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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!

    Spelling Bee Bee Cee

    | UK | Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Technology

    (The customer has issues with accessing the internet and getting the standard ‘Internet Explorer cannot display this webpage’ error message. After doing various checks it turns out to just be a simple reset that is needed. We normally check it by asking the customer to try going to various web pages.)

    Me: “So we’ve got Google up on the screen. That’s great. Okay, I want you to try going to BBC’s webpage now.”

    Customer: “What website?”

    Me: “Er, the address is www.bbc.co.uk.”

    Customer: “How do you spell that?”

    Me: “Which part? ‘co?’”

    Customer: “BBC.”

    A Wee Bit Foreign, Part 2

    | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I am Scottish, and working the registers.)

    Me: “Hi, how are you today, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Pardon?”

    Me: “Uh, was just asking how you were going today.”

    Customer: “Wow, that’s a strong accent you have there. Are you working whilst backpacking or something?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I have lived here for the last 10 years now. Moved over here with my parents.”

    (I continue scanning and packing the customer’s items, while she just stares at me blankly.)

    Customer: “So, if you’ve been here so long, how come you still can’t talk properly?”

    Me: “Uh… I’m sorry, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Oh, it’s alright. Not your fault you’re a bit slow.”

    (After finishing the transaction in stunned silence, she thanks me and leaves with her items. I look over at my supervisor who heard the exchange.)

    Supervisor: “You always get the interesting ones, don’t you?”

    Related:
    A Wee Bit Foreign

    Extreme Foreign Interests

    | England, UK | At The Checkout, Geography, Language & Words

    (I suffered from a speech disorder as a child, and while I speak perfectly now, I have a slight twang in my voice. I’m on the checkout when a smartly-dressed customer approaches the till.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

    Customer: “…where are you from?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Where. Are. You. From?”

    Me: “Um, I’m local, if that’s what you mean.”

    Customer: “No, where were you born?”

    Me: “In [local hospital].”

    Customer: *sighs* “Where are your parents from?”

    Me: “They’re from [local town] and [local city].”

    Customer: *getting irate* “I just want you to tell me where you’re from! Explain your accent!”

    Me: “Oh! My accent! Yes, there’s an explanation for that; see when I was a kid—”

    Customer: “I don’t want to hear your life story! Why are you ashamed of your heritage? You are probably bringing shame to your family by denying them! I get that there are racists here, but you don’t need to deny who you are! I won’t judge you!”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t know what you want me to say.”

    Customer: “Tell me your parents were born in a different country!”

    Me: “Um… they were born in [other country]?”

    Customer: “Yes! See how easy that is? Why couldn’t you have just said that in the first place?!”

    (He grabs his bags and marches off. I turn to the next customer.)

    Me: “Afternoon!”

    Customer #2: “That was a lie, right?”

    Me: “Yep. How can I help you today?”

    Common Sense Abhors A Vacuum

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | Bizarre, Language & Words

    Customer: *whispering* “Faaaaaaahkew…”

    (I am slightly ticked off by this. I didn’t say or do anything to the customer for him to say ‘F*** you’ unprovoked.)

    Me: “What!? Say that again?!”

    Customer: *whispering* “Vhaaaaaaaaaakeeew…”

    Me: “Wait, are you asking where the vacuum cleaners are?”

    Customer: *nods*

    Me: “Right this way.”

    (Sometimes, you have to be patient with customers.)

    Giving Them A Spanish Inquisition

    , | Spain | Language & Words

    (I’m a teenager, although I look younger. My father owns a small, English-run shop, and I work some shifts there if I want some extra cash. My father can’t speak a word of Spanish, although I can since I go to school in Spain. Two customers walk in, talking in Spanish.)

    Customer #1: “I hate this shop! It’s stupid, and they don’t even speak Spanish.”

    Customer #2: “I know, right? I only come in here so I can mentally mock everything.”

    (I’ve been listening the whole time, but they’ve only just spotted me.)

    Customer #1: “Look! They’ve hired some low-life kid to help them out. I swear that’s illegal; I’m going to report it because it will be funny.”

    (I’ve been keeping quiet, but now I get angry. I twist around, facing the men, and start talking to them in Spanish.)

    Me: “Okay, listen up: I’m a teenager, and my dad owns this shop. In case you haven’t noticed already, I do speak Spanish, and I’ve heard everything you just said. So if you hate this shop so much, why don’t you get out?”

    (We never see them again, which my father appreciates, since they were always coming in without buying anything and he didn’t know how to say anything!)

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