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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!

    A Welcome Change

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Bad Behavior, Language & Words, Top

    (I’ve been a nurse for a long time. There have been a few patients over the years that think nurses are slaves and never say please or thank you.)

    Patient: “Turn the TV on.”

    Me: *turns TV on*

    Patient: “Get me a glass of water!”

    Me: *hands him a glass of water*

    Patient’s Relative: “Pass the tissues over.”

    Me: *passes the box of tissue over to the relative*

    (This had been going on all day with never a please or thank you. I have had enough so I say:)

    Me: “You’re welcome!”

    Patient: “Pardon. What was that?”

    Me: *acting surprised* “I said ‘you’re welcome.’ I thought I heard you say ‘thank you.’ My mistake. Sorry.”

    (The manners improved substantially after that! I’ve only had to say it three or four times in 30 years, but it’s always worked!)

    All Men Must Serve

    | NY, USA | Awesome Customers, Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Language & Words

    (I am the librarian.)

    Patron: “Do you have any books on Japanese architecture? I play the game Minecraft and we’re building Westeros. You know, Game of Thrones? Part of it is going to be Japanese themed.”

    Librarian: “I think we do. Let me look…” *searches the catalog* “Yup, there are some e-books you can get by clicking the links here, or there should be a couple upstairs. Are you able to find things by call number?”

    Patron: “Yeah, I should be able to find it. Thanks!”

    Librarian: “You’re welcome! Valar Morghulis!”

    Patron: “Yeah.” *starts to walk away, but stops suddenly and turns around* “Wait, did you just…”

    Librarian: “Yeah, I really did.”

    Patron: “That’s awesome! Valar Dohaeris!”

    Hasn’t Quite Cottoned On

    | Australia | Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Top

    (I work in a fabric store and am a lot younger than I look, so customers often patronise me. I’m used to it.)

    Customer: “I’m looking for cotton fabric.”

    Me: “Okay, any particular weave? We have plain woven, knitted jersey, japara—”

    Customer: “I don’t think you heard me. I want cotton fabric.”

    (Deciding not to argue I take her to the cheapest cotton fabric, which is just plain woven poplin, very similar to the fabric they use to make bed-sheets.)

    Customer: *in a patronising tone* “Don’t you know anything? I want c-o-t-t-o-n!”

    Me: “Yes, this is 100% cotton.”

    Customer: “No, it’s not. Cotton is the fabric they make jeans out of.”

    Me: “Oh, you mean denim?”

    Customer: “No, cotton. Jeans are made of cotton.”

    Me: “Yes, jeans are made of cotton, but it is woven in a particular way to make a fabric called ‘denim.’”

    Customer: “It’s not called denim, you silly girl. Denim is a boy’s name. Cotton comes from a special animal and is used to make jeans. Or have you not gotten to that part of school yet?”

    Me: “Actually, cotton comes from a plant and has a variety of uses that are not just restricted to jeans. Now if you’ll excuse me, my shift ended two minutes ago and I need to get home and finish my university assignment, which is a literature review on the critical success factors of the implementation of enterprise resource planning information systems.”

    (I showed her the fabric she was looking for on my way out. She looked embarrassed when she saw the tag did, in fact, read ‘denim.’)

    Doesn’t Get The French Connection

    | BC, Canada | Bigotry, Language & Words

    (This takes place in western Canada. French and English are both official languages in Canada, but sometimes people forget that, apparently. My coworker is from Montreal and has a strong French accent, though his English is excellent. A customer decides to give him trouble because he doesn’t speak English as a first language.)

    Customer: “What the f***? You f***ers need to learn English before you come here! We only speak English in Canada!”

    Coworker: “Sir, I was born in Canada. I’m from Montreal. French is my first language, but I assure you I’m fluent in English.”

    Me: “Sir, I’m bilingual, too, because French is one of Canada’s official languages. If you’re going to be in Canada, why on Earth don’t you learn French?”

    (He grabbed his coffee and stomped off.)

    Didn’t Have The Backbone To Say It

    | Sweden | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Hotels & Lodging, Language & Words

    (I work in the front desk at a hotel. I have a small handicap which makes my back look a little wavy, but it’s no obstacle in normal life. We have more reservations than we have rooms. There are several concerts in the city, and all hotels located within 10 miles from the city are fully booked. When this happens, the hotel is responsible to find rooms in the same or better category on other hotels. I have managed to book the last available room at our neighbor hotel. It’s starting to get very late, and I have only one check-in left, a couple from Italy. At 10:30 pm they arrive.)

    Me: “Welcome to [Hotel]. Did you have a pleasant flight?”

    (The couple looks angry towards me before the wife answers.)

    Wife: *in very bad English* “I want my room now, and my luggage should be carried up!”

    Me: “I am very sorry to say that we are fully booked today, but I have some very good news for you. I have managed to find a room for you on the hotel right across the street!”

    (The couple looks at each other and they both start yelling at me in Italian. I am Scandinavian, so I only know English and Swedish, but I can sense that the words are not well meant and nice words.)

    Me: “I’m so sorry.  I don’t speak Italian, but I will gladly help you to move the luggage to the neighbor hotel.”

    (The couple don’t give a d*** about what I’m trying to tell them. So, I just smile and pretend like everything is normal. My shift ends at 11 pm and the guests have now been standing in the front desk for almost ten minutes with constant yelling and screaming. Suddenly I feel a hand touching my shoulder from behind. It’s the night shift clerk who has arrived, and he wants to tell me something in the back office.)

    Night Shift Clerk: “Do you know what they are telling you?”

    Me: “No, but I have a strange feeling that it is not kind words.”

    Night Shift Clerk: “Let me take care of this.”

    (He enters the front desk.)

    Night Shift Clerk: “I’m very sorry about my colleague. He has done everything in his power to help you. Let me make one thing clear…”

    (The Italian couple stops screaming for a second, and looks at my colleague.)

    Night Shift Clerk: *in fluent Italian* “I forgot to mention that I speak fluent Italian. I have been in the back office the entire time, and I’ve been listening to every word you said to my colleague. It may be true that the customer is always right, but when you call someone a crooked dwarf, just because they look different, you don’t deserve any kind of good treatment. Earlier my colleague tried to tell you that we had managed to book the biggest suite at the neighbor hotel for a total cost of $5000, and you would have gotten it for free. At our hotel you have booked a standard room for $100. So, I’m very happy to say that you are going to sleep in the streets tonight. I just called the other hotel and cancelled the room. You have two minutes to get out of here before I call the police. You won’t be able to find room anywhere tonight. All the hotels are fully booked. Have a nice life!”

    (The couple stood quietly, in shock, and looked at my colleague with embarrassment. I later came out and escorted them to the streets. Later I heard that they tried to contact the hotel manager, but he only confirmed what we said and told them to get off our property!)

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