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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!

    See Her In Her Cah

    | Lafeyette, LA, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (I’m ringing up a man and a woman. The woman is wearing a shirt and a couple of rubber bracelets that reference running in Boston.)

    Me: *indicating her shirt* “You from up north?”

    Woman: “Hmm? Oh, no. That was just a run I was in.”

    Me: “Ah. I used to live about an hour out of Boston.”

    (I finish ringing them up and hand the woman her change.)

    Man: “You don’t sound like you’re from Boston.”

    Me: “Well, I pick up accents pretty quick, and I’ve been in Louisiana for a year, so I guess I wouldn’t sound much like I’m from Boston anymore.”

    Man: “I mean, you’re polite.”

    Me: *laughing* “You haven’t seen me in the car!”

    Getting A Man-Handle On Your Words

    | Flagstaff, AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (I am a woman, and I am cashiering at a grocery store that is conducting a charitable fund drive. I am packing a chatty man’s groceries into his backpack.)

    Man: “Look at how you just get that all in there! You’re really man-handling that stuff!”

    Me: *packing the last two things, which are pieces of fruit* “Oh, but I don’t want to man-handle your peaches.”

    Man: “I don’t want to man-handle your peaches.”

    (I splutter and stare at this, torn between outrage and hilarity.)

    Man: “I’m sorry.” *as if to himself* “Get your mind out of the gutter.”

    Me: “To make it up to me, you will donate to our fundraiser.”

    Man: “Deal.”

    Came To Within An Inch Of Getting It Right

    , | PA, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (After working late shifts at the local discount retailer, I pull into a fast-food drive thru.)

    Drive Thru Worker: “Welcome to [Restaurant], may I take your order?”

    Me: “Hi, I’d like a six-inch nugget please.”

    (There are a couple seconds of silence, and then I hear the speaker turn on and I hear some laughter and giggles in the background.)

    Drive Thru Worker: *barely able to speak without giggling* “Uh… Could you repeat your order?”

    Me: “I’d like a six-inch nug— OH MY GOD! No! I want a SIX-PIECE nugget!”

    (I complete my order and pull around to see the worker and two of his coworkers red-faced and trying to contain their laughter. In the mean time, I’m no better; my face was red with embarrassment. I pay and get my food, and I couldn’t have gotten out of that queue fast enough! I guess I subconsciously wanted to go to the sub shop that night.)

    Close, But No Cigar

    | Reno, NV, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Language & Words

    (I work at the front counter of a chain store, and am responsible for all tobacco sales during my shift. A customer comes up to the counter and waves a $20 bill at me.)

    Customer: “[Brand].”

    Me: “Sure. What kind?”

    Customer: “[Brand]!”

    Me: “Sir, I have a lot of different kinds of [Brand]. Which one do you want?”

    Customer: *getting annoyed* “[Brand]!”

    Me: “Short or long?”

    (There is a long pause.)

    Me: “Sir?”

    Customer: “[Brand]!”

    (I point at the cigarettes at the top left corner and slowly slide my finger along the 12-foot display. I repeat this for every shelf until the customer finally speaks.)

    Customer: *excitedly* “Finally! [Brand]!”

    (I ring up his cigarettes and the customer leaves.)

    Manager: “Does he even speak English?”

    Me: “He did yesterday!”

    Accentuating The Problem, Part Deux

    | RI, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I’m from a region that has a very unique and distinct accent. Despite having lived in the region for my entire life, I do not speak with the accent. My lack of regional accent and the unusual spelling of my first name will often lead to customers asking me where I’m from.)

    Me: “Can I help you with anything else?”

    Customer: “Yes, your accent and name are interesting. Where are you from?”

    Me: “I’m from this state.”

    Customer: “No, no. You misunderstood me. Where were you born?”

    Me: “I was born in this state.”

    Customer: “That can’t be! You don’t talk like you’re from this state and I’ve never seen that spelling of your name! Stop lying to me and tell my where you’re really from!”

    Me: “Sir, I’m telling you the truth. I was born here but I grew up in a Francophone family which is why I don’t have the typical regional accent.”

    Customer: “You’re definitely not from around here if you’re from a whatever-you-called-it family! I want you to tell me where you’re really from!”

    (Finally fed up with the customer keeping me from my work I give up trying to argue with him.)

    Me: “All right. I’m from Quebec, Canada.”

    Customer: “See, was that so hard? You speak very good English for someone from Quebec. You must have studied hard. Have a nice day, mademoiselle!”

    Related:
    Accentuating The Problem


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