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    Category: Extra Stupid

    This site is full of Customers; their stupid and moronic exploits that make us laugh. But these gems contained within are for those special cases, the extra stupid, the ones that make you wonder how they have survived this long!

    This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 4

    , | USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Language & Words

    (People call us to set up appointments at counseling clinics. One of our affiliated clinics’ entire staff speaks English, Arabic, and Chaldean, so we get a lot of Arabic callers seeking appointments who may need an interpreter. I know a little bit of Arabic, but not enough to have an entire phone conversation.)

    Me: “Good afternoon. [Call Center]. How many I help you?”

    Caller: “Hello, I’d like to set up my father with an appointment to see [Doctor at Arabic facility].”

    Me: “Okay. Do you have legal guardianship over your father?”

    Caller: “No, he is his own man.”

    Me: “Well, since he’s an adult you can’t make the appointment for him, due to HIPAA laws.  Is he there with you?”

    Caller: “He’s next to me, but he only speaks Arabic.”

    Me: “Not a problem! We can do one of two things: I can get an interpreter on the phone, or he can give me permission over the phone for you to make the appointment on his behalf.”

    Caller: “Uh… but he doesn’t speak English…”

    Me: “Oh, I understand! You could explain to him in Arabic that I’m going to ask ‘Is it okay if I speak with your son on your behalf?’, and to say “N’am” or “Yes”, if he wants that service. It’s legal, and we do it all the time since some people are more comfortable with us speaking with a family member.”

    Caller: “Okay, I’ll do that. Here’s my father.”

    (I hear the phone shuffle around, and don’t hear any kind of verbal exchange indicating he’s telling his father what’s happening.)

    Me: *in Arabic* “…Hello?”

    Caller’s Father: “Huh?”

    Me: “… Is it okay if I speak with your son on your behalf?”

    Caller’s Father: “HELLO?!”

    Caller: “See, this is stupid because he doesn’t understand English.”

    Me: “… Did you explain to him what I was going to say?”

    Caller: “Ma’am, you misunderstand me! He does not speak English!”

    Me: “I understand that, sir. What I’m saying is, you could interpret this portion of the phone call, and explain to him, in Arabic, what I am about to ask him, and what he should say back if he wants you to make the appointment. I’m not asking him to understand English. If you want, I’d be more than happy to dial our interpreter line for you?”

    Caller: “NO! He wants ME to do it! He gave me permission before the call!”

    Me: “I need to HEAR the granted permission. If you don’t want an interpreter, please explain to him the Arabic translation of what I’m about to ask him in English.”

    (The caller grumbles and again hands the phone over without saying anything to his father. His father keeps yelling ‘No English’ and ‘Hello.’ The caller takes the phone again and starts screaming.)

    Caller: “HE DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH! You are completely incompetent! How am I supposed to interpret if he doesn’t speak English!”

    Me: “Here is how interpreting works. You tell him, in ARABIC, what I am going to ask him. So you are explaining that I will say the ENGLISH EQUIVALENT of what you are saying to him IN ARABIC.”

    Caller: “Don’t tell me how my language works!”

    (Suddenly, I hear a door slam and a confused female voice in the background. The caller is yelling with the female voice in Arabic and English, and the female voice suddenly says, ‘hold on, let me speak with her.’ She takes the phone.)

    Caller’s Sister: *calmly* “Hi. I just came home from work, but I believe you were speaking with my brother. I thought I could help. What is it that he’s not understanding?”

    (I explain the scenario exactly as I’ve been explaining it to her brother.)

    Caller’s Sister: “Oh, okay. So I can just tell my father, in Arabic, what it is that you’re about to ask him in English?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    (The caller’s sister speaks with her father.)

    Caller’s Father: “Oh! N’am! Yes! You… speak with… my… DAUGHTER.”

    Caller’s Son: *in background* “What?! That’s bulls***! I know what I’m doing! She’s just an idiot who thinks I can’t speak Arabic!”

    Caller’s Sister: “I think you’ll be hearing from me more often than my brother. He’s spoken English his whole life, but I swear, he’s dumber than a box of rocks when people give him instructions. So sorry about that. Well, now, what else do you need to know, love?”

    Related:
    This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 3
    This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 2
    This Round He Lost (In Translation)

    Sodium And So Dum

    | FL, USA | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Health & Body

    Customer: “I’d like a half-pound of the [Cheap Brand] low-sodium ham, please!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. We don’t have [Cheap Brand] low-sodium ham. We do have the [Premium Brand] low-sodium ham, though.”

    Customer: “No, you do have the [Cheap Brand] kind. It’s right there.”

    (She points to the Cheap Brand boiled ham, which is the lowest quality meat we sell, and is loaded with salt and fat.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid that ham isn’t low-sodium. Actually, that’s the highest-sodium ham we have.”

    Customer: “WHAT?! I’ve been eating that ham for three months because I thought it was healthy! My doctor said my blood pressure was dangerously high!”

    Me: “Um… that’s not good. Did one of the employees here tell you that ham was low-sodium?”

