November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

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!

Fought The Customer With Expert Timing

| Omaha, NE, USA | Language & Words, Musical Mayhem

(I work in a medical clinic and I have a little fun with a patient one day when she complains her kids keep “kung fu-ing” her front door.)

Patient: “They just kept kung fu-ing the door and I kept telling them to stop.”

Me: “Oh, so, everybody was kung fu fighting?”

Patient: “Yes, and I told them to just swing at the air, not hit the door.”

Me: “Were they fast as lightning?”

Patient: “No, and it was scary, I thought they were gonna wreck my door.”

Me: “I bet it was a little bit frightening.”

Patient:“Yes, I thought they were gonna wreck my door!”

Me:“Hey, [Patient], c’mon, I just gave the first part of the song. Don’t leave me hangin’ here”.

Patient: “I know, but I don’t know the rest of the song!”

The Mother Of All Fake Complaints

| Chicago, IL, USA | Bad Behavior, Language & Words

Older Older Guy: “Do you guys have [item]?”

Me: “I believe it’s on [aisle], but let me confirm real quick.” *asks manager, who is two registers away and answers that we don’t carry the item in question*

Older Guy: “Oh, no, don’t ask HER!”

Me: “That person is my manager, sir. She knows this store like the back of her—”

Older Guy: *cuts me off* “Oh, no, I spoke with her earlier! She’s… well, she’s not very professional at all.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “I don’t see how you could have gotten that impress—”

Older Guy: *cuts me off again, eyes cast down* “Oh, when I went to talk to her, she was on the phone with her mother! I had to interrupt her! That’s not very professional at all. I know, you see, I was in business for seventeen years.”

(I HAVE seen my manager, who does the work of three people and still manages the store and a burgeoning staff with a smile, take brief calls to round up the next shift for schedule changes – but only while stocking shelves and never for more than a few moments. She’s been very patient and kind with me, so I’m quite fond of her.)

Me: *breaks out college vocabulary, something I’ve found shuts down snobby customers* “Well, sir, I’m very sorry you garnered such an impression of her. She’s always been eminently professional in my interactions with her.”

(It works, but he keeps forlornly grumbling about “seventeen years in business” and “never acted that way myself” until I finish ringing him up. When I have to do returns, I find my manager and tell her what he said. She bursts out laughing.)

Manager: “Yeah, I remember that guy! He wanted me to walk him to a hundred items on his list individually and got mad when I wouldn’t… And my mother’s been deceased for years!”

(I joked that she should take the guy’s behavior as a compliment: since she doesn’t make mistakes, people have to make things up if they want to complain about her!)

Accentuating The Problem, Part Trois

| France | Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(I’m on one of those 12-countries-in-8-days bus trip through Europe. Our group, mostly composed of Americans, pulls into a gift shop. Behind the counter, a young French girl, apparently new to the job, is excited to be able to practice her English. As a Canadian, it is also a chance for me to practice my French. We’ve been able to communicate pretty well and I tell her that her English is quite good. She is delighted.  An old Southern gentleman walks up the counter, places an item in front of the clerk.)

Customer: “Emma chizzit?” *how much is it?*

(The clerk just stares, crestfallen. She is not even sure that her customer is speaking English, much less what he means.)

Me: “Qu’elle prix?” *what price?*

(And the clerk bubbles back to life, able to answer the customer in, again, decent English!)


Accentuating The Problem, Part Deux
Accentuating The Problem

Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 18

| AZ, USA | Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Math & Science

(A sorority full of girls calls in with one girl as the primary contact, unable to connect to their wireless router. First, as I’m verifying the address:)

Customer: *…[digit], [digit], [digit], one slash two.”

Me: “So that’s [full number] and a half.”

Customer: “NO, one slash two.”

(Later on while troubleshooting:)

Me: “So how many devices are you trying to connect wirelessly?”

Customer: “Well, we have seven or eight devices total, but only two are ‘wirelessly.’ The rest use the wifi.”

Me: “…”


Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 17

Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 16

Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 15

No Problem Is A Problem

| Brighton, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Language & Words

(I notice an elderly man looking a little confused while browsing. I approach him to see if he needs any help.)

Me: “Hello, sir, can I help you at all?”

Man: “No, no. It’s ok; you don’t have what I want.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. What was it you were looking for?”

Man: “It’s all right. I’ll go somewhere else.”

Me: “Okay, sir, no problem.”

Man: *suddenly irate* “No problem? No problem? Of course there’s a bloody problem! I can’t find what I want!”

Me: “I.. I’m sorry, sir. I just meant it as an expression.”

Man: “You people! Why do you have to say such stupid things!”

Me: “Again, I’m very sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to offend.”

(He gave me a snarling look then walked off muttering, “No problem? No bloody problem?” I stood there for a few seconds just staring at the back of his head as he left, completely dumbfounded!)