorcycle accident."
What in the world? I mean how can we ever expect to pair off with the dating pool being inundated with liars and nut jobs? I'm going to delete my apps.
Girl, Bye.Sassy Beyonce GIFGiphy
"Had a girl openly flirt with the bartender in front of me. She says she wasn't. But handing him her own phone and asking for his contact info in front of her date seems like it to me."
"Came out from a movie, late at night, and date's Camaro was stolen. Apparently, he called his WIFE (that I did not know he had) and let her know where he was and what happened. She showed up and realized he was on a date! She started chasing ME around the parking lot telling me she was going to kill me. Saved by the cops who showed up just in time to take the auto theft report."
"Met a girl at a country bar one night in my 20s. We were both pretty drunk but hit it off pretty good. Ended up getting her number and we agreed we'd go on a real date. Fast forward to the date, she gets in my vehicle and... she looks almost identical to my mom. I was mortified. I was polite and we went for lunch where I found out she also had a boyfriend she "wasn't sure if she was into". Never talked to her again."
"When I was in college many years ago, before the advancement of cell phones and social media, I was chatting with a girl I met on a BBS who lived on Long Island, NY. I was 18 at the time, but lied and said I was 22 because she said she was 25. We spent a few weeks emailing each other, as well as calling each other."
"We even exchanged pics. When we finally met up, things blew up. Turns out we both lied about our ages: She was really 33, and lied because she thought she looked younger. She admitted she sent a college photo to me. We still had dinner together, but it was awkward as hell. We never spoke again."
DoublesKill Me Now Season 1 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"It was a double date. She was more interested talking to the other girl throughout the whole thing. Found out later from the other guy that his girl cheated on him with my date."
Ummm... I think I'm just going to stay single. That is a handful of crazy. Why can't people just be honest? I swear the search for love warps people's brains. Be careful out there people.
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As much as we'd like to assume spirits, ghosts, and paranormal happenings are relegated to movies and books, plenty of real-life stories abound.
Inexplicable sightings, things heard, and cold pockets of air are encountered by plenty of people all the time.
It's up to you if you want to believe them. But it's hard to argue with the conviction of the contributors to a recent Reddit thread.
Redditor ihadanightmarewithu asked:
"What is the scariest / paranormal story you have ever experienced?"
Many people talked about the things that caught their eye once upon a time.
Two Places At Once
"I was staying with a group of friends rock climbing in Spain. Really creepy air bnb, lots of strange things happened while we were staying there. The creepiest was one morning we were getting ready for the day, packing food and generally getting our things together, and I went upstairs to grab something."
"As I was heading back downstairs I walked past my friend's boyfriend on the landing and saw him turn and go into his and my friend's room; I think I asked him something but he didn't reply. I thought 'rude' and headed downstairs."
"Walked into the kitchen and he was there sorting food out with my friend."
"Everyone swore he'd been downstairs the whole time, plus there was only one staircase and it would have been impossible for him to overtake me and get to the kitchen before me without me noticing. I went back upstairs and checked their room and there was no one up there but me."
"I've never experienced anything creepy or inexplicable before we stayed in that air bnb and I'd say I'm v. sceptical about supernatural/paranormal stuff but multiple things happened on that trip that spooked me."
"A floating head."
"I was putting beef in the slow cooker because I wanted it done for morning, it was late at night. I reached up to grab some seasonings, and heard creaking. I told my kids to get in bed."
"I see something out of my peripheral vision and there was no body but a head of a bald, pale man floating 3 1/2 maybe 4 feet off the ground in the middle of the floor. It's face kept looking as if it was sad, or like it was begging. It locked eyes with me....I froze."
"I had a darker wall, with a coat rack with my husbands work jackets so it stood out like a store thumb. I looked away thinking it was my imagination but when I looked back it was still there so I ran out the back door because I'd have to pass it to get upstairs with my husband and kids."
"I ended up calling him on my phone to come walk me in. I was wide awake, not sleepy, not out of it, on no medication. I have no reason to see that ever."
Presences, Seen and Felt
"When I was a kid my mom took my sister and I on vacation. I only remember this happening one night while we were there but the hotel we stayed at was pretty much all flats with one bedroom. I slept in the bed with my mom and my sister was on the pull out sofa. I can't remember if I was trying to go to sleep or woke up in the night to this but I just know everyone else was asleep."
"It was really dark with just a little light from the street outside coming in on the sides of the curtains. On each side of the bed stood a black silhouette and it felt like they were all staring right at me acknowledging their presence. I didn't feel threatened or afraid of them at all and turned on the bedside light and not surprisingly nobody was there."
