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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!

    You Say Barokee, I Say You Need To Pee

    | Sardis, BC, Canada | Health & Body, Language & Words, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (I work in a convenience store on the way to a lake (popular with tourists), and the till faces the front door. Currently, two women are in line, the first of which is paying with her debit card. Her back is to the door, and her head is down. Suddenly, a man comes bursting through the door yelling. Both women are incredibly startled.)

    Man: “BAAARRRROKEE!”

    Woman #1: “Oh my God!” *bolts upright*

    (Woman #2 starts laughing hysterically, while Woman #1 has stopped in the middle of entering her pin to stare.)

    Man: “BAAAAAA. ROOOOOO. KEEEEEEE. BAROOKEE. BAROOKE!”

    Me: “Bathroom key?”

    Man: “Yeah! Barookee!”

    (He runs off in the direction of the bathroom, arms literally flailing.)

    Woman #2: “How did you know what the heck he was saying?”

    Me: *deadpan* “I speak tourist.”

    Unintentional Prejudice Is Still A Kick In The Teeth

    | Tennessee, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I’m a British exchange student working at a Tennessee supermarket. I have a very obvious accent. I’m stocking the shelves when I need to place an item out of my reach.)

    Me: “Hey, [coworker], can you give me a hand?”

    Customer: “Oh, my! Your accent is amazing! Are you English?”

    (I nod.)

    Customer: “Oooh, ooh… can you say…” *in a very bad Cockney accent* “Can I please get some help setting up this fish and chips so I can retire for tea time?”

    Me: “Erm? Sorry, I won’t.”

    Customer: “Well, why not?! I thought all you British people liked tea and fish and chips.”

    Coworker: “If I were to ask you why you aren’t wearing blue jean overalls or ending every sentence with “Y’all”, would you be offended?”

    Customer: “Well, of course I would!”

    (Both my coworker and I raise our eyebrows at her. We watch as her face turns red with realization.)

    Customer: “O-oh… I’m sorry.”

    (The customer quickly walks to the next aisle, face still red as a beet.)

    Coworker: “Sorry about that. We get a lot of people like that around here.”

    Me: “Well, at least she didn’t make a comment about my teeth.”

    Time For Cup-ple’s Counseling

    | Melbourne, Australia | Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (I work in a store that sells kitchen appliances. I have been helping a young couple with a blender set that they are interested in buying. Note: I am female.)

    Female Customer: “Would you mind if we open the box just to have a look at the parts?”

    Me: “Of course. That’s no problem!”

    Male Customer: “Yeah, we’re just wondering what kind of cup size you’ve got.”

    (There’s an awkward pause as the male customer realises what he’s just said.)

    Male Customer: “Oh! On the blender! I meant on the blender!” *quietly, to his wife* “That sounded bad, didn’t it?”

    Female Customer: *sighs* “Yes dear, it did…”

    Kin Tell A Lot About This Patient

    | Saskatchewan, Canada | Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I work at a walk-in clinic. A new patient has come in and I am gathering his information for his file at the front desk. He has blond hair, blue eyes, and is 30. He has been otherwise polite to this point. Note that another patient is standing in line behind him.)

    Me: “So, that’s almost it. Last question: who’s your next of kin?”

    Patient: “Am I Mexican?! What kind of racist question is that? I ain’t no Mexican freak, you racist B****!”

    Me: “Sir, I didn’t ask if you were Mexican. I asked for your next of kin.”

    Patient: “What the f*** is a ‘next of kin?’ You are just trying to make things up to cover up your racism!”

    Other Patient: “‘Next of kin’ is your emergency contact, moron.”

    Patient: “Oh, in that case, my mom. Her contact info is the same. I still live at home.”

    Other Patient: “That explains so, so much…”

    Teaching A Righteous Dimwit Is Stressful

    , | USA | Geeks Rule, Language & Words

    (My friend and I are really big Doctor Who fans, and we are also crafty. One day, she makes me a T.A.R.D.I.S. bracelet out of duct tape. FYI: the T.A.R.D.I.S. is the Doctor’s transport and is in the shape of big, blue police box. I am working in the drive-thru when this took place.)

    Me: “Hello, that is going to be [price].”

    Customer: *hands me her money*

    Me: “Your change is [amount].”

    Customer: “What an interesting bracelet!”

    Me: “Oh, thank you. A friend of mine made it.”

    Customer: “What is it supposed to be?”

    (I’m holding my hand out so that she can take a better look at it.)

    Me: “It’s a Tardis.”

    Customer: *blank look*

    Me: “Ma’am?”

    Customer: “That is just terrible!”

    Me: “Huh?”

    Customer: “Using the ‘R’ word isn’t bad enough for you kids? Now you have to come up with some slang term? That is terrible!”

    Me: “The… ‘R’ word?”

    Customer: “RETARD!”

    Me: “Ma’am, the Tardis is a shop from a sci-fi show… not slang for retard.”

    Customer: “Don’t you give me any excuses, little missy. You are in a lot of trouble. Wearing something to promote calling retards retarded is despicable. I need to speak to your manager!”

    (Despite trying to explain otherwise, my manager had to give her a free coupon to keep her from calling corporate to complain. I also can’t wear the bracelet to work anymore. It sometimes sucks being a nerdy girl in a small town.)

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