November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

His Translation Is A Sham(rock)

| Portland, OR, USA | Bad Behavior, Language & Words

(I work as a cashier. Two customers are in my line: an older man with a grimace and a younger man with a thick Irish accent. The Irishman, Customer #1, has jostled the older man, Customer #2.)

Customer #1: “Hey, watch it!”

Customer #2:You watch it, boy! Why’d you get in my way?”

Customer #1: “Get in your way? Oh, come on!”

Customer #2: *looks at me* “You saw that, right? He bumped his cart right into me!”

Customer #1: “Look, let’s not get her involved. You can just go in front of me. ‘Pogue mahone’ (póg mo thóin), alright?

Customer #2: “What was that?”

Customer #1: “Oh, ‘Pogue mahone’? It’s an Irish phrase. We say it when we want to end an argument. Here you go, you can go first.”

Customer #2: “Darn right I will. Youth these days need to learn to be a little more respectful.”

(I check him out and he leaves. Customer #1 steps up, and I begin checking his things out.)

Customer #1: “I sure hope he doesn’t look up what that really means when he gets home.”

Me: “Why? What does it mean?”

Customer #1: “It’s Irish for ‘Kiss my a**’.”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 5

| Athens, GA, USA | Bad Behavior

(I’m a customer walking around the kitchen section of a department store.)

Woman: *aggressively* “Where are your housewares?!”

(I look around, utterly bewildered, but realize she is talking to me. We’re already standing in what I’d consider the housewares section.)


Me: “IN. MY. HOUSE. B****!”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 4

Good Employees Can Fill In The Blanks

| Santa Clarita, CA, USA | Family & Kids

(It is 2000. I am working in the electronics department at a well-known chain department store, when a boy of about 13 years old walks up to my counter.)

Boy: “Um… like, uh… do you, like, uh… have any, uh… like, uh… they’re like, um… they’re like, uh, movies… uh… but, like… they, like… they don’t… they, like, don’t have anything on them?”

Me: *after staring for a moment* “Do you mean blank videocassettes?”

Boy: “Yeah!”

Waaay Lost In Translation

| Aurora, CO, USA | Language & Words

(It is a pretty mild day, and most everyone is buzzing about the new Ikea that has opened up the month prior. I am chatting with a particularly effervescent woman with a full cart to scan. She has asked about my studies.)

Me: “I’m just going to school downtown. I’m studying Spanish and German.”

Customer: “Wow! That’s impressive! Pretty and smart!”

Me: “Oh, well thank you! I actually pick up languages easily. I’ve also studied Chinese and French, and for the past year my best friend has been teaching me Swedish.”

Customer: *scoffs* “Swedish? Ha! Like you could speak Swedish!”

Me: “Yes, actually I can. He actually was born and raised in Stockholm… he’s still living there, actually. He’s Swedish, teaching me Swedish, so I can go to Sweden.”

Customer: “Well, I know people who work at Ikea, and they know Swedish. So, tell me, what’s ‘Hello,’ then?”

Me: “‘Hej,’ or ‘Hallo.’ That can be followed up with ‘Hur mår du’ and other various phrases.”

Customer: “Ha! I knew you didn’t speak Swedish. That’s not how you say ‘Hello!'”

Me: “Yes, it is, actually.”

Customer: “No, it’s not! My friends work at Ikea! They would know! You’re not speaking Swedish. That’s not Swedish!”

Me: “Okay, then apparently my Swedish friend doesn’t know how to speak his native tongue. How do you say, ‘Hello’, in Swedish?”

(The customer looks proud in her win and straightens herself.)

Customer: “It’s f*******e.”

(My jaw drops. The translation of this is roughly ‘c***face’.)

Me: “Yes… yes sweetie, that’s exactly how you say that. You’re right. Have a nice day.”

(She left looking incredibly satisfied. The moment I got off of work, I texted my friend. He and I still laugh about this over a year later.)

Now That Is What I Call Up-Selling

| AZ, USA | Extra Stupid, Money

(Our store matches print ads for other stores in the area.)

Customer: “These are on sale for $4.50 at [other store].”

Me: “Ours are $3.89 for that.”

Customer: “I insist that you ad match this for me.”

Me: “Okay…”