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!

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.)

Email Fail, Part 11

| AL, USA | Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Technology

(I work as a librarian in my town. We aren’t really allowed to stay and help patrons on the computers because we aren’t qualified tech support nor do we have the time. Occasionally, I bend the rules a little and assist patrons who really need it. But today I really learned why we don’t help with computers.)

Patron: “I need help printing something from my phone.”

Me: “Is it in an email?” *this is usually what people mean by ‘on their phone.’*

Patron: “I don’t know. It’s just on my phone.”

Me: “Okay, it would need to be sent to an email and I can log you on to one of our computers to print. We can’t do any wireless printing, sorry.”

Patron: “How do I do that?”

(She leans over the counter with phone in hand asking me to do it for her. It takes a couple of tries but finally sends to her email. I log her onto a public computer and have to reset her email password for her because her “phone just knows it and she doesn’t have to log in, ever.” 15 minutes has already gone by.)

Patron: “I ordered flea bath for my cats on [Website] because I was getting a good deal.”

(I try to be polite and sound interested. However, it’s after lunch time and I’m starving.)

Me: “That’s great.”

Patron: “Yeah, but it was written in some foreign language I can’t read so I don’t trust it. I’m sending it back. But the guy was from Texas! I thought it’d at least be written in American.”

Me: *just nods head; I never respond to remarks like this*

Patron: *pointing to the screen* “The page won’t send me the return label. Why?”

Me: “I’m not really sure. It must be the website. It says to try again later. It could be running slow.”

(We try a few more times to open the email. She decides to call the website’s customer support number to get an answer.)

Patron: *on the phone with support* “I really don’t know what you’re saying. I don’t understand all this computer stuff. Talk to this girl that’s helping me.” *she shoves her phone that’s been pressed against her face into mine*

Me: “Hello?”

(I try not to act disgusted by using a stranger’s phone as I tell him exactly what the page says and he understand immediately what happened. The seller created the shipping label wrong so the site couldn’t process it correctly. It would be another week before it’s fixed and she could return her flea bath. The phone call lasted another ten minutes.)

Patron: “Well, okay. If I don’t get the label then, do I just throw my stuff away? I don’t trust it.”

Me: “I guess so. I’m just going by what the support guy said.”

Patron: “Okay. Anyways, I thought the flea bath was written in Mexican or something. I can’t read that so I asked my daughter to come look at because she took Mexican in high school. But she said “Mama, I can’t read that. It ain’t Mexican.” So I’m guessing it’s probably United Kingdom language or something. I can only read American. Thanks for all your help though!”

(She left the computer without getting her label and I rushed to lunch in bewilderment at her story. When I came back from my break, I learned that she left her contact information in case we ever sold our book carts or card catalogues. You know, the two main things we use daily. I won’t be bending the rules again any time soon.)

Related:

Email Fail, Part 10

Email Fail, Part 9

Email Fail, Part 8

Might Need The Inhaler After You’ve Stopped Laughing

| Omaha, NE, USA | Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(One of our nurses explains to a female patient how to use an inhaler, to pull back and release a trigger and then inhale from the mouthpiece.)

Patient: “So, I just cock it and then suck on it.”

Nurse: “Well, I wouldn’t put it just that way, but yes.”

(The patient realized what she had said, dropped inhaler in her purse, and left the clinic with no further comment.)

Running ‘Counter’ To The Spelling

| UK | Language & Words

(I am helping a caller complete her passport forms over the phone.)

Caller: “I’m fine with most of it. It’s just at the end. It’s talking about a ‘courier sijenterary’.”

Me: “A courier sijenterary?”

Caller: “Yes, do you know what one of those is?”

Me: “I’m afraid I don’t. Would you mind spelling it?”

Caller: “I can try. I have dyslexia, so it’s difficult.”

Me: “That’s no problem. Take your time.”

Customer: “C O U N T E R S I G—”

Me: “Oh, I see. Sorry to interrupt. You’ve jumped ahead of me. It reads as ‘countersignatory’. It means someone else needs to confirm that your photo is a true likeness.”

Caller: “So, what do I need to do?”

Me: “You just need someone who knows you, but is not a family member, to sign the back of one of your photos confirming it looks like you. It’s to protect against stolen identity and reduce confusion when flying. If you give your chosen person the forms and the photo, I’m sure they’ll be able to figure it out. If not, just get them to call us.”

Caller: “Oh, thank you so much. This is such a hassle, and I panic sometimes.”

Me: “It’s no bother. You’re almost there, actually.”

Caller: “That’s good. Thank you so much for the help, and sorry about the… sijenterary.” *hangs up*

(She was probably one of the nicest callers I’ve had working here, dyslexia and all.)

Beware The Milks!

| USA | Bizarre, Food & Drink, Health & Body, Language & Words, Pets & Animals

(I worked for our phone line for nearly two years before the stress got to me and I had to be moved to another section. One phone call from a guest still plagues my mind, however, and I will never *ever* forget it.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]; can I help you find something?”

Caller: *with the heaviest accent I have ever heard in my lifetime* “I has many milks.”

Me: “…I beg your pardon?”

Caller: “No, you see… I has many many milks. I am allergic to the milks and have a car that was going to do the breaking down. I buy many organic milks because the cows they eat the grass and I can drink the milks. So get many milks because cannot drive to store cause car going to break down. But after car break down, cannot drink milks! Still allergic! You need call the farm because the cows are not drinking the grass and come get many milks. They will go bad!”

Me: “Ma’am, may I ask a question. Are you lactose intolerant?”

Caller: “Very much so!”

Me: “I am, too, and if I may make a recommendation, [Brand of milk that is lactose free] will be safe to digest at a lower price than organic. Organic milk still contains lactose.”

Caller: “No! The cows; they are not eating the grass! I cannot drink the milk! Call the farm!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I cannot contact the supplier. If you search the brand on the Internet you may find their customer service number.”

Caller: “Fine, now come get the milks.”

Me: “We do not do home item retrieval, ma’am. You would have to bring the items to our store to return them.”

Caller: “No! The car, she is broken! I cannot drive it! You come get the milks!”

Me: “Perhaps you can borrow a friend or family member’s car or bum a ride from them?”

Caller: “No! You come get them!”

Me: “I cannot, ma’am.”

Caller: “FINE! Get manager!”

Me: “Right away. Please hold.” *goes to transfer line but she hangs up the moment I pull the phone away* “I can’t believe that just happened…”

Coworker: “Please, for the love of all that is beautiful, transfer that call to me next time.”

(She never called back.)

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