Category: Language & Words

This category features customers whose mishandling of vocabulary and grammar are so bad that we literally have no words to describe them!

That’s Not The Way To Get Their Number

| Rocklin, CA, USA | Health & Body, Language & Words

(I’m typing in a patient’s vitals in the exam room and have just asked her to rate her pain on a 1-10 scale.)

Patient: “Well, it feels kinda like someone took a piece of rebar and shoved it in my hip from here all the way to here.”

(As she was speaking, she had come over to where I was standing at the computer, and ran her finger firmly down my butt to my calf! I was too surprised to move and she clearly didn’t intend anything by it, but it’s a lot more intimate than I usually get with patients! And she never did give me a number. That was all I wanted.)

Bin There, Done That

| Wales, UK | Bizarre, Language & Words

(One of many things we do is help with the management of refuse and recycling facilities for local residents. The county is a popular retirement destination and most of our callers are elderly. Unfortunately this means we get a high volume of calls where we just can’t help people because no matter how hard we try, we cannot coax their requests out of them:)

Me: “Bore da, good morning, [Local Government].”

Elderly Caller: “BINS!”

Me: “You’ve got a query about your refuse or recycling?”

Elderly Caller: “BINS!”

Me: “Have you missed a collection? Would you like me to send some staff over to come and help empty your bins?”

Elderly Caller: “BINS!”

Me: “Was it that you needed a replacement bin? Did one of your bins get broken?”

Elderly Caller: “NUHHH. BINS. MY BINS!”

Me: “I’d like to know how I can help you with your bins, sir. Do you know your address? Or is there somebody in the room who can help you with your call? I really want to help you if I can.”

Elderly Caller: “BIIIIIINNNSSSSS! BINS! MY BINS! BIII-I-I-I-I-NNNNSSSSS!”

(I heard the phone clatter to the table or floor and the line went dead shortly thereafter. I have set up regular direct debits to dementia charities since I started working here. We get several calls like that every day and I always wish I could do more! I especially wish we had 999-style call location technology so we could trace calls and call people back who’ve hung up on us by mistake. Maybe one day…)

Clustered You All Together

| Tukwila, WA, USA | Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(I am the customer. My friends and coworkers head to our favorite bar. It is Geek Culture themed, and though the staff are a little unorthodox, it feels comfortable being there. Our party reaches to 20+ people. When the bill comes, it is revealed that a mistake had been made and we are all on the same tab.)

Me: “Uh oh.”

Friend: “Yeah, we’re a real cluster-f*** here.”

Server: “No worries, man.”

(He proceeds to tally what each of us had and supplies the bill up for each of us. When looking at the receipt the tab name reads: Cluster F*** in ‘da thirties.)

Friend: *laughing* “Gee, I wonder how they feel about us?”

Me: *laughing harder* “Hey, you said it.”

Only One A**-Hole Here

| Marina, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Language & Words

Me: “Good morning, sir. Did you find everything all right?”

Customer: *grumpy* “I couldn’t find [Obscure Movie].”

Me: “Well, I don’t have access to our inventory system at the cash register, but if you’d like to head over to customer service, they’ll be able to help you.”

Customer: “Well, can you radio over to those a**-holes to see if they have it?”

(I wanted to help him, but at this point, he loses me.)

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but there is a line at customer service, so I can’t radio over and have you jump the other customers.”

Customer: *angry now* “Well then get one of those a**-holes on the sales floor to find it for me!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but here at [Store], we don’t hire a**-holes. If you’d like, though, I can find a sales associate to help you.”

(The customer proceeded to turn bright red, slam the stuff he was going to buy on the counter, and storm out.)

There Is Mushroom For Improvement

| USA | Language & Words, Pets & Animals

(A client left a message on the answering machine that her dog needed his ‘portabello.’ I call her back.)

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] calling from [Vet]. We got your message about setting an appointment for [Dog].”

Client: “Yes, he needs his portabello for the kennel.”

Me: *trying so hard not to laugh* “Yes, he is due for his bordetella, as well as the rest of his vaccines. When were you looking to make the appointment?”

Client: “No, the kennel said he needed his portabello!”

Me: “The vaccine is actually called bordetella, ma’am. Portabello are a type of mushroom.”

Client: “Well, the kennel said portabello…” *grumbles*

(We set the appointment, and the minute we hung up, I nearly died laughing.)

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