Category: Geography

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

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General Positioning Stress

| CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Technology

(The phone rings:)

Caller: “Hello, where is your store located?”

(I let them know the address and area landmarks.)

Caller: “Okay. Is that the nearest one to me?”

Me: “Um, well, I don’t know where you are currently located, so I’m not sure. We have several area locations.”

Caller: “Will you GPS some directions for me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have the capabilities to do that, nor do I have your location. If you can tell me where you are right now, I can maybe give you some verbal directions.”

Caller: “I’m not telling you where I live! Just GPS it.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t believe I can help you. If you are located in [Town], we are your closest location.”

Caller: “JUST GPS IT! YOU ARE GIVING TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! WHY WON’T YOU HELP ME?!

Me: “Yeah, I’m really sorry, but I don’t think you understand how GPS works. I’m sorry. Have a good day!” *click*

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Should Have Listened To Their Direction

| Australia | Geography

(I work for a hardware store. It should be noted that there are about ten stores within 50 km of each other. It’s Sunday morning so there are only four staff members on: a middle-aged white man, a tiny Indian girl, myself, who is a dark hair female, and a blonde lady. A customer calls up and I answer.)

Caller: “Hi, can I please talk to someone in special orders?”

Me: “I am awfully sorry, sir, but our special orders girl isn’t—”

Caller: “I wasn’t finished talking. I want to speak to someone in special orders; I was in earlier today.”

Me: “Like I started saying, sir, she’s not in today and there is no one in with the knowledge to help you out at this time. You—”

Caller: “LOOK HERE. I WAS IN EARLIER TODAY AND I SAW HER! SHE WAS SITTING AT THE DESK WITH TWO REDHEADS AND A CROATIAN MAN. TELL THEM TO STOP TALKING AND DO SOME DAMN WORK. NOW, GIVE ME TO ONE OF THEM. NOW!”

(I am taken aback and confused as no such people have worked here ever.)

Me: “Sir, did you come into [Our Store Location]?”

Caller: “Well, obviously.”

Me: “On [Street]?”

Caller: “Um, NO! I KNOW WHERE I WENT! IT WAS ON [Other Street, at least 13 km away].”

Me: “And that would be your problem then, sir. You have called [Store Location on Street] when you actually went to [Other Location on Other Street].”

Caller: “Oh… Well, then. Who’s the d***-head now…” *click*

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A London House Business

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Extra Stupid, Geography

(A middle-aged lady walks in looking a little lost and is immediately greeted.)

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

Middle-Aged Lady: “Yes, can you please tell me if it is cheaper to fly into London or England?”

Colleague: “I’m sorry?” *thinking she had misheard the question*

Middle-Aged Lady: “Which is cheaper to fly into? London or England?”

Colleague: “Sorry, London is in England.”

Middle-Aged Lady: “Yes, I know, but which one is cheaper to fly into?”

Colleague: *confused about what to do* “London. It is cheaper to fly into London.”

Middle-Aged Lady: “And how much would it cost to fly business class?”

Colleague: “Depending on the time of year and airline, maybe around $8000.”

Middle-Aged Lady: “$8000?! You can buy a house for that price!”

(She then stalks out of the office muttering under her breath about ridiculous prices.)

Colleague: *turning to me* “What just happened?”

Me: “I literally have no idea, but I’d love to see that $8000 house!”

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Listen To The Lady’s Directions

| Grand Canyon, AZ, USA | Geography, Tourists/Travel

(I’m the assistant manager of a deli at the Grand Canyon that, because of the landmark’s worldwide popularity, receives a lot of foreigners, especially Europeans. Consequently, they don’t know the country layout that well and ask any “official” looking employee about it. I am finishing ringing a foreign guest up on the till.)

Me: “And that’ll be [total]; is there anything else I can do for you today?”

Customer: “Yes, I was wondering if you could tell me when we would see the ‘Liberty Lady?’” *he raises his fist like he’s holding a torch* “We’ve been driving since Florida and haven’t seen her yet.”

Me: “Sir, I think you’re going to have to go back the direction where you came from, and then North from there to see her.”

Customer: “You mean, she isn’t here?”

Me: “No, she is not. She is located in New York, which is about 2,500 miles to the North and East of where we are.”

Customer: *turns to wife* “I told you we should have stayed by the water!”

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Throw The Google Book At Them

| PA, USA | Geography, Technology, Wild & Unruly

(I’m working the Reference Desk at my local library. We often get questions from people asking for local phone numbers, addresses, etc., along with the general library questions. Calls like this one, where an elderly patron can’t find a number in their phone book, are very common.)

Me: “[Library], Information Services. This is [My Name].”

Patron: “Uh, I couldn’t find a local business in the phone book. Do you by chance have it in your Google book?”

(The patron is audible, but is slightly hard to hear because her television is so loud that I can clearly hear everything and identify the game show she is watching.)

Me: “I can definitely see if I can find it online for you. What business are you looking for?”

Patron: “Oh, dear… Uh… It was a local discount store…” *incoherent mumbling while [Game Show] is coming through more clearly than she is* “Oh! It’s [Dollar Store #1]! I want the one on [Boulevard I’m unfamiliar with].”

Me: “Sure thing! Let me check if it’s listed.” *pulls up all the listings for [Dollar Store #1]* “Ma’am, I don’t see one on [Boulevard], and I’m also not too familiar with it. Do any of these locations sound nearby?” *lists the locations*

Patron: *suddenly turns mean* “YOU’RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT! It’s on [Boulevard]! You’re supposed to know it and have it in your Google!” *continues ranting*

Me: *trying to avoid just hanging up on her, I suddenly realize there are two different dollar store chains in the city* “Uh, ma’am? Ma’am? Did you by chance mean [Dollar Store #2]? I just looked it up and there’s one on [Boulevard].”

Patron: *another mood flip* “Oh? Maybe. I forgot there were two of them. I’m sorry… Is it by [Department Store]?” *clearly very embarrassed*

Me: “Yes. That’s coming up on the map. Is this what you needed the phone number for?”

Patron: “Yes, and would you mind speaking up? I can’t hear you over my television. What’s the phone number?”

Me: *can’t really speak up, or else I would be shouting* “The number is…” *starts slowly giving the phone number*

(I end up having to repeat the phone number at least ten times. She keeps making up numbers and thinking that some are doubled up. Eventually:)

Me: “Ma’am? I’m just going to start over and give you the number slowly. That way we know that no one is losing their place. All right?”

Patron: “All right. What is it?”

(I slowly give the number, pausing a second between numbers. Right after the area code and first three digits…)

Patron: “Oh, hold on, honey. Would you mind waiting while I go find a pen and paper? I’m not going to remember this whole thing. That’s why I kept getting mixed up!”

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