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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!

    Not So Profound Profanities

    | UK | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (While waiting at the self-checkout tills, I overhear this conversation.)

    Customer #1: “This bloody till won’t work! Why won’t it scan my coupons?”

    (At this, an employee appears to help.)

    Employee: “Here we are, ma’am. You just put your coupons in this slot here and it should work.”

    (Suddenly, a middle-aged woman with a young daughter who are using another self-checkout pipes up.)

    Customer #2: *to Customer #1* “Excuse me, could you please refrain from using language like that in public? I don’t want my daughter picking up bad habits”.

    Customer #1: “Oh, of course!” *to Customer #2′s daughter* “I’m sorry, sweetie. Never ever use the word you heard me use just now…”

    Customer #2: “Thanks!”

    (Customer #2 smiles and gets back to scanning her items, but Customer #1 isn’t done speaking.)

    Customer #1: “…unless you’re really f***ed off, that is!”

    Honesty Is The Sweetest Policy

    | Robeline, LA, USA | Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids, Language & Words, Top

    (An Hispanic woman and her son, who is about six, come into the store. The mother gets the little boy a soda and he grabs a candy bar. Note: they are standing in the middle of our candy aisle, which I don’t have a completely clear view of.)

    Little Boy: “Mama, can I have this? I’ve been good!”

    Mother: *in English* “No, put it back. I don’t have the money for it and the soda.” *in Spanish* “Just put it in your pocket. She will never know.”

    Little Boy: “No!”

    Mother: *in Spanish* “That stupid b**** will never know! She can’t see you from there!”

    Me: “Excuse me, ma’am?”

    Mother: *innocently smiles* “Yes?”

    Me: *in Spanish* “The stupid b**** speaks Spanish.” *in English* “So, if you’re smart, you’ll either put the candy bar on the counter with the soda, or put it back. It’s your choice.”

    (The mother puts the candy bar back, pays for the drink, and then walked out. The little boy lags behind and approaches the counter by himself.)

    Little Boy: *shakes his head* “I don’t know why mama thinks white people don’t know Spanish.” *whispers* “That’s racist!” *normal volume* “Don’t worry, when we get home Daddy and I will put Mama in time-out for being bad and saying a dirty word!”

    (The kid made my day, so I bought him the candy bar for being honest and so adorable!)

    The Comradewealth Of Moscowchusetts

    | Rockport, MA, USA | Geography, Language & Words

    Customer: *in a Southern drawl* “Do you speak English?”

    Me: “Sir?”

    Customer: “I said, DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?!”

    Me: “Sir, I can assure you that I speak English. Why would you ask?”

    Customer: “Hey, look, I ain’t never been to Massachusetts. I thought all y’all spoke Russian or some s***!”

    Dub And Dubber

    | Manitoba, Canada | Language & Words

    (An older gentleman comes in to return a movie he’s rented the night before. It’s clearly stated on the movie case that it’s a foreign action film that is subtitled in English; there is also the option to have it dubbed over in English or French.)

    Customer: “I want a refund on this movie!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that! Did it not work?”

    Customer: “No, it worked, but it wasn’t in English! I want my d*** money back!”

    Me: “The subtitles or dubbing wouldn’t work?”

    Customer: “I didn’t even watch it. I want my money back!”

    Me: “Oh! I understand. Did you try going into the set up menu to change the language setting?”

    (The customer looks at me, confused, so I show him the language options on the back of the case.)

    Customer: “I DON’T KNOW! I just want a refund. It was stupid!”

    Me: “So… the movie worked… and you didn’t even try to change the settings… and there’s a sign behind me that says if there’s a problem with a movie you have to let us know the same day or no exchanges/refunds… and you want me to give you your money back?”

    (With that, the customer goes from being extremely agitated to looking sheepish.)

    Customer: “…no.” *leaves store*

    Lost In No Translation, Part 4

    | British Columbia, Canada | Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (I live in a small town where a cruise ship visits in the summer. Mind you, this is BC, Canada, so English is the main language spoken here, rather than French canadians in Quebec. Note that our entire conversation is in English.)

    Customer: “Hi! May I ask you a question?”

    Me: “Sure, no problem!”

    Customer: “Do people speak French here?”

    Me: “Well, some people might, but it’s more of a second language here.”

    Customer: “Oh, really? Well, I think you’re speaking it very well, because I can understand you!”

    Me: *dumbfounded*

    (At this point, the customer’s husband steps in.)

    Customer’s Husband: “She’s not speaking French, honey.”

    Customer: “…Oh.” *walks away*

    Related:
    Lost In No Translation, Part 3
    Lost In No Translation, Part 2
    Lost In No Translation

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