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    Mountainous Gaps Of Knowledge

    | Brighton, UK | Tourists/Travel

    Me: “Hello, can I help you?”

    Customer: “Hello. I want to go on holiday this summer. I’d like to visit somewhere a bit different.”

    Me: “Would you be interested in visiting mountains or skiing at all?”

    Customer: “That could be fun. Except I don’t like the cold.”

    Me: “Well places like the Pyrenees are in Spain, so it’s very hot at ground level and there’s lots to see.”

    Customer: “What? No, mountains are cold. They have snow on.”

    Me: “Yes, the peaks are colder because they are at a higher altitude.”

    Customer: “The bottom bit is hot?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “…but I thought mountains only grew in cold places?”

    Shogun The Way To Go Home

    | Tokyo, Japan | Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at the local train station. Having spent half my life living in Los Angeles, and the other living in Tokyo, I speak both English and Japanese. The other station masters tend to bring tourists to me, since their English isn’t as good as mine. A tourist approaches me and speaks loudly, slowly, and with very large hand gestures)

    Tourist: “I’m trying to get to [station]! Can you help me?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. I actually grew up in Los Angeles, so I can speak English.”

    Tourist: *still speaking in the same way* “No, I’m not from Los Angeles! I’m trying to get to [station]!”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I just meant that I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles.”

    Tourist: “No! Not Los Angeles! [Station]!”

    (The woman’s husband, hearing his wife shouting, joins us.)

    Tourist’s Husband: *to his wife* “What’s going on?”

    Tourist: “This dumb guy keeps asking if we’re from Los Angeles!”

    Tourist’s Husband: “Why would he think that?”

    Tourist: “I don’t know!”

    Tourist’s Husband: *to me, speaking clearly, but not extremely slowly* “We’re trying to get to [station].”

    (I provide directions to the station.)

    Tourist’s Husband: “You speak English very well!”

    Me: “Thank you sir. As I tried to explain to your wife, I grew up in Los Angeles, so I speak English.”

    Tourist’s Husband: *sighs* “I’m sorry you had to put up with her. Thanks for the directions.”

    (As they are walking away, I hear the woman proudly tell her husband, “I told you those Japanese lessons we took would pay off!”)

    Of Half-Baked Requests And Baked-In Clothes

    | Calgary, AB, Canada | Crazy Requests, Top

    (I work in a custom ceramics shop were we offer a touch-up/repainting service. A woman in a formal dress comes in with an armful of garden gnomes.)

    Customer: “I need these gnomes to match this dress.”

    Me: “Okay, we can do that. Do you mind if we take a picture for reference?”

    Customer: “It’s for a wedding.”

    Me: “That’s nice.”

    Customer: “It’s this afternoon.”

    Me: “This afternoon?”

    Customer: “Yes, at three. What, did you think I just walked around dressed like this all the time?”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but we can’t help you. It would take the better part of a day just to paint all these little guys, and it takes at least three hours for the glaze to dry completely.”

    Customer: “You don’t need to paint them! Just get them to change their little clothes!”

    Me: “Ma’am, these are garden gnomes.”

    Customer: “Exactly! Now, unfreeze them and make them change! I’m going to be late!”

    The Gift Of Unreason

    | Washington, USA | Crazy Requests, Money

    Me: “Thank you for calling, how may I assist you?”

    Caller: “I would like a gift card.”

    Me: “You would like to purchase a gift card?”

    Caller: “No.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. You said you wanted a gift card.”

    Caller: “Well, yes. We’ve been shopping at your stores for so many years, we feel we should get a gift card from you.”

    Celebrity Begins At Home

    | Daytona Beach, FL, USA | Crazy Requests

    (I am taking calls for a charity.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [charity]. Are you calling this evening to make a donation?”

    Caller: “Sure I will, but I want to talk to on of the famous people first.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but that isn’t possible. However, if I take your donation, I’m sure that they will be grateful.”

    Caller: “Well what row are you in? Can you wave to me?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m not on TV. I’m in a call center that handles the excess calls from generous people like yourself.”

    Caller: “Well just get up and tap [celebrity] on the shoulder! I’m sure he wouldn’t mind taking my call!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid I’m not in the studio at the moment.”

    Caller: “Well, I’ll just call back I’m sure the next person will know some one famous! You should stop hogging all the famous people!”

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