    Customer: “No! I just assumed it was!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but you probably should have asked someone here about that.”

    Customer: “SHUT UP! IF I HAVE A HEART ATTACK IT’S YOUR FAULT!”

    Obsessions With Possessions

    | Houston, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid

    (We don’t have associates permanently supervising the fitting rooms, so they’re left unattended for periods of time while the fitting room associate cleans out the other ones. I enter an open fitting room to find an entire outfit of clothes that we do not sell. My first instinct was that someone had changed into our clothes in the fitting room and stolen them, leaving theirs behind. I then look over to see a phone and a purse left in the fitting room, and take the items to a manager to report the incident and laugh at the supposed thief’s stupidity. Just then, an angry looking woman comes up to the counter.)

    Customer: “Those are my things!”

    Me: “Oh! You left them in the fitting room.”

    Customer: *angrily* “Well, I wasn’t finished…”

    Me: “I’m sorry ma’am. You left your things in an open, unsupervised fitting room. You’re lucky I found them. If another customer had walked in there they could have just grabbed them at walked right out.”

    Customer: “But I wasn’t finished!”

    Making A Mute Point

    | IL, USA | Bigotry, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I am at visiting a game store that I go to quite often, to the point that most of the employees consider me a “regular”. Due to a throat injury I received when I was younger, I am mute. I’m there to see if they have a copy of a game that had, at the time, just come out. There are only two employees working at the time; both are behind the counter as I walk in. Any ‘dialog’ of mine for this story is actually just me scribbling into a notepad and showing it to whoever I am speaking to, as it’s my main method of communicating.)

    Employee #2: “Hey, [My Name], are you looking for something?”

    Me: “Yeah. I was hoping you had a copy of [Game], since I wasn’t able to reserve a copy.”

    Employee #1: “Yeah, we have a few. I’ll show you where they are.”

    (He shows me to where they are, and leaves me to do some extra browsing. He returns to the register, where his coworker is, when another customer approaches them. He appears to be in his late-teens/early 20s.)

    Customer: “Hey, you really shouldn’t encourage her like that.”

    (The customer gestures to me, and isn’t even being subtle about it.)

    Employee #2: “I’m sorry, sir, but I have no clue what you mean.”

    Customer: “That girl over there! If you treat her like a normal person, she might get the wrong idea!”

    Employee #1: “With all due respect, what are you even talking about?”

    Customer: “Don’t play dumb! She’s clearly retarded! Won’t it look bad for business if you let a [slur] wander around? And besides, she’s a girl! She probably doesn’t even play video games!”

    (Unfortunately, people assuming I am either deaf or mentally handicapped because of my inability to speak is a common occurrence. I’ve gotten used to it, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying. Still, I do my best to ignore it. The assumption that I don’t play video games because I’m a girl isn’t as common, but it does come up once in a while.)

    Employee #2: “Please forgive me, sir, but I’m going to have to ask that you not speak about her that way. Not only is she a regular customer, but she’s definitely NOT mentally handicapped. She just can’t speak because of—”

    Customer: “Right! Because she’s retarded! I don’t think it’s safe to let her wander around the store. What if she ends up making someone else retarded?!”

    (All three of us are completely dumbfounded. As mentioned before, I’m used to these sorts of assumptions, but this was a new one.)

    Customer: “So are you going to kick her out or not? People like her don’t deserve to be in here!”

    Employee #1: *visibly angry, and doing his best to keep his cool* “No, we’re not. However, if you don’t stop insulting out customers, we are going to have to ask YOU to leave!”

    Customer: “What the h***, man?! I’m just looking out for your best interest! If you wanna treat that [slur] like she’s a person, that’s your business, but don’t come running to me if it hurts your business!”

    Employee #1: “Okay, that’s it. We tried being civil. Please leave and don’t come back.”

    (The customer is clearly pissed off, but before he can say or do anything, I walk over and slip a note into his hands. He instinctively reads the note.)

    Me: “By the way, you can call me retarded all you want, but at least I’m not the one with their fly unzipped.”

    (He looks down and confirms that his fly is, indeed, unzipped. His face turns a shade of red, and then storms off in what I can only assume was a combination of rage and embarrassment. We still laugh about it to this day!)

    They Made An Unsafe Assumption

    | Stockholm, Sweden | Extra Stupid, Hotels & Lodging

    (A guest calls down to the front desk.)

    Guest: “Hi. Yeah, umm. How do I get the microwave in the room working?”

    Me: “Sorry, Mrs. [Name], but we don’t have any microwaves in the room.”

    Guest: “Yes, you do. It’s on the 2nd shelf of the closet, has a digital screen and my frozen pizza in it, but it won’t start.”

    Me: “Madam is this microwave black and with a thick steel door?”

    Guest: “Yes.”

    Me: “That is not a microwave, but the in-room safe, Mrs. [Name].”

    Guest: “Oh!” *obviously embarrassed* “That explains why there was a power outlet on the inside…Thank you.” *click*

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