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The Danish excuse list

Thu 4 Sep 2014 by mskala Tags used: ,

Denmark, being part of Europe, has a great deal of bureaucracy and many rules. However, the Danes are not really rule-followers. That at least is their reputation among people from other Nordic countries and I can see why. This is a list of excuses I've heard from Danish people, mostly government bureaucrats. All are genuine, though some have been paraphrased from their more complicated original forms or to remove personal information. The list will be periodically updated.

"Due to a bicycle accident."

"I am on vacation."

"We have run out of single-use authentication tokens for connecting to the central Government computer system and we have to close the office until the courier delivers another batch."

"Because of the flooding."

"Even though you have to pay your rent for a full month at a time, the rental agreement is indefinite-term and does not list a specific ending date at least 30 days after the start date, so you have not proved that you will live there at least 30 days."

"You don't need a Central Persons Registry number to get a tax card."

"What they told you at the other desk was incorrect: you do need a CPR number to get a tax card."

"You don't need a tax card because you probably qualify for the special scheme for visiting researchers. Probably."

"We, the tax department, do not know whether you need a tax card or not; try asking your employer's HR department instead."

"We cannot give you a CPR number today because the computer says you already have one."

"You looked like someone who could speak Danish."

"The Copenhagen Marathon."

"That access point is WEP-only."

"I've already turned off my computer for the day."

"A glitch in our system."

"That's easier to do online."

"The online evaluation didn't work."

"<Name> has become sick today."

"There is a problem with the network right now."

"We don't have the right kind of merchant account to use the credit card information we requested from you."

"We didn't notice that you owed us more than 10000 crowns until three weeks after it was due."

"It's been a while since I've used transitivity of equalities."

"It's against the rules, but we can pretend I didn't tell you that."

"Because your name wasn't written on the door."

"We can't fix your phone here and will have to send it away to be repaired. We will notify you when it's fixed by sending you a text message."

Leviticus 14:34-38 (which says that when the walls of a dwelling are afflicted with the Wrath of God manifesting in the form of mould, nobody's allowed to live there until the place has been ritually purified.)

Mishnah Nega'im 3:2 (which says that a recently married landlord cannot be required to interrupt his honeymoon to deal with the Wrath of God manifesting in the form of mouldy walls.)


"Almost Christmas."

"New Year."

"Chinese New Year."

"Only an electrician is allowed to do that."

"Because the names of all the hundreds of employees at your institution were not all written on the door."

"The package already has an address on it."

"Solar eclipse."

"Clock adjustment for European Summer Time."


"The Friday, Thursday, or Monday before Easter."

Basically Fridays in general.

"The Monday after Easter."

"Whit Sunday or Whit Monday." (Note, these may duplicate one or more of the previously mentioned Easter-related holidays; I'm not sure, because of the next item.)

"The calendar listed incorrect dates for Whit Sunday or Whit Monday."

"Either you have not supplied all the required tax information, or we are processing the information you did supply; so, either you are obligated to give us more information immediately, or you are not."

"Tell your student you're too drunk to answer email." "I'm not, really..." "Then have some more wine!"

"After you specifically warned us that this would be the case, you, like most persons who are employed, were not at home at 2:15pm on a Tuesday. This unforeseeable surprise will make everything much more complicated."

"We have nothing with the waiting list to do."

"I was late for work because the street was obstructed by a giant concrete replica of a pepper-mill which someone had placed there in order to make fun of a friend for still being single on his 30th birthday."

"Our train has missed its boat."

Special bonus German (not Danish) excuse: "Beer counts as a soft drink."

1 comment

I've had many of these excuses on PEI. I wonder if it's a "rural" problem, and that Denmark is just low population enough to catch it?
Steven Baker - 2014-09-18 07:46

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