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    Category: Language & Words

    This category features customers whose mishandling of vocabulary and grammar are so bad that we literally have no words to describe them!

    Hasn’t Quite Cottoned On

    | Australia | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (I work in a fabric store and am a lot younger than I look, so customers often patronise me. I’m used to it.)

    Customer: “I’m looking for cotton fabric.”

    Me: “Okay, any particular weave? We have plain woven, knitted jersey, japara—”

    Customer: “I don’t think you heard me. I want cotton fabric.”

    (Deciding not to argue I take her to the cheapest cotton fabric, which is just plain woven poplin, very similar to the fabric they use to make bed-sheets.)

    Customer: *in a patronising tone* “Don’t you know anything? I want c-o-t-t-o-n!”

    Me: “Yes, this is 100% cotton.”

    Customer: “No, it’s not. Cotton is the fabric they make jeans out of.”

    Me: “Oh, you mean denim?”

    Customer: “No, cotton. Jeans are made of cotton.”

    Me: “Yes, jeans are made of cotton, but it is woven in a particular way to make a fabric called ‘denim.’”

    Customer: “It’s not called denim, you silly girl. Denim is a boy’s name. Cotton comes from a special animal and is used to make jeans. Or have you not gotten to that part of school yet?”

    Me: “Actually, cotton comes from a plant and has a variety of uses that are not just restricted to jeans. Now if you’ll excuse me, my shift ended two minutes ago and I need to get home and finish my university assignment, which is a literature review on the critical success factors of the implementation of enterprise resource planning information systems.”

    (I showed her the fabric she was looking for on my way out. She looked embarrassed when she saw the tag did, in fact, read ‘denim.’)

    Doesn’t Get The French Connection

    | BC, Canada | Bigotry, Language & Words

    (This takes place in western Canada. French and English are both official languages in Canada, but sometimes people forget that, apparently. My coworker is from Montreal and has a strong French accent, though his English is excellent. A customer decides to give him trouble because he doesn’t speak English as a first language.)

    Customer: “What the f***? You f***ers need to learn English before you come here! We only speak English in Canada!”

    Coworker: “Sir, I was born in Canada. I’m from Montreal. French is my first language, but I assure you I’m fluent in English.”

    Me: “Sir, I’m bilingual, too, because French is one of Canada’s official languages. If you’re going to be in Canada, why on Earth don’t you learn French?”

    (He grabbed his coffee and stomped off.)

    Didn’t Have The Backbone To Say It

    | Sweden | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Hotels & Lodging, Language & Words

    (I work in the front desk at a hotel. I have a small handicap which makes my back look a little wavy, but it’s no obstacle in normal life. We have more reservations than we have rooms. There are several concerts in the city, and all hotels located within 10 miles from the city are fully booked. When this happens, the hotel is responsible to find rooms in the same or better category on other hotels. I have managed to book the last available room at our neighbor hotel. It’s starting to get very late, and I have only one check-in left, a couple from Italy. At 10:30 pm they arrive.)

    Me: “Welcome to [Hotel]. Did you have a pleasant flight?”

    (The couple looks angry towards me before the wife answers.)

    Wife: *in very bad English* “I want my room now, and my luggage should be carried up!”

    Me: “I am very sorry to say that we are fully booked today, but I have some very good news for you. I have managed to find a room for you on the hotel right across the street!”

    (The couple looks at each other and they both start yelling at me in Italian. I am Scandinavian, so I only know English and Swedish, but I can sense that the words are not well meant and nice words.)

    Me: “I’m so sorry.  I don’t speak Italian, but I will gladly help you to move the luggage to the neighbor hotel.”

    (The couple don’t give a d*** about what I’m trying to tell them. So, I just smile and pretend like everything is normal. My shift ends at 11 pm and the guests have now been standing in the front desk for almost ten minutes with constant yelling and screaming. Suddenly I feel a hand touching my shoulder from behind. It’s the night shift clerk who has arrived, and he wants to tell me something in the back office.)

    Night Shift Clerk: “Do you know what they are telling you?”

    Me: “No, but I have a strange feeling that it is not kind words.”

    Night Shift Clerk: “Let me take care of this.”

    (He enters the front desk.)

    Night Shift Clerk: “I’m very sorry about my colleague. He has done everything in his power to help you. Let me make one thing clear…”

    (The Italian couple stops screaming for a second, and looks at my colleague.)

    Night Shift Clerk: *in fluent Italian* “I forgot to mention that I speak fluent Italian. I have been in the back office the entire time, and I’ve been listening to every word you said to my colleague. It may be true that the customer is always right, but when you call someone a crooked dwarf, just because they look different, you don’t deserve any kind of good treatment. Earlier my colleague tried to tell you that we had managed to book the biggest suite at the neighbor hotel for a total cost of $5000, and you would have gotten it for free. At our hotel you have booked a standard room for $100. So, I’m very happy to say that you are going to sleep in the streets tonight. I just called the other hotel and cancelled the room. You have two minutes to get out of here before I call the police. You won’t be able to find room anywhere tonight. All the hotels are fully booked. Have a nice life!”

    (The couple stand quiet in shock, and looked at my colleague with embarrassment. I later came out and escorted them to the streets. Later I heard that they tried to contact the hotel manager, but he only confirmed what we said and told them to get off our property!)

    Bust A Gut Laughing

    | OK, USA | Language & Words, Technology

    (I do a lot of support for products I sell online via direct chat in text. Often google translate is used by customers. Unfortunately, my customer doesn’t know I speak Spanish and begins to rely on the translator. Please note that ‘tenía’ is past tense for ‘I have’ and ‘tenia’ means ‘tapeworm.’)

    Me. “Ah, it appears that you unlinked the product. That’s okay; I’ll send you a new one.”

    Customer: “Ah, tapeworm is my culpa!”

    (My friends and I now use that for ‘my bad.’)

    All Manner Of Meat With No Manners

    | CT, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Language & Words, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (A customer approaches the deli just as I’m about to shut down the department to clean it. She takes a number and spends the next few minutes looking over the meat selections.)

    Me: “How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “Uh, yes… I would like half a pound of pastrami, please.”

    Me: “Sure thing!”

    (I slice her order and hand it to her. She thanks me and looks at the package. Just as she’s about to turn to leave, she looks at the package.)

    Customer: “Excuse me! But this isn’t what I f****** ordered you stupid piece of s***!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you asked for pastrami and that’s what I cut for you.”

    Customer: *scoffs* “Well, that’s not what this is!” *points at the glass case*

    Me: “Are you pointing at the pastrami?”

    Customer: “Yes, I am, you dumb a**hole! You should be able to f***** see that!”

    Me: “Actually, I can’t. One moment.”

    (I walk around the counter to where she’s standing.)

    Customer: “See, this is what I want.”

    Me: *sigh* “Ma’am, that’s not pastrami you’re pointing at. It’s salami. It clearly says it on the wrapping and on the sign under the product.”

    Customer: “I know that, you f****** idiot!”

    Me: “If you know that, then why did you ask for pastrami? They’re not even close to being the same product. In fact they’re in different color wrapping.”

    Customer: “Hey, stop being an a**hole and give me what I want! You’re making this more difficult than it has to be and you’re wasting my time!”

    Me: “Sure, hold on. Please be advised that you are the one that placed the wrong order which is prolonging your stay here.”

    Customer: “I don’t f****** care! Hurry up and finish my order!”

    (I quickly slice her order as the deli is now closed and I want to go home.)

    Me: “Here you go, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Thank you. Was that so f***** hard?”

    Me: “Yes, it was about as hard as reading a sign that says salami and confusing it with pastrami.”


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