Category: Geography

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

Taiwannical Behavior, Part 2

| Taiwan | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Politics

(I am Caucasian and work in Taiwan. Taiwan is a de facto independent country, even though China claims otherwise. Chinese tourist are notorious for harassing the locals on that issue, but I never had to deal with that personally.)

Customer: *rudely, as she enter the store* “You work here?”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Customer: “You live in this city?”

Me: “Yup, for many years now.”

Customer: “Why you choose here and not Beijing?”

Me: *cautiously, as I realize from her accent she is Chinese* “I like the life here.”

Customer: “But Beijing is better! You should come to Beijing instead.”

Me: “Beijing is probably very nice. Maybe I will visit someday.”

Customer: “You better move. This city is no good. Beijing is better.”

Me: “So, may I assume you are from Beijing?”

Customer: *proudly* “Yes, I am!”

Me: “Cool! So we are both foreigners here!”

(She gave me a very black, angry look, then left the store without saying another word.)

Related:
Taiwannical Behavior

Caribbean There, Done That

| London, England, UK | Bizarre, Family & Kids, Geography

(I’m a volunteer lunch-server in a nursing home, but I’ve spent the last month working in the south of France. I’ve picked up a slight tan, but usually my skin is as white as it gets. One lady stares at me oddly as I bring her her food.)

Lady: “Where are you from?”

Me: “From here, ma’am. I live a few roads away.”

Lady: “No, I mean where were you born?”

Me: “Finchley, originally, but I moved—”

Lady: “No, no, no. Where are you from?”

Me: “Uh. London, ma’am. Britain.”

Lady: “And your parents?”

Me: “Also from London.”

Lady: *squints at me* “No, you’re lying. There’s no shame in being Jamaican, you know. You can tell me.”

Me: “I… What?”

French Disconnection, Part 2

| Edinburgh Scotland, UK | Funny Names, Geography

(I’m French but have been working in Scotland for a few years. My accent is not as strong as the typical French one, but most people can guess where I’m from, especially Brits. Sometimes customers think I’m German. A rather drunk customer comes in.)

Customer: *reading my name tag* “How do you say your name?”

Me: *says my not very usual but definitely French name*

Customer: “So,where are you from?”

Me: “Try to guess!”

Customer: “Poland?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Estonia?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Lithuania?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Latvia?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: Russia?

Me: No

Customer: Republic Czech?

Me: No

Customer: “Poland?”

Me: “No, you already asked.”

Customer: “Oh right! Germany?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Dutch?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Romanian?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “You are from Eastern Europe right?”

Me: “Nope.”

Customer: “Well, you look like it!”

(He keeps going and names almost every country in Europe, some twice, but none where people actually speaks French. The evening is slow so I don’t mind and it’s actually quite fun. Finally:)

Customer: “So where are you from then?”

Me: “France.”

Customer: “I knew it!”

Related:
French Disconnection

The Oregon Fail, Part 2

| Spokane, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Canada, Geography

(I’m working at a national retail electronics store. We’re required to attempt to collect demographic data in the form of a ZIP code, unless the customer is from another country.)

Me: “That will be [total]. May I have your ZIP code?”

Customer: “I’m from Ontario. ”

Me: “Ontario….?”

Customer: “Oh, my god! You Americans are so ignorant about any other country! You should know it’s in Canada! Honestly!”

Me: “Ma’am, there is an Ontario, Oregon and an Ontario, California in the US that I know of. Since you’re from Canada, I don’t need your information. Have a nice day.”

(The customer’s face turned red, and they left immediately.)

Related:
From NotAlwaysRelated:
The Oregon Fail

Being Careful With Words Is Now A Mute Point

, | Tarpon Springs, FL, USA | Geography, Technology

(I front the calls for an insurance call center. I’m on the phone with a customer, chit-chatting a little about the weather difference, since he is from California. I put my mic on mute while I try to see which agents are free to transfer the call to. In the meantime, I hear the customer talking to his friend in the background.)

Friend: “What’s that about?”

Customer: “Something about life insurance. But you should hear her. She sounds hot! I wish I had it on speaker. She sounded really hot! Like seriously, you should hear her! Too bad we’re on opposite ends of the country. She’s in Florida. I guess she just moved from Minnesota.”

(The entire time I can feel myself turning red, and debate on letting him know I can hear him, but I decide it’s time.)

Me: “Actually, from Michigan! But close!”

Customer: “Oh, from Michigan!”

(At this point you can hear the realization in his voice.)

Customer: “Oh, crap! You can hear everything? Oh, jeez! You should warn people! Like ‘I’m going to put you on hold but I can still hear you’!”

Me: “Yeah, but that would take out all the fun!”

Customer: “Oh man, this is so embarrassing! Well, at least you know somebody thinks you sound hot!”

(I could hear both him and his friend crack up. It made my day!)