"I turned the light back off and there they were still in the same positions. I just looked at them for a while but must have eventually fell asleep. The only other detail of that experience I remember is waking up the next day and mentioning it at breakfast and my sister saying she felt like she was being watched the whole night. I have no explanation for it but it's a memory that has stuck with me over many years now."
"One time I was going home in my car and saw a guy that appeared to have no arms no hair and a longa** neck in a JUST a hoodie no pants no underwear trying to climb a tree in the woods with their legs and idk know if that's paranormal but it was such a fu**ing weird experience that I think it qualifies"
For others, it was all about the things they heard.
"This is something I've never been able to rationalize."
"For months after my dad died, we were getting landline calls where no one would answer on the other end. This was in 2002, so, while robo callers were a thing, it definitely wasn't as prevalent as it is today, but we did assume they were probably wrong numbers or something. (We didn't have any phones that displayed caller id at the time.)"
"Well, one time, after getting yet another call with only silence on the other end, I jokingly said, 'Dad, if that's you, call my cell phone.' "
"I want to preface this by saying I rarely ever got calls on my cell phone, and never spam calls in those days. I was 18 with an unlisted number that only my family and a few friends had."
"Just a few minutes later, my phone rang with a number I'd never seen before. With what I'd just said fresh in my mind, I kind of freaked out and didn't answer. I was on my way out to go somewhere with my mom, so when we got in the car, I told her what happened. We made the decision to call the number back."
"It never rang, but there was activity at the other end: muffled static and the sound of numbers being dialed slowly. It was the weirdest thing. Both my mom and I said hello, but no one ever answered."
"Has anyone ever had something like that happen to them when dialing a number? I've never had it happen before or since."
And the Crying Stopped
"About 10 years ago (I'd have been 24) I was still living with my parents. My bedroom was in the basement. One night, around 3am I was woken up to the sounds of a young child crying. It sounded like it was coming from just outside my window. I couldn't just look out the window because it was covered in ivy, so I quickly hopped out of bed to go help the kid."
"As I got closer to my bedroom door I could hear the crying was actually on the other side of the door. I opened the door. No one is there and the crying stopped. Spooked, I immediately jumped back in bed and the crying started again."
"Later that day at dinner, my family was sitting around the table and I brought up my experience I had. One of my sisters told a story about how when she was a kid she'd always leave her room at night to go sleep with my parents because she'd see a little girl walking out of her closet."
"As she left her room and got to my parents' door waiting to be let in because the door was locked she'd see the little girl walking up the stairs that were right there. After her telling this story my youngest sister looked scared and asked, 'the little girl, is she wearing a pink nightgown with shoulder-length brunette hair?' "
"Now my other sister was scared because that is exactly who she saw. My youngest sister told how she had similar experiences with that little girl coming out of the closet at night or walking up the stairs at night."
"I'm convinced that something happened either in that house before we moved in or on that land that my parents' house was built on."
Crying From Afar
"Not my story but my moms, apparently when I was just a baby I was always a calm sleeper and once when my mom was having a friend over downstairs they could hear a baby crying so they naturally went to check on me and I was still calmly asleep..."
"...but every time they went back downstairs they could hear some more crying, but apparently the crying was somehow off in a different way as well, one day when mom and dad were downstairs watching tv while I was sleeping upstairs, they heard crying and finally pinpointed the thing that was off..."
"...apparently it came from the opposite side of the house compared to my room and that room had the latch to the attic. Creepy stuff, but I'm not that surprised. This place is totally haunted in my book, I once heard my mom call me downstairs while I was home alone."
Finally, some people interacted directly with the spirits.
Advice From Beyond
"So once while I was home alone, my neighbor knocked on my door. This was when we still lived in Oklahoma, and I was homeschooled. He was bit younger then me but we still played Halo together. I was thirteen at the time."
"I let him in and we had a conversation about what I thought the afterlife would be like, and this was really odd for him. We talked for a few minutes before he decided to leave. When my parents got home they told me he had a heart attack at school and died."
One Time Only
"I once felt a hand on my face when I was sleeping. I had the covers covering my entire face and felt something push down lightly and then a bit harder."
"I was absolutely terrified and when I finally mustered up the courage to look, nothing was there. It never happened again but there have been a few times where something similar has happened."
A Very Helpful Ghost
"I was staying in the Banff Springs Hotel in 95 for a snowboard trip and I was leaving the room and forgot my jacket."
"When I remembered right at the door, I turned around to grab it from the bed where I left it and it was being held 2' above the bed like it was being being pinched by fingers."
"The moment I turned around it dropped to the bed."
"That blew my mind!"
"My GF's sister at the time was working concierge and she said there was a bell hop ghost and gave the paper story...lol It wasn't threating at all, but was crazy to see!"
Here's hoping you manage to sleep well despite all these spooky stories!
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