Gurrommering Home The Accent

, , , , | Learning | November 28, 2019

(I work for a college in Dudley in the UK. Dudley is in a region called “The Black Country” and is known for the impenetrability of the accent to non-speakers. Google “Black Country accent” and give it a listen; you’ll be amazed! I come from about ten miles away, and I still struggle to understand occasionally. One of the courses I work on at the college teaches basic building site skills, including carpentry and brickwork. All of the students on the course come from the local area, and all speak with an accent to some degree. However, one particular student has an accent so thick I have to really listen to understand what he is saying. We are in a carpentry class, and I am walking around the workshop keeping an eye on things and helping students when necessary. The student waves to me and calls me over.)

Student: “Ayoumgurrommer?”

Me: “What?”

Student: “Ayyowoumgurrommer?”

Me: “…?”

Student: *starting to get frustrated* “Ayyy… Yowum…”

(Through many years of comprehension, I know this to be “Have you…”)

Me: “Okay. ‘Have you…’”

Student: “Gurrommer?

Me: “Gur Ommer? What is that?”

(He begins to mime an action; he holds up his fist and moves it up and down, pivoting at the elbow.)

Student: “Ommer! ‘Ommer!”

Me: *realisation dawning* “A hammer?”

Student: “Yes! ‘Ommer!”

(I found him a hammer and walked away, disappointed I was still struggling to understand someone who lived ten miles away, and apparently spoke the same language as me.)

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Unfiltered Story #178388

, , | Unfiltered | November 28, 2019

(I’m manning the back room on Black Friday. It’s manic, so I’m ignoring the phone to serve customers and aide coworkers. It rings non-stop for about five minutes, so when I get a second I pick up; most calls are simply enquiries of opening hours and can be answered in moments)

Me: Hello, [sub shop]. [My name] speaking. How can I help?
Caller: Where are you?
Me: I’m sorry, sir?
Caller: How do I get to your store?
Me: Well, we’re a part of [shopping centre] by the-
Caller: No, I need directions. I don’t know where [shopping centre] is.
Me: *balancing the phone between my shoulder and ear to be able to do sort some change out for the cashier, who’s run out of pennies* If you tell me where you are, I’ll do my best.
Caller: I don’t know where I am. Just tell me how to get to your store.
Me: *getting a little frustrated as I have a lot to do* Well Sir, I can’t tell you where to go if I don’t know where you’re coming from.

(It takes about ten minutes to get the man’s location and offer him directions, as well as our location within the shopping centre. He requires these step by step and, as one of my coworkers predicts, walks into the store still on his phone talking to me.)

Caller: *still holding the phone to his ear in front of the order station* I’d like three footlong [popular vegetarian sub].
Coworker: What bread would you like those on?
Caller: *taking the phone from his ear and in a sharp tone* Be quiet! I’m ordering. *returns the phone to his ear and orders again*
Coworker: *sends me a look of despair from the other side of the store*
Me: *sighs, giving up and still out back on the phone* What bread would you like?

(He completes his entire transaction ‘on the phone’ while my coworkers use his answers to make his subs in front of him. They take a while as each sub requires two vegetable burgers and we run out half way through the order and have to get more from storage. When he gets to the till he finally hangs up and talks to the cashier)

Cashier: *rings him up* That’ll be [price], please.
Caller: I want to speak to a manager. I called almost twenty minutes ago. These sandwiches should have been ready when I got here, and I had to wait for someone to get more patties.
Cashier: I’m sorry Sir, but the subs were made fresh for you while you ordered them. I-
Caller: I ordered them over the phone, they should have been ready when I got here!.
Me: *stepping out from around the back, phone still in hand* The manager isn’t in at the moment, but unfortunately there’s not a lot I can do about your waiting time; you ordered them over the phone while you were in the store.
Caller: But I called twenty minutes ago! I was directed here!
Me: *holds up the phone* Yes, I was the one who took your call, and you didn’t order the subs until you stepped into the store.
Caller: *shoves his card into the machine to pay* I’ll be calling your manager tomorrow for making me wait so long for my order!
Me: Not a problem, Sir. We’ll be happy for your feedback.

(Once he’d stormed out of the store, I called my manager to warn him what was coming the next day. He did call back claiming that all the staff had been very rude to him, that he’d ordered a half hour before he got into the store and that we’d been standing around doing nothing when he turned up for his subs. A quick glance at the till showed we’d taken three times our normal takings in that hour and our manager simply told him to get lost, though I got a reprimand for not giving him a discount so he wouldn’t call he next day…)

Redial Denial

, , , , , | Right | November 27, 2019

(Part of my job involves being issued a company mobile phone. I get a different one every day; as such, they are not specific to any one employee. The vast majority of the time we use the mobile to call our warehouse for manager support. We almost never receive calls. One day, the phone rings:)

Me: “[Company] delivery, [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “John?”

