October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

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!

A Big Gap In Their Knowledge

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Food & Drink, Language & Words

Me: “Hi—”

Customer: *cuts in* “Hey, I see a couple outside eating this thing. I don’t know what’s the name of it.”

Me: “Um… could you please describe it to me?”

Customer: “I don’t know how to describe it, it’s a… it’s a big thing.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I want it!”

Me: “…”

‘A’ As In Awesome

| CO, USA | Awesome Customers, Language & Words

(I work in tech support, and am asking a caller his username. All is normal until…)

Caller: “That’s R as in Raygun, Z as in zombie…”

(I didn’t know what to say! Thank you caller for making my day!)

Not A People Person

| KS, USA | Bad Behavior, Language & Words

(I work at a popular retail chain where a new assistant manager is focusing on getting the store and its associates to adhere more strongly to its policies. A customer comes to my computer to pick up an order he had sent from site to store.)

Me: “Alright… looks like it’s here. I just need to get in touch with electronics so they can bring it up.”

Customer: “…it’s not here?”

Me: “It is! We just don’t have room to keep all the site-to-store items at the service desk, so we keep them in the backroom, where electronics brings it up since they’re the closest department to where it’s being kept.”

Customer: “Whatever.”

(My manager and I are furiously attempting to bring down the lines at the service desk. I have called up electronics and they are looking for the site-to-store customer’s item. About a minute passes after that call before the customer comes storming back up to the desk. He approaches the manager this time.)

Customer: “Okay, what the f***?! My item should be here! Why isn’t it up here! What the F*** is going on!?”

Manager: “You can leave the store.”

Customer: “What about my ITEM, huh? I paid for that!”

Manager: “I’ll refund it to you, and then you can just leave. We ARE people, you know.”

Customer: *calms down, then looks at the ground* “…I only cussed a few times.”

Putting Your Stamp On The Language

| Yellowknife, NWT, Canada | Language & Words

(A family friend is visiting from Quebec. His English is mostly good but suffers from occasional lapses.)

Clerk: “How may I help you today?”

Friend: “Yes, hello. I need to buy some timbers.”

Clerk: “Some what?”

Friend: “Timbers.”

Clerk: “Sir, this is a post office. Perhaps you want the hardware store?”

Friend: “No, no, timbers. To mail the letters with. The little pictures? They are, um, gluey on the back?”

Clerk: *light-bulb moment* STAMPS. You want stamps.”

Friend: “Yes! Stamps.”

(The French word for “stamp” is “timbre”, pronounced like “TAM-bruh”.)

Friend: *to me, in French* “Why didn’t you help me?”

Me: *in French* “I thought it was funny.”

Friend: *in French* “What’s a ‘timber,’ then?”

Me: *in French* “It’s another word for wood.”

Friend: *in French* “Well, that makes NO sense. English is a crazy language.” *in English* “Yes, I will have a book of stampings, please.”

Refuses To Speak Starbucksian

| FL, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Language & Words

(I’ve just finished handing off a drink to a customer at our pick-up counter. There’s a pair of ladies waiting to order at my register, and as I approach them, I overhear their conversation:)

Customer #1: “…Yeah, I just refuse to learn their language.”

(Our area has a fairly high population of non-English/English-as-a-second-language speakers. I brace myself to deal with “everyone should speak English,” until…)

Customer #2: “Really?”

Customer #1: “Yep! I just point to what I want.”

(Apparently, the ‘language’ she refuses to learn is ‘medium hot coffee with cream, please.’)

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