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!

This Conversation Plunges To Lower Depths

| Canada | Language & Words

(A customer comes up to my till with a toilet plunger.)

Me: “Hello! How’s your day going?”

Customer: “S***ty. Pun intended.”

Speaking American Is A Country Diction In Terms, Part 3

| Torino, Italy | Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(As the city is hosting a big international event, we’ve been having a lot of people asking for information about venues, transports, and such. For guests’ convenience we set up two different lines, one for information in English and Spanish and one for information in French and German, as these are the four main languages our guests require. We used flags to represent languages, with a standard UK flag standing for English. A third colleague is standing by the door, answering questions in miscellaneous other languages and directing people to the lines. A couple walks in and addresses him in English.)

Guest: “Excuse me, sir?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir? How can I help you?”

Guest: “We need information in American. Which one of these lines is the correct one?”

(My coworker points to the English speaking line.)

Guest: *pointing to the flag* “That’s an English flag. There’s no American flag here. Are you sure this is the correct line?”

Coworker: *trying not to laugh* “Yes, sir. Yes, I’m quite sure it is.”

(At this point the couple cuts the entire 20-something people line and simply walks up to me while I’m busy with another guest.)

Guest: “Good morning, we would like to know if—”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but you can’t just cut the line like that.”

Guest: “But your colleague said this was the American speaking line.”

Me: “It is sir, but as you can see there’s a lot of people waiting for information. You’ll have to wait like everybody else. I promise you it won’t be long.”

Guest: “But… but… I’m AMERICAN!”

Related:
Speaking American Is A Country Diction In Terms, Part 2
Speaking American Is A Country Diction In Terms

Has An Asian Dissuasion

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words

(I work as an intern pharmacist at a pharmacy. Even though I’m still in school, I’m comfortable enough to consult patients on common prescriptions. A woman comes up to pick up some antibiotics and my supervising pharmacist asks me to consult with her on the medication. I am Asian, raised speaking Chinese, but born in Canada and moved to California when I was young, so I speak English and Chinese fluently.)

Woman: “Hi, I’m picking up for [Woman].”

(I find the prescription, and bring it to the counter.)

Me: “All right, I have it here. Have you ever taken this medication before?”

Woman: *screaming behind me at the pharmacist, who is white* “CAN I HAVE YOU HELP ME?”

Me: “Ma’am, I can help you.”

Woman: *still waving at the pharmacist*

(Giving up, I walk behind the counter, and tell my pharmacist what happened. She moves up to take care of the woman. I stay behind the counter, but I can still hear their conversation.)

Pharmacist: “How can I help you?”

Woman: “I’m just picking up my medication.”

(My pharmacist finishes the consultation as usual. When she finishes…)

Woman: *speaking at normal volume* “I don’t know why you have him back there. How do you know if he can even speak English?”

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, he speaks English fluently. He is a current pharmacy student.”

Woman: “But he’s Chinese. No one could understand his English.”

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, his English is fine. Just a good as mine.”

Woman: “I don’t think you should have him here…”

(She walks out like nothing happened. My pharmacist walks back behind the counter.)

Me: “What was she talking about?”

Pharmacist: “I don’t know. I guess she’s either new to the city or she never noticed how many Chinese people are in San Francisco.”

The Signs Of Change

| Omaha, NE, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Language & Words

Me: “Paper or plastic?”

Customer: “Paper.” *after some consideration* “No, plastic.”

(My bagger obviously doesn’t catch the change, and continues bagging in paper.)

Customer: “Excuse me!” *snaps her fingers in front of the bagger’s face* “Weren’t you listening? I want plastic! Not paper! You should be paying attention!”

(My bagger, startled, gives her a confused look and starts signing something, indicating that he’s deaf. The woman goes extremely pale.)

Customer: “Uh, thank you. Goodbye.” *she grabs her bags, still paper, and rushes out of the store*

(My bagger then slides me a note that says:)

Note: “What I said to that woman was so rude.”

Seven, Eight, Nein!

| MD, USA | Bizarre, Language & Words

(I work part time at my dad’s plumbing company, which bears our last name, doing basic office work, and learning about running a business. I’m filling out a work order for an older customer’s rental home. We live in an area with a lot of German heritage.)

Me: “And can I have your address?”

Customer: “It’s seventy-seven [Street Name].”

(I write the address down and, per usual, cross my sevens.)

Customer: “Look at your sevens. That’s a very German way of writing.”

Me: “Well, you know, as you can tell from my very German last name, we’ve got a lot of German blood.”

Customer: *leaning in and glaring* “That’s how they found the Nazis you know. They made them write stuff down and look at their sevens.”

(The customer is now quite close to my face and glaring at me.)

Me: “You don’t say…” *slowly backing up behind the service counter* “Well, I think I got everything here…”

Customer: *suddenly very chipper* “That’s great! Hope to see you soon!”

Dad: *apparently overhearing everything* “Did that guy just call us Nazis?!”

Page 7/81First...56789...Last