Category: Geography

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

No Vocation For Location, Part 5

| London, England, UK | Bigotry, Geography, Language & Words

(I work at a call center for charities where we call people to confirm their details and thank them for their donations. I have recently moved from South Africa and am still getting used to some of the pronunciations around the UK.)

Me: “Hello, this is Sarah calling on behalf of [charity]. I believe you spoke to John in Inverness on Saturday. Is that correct?”

(I’ve pronounced it ‘In-ver-niss’ as opposed to ‘In-ver-ness’.)

Man: “What?! How can you work in a f***ing call center and not even know how to pronounce the names?”

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. I’m not from England so I’m still getting used to all the names.”

Man: “How f***ing dare you! I am not from England! I am from Scotland, you dumb b****! They’re different places! How don’t you know that? Didn’t you go to school?!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I meant to say I’m new to the UK. Some of the names of places are still a bit tricky for me.”

Man: *calmer* “Well, okay then. Where are you from?”

Me: “Johannesburg in South Africa.”

Man: “Oh, you mean Zimbabwe!”

Me: “No, sir, they’re different countries.”

Man: “They’re the same thing!”

Related:
No Vocation For Location, Part 4

Tai-Want It Now

| Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Geography, Technology

(I am a customer waiting in line when I hear this exchange between the repair person and a customer.)

Repair Person: “Alright, ma’am, we’re going to have to order some parts from the factory to get this fixed. They should be here in about 10 days.”

Customer: *very angry* “10 days?! Are you serious? Why the h*** is it so long? What is wrong with you people?! In Taiwan, they could get parts the same day!”

Repair Person: “Ma’am, in Taiwan, the factory is right next door.”

Customer: *leaves, defeated*

Yukon Freeze It, Part 2

| ON, Canada | Canada, Extra Stupid, Geography

(I work at a call centre located in Canada, but our focus is verifying orders placed for long distance phone service with a particular company in America, so all our incoming calls originate from there. I am on a call with a man from a Southern state.)

Caller: “Where are you from?”

Me: “We’re located in Canada, sir.”

Caller: “Oh wow, you must see a lot of moose up there then?”

Me: “Well, maybe more so out west, sir. But we are in Southern Ontario. There aren’t really any moose here.”

Caller: “You must have a lot of snow, right?”

Me: *it’s currently summer* “Yes, during the winter we can get lots of snow.”

Caller: “How do you power your call centre?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir? We use electricity.”

Caller: “Wouldn’t the heat from electricity melt the igloos?”

(I have to mute my headset as I laugh and try to compose myself. I want so badly to joke with him, but our calls are recorded.)

Me: “No, sir. We live in houses and buildings in cities just like you. Even way up north I don’t think you’d find any igloos anymore.”

Caller: “Really? Oh. What were you asking me again?”

(We resume the call as normal, but at the after our goodbyes, he jumps in.)

Caller: “Wait! If I give you my email, can you send me a picture of a moose?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t do that.”

Caller: “Aw, how come?”

Me: “Because it’s against company policy and the moose are camera shy. Have a great day, sir!”

Related:
Yukon Freeze It

Putting The Dire Into Directions

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Geography

Customer: “Can you tell me how to get to your mall?”

Me: “Sure; just tell me where you’re coming from and I’ll give you directions.”

Customer: “I’m not telling you where I live.”

Me: “That makes it hard for me to tell you how to get here.”

Customer: “Oh. Washington, D.C.”

Me: “Hop a plane to Cincinnati; call me when you get here.”

He’s Not All Aboard

| Tel Aviv, Israel | Extra Stupid, Geography, Top

Customer: “Hello, I’m calling to make sure that my flight back to Israel departs as scheduled, and that my request for a kosher meal has been approved.”

Me: “Sir, your ticket has already expired. Your flight was on May 15th.”

Customer: “What?!? That’s not possible! I am absolutely sure that my flight is on May 29th!”

Me: “Sir, have you perhaps changed your ticket’s return date?”

Customer: “No way! I would remember that! I’m not senile. My flight is on May 29th and I did not change my ticket!”

Me: “The computer says your flight was on May 15th. Could you look at the printout of your ticket and tell me what date appears there?”

Customer: “Oh, my God…”

Me: “Sir?”

Customer: “I forgot! I completely forgot! I am calling you from Netanya! I already am back in Israel!”

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