Featured Story:
  • Always Time For A Rhyme
    (2,186 thumbs up)
  • Category: Tourists/Travel

    Fruit Loopy

    | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Money, Tourists/Travel

    Me: “Alright ma’am, I’ve entered all your requests in the reservation. Have a great day!”

    Caller: “Wait, I’m not finished! I want a fruit basket in my room to be there when I arrive. And there better not be any grapes! They’re nasty! They’re dirty and full of germs! I only want fruit with skins I can peel off!”

    Me: *being a fellow germophobe* “I definitely understand that. Bananas and oranges.”

    Caller: “If I find any skinless fruit, I will immediately throw the entire fruit basket out of the window into the ocean! Do you hear me?”

    Me: “Ah, well then we have to move you to a room with a balcony, because the window in your stateroom doesn’t open. The upgrade would cost $2,100.00, is that okay?”

    Caller: *long pause* “No, I will just carry it upstairs to the deck and do it from there.”

    Me: “Alright, sounds great. Anything else I can help you with?”

    Caller: “No thanks dear, have a good day.” *click*

    Konnichi-woah

    | Whitehorse, YT, Canada | Food & Drink, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (I work in a tourist souvenir shop. On this day, we receive much-needed maple products, including maple candy, syrup and the like. I am busy labelling the new stock as my coworker receives the stock.)

    Me: “Well, I know there will be Japanese tourists in today.”

    Coworker: “…Huh?”

    Me: “Last time we got our maple shipment in, we sold half of it before it was all completely in the system. They just seem to know when we have it. The Japanese tourists just have a sense for it. We’ll be busy tonight.”

    Coworker: “Oh, really?”

    Me: “Yep, just you wait…”

    (An hour later, two Japanese tourists come into the store and take a look around as we are busy working. When they are finished, both come up to the counter with baskets of maple syrup bottles. Once I’m finished helping both of them, I turn to my coworker.)

    Me: “Well what have you got to say to that?”

    Coworker: *not believing me* “No comment.”

    (About twenty minutes later, I hear the door open, but it doesn’t shut immediately. Curious, I look up in the direction of the door.)

    Me: “Oh, look, they brought friends!”

    Coworker: *looks up and at the front* “Holy crap!”

    (A group of about nine Japanese tourists walk in, all immediately heading for our ‘maple’ section of the store. Due to the small size of the store, it is a lot of people to have in at once. We help them as best we can. Despite there being a huge language barrier, I recognize some words and we are able to help each one of them as they patiently wait their turn in line. Once they are all finished and things are once again quiet, I turn once again to my coworker.)

    Me: “So, you believe me now?”

    Shogun The Way To Go Home, Part 2

    | Tokyo, Japan | Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Language & Words, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (I grew up in Japan and am bilingual, even though I am Australian by birth. I am showing some Australian friends around Tokyo.)

    American customer: *to the station attendant, in English* “Hey, I need to get to Akihabara station. How do I do that?”

    Station attendant: *in Japanese* “Sorry, I do not speak English. Could you point it out?”

    (As the station attendant speaks, he has a big map of the subway system and his gestures make it VERY obvious what he wants the customer to do.)

    American customer: *in English* “Are you deaf?! I need to get to Akihabara station!”

    Station attendant: *in Japanese, while gesturing at the map emphatically* “I don’t know English, sorry. Please point where you are going.”

    American customer: *in English* “Stupid Asians. Just tell me how to get there!”

    (I intervene at this point, as I feel sorry for the poor station worker.)

    Me: *in Japanese* “He wants to get to Akihabara station. I know the way; I’ll explain it to him.”

    (I explain, in English, how to get to the station, and tell him the station attendant was trying but he doesn’t speak English.)

    American customer: *to me, in English* “These stupid Japs should learn English. Why couldn’t he tell me that?”

    Me: “When Asians visit your country, you expect them to speak English, right? So it’s only fair when you come here you try to use their language. Plus, he was trying to help you if you had just pointed it out on the map.”

    American customer: “Everyone should know English!”

    (He storms off without apologizing, or thanking me or the station worker.)

    Station attendant: *to me, in Japanese* “Thank you so much for helping. I didn’t know what to do.”

    Me: “Don’t worry about it. He was just being rude. I feel like I should be apologizing for his behaviour on behalf of all foreigners.”

