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  • This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 4
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  • April Themed Story Giveaway: Creepy Customers!
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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!

    Taking The Hi Road

    | TX, USA | Bizarre, Language & Words

    (It’s been an unusually busy day, and my coworkers and I have been taking calls back to back for several hours.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [name of business]. This is [my name]; how can I help you?”

    Caller: “Hi, [my name]!”

    (I wait a few seconds for her to tell me what she needs, but she remains silent.)

    Me: “Yes, how can I help you?”

    Caller: “Hi, [my name]!”

    Me: “Ma’am, is there something I can help you with?”

    Caller: “Hi, [my name]!”

    (I’m starting to think this is a prank call or the person is not all there.)

    Me: “Well, if there’s nothing I can help you with, I’m going to have to—”

    Caller: “It must take a lot of effort if you won’t even say ‘Hi’.”

    Me: “…Hello?”

    Caller: “Hi, [my name]!”

    Me: “Hi.”

    Caller: “It took way too much work for you to just say ‘Hi’ to me. I don’t want you to help me! Transfer me to someone else!”

    (She had probably waited at least 10 minutes before reaching me, and would have to wait at least 10 more minutes to speak to someone else. She was fine with that!)

    Sprucing Up His Christmas Tree Knowledge

    | Bay Area, CA, USA | Holidays, Language & Words, Themed Giveaway

    (The hardware chain I work for sets up a Christmas tree lot every year and sells fresh cut trees. One evening, a customer comes into the lot ahead of his family, who are still getting out of the car.)

    Me: “Good evening! Tree hunting tonight? Are you after anything in particular?”

    Customer: “Oh, I don’t know anything about them. I’m just looking for a tree.”

    (I launch into a quick explanation of the three types of tree we carry; Noble firs, Douglas firs, and Grand firs.)

    Me: “…and so Noble firs are pretty popular, since they hold their needles a bit better than the Douglases, as well as having stronger branches.”

    (A few moments later, the customer’s wife and children catch up and walk into the lot. The customer, beaming with his new-found understanding of Christmas tree nuance points a tree out to his wife.)

    Customer: “This is the kind of tree that we want. It has better needles than the others, because it has what you call, noble fur!”

    Se Habla Anguish

    | USA | Bizarre, Language & Words

    (I work on the Spanish-speaking line at a call center. After 3 minutes of conversation in Spanish with a caller…)

    Caller: “Thanks for the help, but can I give you some constructive criticism?”

    Me: “I welcome it.”

    Caller: “Next time I call the Spanish line, I want to talk in Spanish. So, if you talk to me again, do it in Spanish!”

    Me: “We’ve been talking in Spanish for four minutes.”

    Caller: *in Spanish* “Don’t lie! I’m not speaking Spanish! You’re not speaking Spanish! Speak Spanish next time!”

    Me: “Que le vaya bien.”

    The Man With The Dubbing Taboo

    | Ireland | Language & Words, Movies & TV

    (A customer comes up holding up a copy of the Swedish version of ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’.)

    Customer: “Is this in Swedish?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, however it comes provided with English subtitles or with English dubbing. The DVD will give you the option before the movie starts.”

    Customer: “Hmmm, shame… I don’t speak Swedish.”

    Me: “Well, ‘dubbing’ means you can listen to it entirely in the English language. You just have to select the English dubbed option at the start of the movie and you won’t have to listen to it in Swedish at all!”

    Customer: “But the main actors are Swedish, yes?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “And the entire cast is Swedish, yes?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “Hmmm…” *appears to think about this for a minute* “No, I think I’ll leave it. I don’t speak any Swedish at all. Thanks for your help!”

    At Least He Isn’t Bitter

    | New York, NY, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words

    Customer: “Okay, time to order. I’ve heard your teas are good. What’s the difference between a tea and a tea-lemonade?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but there is no way I can answer that without sounding like a smarta**.”

    Customer: “Oh, come on… what’s the difference?”

    Me: “Um, lemonade.”

    Customer: *laughs* “I’m an idiot!”


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