Category: Geography

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

They’re Out For The Count(y)

, | TX, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography

(I work for a call center for a well know bank. Due to concerns about fraud, for any transaction that the bank deems ‘high risk’ we have to verify our customers further before we do a transaction. One of the ways to do it is to ask questions that are pulled from their credit report.)

Customer: “I need to change my address; I am moving Tuesday.”

Me: “Ok, sir, I can understand why that would be important to you. I will need to verify you more fully before we proceed. I will ask you a couple of public record questions, followed by a ‘none of the above’ or ‘does not apply’. Please select which opens fits you best, okay?”

Customer: “Go ahead.”

Me: “What county is on record with [Bank] for your residential address?” *I read the options*

Customer: “I don’t have a county. I live in a city.”

Me: “Yes, sir, I understand that. Do you live in the United States?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “Then you do live in a county; what county do you live in?”

Customer: “OH! I heard you wrong. You said country! I live in the United States.”

Me: “No, sir. That is not a county. You know, like, Orange County in California?”

Customer: “Wait, the color or the food?”

(Needless to say the customer didn’t pass the authentication and ended up needing to go to the branch. I wonder if that guy ever found out what a county was…)

Those Must Be Some Magic Beans

| Richmond, VA, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography

Customer: “I need a pound of beans. Do you have any Mexican beans?”

Me: “Today all we have are beans from Ethiopia and Sumatra.”

Customer: “Which one of those is from Mexico?”

Crimea River

| Seattle, WA, USA | Geography

(My parents and I have been living in the USA for about twenty years. We moved here from Ukraine and still have a house there for vacation trips. My mom sends money to a neighbor each month to keep an eye on the property and maintain the grounds.)

Mom: *hands form to bank teller the form with the information for the recipient, including the address*

Teller: “Umm… where are you trying to send this money to?”

Mom: “To a friend in Ukraine.”

Teller: “Ukraine? I’ve never heard of it…”

Mom: “It’s a country in Eastern Europe, near Russia.”

Teller: “Are you sure? I’ve never heard of it.”

Mom: “Well, I lived there for nearly 40 years before moving to America. So I’m quite sure.”

Teller: “I don’t know if we can send money there. I’m not even sure if it’s a real place, I’ve never heard of it.”

Mom: “I’m sure you can. I’ve been sending money there every single month for years and have never had a problem at this bank before.”

(At this point I’m getting annoyed so I pull out my smartphone and bring up a world map to show her.)

Me: “See? It’s right there. On the map. Do you trust the map?”

Teller: “I guess. I just don’t know why I’ve never heard of it.”

Me: *rolls eyes*

Teller: “Okay. So, the city is [Name] but you’ve left the space for the state blank.”

Mom: “Ukraine doesn’t have any states. It’s a pretty small country.”

Teller: “But why does the form have a space for ‘state,’ then?”

Me: “Because some countries have separate states or provinces. But not all of them. Ukraine doesn’t, so on the mailing address it’s just the city, country, and postal code.”

Teller: “But the form…”

(By this time my mom and I are getting frustrated since we’re wasting time on an errand that usually is pretty straightforward and quick. )

Mom: “Can you please just enter the information in the computer? I don’t have time to explain how geography works to you.”

Teller: *enters the information into the computer system* “Oh, wow, it seems to have gone through! I guess you were right.”

Zoned Out Of Time-Zones

| KY, USA | Crazy Requests, Geography, Time

(At work, we have the ability to check stock not only at our store, but at other stores in the immediate vicinity. We can call those other stores and have them hold items for customers.)

Customer: “Do you have the larger size of this candleholder in stock? I’d like to take a look at it.”

Me: “Well, I haven’t seen it, but maybe we haven’t gotten it in yet. Let me check for you.” *I check the availability and see that not only do we not have any, but there aren’t any in the local stores* “Oh, it doesn’t look like we have any in stock here or in town.”

Customer: “That’s okay; I was asking for my sister. Do you know if the stores in California carry any?”

Me: “I couldn’t tell you.”

Customer: “Can you call them?”

Me: “Ma’am, even if I knew any of the California stores’ numbers, I couldn’t.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Because it’s six in the morning in California. They probably won’t open for a few hours.”

Customer: “But you’re open now.”

Me: “Ma’am, we’re in a different time zone.”

Customer: “Can you call them anyway?”

Me: “I’d love to, but again, it’s very early in the morning there.”

(I check the inventory again and notice something about the category of the item.)

Customer: “Can you please just call them?”

Me: “I could, but it wouldn’t do much good. This item is online only.”

Needs Some Geographical Assurance

| ON, Canada | Geography

(I work for a Canadian cell phone provider. I live in Canada, and my customers are Canadians.)

Customer: “Hey I’m travelling to Los Cabos and the last time I went there I added an American add-on and I was still charged, so I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Me: “Of course, sir, I’ll be happy to help. It seems that Los Cabos is actually in Mexico which is in Zone One. These are some of the add-ons we offer for Zone One.” *provides different options*

Customer: “Wow, those are pretty expensive… The last time I got some travel add-ons they weren’t so expensive!”

Me: “Right, they gave you the wrong travel add-on, remember? The US travel pass is less expensive but you’re going to Mexico.”

Customer: “But Mexico is part of the United States!”

Me: “Um… No, Mexico is not part of the United States, sir.”

Customer: “Wait, Mexico is NOT part of the United States?!”

Me: “No, sir, it’s not part of the United States.”

Customer: “Huh, I guess they changed it.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure it’s been like that for a while now.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “You know, Trump and his wall to keep them out and all…”

Customer: “…”

Me: “All right, then, would you like to add one of the travel passes?”

Customer: “I’ll have to talk to my wife about this.”

Me: “Okay, have a good night!”

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