Me: “No, sorry, this is [My Name]. I’m a delivery driver for [Company].”

Caller: “Ah, okay!” *hangs up*

(Ten seconds later, the phone rings:)

Me: “[Company] delivery; [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “John?”

Me: “Sorry, mate, still me!”

Caller: “Right, okay!” *hangs up*

(Ten seconds later, the phone rings — same number.)

Me: “Still me, mate.”

Caller: “Not John?”

Me: “Nope, still [My Name].”

Caller: “Okay.” *hangs up*

(As you can imagine, ten seconds later, he calls again.)

Me: “Uh, mate, are you just using redial?”

Caller: “Yes… John?”

Me: “If you hit redial, it will keep calling me.”

Caller: “Oh, okay, I got ya!” *hangs up*

(Once again, he calls me back.)

Me: “Mate, do you know how phones work? You can’t keep calling the same number expecting someone else to answer.”

Caller: “No John?”

Me: “Uh, no. If you keep calling the same number, you will keep getting me.”

Caller: “Oh, okay.” *hangs up*

(As you might expect, he calls again.)

Me: “John?”

Caller: “John!”

Me:John!

Caller:Yes, John! Finally. I kept getting some t*** from [Rival Company].”

Me: “No, still me from [Company].”

Caller: “LOOK, I’M GETTING A BIT SICK OF THIS! STOP ANSWERING! LET ME TALK TO JOHN.”

Me: “Okay, mate, this is a mobile owned and operated by [Company]; there is no John here. There is no John in my department! YOU ARE CALLING THE WRONG NUMBER!”

Caller: “Fine, well, I guess I’ll do it the hard way and dial each number again.”

(Thankfully, after that, he never called again. I just hope he got the number right that time and some other poor person didn’t have the same experience.)

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Frozen: The Sequel

, , , , , , | Working | November 26, 2019

(I work in a supermarket and whilst I know situations happen that can affect stock badly — i.e. broken fridges, dodgy ovens on the hot counters, etc. — I know not to have conversations about it in front of customers. I’m at a different supermarket run by a different company, as they sell a particular product I want. I’m waiting for a supervisor to check on the stock level of the product and I’m stood by the customer service desk and cigarette kiosk. The two colleagues seem pretty oblivious to my presence, despite saying hello to me minutes earlier.)

Colleague #1: *to kiosk colleague* “So, did you hear about the freezer thing?”

Colleague #2: “No?”

Colleague #1: “Well, the freezer on the shop floor that has the chicken in it broke. All the chicken thawed overnight. The next morning, they got it fixed quite quickly. And apparently, they just decided to put all of the previously thawed chicken back in the freezer to sell.”

Colleague #2: “Ew. Why?!”

Colleague #1: “Not sure. I hope our customers like salmonella!”

(At this point, I had been informed by the supervisor that the product I wanted was out of stock. The next day, after I enquired through their website for a stock update on the product I wanted, a survey popped up about my experience and I was honest about what I’d overheard. A manager ended up emailing me about the two colleagues’ conversation, apologising for what I had overheard. I made a mental note to never buy frozen items from that particular supermarket!)

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Unfiltered Story #178366

, , | Unfiltered | November 26, 2019

(I work in a student bar on a university campus. We have a cocktail menu that I know off by heart, for cocktails we can make as pitchers, we have a yellow ‘P’ next to the name of the cocktail.)

Customer 1: Hi, yeah, I’ll have a Long Island Ice Tea pitcher.
Me: I’m afraid we don’t do those as pitchers, but if you see a ‘P’ next to a cocktail, we can make those as one.
Customer 1: Ok then…I’ll have a Mai Tai pitcher.
Me: Ummm, we still don’t do that as a pitcher. It needs a ‘P’ next to it on the menu.
Customer: Right, I’ll have a Margarita pitcher.
(I point at the menu and the little symbols for pitchers)
Me (speaking slowly): Any of the cocktails, with a P next to, we can make as a pitcher.
(Stares at me like I’m talking another language)
Me: The yellow ‘P’, you know, the letter…’P’
(Continues to stare at me, looks at the menu and then at me.)
Customer 1: So a Mojito pitcher?
(His friend at this point drags him to the side and explains the menu. Never have I had to explain the concept of the letter ‘P’ to a university student before)