Case no. 1: HTM service counter in Rotterdam.
Context: My cousin and I are asking for the route to Kinderdijk, a well-known tourist attraction with lots of windmills, often visited in summertime.
Me: Hello, good morning, how do we get to Kinderdijk?
HTM man: -big sigh- It's very difficult to get there, you know.
Me: Er, yes, ok, but how do we get there?
HTM man: You have to take the metro to here, and then a bus from here - for one hour!- to get there.
I asked for the route, not an assessment of its difficulty.
Case no. 2: Office
Context: I've been chasing the secretary to an official in the municipality of The Hague for some weeks now to get an answer from her boss.
Me: Hello, I'm calling about Mrs de Jong, is she back from holiday yet?
Secretary: Sorry, what is this about?
Me: It's regarding our conference, has Mrs de Jong given you an answer yet?
Secretary: Sorry, I can't find your event on the agenda, and in any case I'm sure one of my colleagues or I have given you a reply by email. Mrs de Jong has cleaned out her inbox so I can't say for sure.
Me: No, I spoke to you last week and the last thing I heard was that Mrs de Jong is away on holiday.
Secretary: Sorry, but I can't remember, in any case we receive too many invitations a day!
Her negative reply is the only answer I'll take, thank you, not your lack of attention to your work.