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!

A Minor Case Of Bad Language

| Red Deer, AB, Canada | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Language & Words

(I work in the video game part of a toy store. A little kid is playing video games that we have on demo. We assume the man walking around looking at the other video games and consoles is the child’s guardian.)

Child: “Why the f*** did I die?! That was bull-s***!”

(When I hear this I walk up to the man who is browsing and ask him if the child is his. When he says no, I walk over to the child.)

Me: “I’m sorry but it isn’t appropriate for you to be using that language in this store.”

Child: “I say whatever the f*** I want.”

(At this time my manager hears what the child is saying and walks up to us.)

Manager: “Where are your parents?”

Child: “They know I’m here.”

Manager: “That’s not what I asked; I want to know who you are with and where they are.”

Child: “Fine. They are with my sister in the doll section.”

(My manager goes over the intercom to call for the child’s parents. Minutes later the parents came to the video game section angry they were called over.)

Customer: “Why was I called over? I was with my daughter!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but your child isn’t supposed to be left alone in this department; if someone were to grab him—”

Customer: “But he’s playing video games and you are here. He will be fine.”

Manager: “It is not my associate’s responsibility to watch over your child while you wander around the store.”

Customer: “But he is right there!”

Me: “It’s still not my responsibility. We get busy pretty fast in this department and if your child was grabbed while I was with another customer, it would not be my fault. That isn’t the only reason we called you down here. He is using adult language and it isn’t appropriate for a child his age to say words like that.”

Customer: “He is ten; he can say whatever he wants.”

(After arguing with the customer she finally got fed up and left. She forgot her daughter, who she left unattended in the doll section. She came back five minutes later asking why we never told her she forgot someone.)

Using Rude Language

| Bethesda, Wales, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Language & Words

(A good 90% of our customers speak Welsh, so I end up speaking Welsh 90% of the time.)

Me: *in Welsh* “Good evening, sir. Would you like a carrier bag for your shopping?”

Customer: *unintelligible grunt*

Me: *still in Welsh* “Was that ‘yes’ to a bag, sir?”

Customer: *in English* “What?”

Me: *in English* “Sorry, sir! Would you like a bag for your purchases?”

Customer: “Do I look Welsh to you?”

Me: “I couldn’t say, sir. I noticed a daffodil and a dragon pin in your jacket and took you to be local. I am sorry if I caused offence.”

Customer: “You shouldn’t speak Welsh.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “You shouldn’t speak Welsh. It’s rude.”

(I pondered arguing back about his own rudeness for telling me I should not speak my language in my country, but settled for just saying “sorry” again and completing his transaction in silence.)

Echo Tango Phonetic Home

| UK | Funny Names, Language & Words

(I work for an online jewellery company. We offer a customer design service. A customer calls up asking to speak to one of our custom design specialists.)

Me: “Hi, I’m [My Name] from [Jewellery Company]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I am interested in your custom design service. Is there anyone I can speak to?”

Me: “Sure, I can give the name and number of one our specialists so they can discuss some ideas with you.”

Customer: “Okay, what’s their name?”

Me: “Pritesh, as in P for Papa, R for Romeo, I for Indigo, T for Tango, E for Echo, S for Sierra and H for Hotel.”

Customer: “Wow that’s a long name!”

(I’m slightly confused by this as Pritesh doesn’t seem that long.)

Me: “What do you mean, sir?”

Customer: “Well, that’s a lot of middle names to have: Pritesh Papa, Romeo, Indigo—”

Me: “No, sir! I was using phonetic to help spell his name. It’s P-R-I-T-E-S-H.”

Customer: “Well, why didn’t you say that!?” *hangs up*

Ehrrenge Is The New Orange

, | FL, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words

(I am taking orders over the drive-thru speaker.)

Me: “What would you like to drink with that?”

Customer: “Ehrrenge soda.”

Me: *figuring he meant orange soda* “Sir, we don’t have orange soda.”

Customer: “Ehrrenge soda!” *really emphasizing the ‘errrrr’ sounds and making it sound like only one syllable*

Me: “We don’t have orange; can I get you something else?”

Customer: *loudly* “I want errrnge soda!”

Me: *in the same loud volume* “Sir, we ain’t got no errrnge soda!”

Customer: *in completely normal voice* “Oh, okay. I’ll have Coke.”

(He pulls around and my coworkers are laughing hysterically. I guess I just had to say it in a way he would understand. To this day we call orange “errnnnge”.)

Getting It All In Español, Part 3

| San Marcos, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Language & Words

(I work for a popular clothing retailer, and we have an ongoing issue of persons reselling our merchandise after purchasing.)

Customer: “I would like to return these items. Here is my receipt.”

(After examining the receipt and items, I notice that there are different prices written on the back of the tags.)

Me: “I can’t return these items. They have been resold.”

Customer: “That’s impossible. I bought them for my family, and I demand a refund.”

Me: “I can’t return any of them; they have alternate prices on the back.”

(Her husband walks in and they begin to converse in Spanish. I am fluent.)

Customer: *in Spanish* “This a**-hole won’t do the return. I guess we will take them back to the shop.”

Me: *in Spanish* “So sorry I can’t do the return. Anything else I can do for you?”

(They left in a hurry, but I got a call from another store in another town asking about the same couple. Needless to say, they didn’t get what they wanted there either.)

Related:
Getting It All In Español, Part 2
Getting It All In Español

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