Featured Story:
  • Always Time For A Rhyme
    (2,245 thumbs up)
  • Category: Tourists/Travel

    Straight-Talking Travel Agency

    | Tel Aviv, Israel | Hotels & Lodging, Top, Tourists/Travel

    Me: “Hello, this is [travel agency]; how can I help you?”

    Customer: “Hello. I bought a tour to Prague from you a while ago, and yesterday I googled the hotel and… uh…”

    Me: “Yes?…”

    Customer: “Well, there’s lots of reviews online saying that the hotel is favored by homosexuals and lesbians.”

    Me: “Really?”

    Customer: “Yes. I’d like a different hotel, if you don’t mind.”

    Me: “Are you sure? It could be fun!”

    Customer: *laughing* “I’m not sure about that. I’m coming there with my wife, you know.”

    Me: “Think about it. You’re going abroad for an exotic experience. Why not go all the way and choose a hotel with a difference?”

    Customer: “I still think I’d be uncomfortable there. I have nothing against gay people, but still—”

    Me: “There’s no reason you should be uncomfortable… Unless, of course, you’re having certain doubts…”

    Customer: “No doubts, thank you. But how do I explain it to my wife?”

    Me: “Just tell her that if she doesn’t behave herself, you’ll leave her for another man.”

    Customer: *laughing hard* “Sold!”

    Sanity Overboard

    | USA | Tourists/Travel, Transportation

    (I work for the boutiques onboard various cruise ships. Even though jeweler is my professional position, we also have emergency duties such as lowering the life-boats, guiding guests and such. Mine is to muster guests to their muster position before the abandon-ship signal is given. The guests are all sitting in the grand dining room which is at the very back of the ship.)

    Guest: “So when the emergency signal is sounded, we just all come here?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, this is your muster station in the event of an emergency. When the abandon-ship signal is given, we guide you to your assigned lifeboat.”

    (Because there are so many guests on the ship, we don’t take them to the lifeboat when it is just a drill like this; we explain to them over the PA the procedure.)

    Guest: “Why haven’t you taken us to our lifeboats already?!”

    Me: “That was just explained, ma’am; as you can see, there are a lot of guests onboard, and it is really unnecessary—”

    Guest: “LIES! YOU’RE LYING!”

    (The guest then looks out of the window at the back of the ship; all you can see in the sea behind us.)

    Guest: “THERE’S NOT EVEN ANY LIFEBOATS ON BOARD! YOU’RE LYING! YOU JUST WANT US ALL TO STAY HERE AND DIE LIKE THE TITANIC!”

    Being Franc About The Dollar

    | France | Geography, Money, Tourists/Travel

    (It is when the French Franc is still in use. I get called by a cashier who has a problem with American tourists.)

    Tourist: “This woman won’t accept our money!”

    (The tourist is waving about a wad of US dollars.)

    Me: “Well, she can’t, sir, since you’re trying to pay in US dollars.”

    Customer: “So?”

    Me: “Well, you’re in France. We only accept French Francs.”

    Customer: “I don’t understand! All the other third world countries we’ve been to accept dollars.”

    Me: “France isn’t a third world country.”

    Customer: “…”

    Me: “There’s a bank right down the street. We’ll hold on to your items until you come back with Francs. Or you can pay with a visa card.”

    Customer: “No, we’re not coming back; you’re not getting our dollars!”

    This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 3

    | Cabazon, CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (Our mall is a big tourist destination. They don’t often speak English, and occasionally have translators. They are also notorious for wanting ‘new’ items ‘from the back’, even if the item is brand new.)

    Me: “Hello, sir, what can I help you find?”

    (The customer looks at me confused, then to his translator, who tells him what I said. The translator responds to me.)

    Translator: “He would like this dress shirt in his size.”

    (I measure the man, and get his dress shirt size from the wall. He removes the tissue paper, cardboard, and plastic clips that all new shirts come with. After looking at it, he drops it on to the ground.)

    Translator: “He says he likes it. Can you get him one?”

    Me: “So, he doesn’t want that one?”

    Translator: “It’s for a gift; he wants a folded one. This one is dirty.”

    (I notice an assistant manager is behind me, waiting to see if I need them to step in.)

    Me: “I didn’t see anything on it when I pulled it out, but if it’s damaged, I can have a manager approve a discount for you?”

    Translator: “No. He only wants a new one. He says it’s ‘ruined’ now.”

    Me: “Alright, let me go see what I can do.”

    (I take the shirt for reference and go to the back. I refold his shirt, exactly as they are packaged, and take it back.)

    Me: “How about this one?”

    (The customer looks very happily at me, and says thank you several times before wandering off to the register.)

    Manager: “Was that the same shirt?”

    Me: “Yep.”

    Manager: “Did you clean it with a lint roller or something?”

    Me: “Nope, but two can play at the bull-s*** game.”

    Related:
    This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 2
    This Round He Lost (In Translation)

    Tinker, Tailor, Waiter, Spy

    | Mendoza, Argentina | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (I am a US citizen. I don’t look like a native Argentine. I’m with a group of my friends. I have a face that is often mistaken for a worker wherever I am—even in the USA. I grab a menu so I can decipher it while we are waiting for a waiter. A customer grabs me by my lapels.)

    Customer: *in Spanish* “We’ve been waiting for 40 minutes and no one has come. Why? We’re hungry and livid!”

    Me: *thinking quickly* “I’m sorry, ma’am. We got a sudden lunch rush. Half of our wait staff called off because of sickness, and those who are here are working as hard as we can.”

    Customer: “It’s not enough! You better take our order, NOW!”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, you’re next on my list. I’ll take care of you right now. Let me go get my stuff; I’ll be right back.”

    (She shoves me away, and into another table. I stand up, apologize, and rejoin my friends.)

    Friend: *in English* “What was that all about?”

    Me: “That lady has been waiting for a while and she’s angry about it.”

    Friend: “So… she… thinks you’re a waiter?”

    Me: “Yep, and she’s going to be waiting a while longer.”

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