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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!

    Read You Loud And Unclear

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Language & Words

    (One of my coworkers is a quiet, well-spoken man normally, but has an astonishingly loud voice if he wants to shout. My manager is also the shop owner, has a great sense of humor, and likes to let him use that voice in situations.)

    Customer: “A carton of [Brand] cigarettes, please.”

    Coworker: “Yes, sir. What kind?”

    Customer: “[Brand].”

    Coworker: “Yes, sir. Twenties, thirties, mild menthol, filtered or plain?”

    Customer: “[BRAND]!”

    Coworker: *just as loud* “Yes, sir. Twenties, thirties, mild menthol, filtered or plain?”

    Customer: *as loud as he can shout* “[BRAND]!”

    Coworker: *louder than the customer; painful to the ears* “YES, SIR! TWENTIES, THIRTIES, MILD, MENTHOL, FILTERED OR PLAIN?!”

    (The customer turns pale, and takes a step back.)

    Customer: *normal voice* “Er, um, sorry. What?”

    Coworker: *normal voice*  ”Twenties, thirties, mild menthol, filtered or plain?”

    Customer: “Oh. Twenties, filtered, plain. Thanks.”

    (The customer paid, and then left, turning back, looking, and shaking his head in disbelief.)

    In Soviet Russia, Accent Speaks You

    | Bronx, NY, USA | Awesome Customers, Criminal/Illegal, Language & Words

    (The phone rings.)

    Cashier: “Hello, [Name] Pizza… Oh, f***, not again.”

    (She hangs up. A few customers come and go, and the phone rings again.)

    Cashier: “Hello, [Name] Piz— f*** this!”

    Customer: “Hey, lady, problem with the phone?”

    Cashier: “Some sicko keeps calling from a blocked number and making creepy comments.”

    Customer: “Hang on. I gotta go find my friend.”

    (He pays and leaves… and comes back with a 6’8″ NYPD cop.)

    Cop: *with a minor Russian accent* “I hear you’re having a problem with a caller?”

    Customer: “No, no. Do the accent! Make it f***in’ scary!”

    Cop: *in a deeper voice with a thick accent* “Excuse me. I hear you have problem with caller?”

    (The cashier explains. The cop orders a slice of pizza and he and his friend sit and chat for a few minutes. Then the phone rings.)

    Cashier: “It’s a blocked number!”

    Cop: *on the phone, with the accent* “Hello…. You are thinking my body is what? I am thinking your body probably very fragile. Very easy to— Oh, he hung up.”

    (They stare at the phone a few minutes.)

    Customer: “Problem solved?”

    Cashier: *to customer* “So… is your buddy there single?”

    Cop: *in accent* “Boris have many women. All are love him!”

    Customer: “You’re married and your name isn’t Boris!”

    Cop: “Boris is name of accent. Has life of its own.”

    A Mixed Bag

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Language & Words

    Coworker: “Paper or plastic?”

    Customer: I don’t care. I’m bi. I like it both ways.”

    So Pho, So Crazy, Part 4

    | NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (I am half Vietnamese and look somewhat ethnically ambiguous.)

    Customer: “Are you Japanese?”

    Me: “No, Vietnamese.”

    Customer: “Really? Are you sure?”

    (Later, another customer runs into the store, heads directly for one of our Buddha statues, and rubs its belly. She is about to dash off again when she sees me looking in her direction.)

    Customer: “I’m sorry! Every time I see a Buddha I just have to touch it. But you must understand. You have the look of the Buddha about you.”

    (A third customer comes in and asks about the meaning of some Chinese characters on a teapot. Having taken some Chinese in school, and, more relevantly, having read the product description recently, I manage to tell her the meaning of a couple.)

    Customer: “Are you Chinese?”

    Me: “No, Vietnamese, but I took a bit of Chinese in school.”

    Customer: “Really? But isn’t that shaming your family or something?”

    Related:
    So Pho, So Crazy, Part 3
    So Pho, So Crazy, Part 2
    So Pho, So Crazy

    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!)

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