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  • This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 4
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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!

    The Horrors Of Mispronunciation, Part 5

    | Maryland, USA | Language & Words

    Customer: “Do you have any fecal heart monitors?”

    Me: “Uh…what?”

    Customer: “You know, to hear the baby while it’s still in the womb?”

    Me: “That would be a fetal heart monitor. Right this way…”

    Related:
    The Horrors Of Mispronunciation, Part 4
    The Horrors Of Mispronunciation, Part 3
    The Horrors Of Mispronunciation, Part 2
    The Horrors Of Mispronunciation

    Lost In No Translation, Part 3

    | USA | Language & Words

    (I work in a large home improvement store and I’m the only female in the department. A customer pulls up on his motorcycle and parks it on the sidewalk outside the door, then staggers inside, making a beeline to me despite all the other sales people.)

    Customer: *in a loud drunken slur* “Where do you keep your nipples?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Your nipples. Where do you keep your nipples?”

    Me: “I’m not sure I understand what you’re looking for.”

    Customer: *getting louder* “Where do you keep your nipples?! The titties you mash to start your engine!”

    Me: “Oh, the fuel bulbs are kept over here.”

    (The customer purchases them and leaves. The other associates actually gave me applause for the diplomatic interpretation of his drunken demands.)

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

    English And Polish And French, Oh My

    | Krakow, Poland | Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (Our bakery in question sells the best cupcakes, muffins and American coffee in town. It attracts a lot of English-speaking clients. Therefore, all the staff speaks excellent English. I am standing in line behind an elegant woman in her mid 30s.)

    Cashier, in Polish: “Good morning, ma’am. What can I get you?”

    Customer, in French: “I’d like a coffee with milk, please.”

    Cashier, switching to English: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. I don’t speak French.”

    Customer, in French: *appalled* “What?! I don’t understand! You’re talking to me in English!”

    (She turns to other customers in line.)

    Customer, in French: “She’s talking to me in English!”

    Me, to the cashier: “I know French. Maybe I could help?”

    Me, to the customer, in French: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Maybe I could translate for you? What would you–”

    Customer, in French: “She’s talking to me in English!”

    Me: “Yes, she is. She doesn’t speak French. Don’t worry, I can translate for you.”

    Customer: “But we’re in Poland! And she’s talking to me in English! Isn’t that illegal?!”

    Throw Your Claims Up At Me

    | UK | Funny Names, Language & Words

    (I am asking a customer if there were any independent witnesses to an accident. To make it clear, an independent witness is one not known previously to either party.)

    Me: “Were there any independent witnesses?”

    Customer: “Well, there was a 92 year old woman.”

    Me: “Excellent. Is she known to either party?”

    Customer: “Oh yes. I was taking her for her weekly shop at the time.”

    Me: “Right. Well, I don’t think we can class her as an independent witness but we can still take a statement if necessary.”

    Customer: “Oh, but she is independent! She lives by herself and does all her housework by herself! We only help out with taking her shopping because she can’t drive!”

    Language Barrier Drives A Wedge Between Us

    | Louisville, KY, USA | Food & Drink, Funny Names, Language & Words

    (Our snack bar sell typical snack bar type stuff, like popcorn and pretzels, as well as pizzas. Two clearly foreign women come to the counter and look at the menu for a few moments.)

    Me: “What can I get you tonight?”

    Customer #1: “You have pizza?”

    Me: “Yes, I have a cheese pizza coming out of the oven in just a minute, and a pepperoni ready right now.”

    Customer #1: “You have wedgie?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer #2: “You have wedgie deluxe?”

    Me: “I don’t think so.”

    (I suddenly realize that they’re trying to say ‘Veggie’.)

    Me: “No, we don’t. We only have cheese and pepperoni.”

    Customer #1: “No wedgie toppings?”

    Me: *trying very hard not to crack up laughing* “No, sorry, just cheese and pepperoni.”

    (They thank me and walk away. A few moments later, they return and order the cheese pizza.)

    Customer #1: “You should get wedgie. I love it.”


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