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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!

    Clothing That Just Takes Control

    | Miami, FL, USA | Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (Note: I work at a charity that accepts donations.)

    Customer: *quite loudly* “Where can I leave my domination clothing?”

    Me: *stares shocked*

    Customer: “That’s the wrong word, isn’t it?”

    Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

    | Kansas City, MO, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (I am signing to a deaf couple, asking them if they need help. Before they can reply, a customer interrupts me.)

    Customer: *gasping* “You’re in a gang!”

    Me: “What?”

    Customer: “I saw you! You flashed them a gang sign!”

    Me: *laughing* “No, ma’am, it’s ASL.”

    Customer: “I don’t care what your gang is called. It’s people like you that make me scared to go out at night!”

    (She leaves with her purchase, which turns out to be a shirt that says “B****es Get Stitches.”)

    Incomprehensibly Intemperate

    | Edison, NJ, USA | Language & Words

    (My girlfriend and I are coworkers at a retail store. She is bilingual, but Spanish is her native language. If you yell at her while speaking in English, she won’t understand what you’re saying. It will sound jumbled up to her.)

    Girlfriend: “Okay, sir. That all rings up to $30.42.”

    Customer: *yelling* “What? How the f*** is it that expensive?!”

    Girlfriend: “I’m sorry. What did you say?”

    Customer: “You little b****! You’re trying to cheat me out of my money!”

    Girlfriend: “Sir, can you please not yell? I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

    Customer: “Yes, you do, you liar! There’s no way it can cost that much!”

    (At this point, my girlfriend is getting frustrated and calls me over to translate.)

    Girlfriend: “Kaycee, please tell me what he’s saying.”

    Customer: “This b**** is trying to cheat me out of money!”

    Me: “Sir, she cannot understand you because you are yelling at her. If you would simply talk in a normal voice, she will understand you. Also, I’m looking on the screen at your items, and she is not trying to cheat you. Your total comes up to $30.42.”

    Customer: “She understood me before!”

    Me: “That’s because you were not yelling. She does not understand when people yell at her. Furthermore, accusing her of cheating you when she is not will not get you a lower price. You still have to pay the full price.”

    Customer: “F*** that! I’m not paying that price!”

    Me: “So, you had my girlfriend ring all your items up, and now you are refusing to pay for them because you don’t like the price?”

    Customer: “That’s right! See if I ever shop here again!” *storms out of store*

    This Side Uppity

    | Florida, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (I work in a fairly ritzy upper-end wine store. We get a lot of customers coming in with partial information about the wine they’re looking for, but we can usually help them find it. Sometimes, not so much.)

    Me: “Can I help you, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Yes, I bought a case of wine here last month, and I’d like another. I don’t remember the name, but I remember where in France it’s from.”

    (Our French wines are organized by the part of France that the wines are from, so this is very helpful.)

    Me: “Okay, perhaps you’ll recognize the bottle when we get to that section. Where’s it from?”

    Customer: “The ‘cote a ouvrir.’”

    Me: “Do you mean Côtes du Rhône, or Côtes du Ventoux, or one of the Côtes appellations in Burgundy, perhaps?”

    Customer: “I know d*** well I bought wine here last month, and the box said ‘cote a ouvrir!’”

    Me: “I’m sure it did, ma’am. That’s French for ‘open this side.’”

    Customer: “Yes! Where do you keep the French wines that say ‘cote a ouvrir?’”

    Me: *gestures to the section we’re in* “About two thirds of these will say that.”

    Customer: “So, it’s not very helpful?”

    Me: “Not as such, no.”

    Customer Service Does (Not) Speak Your Language

    | Topeka, Kansas, USA | Language & Words

    Me: “[Store Name], this is Grace. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “What’s on the down low?”

    Me: *thinking I heard her wrong* “Excuse me, ma’am?”

    Caller: “What’s on the down low?”

    Me: “Um, not a lot.”

    Caller: *angrily* “What’s on the down low?”

    Me: “I’m really sorry. I just don’t think I’m understanding you.”

    Caller: “WHAT’S ON THE DOWN LOW?!”

    Me: “What?”

    Caller: “WHAT TIME Y’ALL CLOSE?!”

    Me: “Oh, we close at 9 PM.”

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