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Incorrect Dialect

, , , | Right | June 7, 2020

Our camp employs a handful of international staff. I am not international at all and have never even travelled outside of the USA.

Parent: “Is everyone here from Australia?”

English Staff: “Um, no, all the international staff are actually English.”

Parent: “Oh!” *Turns to me* “And where are you from? I can’t place your accent.”

Me: *Pause* “I live twenty minutes from here.”

Not Even A Smidge Of A Cabin?

, , , | Right | June 6, 2020

I’m a seasonal worker at a campsite in Northern Finland. July is our busiest month and all our cabins are fully booked well in advance almost every day. To make things easier, on a fully-booked day, we have a large sign outside the main door stating, “No cabins available.”

This happens quite often:

Me: “Hello! How can I help you?”

Customer: “I was looking for a cabin but noticed that you have that sign outside. Are you sure you don’t even have a small cabin just for me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re already fully booked, as the sign clearly states.”

Customer: “Oh… not even a tiny shed?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but unless you have a tent with you, we cannot accommodate you tonight.”

Slush The Rules!

, , , | Right | June 3, 2020

I work at the campground my mother owns. Because we have a lake with a beach, we get a lot of people for swimming only. On hot summer days, there can be a few thousand people coming through in a day, so I help out at the fast food court kind of place that we have.

One summer, we try out a new brand of slushies. Basically, the slushie in the machine is flavorless and we add in pumps of flavor — one pump for a small slushie and two pumps for a large slushie. If you add any more, the slushie will get way too sweet. At any given time, we have two different flavor pumps ready.

There is a pretty long line, seeing as it’s a hot summer day.

Customer: “I’d like a small slushie with both flavors.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can only add one flavor for a small slushie.”

Customer: *Getting angry* “No, you can give me a small slushie with both flavors.”

Me: “No, I can’t, because I have to add the flavor, and I’m supposed to only add one pump of flavor to a small slushie.”

Customer: “I want my small slushie with two flavors; I’ve already gotten it multiple times.”

Me: “I don’t know which of my coworkers sold you that, but I can’t do that because it’s against the rules.”

Because the girl was starting to get really angry, I decided to give her the way-too-sweet slushie so that the other people in line could be helped, as well. I had to get one of my coworkers to take over so I could step out for a few minutes, though.

I Didn’t Even Know You Could Cheat At Trees

, , , , , , | Learning | April 28, 2020

Outdoor school has been a long-established “rite of passage” for third-graders here — a time to spend three days away from actual school and learn about the wilderness. Like many of the kids who are attending outdoor school, I am Native, which isn’t uncommon for the area we come from, nor the area we’re in.

We are learning about all the different types of trees, but I’m bored of this lesson and start whispering to my friends. 

It is important to know that everyone in my family has rather… unusual names. It is the late nineties when this happens:

Counselor: “[My Name], are you paying attention?”

Me: “I am! But I know all of this already!”

Counselor: “Oh? Then kindly point out the different types of trees you see around us. If you can get them all correct, you don’t have to go on the nature walk later.”

I stand up, walking over to a big spruce tree.

Me: “This is my Uncle Spruce.”

I walk over to the next tree.

Me: “This is my Uncle Pine, that’s my Auntie Maple…”

I continue on like this for every tree, and the councilor — who is also Native — stops me after a while.

Counselor: “All right, [My Name], you know your trees! But they aren’t your uncles or your aunties; they’re our friends.”

Me: “No, they’re my uncles and aunties! I promise!”

The counselor made a note on his clipboard, and we continued on. Later that night, I was summoned to the counselor’s cabin where they were on the phone with my parents. They put the speaker on so I could hear.

The counselor had told them that I had cheated at the tree lesson, which was a punishable offence. When asked how he knew I had cheated, the counselor told them that no one had ever gotten all the trees correct and told them about me calling them “uncle” and “auntie”. 

My father burst out laughing before my mother could explain; her parents had named all their children after trees, and they had taught all the kids the different types of trees! I didn’t cheat. I knew them because my aunts and uncles had taught me about their namesakes when I was little! 

The counselor blushed and apologized.

Sick Burn, Dad!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | April 27, 2020

When I was a toddler, my family and I were on a camping trip. We decided to take our large, black dog, Camela, on a walk through the facility.

I had the leash because she was very gentle despite her size, and we passed another family on the road: a father and mother and their son. The mother led her family off the road and told my mother, “I can’t believe you let that thing near your son,” gesturing to Camela.

My dad looked her husband in the eye and said, “I can’t believe you let that thing near your son.”

The woman was outraged as her husband shamefully led his family down the road without a word.


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