• A Pain In The Nugget
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  • October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

    Category: Geography

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

    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 8

    | Halifax, NS, Canada | Canada, Extra Stupid, Geography

    (I work in a call center dealing with Americans and insurance claims. A caller calls from Washington state.)

    Caller: “Where am I calling to?”

    Me: “That would be Halifax, Nova Scotia, sir.”

    Caller: “Where’s that?”

    Me: “That’s in Canada, sir.”

    Caller: “Whoa… so that’s like a foreign country?”

    Me: “Yes, sir, we’re located above the US.”

    Caller: “Really? You learn something new every day!”

    (After the call ends…)

    Supervisor: “You should have told him Nova Scotia and Canada were suburbs of New York.”

    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 7
    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 6
    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 5
    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 4
    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 3
    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 2
    Canada: America’s Hat

    A Directionless Conversation, Part 3

    | Germany | Extra Stupid, Geography, Hotels & Lodging

    (I answer the phone.)

    Me: “Good evening, you have reached the front desk. How may I assist you?”

    Guest: “I’m lost.”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that; where are you right now?”

    Guest: “I don’t know; I told you I was lost!”

    Me: “Where are you calling from right now?”

    Guest: *annoyed* “My cell phone!”

    Me: “I understand that, ma’am, but I need to know where you are if you would like directions to the hotel. Is there a street sign near you?”

    Guest: “Yes.”

    (There is a very long pause.)

    Me: “Can you tell me what it says?”

    Guest: “No.”

    Me: “No?”

    Guest: “No. It’s dark; I can’t read it.”

    Me: “Ma’am, if you would like me to give you directions I will need to know where you currently are. Can you please tell me the street name?”

    Guest: “Fine…”

    A Directionless Conversation, Part 2
    A Directionless Conversation

    No Vocation For Location, Part 8

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, Geography, Tourists/Travel

    (We have a screen with special offers on the wall. Customer #1 is reading the board as offers flash by.)

    Customer #1: “Wait, Paris is in Europe?”

    Customer #2: “Really? Where did you think it was? Asia?”

    Customer #1: “I never really paid much attention in Geometry class.”

    (Customer #2 starts laughing as Customer #1 realizes what she just said.)

    Customer #1: “Yeah… didn’t pay much attention at all.”

    No Vocation For Location, Part 7
    No Vocation For Location, Part 6
    No Vocation For Location, Part 5
    No Vocation For Location, Part 4

    That Kind Of Behavior Is Just Not Cricket

    | London, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography

    (I’m standing in line at a corner shop. The customer at the till is a typical 40-something skinhead, wearing an England football shirt. He’s harassing the cashier because of the difference between the display price of a packet of cigarettes, and what he’s being charged.)

    Customer: “THIS IS F****** RIDICULOUS! IT’S ILLEGAL!”

    Cashier: “I’m sorry, sir, but due to the changes in taxes, we’ve had to increase the price. We haven’t had time to change the signs yet.”


    (The cashier isn’t ethnically British, but he’s been working at the store for a few years now and is a pretty decent guy.)

    Cashier: “That doesn’t matter, sir. Could you just pay for your items?”

    Customer: “I SAID WHERE ARE YOU FROM?!”

    Cashier: *rolling his eyes* “Sri Lanka.”

    (The customer tries to think of an insult using the tiny amount of brainpower not given over to alcohol and rage.)

    Customer: “…yeah … well your cricket team is s***!”

    (The customer then storms off after paying for the cigarettes. I go up to the register.)

    Me: “Didn’t Sri Lanka just win the Cricket World Cup?”

    Extreme Foreign Interests

    | England, UK | At The Checkout, Geography, Language & Words

    (I suffered from a speech disorder as a child, and while I speak perfectly now, I have a slight twang in my voice. I’m on the checkout when a smartly-dressed customer approaches the till.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

    Customer: “…where are you from?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Where. Are. You. From?”

    Me: “Um, I’m local, if that’s what you mean.”

    Customer: “No, where were you born?”

    Me: “In [local hospital].”

    Customer: *sighs* “Where are your parents from?”

    Me: “They’re from [local town] and [local city].”

    Customer: *getting irate* “I just want you to tell me where you’re from! Explain your accent!”

    Me: “Oh! My accent! Yes, there’s an explanation for that; see when I was a kid—”

    Customer: “I don’t want to hear your life story! Why are you ashamed of your heritage? You are probably bringing shame to your family by denying them! I get that there are racists here, but you don’t need to deny who you are! I won’t judge you!”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t know what you want me to say.”

    Customer: “Tell me your parents were born in a different country!”

    Me: “Um… they were born in [other country]?”

    Customer: “Yes! See how easy that is? Why couldn’t you have just said that in the first place?!”

    (He grabs his bags and marches off. I turn to the next customer.)

    Me: “Afternoon!”

    Customer #2: “That was a lie, right?”

    Me: “Yep. How can I help you today?”

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