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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!

    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.”

    Customers Should Watch Their Language, Part 2

    | Michigan, USA | Language & Words, Top

    (I have moderate competency in Mandarin Chinese, but it is not apparent because I’m not Asian.)

    Me: “Hello! Can I help you find anything today?”

    Customer #1: “No, we’re just looking.”

    Customer #2: “Just looking.”

    Me: “All right, just let me know if you need any help.”

    Customer #1: *in Mandarin* “I told her to go away. She doesn’t listen!”

    Customer #2: *in Mandarin* “She’s a dumb girl. Just ignore her.”

    Me: *in Mandarin* “Hey look, the dumb girl speaks Mandarin.”

    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?!”

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