Category: Geography

You may call them “lost”, but we prefer the name “geographically disadvantaged.”

This Man Is An Island

| Cork, Ireland | Extra Stupid, Geography

(I work in a call centre taking reservations for a large hotel chain. Some of the exchanges will stick with me a very long time.)

Me: “Good Afternoon. Thank you for calling [Hotel] central reservations. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “You sound weird; where are you located?”

(The caller is overflow from our American centre and has a strong southern US accent himself.)

Me: “We’re in Ireland, sir.”

Caller: “What island?”

Me: *trying to pronounce the ‘r’ as clearly as possible* “Ireland, it—”

Caller: “Yeah, I heard you. What island?”

Me: “No, the Republic of Ireland. It—”

Caller: “Look if y’all don’t know what island you’re on, why the h*** would I get a room from you?!”

Red Alert!

| São Paulo, Brazil | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Geography

(Someone call us requesting us to go to their house get their computer so we can repair in our shop.)

Caller: “Hello! Can you come here get my computer to fix it?”

Boss: “Sure! What is your address?”

Caller: “It’s [Street], [house number]. It’s right in the intersection. It’s a two-floor yellow house.”

Boss: “[My Name], go and get the computer; it’s easy to find.”

(I go there and find the house number, but it’s red, and all houses have two floors. I ring the bell nonetheless but no answer the door, so I call my boss.)

Me: “[Boss], I’m here at the number, but no one is coming and the house is red.”

Boss: “Okay, give me a minute. I’ll call them.” *calls Customer* “Hey, [Customer], my employee is at the number but I think it’s the wrong place. Can you explain again how to get there?”

Customer: “Sure! It’s [Same Street and number], a two floor yellow house.”

Boss: “There’s just a red house at that street, and no one answered the door.”

Customer: “Oh, yeah. It’s yellow, but we painted it red last month.”

Going On A Mission To The Mission District

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Geography, Language & Words, Religion

(Being in San Francisco, our store sometimes gets tourists, seeing as it’s local and family-run rather than a big chain. It’s a very slow day, and a couple walks in, identifiable as tourists from their southern accent.)

Customer: *walks up to me and begins speaking in Spanish, with a VERY heavy Anglophone accent*

Me: “Uhm… You can speak English if you’d like, ma’am.”

Customer: “Oh!” *seems pleasantly surprised* “I was just wondering, do you have any local Bibles?”

Me: “I could show you to our religious section, if you’d like?”

Customer: “No, no, I want a LOCAL Bible. I think the word is similar in Spanish. Your English is very good, by the way.”

Me: *somewhat confused* “Okay, I’ll show you a few from our selection.”

(I leave from behind the counter and take three different versions of the Bible from the shelf, and then come back to the lady.)

Me: *lays Bibles on the table* “Any of these?”

Customer: “No, no, I said LOCAL Bibles. These are in English.” *says something Spanish again*

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish. English is my native language. And I don’t know what you mean by ‘local’ Bibles.”

Customer: *getting upset* “You live in San Francisco; of course you speak Spanish. You don’t have any local Bibles?”

Me: *giving up on arguing with her* “Do you mean a Spanish-language Bible?”

Customer: “No, I mean a LOCAL Bible. We need it for our mission trip.”

(I leave the counter again and this time get a Spanish Bible, which I bring to her.)

Me: “Is this what you’re looking for?”

Customer: “YES! Finally. Gracias.”

(The rest of the transaction went normally, and she left with her husband.)

The Value Of The Dollar Is Niagara Falling

| Niagara Falls, ON, Canada | Canada, Geography, Money, Tourists/Travel

(The company I work for is one of the many which takes photographs of people in tourist destinations.)

Customer: “I want my photos. They are really nice.”

(The customer proceeds to take out American currency, which is not exact.)

Me: “We can accept the American dollar, but I cannot give you back change in American. You will receive $1.75 cents back in Canadian.”

Customer: “WHAT? WHY?”

Me: “Well, we are in Canada, and it’s our company’s policy. I can take card, if you prefer.”

Customer: “No. I don’t want ANYMORE of your Canadian money. I can’t use it. I don’t care how small the change is, I DO NOT WANT IT.”

Fellow Employee: “You can use it up at the coffee shop if you’d like—”

Customer: “NO. NO COFFEE. NO MORE OF THIS.”

Me: “Well, there’s nothing I can do, then. I am sorry.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous.”

Me: “You are in Canada. Would you anticipate getting American back in say, Britain? Australia? It’s our legal tender. It’s a courtesy we extend to you because our banks also use Canadian currency.”

Customer: “MAYBE I’ll just order online. This is ridiculous.”

Me: “All right, please do so. Have a nice day.”

They Are Bali Listening

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Geography, Tourists/Travel

(I am in the bakery to buy bread when I overhear an argument. It’s clear that this customer is a regular, since the bakers have a bit of a laugh with him.)

Customer: “Where were you last week?”

Baker: “I was in Bali.”

Customer: “What? Why were you there?”

Baker: “Uh… for a holiday?”

Customer: “But why go on holiday?”

Baker: “Because… I wanted to? And it was nice there?”

(The customer goes on and on about Bali being a horrible place, so I decide to pitch in.)

Me: “What’s wrong with Bali? It’s a beautiful place.”

Customer: “Never been. Don’t want to go. I’m allergic to Bali.”

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