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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!

    French Disconnection

    | Quebec City, QC, Canada | Bigotry, Geography, History, Language & Words, Top

    (I’m a customer in a very small boutique that specializes in selling Quebec-made items. It is a slow day and I am alone with the shop owner who helps me choose a gift. A man storms in and goes straight to the owner with a really angry face. The owner sees him and welcomes him in French.)

    Owner: “Bonjour, Monsieur. Comment puis-je vous aider?” *Hi, sir. How can I help you?*

    Customer: *loud and angrily* “ENGLISH! Do you even speak it?”

    Owner: “Of course, sir! How are you today and how can I help you?”

    Customer: “Finally! Someone who’s speaking English! I don’t know what the h*** is going on but everyone in this f***** town is speaking some kind of weird gibberish!”

    Owner: “Actually, they are speaking French, sir, as do most people in the province of Quebec.”

    Customer: “What the h***?! We are not in f***** France! This is America and people speaks god d*** American! I don’t understand what the fuss is about! Is this some kind of a weird hipster thing? Young people trying to be cool or whatever?!”

    Owner: “I’m sorry, sir. Is there anything I can do to help you today?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I’m looking for a poutine recipe book. Do you have any?”

    Owner: “Of course! Right this way, sir.”

    Customer: “Why do people want to speak French anyway? It is a dead language like Latin or Greek. We are in America and America is for American speakers! We don’t need no foreigners to come here and bring their weird language. And you shouldn’t encourage them by greeting American customers, in America, with any other language than American!”

    Owner: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can no longer pretend that what you are saying is not wrong. Just so you know, people are speaking in French because Quebec was colonized by France more than 400 years ago. Quebec City is actually the oldest city in North America and has always been French. That is why everything from the street names to the billboards are in French! The Canadian dollar you’re holding is in both languages. Even the name poutine is French! Did you do any research before coming here?”

    Customer: *hesitating* “Well, yeah! But the brochure was in English! How was I supposed to know that poutine was a French word. We have that in New York!”

    Owner: “First of all, you can find pretzels in New York and those are German, or gelato which is Italian! It just proves that languages get mixed and influenced with time. That is also why there are cities in the United States that have French names, such as Baton Rouge or Des Moines! Those are all proofs that the French were present in North America hundreds of years ago! H***! Even the term ‘brochure’ is French!”

    Customer: “That is irrelevant! You are all just lazy for not learning American! You live in the past, holding to some old bull-s*** language!”

    Owner: “Well, I AM speaking English! And, by the way, it is ‘English’ and not ‘American’ because that language originated from England and not America. But I am also speaking French. How many languages do you speak?”

    Customer: “I speak English and English only! I don’t need to know any other language!”

    Owner: “Who’s being lazy, then?”

    Pot Calling The Kettle Everything

    | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bigotry, Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (I work in a South American restaurant that tends to get a lot of Asian customers. Since I’m fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Khmer [Cambodian], and Tagalog [Philippines], I’m often called on to serve customers who don’t speak English. A group of seven customers come in.)

    Customer #1: *obviously struggling* “Can… I… has this?”

    Me: *taking a guess* *Mandarin* “Would you be more comfortable in Mandarin?”

    Customer #2: *Korean* “Stupid Mexicans. Can’t even tell the difference between a Korean and a Chinese man.”

    Me: *Korean* “I apologize, ma’am. I guessed based on [Customer #1]‘s accent and it seems I was wrong. Can I take your order now?”

    Customer #3: *English* “No. I want to talk to your manager.”

    (I go back to get the manager, who is Peruvian.)

    Manager: “Can I help you?

    Customer #3: “Yes. I want to complain about your Mexican waiter’s horribly racist demeanor.”

    Manager: “How was he being racist? He’s usually very culturally sensitive.”

    Customer #4: “You Mexicans are all the same, never bothering to think that maybe there are more types of Asians than just Chinese people.”

    Manager: “First of all, your waiter is from Puerto Rico. I’m from Peru. So maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to complain about being unable to differentiate ethnicity.”

    Customer #3: “I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”

    (Sighing, my manager assigns a Chinese-American waiter to them. He can only speak English and ends up having to have customers 3 and 4 translate for the rest of their table in order to get their order. Amazingly, they never complained about the difficulty in ordering.)

    Talking About A Whole Other Animal

    | Trier, Germany | Funny Names, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (Trier is an ancient city with many Roman ruins. At the moment there is a traveling show in town showing lizards, snakes and amphibians. I’m on my way home.)

    Tourist: “Excuse me. We are looking for the amphibian theater.”

    Me: “The lizard show? It’s all the way on the other side of the city.”

    Tourist: “No! The amphibian theater! The Roman gladiators!”

    Me: “Oh! You mean the Amphitheater. Just 50 meters that way.”

    This Argument Is Short And Sweet

    | Lee's Summit, MO, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (I work in a Mexican restaurant. I’m getting the drink order.)

    Customer: “I’ll have a sweet tea.”

    Me: “I’m sorry. We only have unsweetened tea, but we have different sweeteners available at the table here.”

    Customer: “Not having sweet tea is un-American!”

    Me: “Sir, this is a Mexican restaurant.”

    Customer: “…touché.”

    An Inappropriate Touchdown

    | USA | Language & Words, Rude & Risque, Transportation

    (I’m ordering a personalized plate for the customer. I ask the customer what he wants on the license plate.)

    Customer: “I’m a Colts fan. What about COLTFAN?”

    Me: “I’ll check… Seems to be taken.”

    Customer: “Hmm… What about CLTFAN?”

    Me: *blushing* “Well, I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

    Customer: “What? Oh! Um, just a regular plate. Sorry about that.”

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