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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!

    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*

    They Call Me Names

    | NB, Canada | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (I overhear a phone call another agent is having with a customer for technical support.)

    Agent: “Hi, my name is [name]. Can I get your name and your TID please?”

    Caller: *says something*

    Agent: “Your name.”

    Caller: *says something*

    Agent: “Your N… A… M… E.”

    Caller: *says something*

    Agent: “NAME. N… A… M… E…”

    Caller: *says something*

    Agent: “No, your name.”

    Caller: *says something*

    Agent: “Okay, what do people call you when they want your attention?”

    Caller: *says something*

    Agent: “What did your mother call you when you were born?”

    Caller: *says something*

    Agent: “Forget that, what’s your station number?”

    Caller: *says something*

    Agent: “What’s the phone number at your site?”

    Caller: *says something*

    Agent: “This isn’t working, how about we just end the call now? Get someone that speaks English since the rest of the questions I will have for you are just going to get harder.” *hangs up*

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