    Station attendant: “Oh, don’t worry, we get much worse. Then there are people like you who help convince me you’re not all bad. Thanks again!”

    Related:
    Shogun The Way To Go Home

    Not Suitable For Spanish Fly

    | New York, NY, USA | Language & Words, Liars & Scammers, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (Two customers, one male, one female, with notable Spanish accents approach. While I’m Caucasian, I’m quite fluent in Spanish.)

    Male Customer: “Yes, we’d like to return this coffee maker. It doesn’t work.”

    Me: “Certainly. May I see your receipt?”

    (The male customer looks slightly taken aback.)

    Male Customer: “Oh, uh, we threw that away.”

    Me: “Ah, well I’m sorry but the only thing we can do then is give you a store credit.”

    Male Customer: “Oh, that’s fine. We’ll find something else.”

    Me: “Superb. Just let me check inside and we’ll take care of this.”

    (I proceed to open the box.)

    Male Customer: “Que? What are you doing?”

    Me: “I have to check the product, sir. It’ll only take a moment.”

    (The male customer looks increasingly taken aback, and I quickly find out why. While the coffee maker is a model we carry, it has a different brand name printed on it, and the plug is visibly a three prong European version, as opposed to the two prong U.S. version.)

    Me: “Sir, are you sure you purchased this in this store?”

    Male Customer: “Yes, certain!”

    Me: “I’m afraid I’m going to have to get my manager. Just a moment.”

    (I page the manager on duty, explain what’s happening and then show him the coffee maker.)

    Manager: “Sir, I’m sorry but we’re not going to be able to credit you for this. You can’t possibly have purchased this here because this is the international version of the machine. We only sell the U.S. version.”

    Male Customer: *sputters, then hangs his head* “Sorry, I must have made a mistake.”

    (He takes the box back and turns to leave, whereupon the female customer whacks him upside the head.)

    Female Customer: *in Spanish* “Oh, no! ‘Americans are all idiots!’ ‘They won’t check if it’s the right item!’ ‘They don’t know about international voltage!’ You are a f***ing disgrace, you know that!? No way is that going back in my luggage for the flight home!”

    Flying Off The Handle Will Get You Handled

    | USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel

    (I’m at an airport, and the flight I’m on has been oversold. The representative calls over the PA system for volunteers willing to be bumped to another flight, in exchange for a free ticket. I am talking with the representative about changing my flight when a man storms up and begins berating the lone employee at the counter.)

    Employee: “I’ve found another flight on [airline] departing in 15 minutes which would get you to your final destination half an hour later than your originally scheduled arrival. Is that okay?”

    Customer: “This is outrageous. My family needs to travel together. I demand that you give my son a boarding pass at once! Stop helping other people!”

    Employee: “Sir, as I have already explained to you, your son bought a standby ticket, while you and your wife bought normal tickets. Your son will not be able to board this plane unless there are empty seats, and we are currently seeking 7 passengers willing to alter their travel plans. Please sit down and I will call you over if that becomes possible.”

    Customer: “No! I was talking to you first; you need to deal with me now!”

    Employee: “Sir, I cannot help you if there are no empty seats, and there currently aren’t, but there may be shortly if you will just wait.”

    Customer: “I shouldn’t have to wait!”

    (I decide to speak up.)

    Me: “Excuse me, but you’re making your own problem worse. I’m one of the 7 people who might be willing to get off this flight, for which I have a valid ticket, but only if the airline can reroute me. This man was trying to do so, but the flight he was going to put me on is leaving in less than 15 minutes. If he can’t get me on that flight, I’m not getting off this one. There is only one employee here; if he is busy with you yelling at him, he can’t process people being rerouted, and your son won’t be allowed on this plane. If you want your family to travel together, get out of the way and let this man do his job.”

    (The customer walks off in a huff and goes back to sitting with his family, muttering all the while. Meanwhile, the employee speaks to me.)

    Employee: “Technically, sir, I have to instruct you to let the airline employees deal with the other passengers.” *pauses* “That said, I’ve booked you an exit row window seat for all of your remaining flights at no additional charge, and please accept these vouchers for meals valid today at any of the airports on your itinerary, in addition to the credit for a round trip ticket we had already mentioned. Here is your new boarding pass, and your new flight departs from [gate] at [time].”

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