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    Category: Geography

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

    First Aisle Problems

    | Long Island, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Geography

    (I’m a customer in line waiting to pay, when suddenly the registers freeze and have to reboot. There are two impatient customers in line behind me.)

    Employee: “Sorry, but the registers just froze. Please be patient while we reboot them.”

    Impatient Customer #1: “What did she say?”

    Impatient Customer #2: “The registers froze.”

    Impatient Customer #1: “Ugh, it’s like living in a third world country!”

    UK Needs UV

    | San Jose, CA, USA | Geography, Health & Body

    (I am working at trade show booth. I have very fair skin and often get remarks about it. I have been chatting with a fellow American customer for nearly 10 minutes.)

    Me: “Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the magazine. Did you have any other questions for me?”

    Customer: “No, no, thank you! Well, wait … are you British?”

    Me: “What? Ah, no… no I’m not.”

    Customer: “Really!? But…but you’re so PALE!”

    Being Franc About The Dollar

    | France | Geography, Money, Tourists/Travel

    (It is when the French Franc is still in use. I get called by a cashier who has a problem with American tourists.)

    Tourist: “This woman won’t accept our money!”

    (The tourist is waving about a wad of US dollars.)

    Me: “Well, she can’t, sir, since you’re trying to pay in US dollars.”

    Customer: “So?”

    Me: “Well, you’re in France. We only accept French Francs.”

    Customer: “I don’t understand! All the other third world countries we’ve been to accept dollars.”

    Me: “France isn’t a third world country.”

    Customer: “…”

    Me: “There’s a bank right down the street. We’ll hold on to your items until you come back with Francs. Or you can pay with a visa card.”

    Customer: “No, we’re not coming back; you’re not getting our dollars!”

    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 6

    | Buenos Aires, Argentina | Geography

    (I work at a tech support call center that works with employees in the USA.)

    User: “…and where are you guys located?”

    Me: “Buenos Aires, Argentina.”

    User:Really? That far?”

    Me: “Yeah… it is pretty far from the US, isn’t it?”

    User: “And what’s the weather like today over there?”

    Me: “Well, it has been really cold all week. Today it was 32 F when I left home.”

    User: “And it is that cold during the summer?!”

    Me: “Um… no, actually, it’s not summer over here; it’s winter. We are all the way at the south.”

    User: “What do you mean it’s winter there? Are you serious?”

    Me: “Yes, when it’s summer in the north, it’s winter in the south of the world, and vice versa.”

    User: “For real? Are you sure?”

    Me: “Yes, very much indeed. It is winter here.”

    User: “Well… I guess you might be right.”

    (The user remains silent for a few seconds.)

    User: “But… when do you have Christmas?!”

    Related:
    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 5
    No Aptitude Vocation For Location, Part 2
    No Aptitude For Latitude, Part 2
    No Vocation For Location
    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 4
    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 3
    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 2
    No Fortitude For Longitude
    No Aptitude For Latitude

    The Big Country Of Small Talk

    | UK | At The Checkout, Geography, Money

    (I work in a large retail clothing chain in the UK. The chain is actually an American brand, and popular in both countries. I am serving a customer at the till. I am always friendly to my customers, and always make small talk.)

    Me: “Hello, sir, how was your day today?”

    Customer: “Why do you want to know?”

    Me: “I was just asking, sir; you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

    Customer: “Quit the small talk. I don’t care what they tell you to say when I am here.”

    Me: “I am sorry, sir; that comes to [total]. Would you like to pay cash or card, sir?”

    Customer: “What’s with this ‘sir’ bull-s*** your giving me?! You should just stick to your job, and quit the small talk. No one wants to talk to you anyway!”

    (He throws his money on the counter, even though I am holding my hand out. I say nothing, and collect his change. He continues to rant at me.)

    Customer: “This is what is wrong with the world! People are becoming robots, and just saying things and not meaning them! It’s all fake smiles and stupid small talk!”

    Me: “I do not get paid any more or any less for talking to you, sir; I was just being polite. I am sorry if I offended you in any way. Have a nice day.”

    (The customer glares at me. His eyes go wide, and he starts to go red.)

    Customer: “HAVE A NICE DAY?! HAVE A NICE DAY?! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN! WE ARE IN ENGLAND! WE ARE NOT AMERICANISED! THIS IS ENGLAND! I SUPPORT OUR ECONOMY, AND I DEMAND TO BE TREATED LIKE AN ENGLISH PERSON!”

    Me: “Quite right, sir, we are in England as you correctly pointed out. However, you do realise that you have just spent money in this store, which happens to be an American company?”

    (He opens his mouth to retaliate, but he can’t when he realises what I have just said. The line of customers behind him all start laughing at him, as he walks away rather briskly!)

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