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!

Surprising Language

| CA, USA | Language & Words

(I’m working the registers and serving a Chinese person. My perky coworker, who’s Latino, walks by.)

Coworker: “Ní hǎo!”

Customer: “¿Cómo está?!”

Coworker: *completely taken by surprise* “That’s Spanish!”

Not Speaking The Same Language

| Wilmington, NC, USA | Bizarre, Language & Words, Technology

Caller: “It says select a language. What do I do?”

Me: “Select your language.”

Caller: “So if I go to another country, I can change it to their language?”

Me: “You could but you’re still going to be the one using the phone so you would probably still want to leave it on a language you speak.”

Caller: “Oh, okay.”

Her Lips Are Sealed And Waterproof

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

(I am shopping for shelf brackets at a hardware store and I overhear this conversation between a nervous-looking woman and an apron-clad store assistant.)

Woman: “Yes, hi, I need to replace the edges of my bathtub. Could you tell me which aisle has those?”

Assistant: “Well, we have bathroom units and tub liners that cover your bath and give it a new surface. I can show you where those are, if you’d like.”

Customer: “No, no, no. I don’t want a new bathtub. I just need to… there are some cracks and old spots around the edges that I just need to, um, reseal.”

Assistant: “Oh, well if you want to touch up cracks or worn places in the finish, I’d really suggest having a professional come look at it. We have the primer and finish here, but it’s not the easiest job for one person.”

Woman: *visibly flustered and fidgeting with her pocketbook* “No, it’s not the paint that needs to be fixed; it’s the edges near the wall. I need to seal them so I don’t get mold in the walls.”

Assistant: *I see his brow furrow as I sneak a peek at the odd conversation* “So something to waterproof the inside edges? Do you mean caulk?”

Woman: *turns an alarmingly bright red and stares at him for a few seconds with wide eyes before whispering* “Yes, that.”

Assistant: *looking amused, but stays professional* “No problem, ma’am, the waterproofing sealant is this way. In fact, we have some products that prevent mildew, so you don’t have to worry about your walls.”

(They walk off and I giggle to myself. The poor woman, around fifty years old but still too embarrassed to say ‘caulk’!)

Can’t Be Possible

| USA | Language & Words

(During a call with an irate customer.)

Customer: “Don’t you know you can’t use the word ‘can’t’ in customer service?”

Me: “Okay, then, it’s not possible.”

Customer: *expletives*

A Big Gap In Their Knowledge

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Food & Drink, Language & Words

Me: “Hi—”

Customer: *cuts in* “Hey, I see a couple outside eating this thing. I don’t know what’s the name of it.”

Me: “Um… could you please describe it to me?”

Customer: “I don’t know how to describe it, it’s a… it’s a big thing.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I want it!”

Me: “…”

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