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    Category: Geography

    You may call them “lost”, but we prefer the name “geographically disadvantaged.”

    Suffering From A Vowel Movement

    | MN, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Language & Words

    (The grocery store I work in has a week every summer in which we put Hawaiian-esque foods on sale, such as tuna, pineapples, spam, pork, coconuts, etc. Neighborhood luaus are very popular in our area during the summer. We have signs proclaiming this all over the store.)

    Customer: “I need to speak to your manager right away!”

    Me: “I’m the manager. What can I help you with, ma’am?”

    Customer: “I’m an English teacher, and I’m appalled by your signs!”

    Me: “What’s wrong with them?”

    Customer: “Whoever made then doesn’t know how to spell! Don’t you people know that you can’t put four consonants in a row?”

    Me: “You mean vowels? And that is how you spell ‘Hawaiian,’ ma’am.”

    Customer: *exasperated* “God, all of you are such f****** idiots! I’m looking it up on my phone right now!”

    (She did just that, and my coworkers and I watched as she suddenly paled, ditched her cart, and left the store. We haven’t seen her back since, even though she was a regular.)

    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 7

    | Southampton, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Geography

    (The shop is just about to close for the day when a customer comes in with a very minor issue, and while I am sorting the problem my colleague has closed the doors. The fix doesn’t take long, and I have just escorted the customer to the door to let him out when he appears to remember a separate issue:)

    Customer: “Oh, yes, while I’m here I was wondering if you could take a look at this weird line that keeps showing up when I use my maps app. Now, where was it..?”

    (He zooms right out on the maps so the whole world map is virtually visible.)

    Customer: “Here we are, you see? Straight through Africa there”

    Me: “Uh.. That’s the equator, sir. There’s not much I or anyone else can do about that, I’m afraid.”

    Customer: “Well, it definitely wasn’t there before.”

    Me: “I think it probably was…”

    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 6
    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 5
    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 4

    Time Zone Phone Home

    | Dallas, TX, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography

    (The customer places an online order and wants to change some items, but it isn’t showing up yet. I tell the customer to call back in an hour to be able to check it.)

    Customer: “So on what time are you located?”

    Me: “Eastern time.”

    Customer: “So, at what time I have to call back?”

    Me: “In an hour.”

    Customer: “So what time over here would that be?”

    Me: “…”

    Broken Eastern Promises

    | Hay, AB, Canada | Extra Stupid, Geography, Tourists/Travel

    (There is a smaller highway that ends in the city, and another one that starts. I work at a gas station between the two so we get a lot of people driving through.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, but how do I get back on Highway #3?”

    Me: *gives directions*

    Customer: “No. I mean the other way. We just came from [City Two Hours Away].*

    Me: “No, that’s the only way. Highway #3 ends here. Did you want Highway #41?”

    Customer: “I don’t think so. I’m headed to [Destination].”

    (My dad has just walked in to pick me up from work.)

    Me: “And you said you came from [City Two Hours Away]?”

    Customer: “Yes. Why, what’s wrong?”

    (I’m speechless at this point, but my dad helps her, and the owner confirms what he says.)

    Dad: “You turned the wrong way. You have to head back; you just lost about seven hours driving time…”

    (What should have been two hours turned into more than seven hours driving and an overnight stay. Guess they didn’t know when the sun is setting BEHIND you, you aren’t traveling west…)

    This Conversation Has No Cardinal Directions

    | ID, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Hotels & Lodging

    (In college, I worked for a large chain hotel that had several different locations, though each had a different title and some were owned by different companies. A customer calls me up for directions:)

    Customer: “Can you tell me why I’m at the Hotel Safari, not the Hotel Lodge?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, can you repeat that?”

    Customer: “I got off my plane at the airport, and the guy at [Car Rental Company] told me to go here, and it’s not the right hotel!”

    Me: “I apologize that happened to you. Can I give you directions to our hotel?”

    Customer: “I want you to explain how you let this happen.”

    Me: “I don’t… I don’t work for the car rental company. Someone sent you to the wrong hotel. I don’t know why they did that.”

    Customer: “You could have called them to make sure they know where your f****** hotel is!”

    Me: ” Would you like me to give you directions?”

    (After going back and forth for a few minutes, he finally agrees to let me give him directions.)

    Me: “So you’re still at the Hotel Safari, right?”

    Customer: “No, I’m driving around looking for your f****** hotel.”

    Me: “Can you tell me what street you’re on?”

    Customer: “Did you listen to what I’m saying, buddy? I’m not from here. I don’t know the streets.”

    Me: “Can you look at a street sign and tell me what it says?”

    Customer: *tells me the street name*

    Me: “Okay, I need you to go south, that will take you to the freeway on-ramp.”

    Customer: “Buddy, I am not from here! How am I supposed to know which way that is?”

    Me: “South is the same direction no matter what city you’re in.”

    Customer: “That’s not true.”

    (We argue about that, until I finally ask him where the setting sun is, on his right or on his left. We argue about the sun, too, until he tells me that it’s on his right.)

    Me: “So the sun sets in the west. If the setting sun is on your right, that means you’re facing south, and I just need you to drive the same direction you’re on down that street, and get on the freeway.”

    Customer: “Well how will I know where the freeway is?”

    Me: “Uh…” *I pause, not knowing how to phrase this without sounding rude*

    Customer: “Yeah, that’s a problem, isn’t it, buddy?”

    Me: “No, I’m just wondering if you’ve ever seen a freeway before.”

    (He insists that I stay on the phone with him and navigate him all the way to the hotel. Finally, he gets in the door, and is just as snippy as I ask him to fill out the guest information form and sign his name.)

    Customer: “I didn’t mean to be rude with you, but you have to realize I’m not from here.”

    Me: “I apologize. No one ever taught me how to give directions without using street names or cardinal directions.”

    (He started to get angry, and then realized I have a point. He took his keys and went to his room, and I never heard from him again.)

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