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    Category: Geography

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

    Getting Loony Over A Loonie

    | Niagara Falls, NY, USA | Geography, Money

    (The border crossing tolls between Canada and the US are $0.75 US; or $1.00 Canadian, which is a pretty fair exchange rate at the time.)

    Toll Booth Operator: “Toll, please.”

    Driver: *hands over a loonie — a Canadian $1 coin*

    Toll Booth Operator: “Thank you; have a nice visit!”

    Driver: *just sits there*

    Toll Booth Operator: “Did you need something else? Customs is on the other side.”

    Driver: “No, I’m waiting for my change.”

    Toll Booth Operator: “You’re not due any change; you gave me a loonie.”

    Driver: “Yes, but I’m American!”

    Not Even Remotely Thinking

    | Ruidoso, NM, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Tourists/Travel

    (I work for a small shop in town. We get a few tourist high points a year. It’s a mountain town with a population of about 8,000. It’s only 20 minutes away from another town and about 45 minutes from a larger city.)

    Customer: “How do you people live out here?”

    Me: “What? What do you mean?”

    Customer: “It’s so… remote.”

    Me: “Oh, well, we have everything we need here. Also, there is larger city about 45 minutes away if we need something that we cannot find here. Besides, it’s beautiful here.”

    Customer: “But… do you have electricity?”

    Me: *looks at all the lights in the store, the electronic cash register and the neon sign outside, the lamp posts outside and the traffic lights* “Yes… yes, we do.”

    Customer: “What about plumbing?”

    Me: “Yes…”

    Customer: “Are you sure?”

    Me: “Positive?”

    Customer: “What about [popular and huge hotel]? Do they have lights and toilets?”

    Me: “Yes… everywhere here does. Literally, everywhere.”

    Customer: “But… it’s so remote. How do they get the lights here?”

    Me: “….wires and light poles?”

    Customer: “But where do the wires come from?”

    Me: “The nearest power station?”

    Customer: “What about water?”

    Me: “Pipes, and it would come from the nearest water treatment plant, which we have here.”

    Customer: “I just don’t understand you people at all.”

    Me: “Well, enjoy your stay…”

    Customer: “Do the people here have cars?”

    Me: “Have you seen cars since you have been here?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “There you go.”

    O, Canaduh, Part 5

    | Manchester, England, UK | Crazy Requests, Geography

    Me: “Good Afternoon, you’re speaking to [My Name]. Can I take your reference number, please?”

    Customer: “Hi, I’m calling from Toronto.”

    Me: “Okay, how can I help?”

    Customer: “Well, I’ve seen [alarm product that we don’t stock] being advertised and I want to know if you could sell me one?”

    Me: “I can look into it for you. Are you looking to install this into a property in the UK?”

    Customer: “No, of course not! I told you I’m in Toronto. Why ever would you think that?”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, you have called a company based in the UK, so the systems we sell are set to UK settings.”

    Customer: “Well, I know that.”

    Me: “So, then you’d be aware that even if we did sell you a system, it wouldn’t work in your property?”

    Customer: “Of course it would! We’re a part of the British Commonwealth!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, it definitely wouldn’t work, as it needs connection to a power outlet, and the outlets in Canada are different to the ones here in Britain. Also, even if we were to look into selling you a system, regulations state we need to get a trained engineer to install it for you, and none of our engineers would be able travel to Canada from the UK to install it.”

    Customer: “Well, what am I supposed to do?”

    Me: “I’d recommend contacting a supplier in Toronto.”

    Customer: “You’ve just lost thousands of dollars!” *slams phone down*

    O, Canaduh, Part 4
    O, Canaduh, Part 3
    O, Canaduh, Part 2

    O, Canaduh, Part 4

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Canada, Extra Stupid, Geography

    (It is a warm day in late June. The customer I am serving has a pronounced American accent.)

    Me: “I couldn’t help noticing your accent. Where are you from?”

    Customer: “Des Moines. It’s my first time in Canada.”

    Me: “What do you think so far?”

    Customer: “Well, I was a little shocked when we were flying in, actually.”

    Me: “About what?”

    Customer: “I was pretty surprised not to see snow.”

    Me: “I think that Iowa and Ontario have a pretty similar climate. Is there snow on the ground there right now?”

    Customer: “No, but this is CANADA.”

    O, Canaduh, Part 3
    O, Canaduh, Part 2
    O, Canaduh

    The Only Book Required Is A Map

    | Milwaukee, WI, USA | Geography

    (Employees trade off phone shifts where I work. This was the conversation I overheard from one of my coworkers on the phone with a customer.)

    Coworker: “Hello. Thank you for calling [Store]. How can I help you today?”  *pause* “You have a book on hold with us and you need directions? Where are you coming from?”

    (There’s a long pause.)

    Coworker: “Well, sir, if you’re coming from Texas, the first thing to do is catch a plane.”

    (We never did figure out how he got our number, but we did track down his book at a store in Texas.)

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