Category: Geography

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

Canada: America’s Hat, Part 8

| Halifax, NS, Canada | Canada, Extra Stupid, Geography

(I work in a call center dealing with Americans and insurance claims. A caller calls from Washington state.)

Caller: “Where am I calling to?”

Me: “That would be Halifax, Nova Scotia, sir.”

Caller: “Where’s that?”

Me: “That’s in Canada, sir.”

Caller: “Whoa… so that’s like a foreign country?”

Me: “Yes, sir, we’re located above the US.”

Caller: “Really? You learn something new every day!”

(After the call ends…)

Supervisor: “You should have told him Nova Scotia and Canada were suburbs of New York.”

Related:
Canada: America’s Hat, Part 7
Canada: America’s Hat, Part 6
Canada: America’s Hat, Part 5
Canada: America’s Hat, Part 4
Canada: America’s Hat, Part 3
Canada: America’s Hat, Part 2
Canada: America’s Hat

A Directionless Conversation, Part 3

| Germany | Extra Stupid, Geography, Hotels & Lodging

(I answer the phone.)

Me: “Good evening, you have reached the front desk. How may I assist you?”

Guest: “I’m lost.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that; where are you right now?”

Guest: “I don’t know; I told you I was lost!”

Me: “Where are you calling from right now?”

Guest: *annoyed* “My cell phone!”

Me: “I understand that, ma’am, but I need to know where you are if you would like directions to the hotel. Is there a street sign near you?”

Guest: “Yes.”

(There is a very long pause.)

Me: “Can you tell me what it says?”

Guest: “No.”

Me: “No?”

Guest: “No. It’s dark; I can’t read it.”

Me: “Ma’am, if you would like me to give you directions I will need to know where you currently are. Can you please tell me the street name?”

Guest: “Fine…”

Related:
A Directionless Conversation, Part 2
A Directionless Conversation

No Vocation For Location, Part 8

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, Geography, Tourists/Travel

(We have a screen with special offers on the wall. Customer #1 is reading the board as offers flash by.)

Customer #1: “Wait, Paris is in Europe?”

Customer #2: “Really? Where did you think it was? Asia?”

Customer #1: “I never really paid much attention in Geometry class.”

(Customer #2 starts laughing as Customer #1 realizes what she just said.)

Customer #1: “Yeah… didn’t pay much attention at all.”

Related:
No Vocation For Location, Part 7
No Vocation For Location, Part 6
No Vocation For Location, Part 5
No Vocation For Location, Part 4

That Kind Of Behavior Is Just Not Cricket

| London, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography

(I’m standing in line at a corner shop. The customer at the till is a typical 40-something skinhead, wearing an England football shirt. He’s harassing the cashier because of the difference between the display price of a packet of cigarettes, and what he’s being charged.)

Customer: “THIS IS F****** RIDICULOUS! IT’S ILLEGAL!”

Cashier: “I’m sorry, sir, but due to the changes in taxes, we’ve had to increase the price. We haven’t had time to change the signs yet.”

Customer: “THAT’S BULLSHIT! YOU’RE NOT FROM HERE! WHERE ARE YOU FROM?!”

(The cashier isn’t ethnically British, but he’s been working at the store for a few years now and is a pretty decent guy.)

Cashier: “That doesn’t matter, sir. Could you just pay for your items?”

Customer: “I SAID WHERE ARE YOU FROM?!”

Cashier: *rolling his eyes* “Sri Lanka.”

(The customer tries to think of an insult using the tiny amount of brainpower not given over to alcohol and rage.)

Customer: “…yeah … well your cricket team is s***!”

(The customer then storms off after paying for the cigarettes. I go up to the register.)

Me: “Didn’t Sri Lanka just win the Cricket World Cup?”

Extreme Foreign Interests

| England, UK | At The Checkout, Geography, Language & Words

(I suffered from a speech disorder as a child, and while I speak perfectly now, I have a slight twang in my voice. I’m on the checkout when a smartly-dressed customer approaches the till.)

Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

Customer: “…where are you from?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Where. Are. You. From?”

Me: “Um, I’m local, if that’s what you mean.”

Customer: “No, where were you born?”

Me: “In [local hospital].”

Customer: *sighs* “Where are your parents from?”

Me: “They’re from [local town] and [local city].”

Customer: *getting irate* “I just want you to tell me where you’re from! Explain your accent!”

Me: “Oh! My accent! Yes, there’s an explanation for that; see when I was a kid—”

Customer: “I don’t want to hear your life story! Why are you ashamed of your heritage? You are probably bringing shame to your family by denying them! I get that there are racists here, but you don’t need to deny who you are! I won’t judge you!”

Me: “Sir, I don’t know what you want me to say.”

Customer: “Tell me your parents were born in a different country!”

Me: “Um… they were born in [other country]?”

Customer: “Yes! See how easy that is? Why couldn’t you have just said that in the first place?!”

(He grabs his bags and marches off. I turn to the next customer.)

Me: “Afternoon!”

Customer #2: “That was a lie, right?”

Me: “Yep. How can I help you today?”

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