A Fruity Bunch

, , , , | Right | March 10, 2018

(A group of Chinese tourists come into our café. They clearly know each other well. When it comes to names:)

Tourist #1: “Mango.”

Tourist #2: “Apple.”

Tourist #3: “Banana.”

Tourist #4: “Grape.”

Tourist #5: “Strawberry.”

Tourist #6: “Peach.”

(My first thought was they decided to have fun, but given all the lists of weird English names of Chinese people I’ve seen, I have to wonder if those are actually their English names, perhaps picked out together?)

The Adventures Of Parolyn

, , , | Right | March 7, 2018

(I work at a call center for a large health insurance company. My name, Carolyn, can sometimes be misunderstood, but it is close enough I don’t always correct the callers.)

Me: “Thank you for calling customer service. My name is Carolyn.”

Caller: “Karen?”

Me: “No, Carolyn”

Caller: “Marilyn?”

Me: “No my name is Carolyn.”

Caller: “Parolyn?”

Me: “No, Carolyn. C-A-R-O-L-Y-N.”

Caller: “Oh, Gary Ann.”

Me: *facepalm*

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

, , , , , | Working | March 6, 2018

(I work at a garden festival once a year, on a large grounds with almost no cell-phone reception. To communicate, all workers use walkie-talkies. “Phoning etiquette” states that you’re supposed to say which group of workers you want to contact first — i.e. “Entrance to Office” — and then wait for them to reply before actually starting a conversation, so those who aren’t mentioned know that they don’t have to listen carefully. Two of the chief organisers of the festival share a first name and have jokingly started to just message, “Mary to Mary,” and immediately start talking without waiting for a response. The boss, who we all only know by her last name, is not too happy about it, but it’s not a big problem.)

Walkie-Talkie: *during a slow time* “Mary to Mary, you want to take a smoke break? We just got cookies in the office.”

Boss: *through the walkie-talkie as well* “You do know everyone can hear this, right? It’s not for chitchat!” *laughing*

Mary #1: “You’re supposed to not listen if you’re not mentioned!”

Boss: “Well, too bad! My name is Mary, as well! I’m coming for those cookies!”

(Ten minutes later, I saw her walk by me with a large cookie in her hand. We never found out if her name is really Mary.)

When You Can’t Bring Mohammed To The Patient

, , , | Right | March 5, 2018

(I work for a group practice that has four different surgeries and almost twenty doctors, most of them foreign, and quite a few from India and Pakistan. Because many of our doctors have names that are nigh-unpronounceable for the very un-diverse, rural area I live in, many doctors are cool with patients calling them by their first names. However, that leads to this happening far too often:)

Patient: “Hello, I’d like to make an appointment, please.”

Me: “Sure. Do you have any particular doctor you would like to see?”

Patient: “Yeah, I usually see doctor… Mohammed?”

Me: “We have three doctors by that name. Which one would you like to see? We have [lists off the surnames].”

Patient: “Oh… I think it’s the Asian one?”

(Usually I end up giving them a random one, and I’ve never heard a complaint yet!)

The Drive-Thru At Pride Rock

, , , , , | Working | March 2, 2018

(The sandwich shop I work at allows phone-in orders for pickup, which people usually order under just their first name. Occasionally, that causes some confusion, because when you got multiple orders under the same first name, you have orders under Michael, Michael 2, Michael P., Michael Smith, Mike from (Employment), etc. It isn’t uncommon to accidentally hand the wrong “Michael” bag to the wrong Michael, especially if they have similar orders. I start getting creative when I take phone orders.)

Customer: “…and my name is Michael. When will that be ready?”

Me: “Ooh, sorry, dude. I already have an order for a Michael, and I want to make sure your order doesn’t get confused. Do you like The Lion King?”

Customer: “Haha, yeah?”

Me: “Okay, cool! You want to be Simba? I’ll put you down as Simba. Your order will be ready in fifteen minutes, Simba!”

(Later, my boss walks by my queued-up orders and sees all of the names on the bags.)

Boss: “What is this?

Me: “What?”

Boss: “Lindsay… Tinkerbell… Michael… Frankenstein… Judy… Spartacus…”

Me: “I didn’t want multiples of the same name in my queue; that way we don’t make mistakes on the order.”

Boss: “Well, how is anyone supposed to know which order is whose?!”

(A customer approaches the counter:)

Customer: “Hakuna Matata! My name is Simba and I ordered a meatball sub for pick-up!”

Me: “’Sup, dude. You getting a drink and chips with that?”


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