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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Giving The French Stick, Part Deux

    | Tilbury, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (I am about 18 and working at a sub shop. Two blonde beauties from Quebec come through the door. I live in Ontario and most of the people in my little town speak English; however, I went to French school.)

    Me: “Welcome to [Sandwich Shop]. What can I get you?”

    Customer #1: *in thick French accent, begins placing her order*

    (As I cut the bread and start to prep, I start hearing them talking in French, looking at me but speaking to each other; they didn’t even have the decency to whisper.)

    Customer #1: *in French slang* “That girl is so ugly. Look at her clothes.”

    Customer #2: “I know. Like, why would she even go out in public?”

    (This continues as I make their subs with a big smile on my face. They go on about how they’re worried that my touch will contaminate their food, among other slurs about the province and how much Quebec is better. After paying their total I say in perfectly clear French:)

    Me: “Merci d’avoir choisi [Franchise]. J’espère que t’aime ton voyage en Ontario.” *Thank you for choosing [Franchise]. I hope you like your trip to Ontario.*

    (Their faces turned white and they quickly exited the store, egos tightly tucked between their legs. I apologized to my mom that night for always giving her trouble about making me go to French school!)

    Giving The French Stick

    Suited To Handle This Case

    | Boston, MA, USA | Hotels & Lodging, Rude & Risque

    (A well-known guest comes down to the front desk.)

    Me: “Hi, [Guest], how are you doing?”

    Guest: “Not good at all.”

    Me: “What’s wrong?”

    Guest: “I need to be moved to a new room.”

    (The hotel is at 100% occupancy so there is no way I can move her.)

    Me: “Why would you need to be moved? Is there something wrong with the room?”

    Guest: “Very wrong! There is a loud vibrating throughout the whole room and I won’t be able to sleep tonight unless I move because it is so bothersome!”

    Me: “How about I come take a look in your room to see what the problem is?”

    (We go up to her room, and she wasn’t wrong. The whole room was making a loud vibrating sound and was pretty disruptive.)

    Guest: “See how bad it is? Move me now, please!”

    (I walk around the room and notice the sound is loudest over in the corner by her suitcase.)

    Me: “It seems to be coming from the corner of the room. Maybe something is going on in the room next door?”

    Guest: “I have no idea but it’s really annoying me!”

    (I notice the vibration is coming from her suitcase and I start to get nervous thinking I am about to discover something I am not suppose to see.)

    Me: “Miss, it seems to be coming from your suitcase. Is there anything in there that would be making this sound.”

    Guest: *looking nervous* “Oh, um, I didn’t even think of it coming from my suitcase. Let me go look.”

    (She went over to the suitcase, looking embarrassed, and I started to feel awkward. I felt like I should have left before I saw what she pulled out but she told me to stay. My suspicion ended up being right; she pulled a vibrator out of her suitcase and apologized for the hassle. Then she continued to talk to me about unrelated events while casually holding the vibrator.)

    Faster The Phones The Slower The Service

    | Ada, OK, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Technology

    (I work in a popular hardware store. The following happens as I’m dealing with a family of five or six. The mother and one of her daughters approach my register, both looking at their cell phones.)

    Me: “Good afternoon! Did you find everything you needed today?”

    (Both women stare at their phones; 15 seconds go by.)

    Woman: “Huh?”

    Me: *repeats myself*

    (Another 15 seconds go by.)

    Woman: “Oh, yeah, just this stuff here.”

    (I proceed to ring up their merchandise.)

    Me: “Okay! You’re total is [total]; would you like to use [Store] card on your purchase?”

    (Neither the woman or her daughter answer me. Another 15 seconds go by.)

    Woman: “What?”

    Me: *repeats myself*

    Woman: “Oh! They aren’t done playing yet. We have some more.”

    (We wait for a few minutes while the rest of the woman’s family “plays” with some of the stuff we have set out on display so that people can test out the merchandise before they buy it. The rest of the family finally comes to the register, but no one says anything to me although I have smiled and asked what else I can get for them. They are now all on their phones and I ask repeatedly for the husband to please tell me what they need from a different department. Several more minutes follow of me asking for information, followed by silence, and then a confused “what?” As the rest of their merchandise is relayed to me between riveting bouts of cell phone induced silence, I finally complete the order. By this time I am extremely frustrated, but manage to smile and try to tell them their new total.)

    Me: “Okay! Your new total is—”

    Woman: “Wait! I have a coupon!”

    (She proceeds to scroll frantically on her phone. When she turns it to face me, it is the store’s cell-phone app, but it is on a black screen with only a search bar showing.)

    Woman: “What do I do with this? It’s for five dollars off.”

    Me: *finally fed up* “Ma’am, I don’t know. Our coupons are actually sent through—”

    Woman: “Oh! Never mind. Let’s just finish this up.”

    Me: *unable to control my exasperation and sarcasm drips through* “Thank you!”

    Woman: “Wow! You sure are in a hurry to get rid of us now, aren’t you?!”

    Me: *internally screaming*

    Works With Different Fibres

    | Finland | Bizarre, Home Improvement

    (During a day off, I get a phone call.)

    Me: “[My Name].”

    Caller: “Hi, this is [Caller], about [some renovation project]…”

    Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

    Caller: “…Isn’t this [Plumber]?”

    Me: “No, this is a private number.”

    Caller: “Well, do you by any chance do plumbing for living or something like that?”

    Me: “Telecom engineer, so different kind of pipes. Sorry.” *click*

    Whistling With A Specific Porpoise

    | USA | Bizarre, Family & Kids

    (I work as a cashier. It’s a slow Monday, so I’m at the front tidying up shelves. A woman wearing dark sunglasses and holding the harness of a dog comes walking in and stops about five feet from the door.)

    Me: “Hello!”

    Woman: “Hello!” *starts whistling loudly and walks a few more feet into the store* “Mom!”

    Me: *raise eyebrows*

    Woman: *sees me looking at her* “It’s okay. We have echolocation!” *starts whistling loudly again*

    (After a few more seconds, nobody has answered her whistling.)

    Woman: “Nope. Not this store.”

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