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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    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!

    The Drink Of The Month

    | IA, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (I work at a kiosk of a popular coffee chain. It’s before school, and my coworker is ringing up a girl’s order.)

    Customer: “I want a peppermint mocha, but with no coffee in it.”

    Coworker: “Okay, so a steamer.”

    (My coworker hands me the cup and I can’t help but giggle a little.)

    Coworker: “What is it?”

    Me: “Oh, you wrote down PMS for the drink order.”

    Coworker: *laughing* “Oh jeez, I didn’t even think about that. But that’s what it is, a peppermint mocha steamer.”

    Customer: “That’s one way to start a morning.”

    (I make the drink and hand it to her.)

    Me: “Here’s your PMS, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Don’t go PMSing now!”

    Should Have Put A Lid On It

    , | FL, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (The customer enters the restaurant and looks confused. I take his order and notice he often mumbles words to himself. Once he is done ordering I hand him his cups which he goes to fill up and once he comes back, I notice he has a lid on only one cup.)

    Me: “Sir, do you need a lid for that second drink?”

    Customer: *thinks for a moment* “Nah, I already blew my lid this morning.” *walks away*

    Hamming Up The Translation

    | Orlando, FL, USA | Language & Words

    (One of my coworkers is Turkish, but because of her skin tone, she is often mistaken for Hispanic.)

    Customer: *in Spanish* “Can you get me some ham?”

    Coworker: “Sorry, I don’t speak Spanish.”

    Customer: *in Spanish* “Don’t lie to me, you b****. I want some ham right now!”

    Me: *in Spanish* “I can help you, sir.”

    (He looks at me with bewilderment, obviously not expecting a white person to be able to speak Spanish.)

    Customer: “Sorry, I no speak English.” *to my coworker, in Spanish* “I told you to get me some ham!”

    Coworker: “I don’t understand, sir. I not Spanish; I am from Turkey.”

    Me: *in Spanish* “She doesn’t speak Spanish, sir. She’s actually from Turkey. I can get you some ham if you’ll tell me what kind you want.”

    (He slams both hands down hard on the counter.)

    Customer: *in English* “What kind of store is this?! The Spanish person doesn’t speak Spanish but the white person does?! I’m not shopping here!”

    (He stormed out of the store, almost breaking the glass door.)

    Something Stinks About The Address

    | Orem, UT, USA | Language & Words, Rude & Risque, Technology

    (As cashiers, we’re required to ask for emails at the end of a purchase. Customers can decline, and it’s no problem for us to bypass the email capture screen. I’ve just finished up ringing a young woman and her boyfriend.)

    Me: “Perfect, we’re almost done! Could I just enter your email?”

    Customer: “Sure. It’s [email protected]

    Me: *typing it in without thinking* “All right, if you could just verify the email below on the card reader— oh.”

    Boyfriend: *snickers*

    Me: “I guess that’ll be a ‘no, thank you’ on the email then…”

    Making You Feel Very Small (Talk)

    | NM, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (This was a few years ago when I was a receptionist at a bank. Sometimes people would come in and ignore friendly conversation. After a while, this gets on my nerves. I had a few ways of dealing with people like this.)

    Me: “Good morning, sir! How are you doing today?”

    Customer: “Karen.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “Karen.”

    Me: “Are you dropping something off for Karen? Picking something up from Karen? Does Karen have paperwork for you to sign? Do you have paperwork for Karen to sign? Does Karen need to notarize something for you? Is Karen opening an account for you? Do you need Karen to do a Signature Guarantee for you? Is Karen closing an account for you? Do you have a meeting with Karen? Would you like to speak with Karen?”

    Customer: “Uh… meeting.”

    Me: *with a sigh* “Okay.”

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