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!

Kiwidiot

| Australia | Language & Words

(My accent is fairly odd, and I often have people ask me whether I’m from another state or country. Generally I tell them that I am not and they leave it at that. This customer is not so easily convinced.)

Customer: “How long have you lived in the country?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I detect a New Zealand accent. How long have you lived here?”

Me: “I’m not from New Zealand. I was born here. Actually, I’ve never even been out of the country.”

Customer: “Oh, so your parents are New Zealand, then?”

Me: “Well, no, they’re Australian, too.”

Customer: “That’s odd. I guess you must have spent a lot of time around New Zealanders, then. It’s amazing how much of an accent you’ve picked up.”

Me: “No, I don’t really know anyone from New Zealand, sorry.”

Customer: *looking angry* “Well, where did you get that accent, then?”

Me: “This… this is just the way I speak.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! I spent ten years in New Zealand as a girl; I know a New Zealand accent when I hear one! You shouldn’t lie to people!”

(She stormed out and I have yet to encounter her again. Three hours later, a new employee asked me if I was English.)

Chipping Away At Those Cultural Differences

| USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(Some of my extended family from Ireland have come over to the US for a cross-country road trip. My one cousin is obsessed with French fries, which are called “chips” over there.)

Cousin: “Can I have some chips?”

Server: “Oh, I’m sorry we don’t have potato chips.”

Aunt: “He means ‘French fries,’ sorry!”

(Whether he just never clued in or refused to change what he called them, he never said French fries. When they finally get back to the east coast before flying home, we’re having dinner with them when this happens.)

Cousin: “Can I have chips with that?”

Waitress: “Of course!”

(We were thinking the waitress just recognized their accent and knew the difference in terms; turned out when the food arrived, alongside his hamburger was a giant mound of made-on-premises, freshly fried, potato chips! We got a good laugh out of it, and thankfully they were tasty, too!)

You Obviously Don’t Have An Anime Nose

| Japan | Bizarre, Health & Body, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(I am a European girl working in a bar in Japan that advertises as being international. Foreign staff are often popular with Japanese customers who frequently tell us how “kawaii” (cute) we are. On this occasion I am talking to a couple of slightly drunk Japanese girls.)

Customer: “Aaaaaaah, you’re so cute!”

Me: *smiling, since we get this a lot* “Thank you.”

Customer: “Ah, you’re so cute! It’s because your face is small and you have a nose!”

Me: “Thank you…?”

(Apparently having a nose is somehow exciting!)

Psy-Chologically Damaging

| Chicago, IL, USA | Bad Behavior, Language & Words, Musical Mayhem

Me: “Hello, sir. Good afternoon.”

Customer: “Hello, there.”

Me: “Are you checking in with us today?

Customer: “Are you Chinese?”

Me: “Umm, no. I am Korean.”

Customer: “Oh, perfect, how do you spell ‘Gangnam Style’? I can’t seem to find it on YouTube.”

Me: *blank stare*

(Reluctantly I had to spell it out for him.)

Speaking On Different Channels

| Canada | Language & Words, Movies & TV, Technology

(I work tech support for the Internet part of a company that also provides cable TV and cell phones, so sometimes we get calls meant for other departments. When that happens, we just transfer them over. One day I get a call from an older, heavily-accented caller.)

Me: “Thanks for choosing [Company] Internet tech support. What can I do for you today?”

Customer: “My weather network, and the news, and, uh… it no work!”

Me: “Your Internet isn’t working?”

Customer: “No! Not Internet. TV! My weather channel isn’t working! And the news channel!”

Me: “Oh, your cable TV isn’t working!”

Customer: “”Right!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that! Well, you’ve reached Internet tech support, so let me get you right over to cable TV repair, and they’ll be able to look into that for you. Before I get you to them, do you have any Internet questions for me while you have me here?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “My weather channel isn’t working!”

Me: “Okay, well, then, let me get you right over to cable TV repair then. This will just put you back into hold while I get you to them. There may be just a brief wait–”

Customer: “Wait!”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “My news channel isn’t working!”

Me: “Well, that’s still on your TV, so let’s get you right over to the right department–”

Customer: “Wait!”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “My weather channel isn’t working either!”

Me: “Okay, well-let-me-get-you-right-over-to-the-right-guys-they’ll-be-with-you-in-just-a-sec-bye!” *hits transfer button*

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