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  • November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

    Putting Your Stamp On The Language

    | Yellowknife, NWT, Canada | Language & Words

    (A family friend is visiting from Quebec. His English is mostly good but suffers from occasional lapses.)

    Clerk: “How may I help you today?”

    Friend: “Yes, hello. I need to buy some timbers.”

    Clerk: “Some what?”

    Friend: “Timbers.”

    Clerk: “Sir, this is a post office. Perhaps you want the hardware store?”

    Friend: “No, no, timbers. To mail the letters with. The little pictures? They are, um, gluey on the back?”

    Clerk: *light-bulb moment* STAMPS. You want stamps.”

    Friend: “Yes! Stamps.”

    (The French word for “stamp” is “timbre”, pronounced like “TAM-bruh”.)

    Friend: *to me, in French* “Why didn’t you help me?”

    Me: *in French* “I thought it was funny.”

    Friend: *in French* “What’s a ‘timber,’ then?”

    Me: *in French* “It’s another word for wood.”

    Friend: *in French* “Well, that makes NO sense. English is a crazy language.” *in English* “Yes, I will have a book of stampings, please.”

    Their Poetry Isn’t Priceless Yet

    | Tallahassee, FL, USA | Language & Words, Transportation

    (I’m a customer in a post office, mailing a submission for a national poetry contest (the name of which is stated on the envelope). The employee helping me has been entering information into the system.)

    Employee: “So. how much is this poetry worth if lost?”

    Me: “Only my heart and soul!”

    Employee: “I’m just gonna go with a hundred dollars…”

    Trying To Remember Without A Dismember

    | BC, Canada | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at the customer service desk of a member-owned co-op store.)

    Me: “Thanks for calling [Store]. How can I help you?”

    Member: “This is [Name]. I need to phone [Local Celebrity] but I don’t have his phone number and he’s not on the phone book.”

    Me: “I’m sorry. We can’t give out the phone numbers of our members.”

    Member: “But you don’t understand! This is very important! He is coming over for dinner, and I was planning to serve chicken, but now I’m thinking he may be a vegetarian! I have to ask him!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. I still can’t give you his phone number.”

    Member: “But I’m a member! I own the store! You have to do what I say!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. I can’t just give other member’s information from their file.”

    Member: “Fine! Can you call him instead, ask him if he eats chicken, and then call me back?”

    Selective Stealing

    | Portugal | Bizarre, Criminal/Illegal, Money

    (I’m attending to a client that has her bag and other stuff on the counter, and has to fill out some forms.)

    Me: “Do you mind if I attend to another client while you fill out the forms?”

    Client #1: “Sure!”

    (I call another client, and she has to fill out some forms as well, so I return to Client #1.)

    Me: “All done. That will be €5.50.”

    Client #1: “Where’s my money?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

    Client #1: “I had my money right here in the counter, and it’s gone!”

    (We both look for the money, trying to figure out if it has fallen to the floor. Suddenly I look at Client #2, and realize what has happened.)

    Me: *to Client #2* “Ma’am, did you take the money that was on the counter?”

    Client #2: *after a long pause* “Yes, I did.”

    Client #1: “Why on earth would you do that?!”

    Client #2: “Well, I didn’t know it was yours; I thought it was hers!” *points to me*

    Me: “So that would make it okay?!”

    Client #2: *happily* “Exactly!”

    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 21

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

    Me: “Hi, how can I help you today?”

    Customer: “I need a $500 money order.”

    Me: “Okay. It’s $501.20.”

    Customer: *hands over $7 cash*

    Me: “You’re still $494.20 short.”

    Customer: “What? What do you mean?”

    Me: “We need $500, plus $1.20 for processing the money order.”

    Customer: “This isn’t enough?”

    Me: “Sorry, a $500 money order costs $500.”

    Customer: “Oh. I didn’t know that.”

    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 20
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 19
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 18
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 17
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 16
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 15
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 14
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 13
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 12

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