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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!

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Diplomacy

    | Liverpool, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Language & Words, One-Liners, Top

    (A customer in his early 20′s is ranting at the front of the bookstore. He’s speaking as if he’s much older than he is. His rant is about kids nowadays not reading as much. There are no other customers, so it’s policy to let him vent. I smile politely to everything he’s saying, since he’s not being a bother.)

    Male Customer: “…they just don’t understand the beauty of holding a book in their hands, smelling the pages and reading tales of epic proportion! Kids these days just want to stand around listening to crap music. No wonder they’re getting dumber.”

    Me: “We get a few teenagers coming in the store, though.”

    Male Customer: “I bet they’re just picking up crap like Twilight. They’d never read proper books.”

    (A customer walks in as he’s saying this. I recognise her from a few days ago, when she ordered a book. She’s about 16, very blonde, and very clearly one of the popular girls.)

    Female Customer: “Hi, I ordered a book. I just want to check if it has come in? It’s under [name].”

    Male Customer: *mutters* “This is exactly what I was talking about.”

    Female Customer: “Excuse me? What is that supposed to mean?”

    Male Customer: “I was just saying that kids like you have no interest in reading. If you do, it’s all crap.”

    Female Customer: “If I had no interest in reading, why would I be in a bookstore? And who cares what others think of a book, so long as you enjoy it? That’s all that matters, right?”

    Male Customer: “Whatever, go on, pick up your crappy little Twilight.”

    Female Customer: “For your information, I ordered John Green’s Looking for Alaska. I did not like Twilight at all.”

    Male Customer: “Yeah, as if.”

    Female Customer: “”War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” George Orwell, 1984. That last line is something you ought to think about before opening your rude mouth!”

    Me: “She certainly knows her stuff.”

    (I hand her the book she ordered, making sure the male customer sees the cover. She pays and walks away, but turns back around before she leaves.)

    Female Customer: “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”

    I Spell Trouble

    | Atlanta, GA, USA | Health & Body, Language & Words

    (I am making a cleaning appointment for a patient who has an unusual name.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, could you spell that for me?”

    Patient: “It’s ‘D’ as in dog, ‘A’ as in August, ‘I’ as in igloo, ‘J’ as in junkie…”

    (I have to have my coworker finish the call. I can’t breathe because I can’t stop laughing.)

    Save It On A Flesh Drive

    | WA, USA | Books & Reading, Language & Words, Technology

    (Our library offers several touch-screen computers that customers can use to check out items themselves. The customer is a friendly regular, but a little shy because English is not her first language.)

    Customer: “Why does this machine require flesh?”

    Me: “W-what?”

    Customer: “This machine. I am touching it, but it does not work. Is because…?”

    (She shows that she is wearing gloves.)

    Me: “Oh! I’m sorry; yes I suppose the screens don’t work if you have gloves on. I had never really thought about that.”

    Customer: “Ah. Okay, sorry to be bother.”

    Me: “No, no! That is the best thing I’ve heard all week.”

    (Now whenever the computers have problems, the staff joke that they ‘require flesh’ to function, and someone must be sacrificed to appease them.)

    It’s Not Spanish, But Just Roll With It

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (I am working the self-scanning machines.)

    Customer: “I bought two of these Chavra, but it won’t take my coupon. I’m supposed to get 75 cents off of two Chavra, but the self-scan won’t take it.”

    (Chavra is a small container of spreadable cheese. When I look at the customers order on the screen, Chavra isn’t listed.)

    Me: “You said you got two Chavra?”

    Customer: “Yes, that’s correct. See, it’s right over here.” *points to two packages of Charmin toilet paper* “I got two Charmin. ‘Chavra’ in Spanish means Charmin.”

    Me: “Ma’am, this coupon is for cheese.”

    (The customer takes a long look at the coupon, and then laughs.)

    Customer: “I guess my Spanish isn’t what it used to be.”

    Going From Bad To Warsaw

    | West Sussex, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Language & Words, Top

    (I am half Polish, and fluent in the language, but have lived in England all my life so speak without an accent. Between my degree and my masters, I get a job in a pound shop—everything costs £1—to earn some money. I am on tills and call two young women forward.)

    Me: “Can I help you?”

    (The customer dumps her items on the counter without acknowledging me, and then turns to her friend and speaks in Polish.)

    Customer #1: “Look at this dumb b****! How bad must your life get to work here?!”

    Customer #2: *in Polish* “I know! And she judges us for being Polish! All English people are so racist!”

    Me: *in Polish* “That will be £7, please.”

    Customers #1 & #2: *both turn red and hurry out of the shop*


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