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    Lost In Translation

    | Seattle, WA, USA |

    Me: “Hello, this is Classifieds, can I help you?”

    Customer: *with a heavy accent* “Yays, I put een an ad, and eet sayes ‘peacock truck’ but eet should be ‘peacock truck’.”

    Me: “The ad says ‘peacock truck’, but it should be ‘peacock truck’? I don’t understand the difference. Did they get the color wrong or something?”

    Customer: “No, no, peacock – eet ees not a color, eet ees a peacock, a peacock truck!” *starts swearing in Spanish*

    Me: “Sir, is there anyone else there who might be able to talk to me? I’m sorry; I can’t understand what you’re trying to tell me.”

    Customer: “Eet is seemple, eet ees a peacock truck – Pee, uh, ee, ee, uh…”

    Me: “Sir…are you trying to spell ‘pickup’? Is it a pickup truck you’re selling?”

    Customer: ‘Yays, yays, eet ees a peacock truck, like I say before.”

    Me: “Right, sir, I’ll fix that for you. We’ll run the ad for two days extra, to make up for lost time”.

    Customer: “Thank you. Goodbye.” *hangs up*

    (I receive another call later that day.)

    Me: “Hello, this is Classifieds, can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I went to look at this truck that was advertised in your paper, and it wasn’t what they said it was. It’s false advertising!”

    Me: “What was the problem? What was wrong?”

    Customer: ‘Well, the ad said it was a peacock truck, and I love that color. We went to see it, and it was black! That’s not peacock!”

    We Just Report The News

    | Jackson, TN, USA |

    (Our newspaper always gets strange calls. After one story I wrote about first aid training at the Red Cross, I get the following call from a reader…)

    Me: “Hello, [newspaper]. How may I help you?”

    Reader: “Yeah, I’m here at the Red Cross.”

    Me: “… okay?”

    Reader: “They just told me the first aid class you wrote about is full.”

    Me: “Oh, okay.”

    Reader: *silence*

    Me: “Sir? What’s the problem?”

    Reader: “Well, I have a friend who really needs to get into this class, but they said it’s full!”

    Me: “I’m so sorry, sir.”

    Reader: “Well?”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Reader: “Well, what are you going to do about it? Can’t you tell them to add a seat to the class?”

    Me: “Umm, no, sir. I’m just a reporter. I can’t tell the Red Cross what to do. I’m sorry your friend can’t get in the class in time.”

    Reader: “Well, what is he supposed to do? He needs the training now!”

    Me: “Well, I believe the hospital teaches a first aid class.”

    Reader: “They do? Can you call them for me?”

    Me: “No, sir, I’m afraid I have a tight deadline today. I can’t take the time to look into that. Maybe you could call your friend and tell him?”

    Reader: *sarcastically* “Yeah, whatever. Thanks for your help.”

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