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!

Going From Bad To Warsaw

| West Sussex, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Language & Words, Top

(I am half Polish, and fluent in the language, but have lived in England all my life so speak without an accent. Between my degree and my masters, I get a job in a pound shop—everything costs £1—to earn some money. I am on tills and call two young women forward.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

(The customer dumps her items on the counter without acknowledging me, and then turns to her friend and speaks in Polish.)

Customer #1: “Look at this dumb b****! How bad must your life get to work here?!”

Customer #2: *in Polish* “I know! And she judges us for being Polish! All English people are so racist!”

Me: *in Polish* “That will be £7, please.”

Customers #1 & #2: *both turn red and hurry out of the shop*

They Call Me Names

| NB, Canada | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

(I overhear a phone call another agent is having with a customer for technical support.)

Agent: “Hi, my name is [name]. Can I get your name and your TID please?”

Caller: *says something*

Agent: “Your name.”

Caller: *says something*

Agent: “Your N… A… M… E.”

Caller: *says something*

Agent: “NAME. N… A… M… E…”

Caller: *says something*

Agent: “No, your name.”

Caller: *says something*

Agent: “Okay, what do people call you when they want your attention?”

Caller: *says something*

Agent: “What did your mother call you when you were born?”

Caller: *says something*

Agent: “Forget that, what’s your station number?”

Caller: *says something*

Agent: “What’s the phone number at your site?”

Caller: *says something*

Agent: “This isn’t working, how about we just end the call now? Get someone that speaks English since the rest of the questions I will have for you are just going to get harder.” *hangs up*

Insert Subtitle Here

| New Zealand | Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Top

Me: “Hi there, how can I help you?”

Customer: *says something unintelligible*

Me: “Pardon, sorry?”

Customer: *unintelligible* “…flat white…” *unintelligible*

Me: “Oh, a flat white? Sure, that’s $4.50, please.”

Customer: *seems to ask something unintelligible*

Me: “Pardon, sorry?”

Customer: *says something unintelligible again, irritated*

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t understand what you’re saying at all.”

Customer: “Oh! I forgot that I was talking Swedish. I wanted to know if the flat white is in a small or medium cup.”

Me: “Oh, thank goodness! I thought I was going crazy!”

Omfoolery Imes Wo

| WV, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Top

Me: “Hi, what can I get you?”

Customer: “I’ll have a BL.”

Me: “You mean a BLT?”

Customer: “No, a BL. I don’t like T.”

Me: *laughs* “Okay, anything else?”

Customer: “Yes, a glass of iced tea.”

Me: *joking* “I thought you didn’t like T.”

Customer: “Oh, right. Well, then… get me a glass of iced ea.”

No Vocation For Location, Part 5

| London, England, UK | Bigotry, Geography, Language & Words

(I work at a call center for charities where we call people to confirm their details and thank them for their donations. I have recently moved from South Africa and am still getting used to some of the pronunciations around the UK.)

Me: “Hello, this is Sarah calling on behalf of [charity]. I believe you spoke to John in Inverness on Saturday. Is that correct?”

(I’ve pronounced it ‘In-ver-niss’ as opposed to ‘In-ver-ness’.)

Man: “What?! How can you work in a f***ing call center and not even know how to pronounce the names?”

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. I’m not from England so I’m still getting used to all the names.”

Man: “How f***ing dare you! I am not from England! I am from Scotland, you dumb b****! They’re different places! How don’t you know that? Didn’t you go to school?!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I meant to say I’m new to the UK. Some of the names of places are still a bit tricky for me.”

Man: *calmer* “Well, okay then. Where are you from?”

Me: “Johannesburg in South Africa.”

Man: “Oh, you mean Zimbabwe!”

Me: “No, sir, they’re different countries.”

Man: “They’re the same thing!”

Related:
No Vocation For Location, Part 4

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