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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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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!

    Getting To The Out Source Of The Matter

    | Tempe, AZ, USA | Language & Words, Technology

    Me: “Hello, you have reached [business name]. This is [name]. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Oh, thank God! I was just talking to some mush mouth who couldn’t speak English right at all. You shouldn’t outsource; do your employers outsource? People can’t understand you when you outsource.”

    Me: “Well, I am sorry for that. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “I want my password. That mush mouth changed it, and now I can’t log in.”

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am. May I have your ID and what you want your password to be?”

    Caller: “Just change it back to what it was.”

    Me: “Well, I apologize, but I can not do that. For security reasons we can not see a password, only set it to something else. I can set it to a default or anything you request.”

    Caller: “Well, I am requesting the old password. Just fix it.”

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but it’s impossible for me to know.”

    Caller: “Well, my internet knows. It tries to use the password. Just take it from that.”

    Me: “I can not take a password from your browser. If your login was working, why did you call to change your password?”

    Caller: “The news told me people can take that information and steal all your files, so I was worried.”

    Me: “Ma’am, your information is safe, I assure you.”

    Caller: “Then why can’t you just change my password back to ‘Password’?”

    Me: “Your old password was ‘Password’?”

    Caller: “Yes.”

    Fighting Ignorance With Ignorance, Part 2

    | NH, USA | Family & Kids, Language & Words

    (I am working in the clothing section of a department store when I overhear this conversation. Note: I work with a very nice woman who moved to America from India about ten years ago.)

    Mother: “Did you find everything you needed, hon?”

    Child: “Yep! A really nice Indian lady helped me.”

    Mother: “No, no! We don’t say Indian. We say ‘Native American.’”

    Child: “No, mom, not that kind of Indian. One from India!”

    Mother: “Don’t be silly, hon. We took their country from them, not gave them one.”

    Related:
    Fighting Ignorance With Ignorance

    Se Habla Japañol

    , | Springfield, MO, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Top

    (I am taking orders on both lanes at the fast food restaurant. I already have other customers at the second window as someone pulls up to the menu board.)

    Customer: “Hablas español?” (“Do you speak Spanish?”)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I’ll be with you in just a minute.”

    Customer: “Hablas español?”

    (I say the only thing I know in Spanish.)

    Me: “Lo siento, pero no puedo hablar español. Solamente inglés o japonés.” (“I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish. Only English or Japanese.”)

    Customer: *in heavily accented English* “I SPEAK JAPANESE TOO!”

    Me: “Hontoo? Nihongo o hanasu?” (“Really? You speak Japanese?”)

    Customer: “Soo desu yo! Shichi-ban ga hoshii, nomimono wa Sprite desu!” (“Yes I do! I want a number 7 with Sprite!”)

    Me: “Nani mo ga hoshii?” (“Would you like anything else?”)

    Customer: “Chotto.” (“No thank you.”)

    Me: “Hai soo desu, shichi doru san juu sento onegaishimasu. Ni-ban me fune de gozaimasu.”

    (The other customers at the second window are still there with a flabbergasted look on their faces. I hand them their food.)

    Me: “Don’t ask, it’d take too long to explain. Have a nice night.”

    Other Customers: “Sayonara!”

    So Pho, So Crazy

    | London, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, History, Language & Words, Top

    (I am working the tills at a supermarket. I am of Vietnamese descent but was born in London. An older gentleman comes through my till.)

    Customer: *practically shouting* “Ni-Hao!”

    Me: “Hello to you to sir, but that’s Chinese. I am actually Vietnamese.”

    (I point to my name tag which in our shop goes by family name instead of first name. Mine is the very common ‘Nguyen’.)

    Customer: “Don’t lie!”

    Me: “I assure you sure I am Vietnamese.”

    Customer: “There aren’t any Vietnamese people left!”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “Yeah, the Americans killed them all back in the seventies or something.”

    Me: “I think you may have your history confused. I assure you there is still a Vietnam and it is full of Vietnamese people.”

    Customer: “Well I don’t know how you managed to escape but I wouldn’t say it so loudly. There might be Americans around looking for survivors.”

    Me: *as I ring up his last item* “Probably a good idea. That will be £10.34 please.”

    Customer: *as he pays* “Wouldn’t want a young lad like you getting caught!”

    (The customer heads towards the exit, but unfortunately notices the security guard who also happens to be my brother. He is 6ft tall and a body-builder and I dread what might happen.)

    Customer: “Ni-Hao!”

    Brother: “Actually I’m Vietnamese.”

    Customer: “Another one?! But the Americans wiped you all out!”

    Brother: *standing to full height* “I think you might want to just keep on walking.”

    Customer: “How dare you talk to me like that?! I’m going to call the Americans, and then they’ll come down here and shoot you!”

    Accentuating The Problem

    | Bend, OR, USA | Language & Words

    (My entire family emigrated from the UK a few years ago. My father and I got together for coffee over the weekend and another customer heard us speaking. In the UK cigarettes are called ‘fags’.)

    Father: “How’s kicking the habit going, alright then?”

    Me: “Well, mostly, been a few months, but I still have days where I’m just gagging for a fag.”

    Customer: “Excuse me! What did you just say?”

    Me: (I adopt my American accent.) “I’m sorry, ma’am, its a really long story. I just meant to say that I do still have cigarette cravings every now and again.”

    Customer: “Wait, what just happened to your voice?”

    Me: “Again, long story, but I can change my accent as needed.”

    Customer: “I’m calling the cops! You’re one of those terrorists! You’re going to blow this place up!”

    (At this point, she’s dialing her phone, screaming at fellow patrons to get out, screaming at the management to subdue me, on and on.)

    Manager: “What seems to be the problem here?”

    Customer: “He’s a terrorist. He has an accent!”

    Manager: “I’m not sure I understand.”

    Customer: “Just talk to him, you’ll understand.”

    Manager: “You have an accent?”

    (At this point, I go back to my native accent.)

    Me: “Well, yes, actually, I was born in Manchester.”

    Manager: *in a perfect Liverpudlian accent* “Bloody Manc! Ma’am please calm down, he’s not a terrorist.”

    Customer: “More of you!” *runs out of the store*


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