What About Betty, Bette, Barbara, Bennett, And Bergman?

, , , , | Friendly | April 16, 2019

(A long-term client has just come in with their new dog. A few months ago they had to euthanize Birdie because of cancer and Bogey was lonely, so they got a new puppy that they haven’t named yet. They ask for ideas. I’m a high school student and both my coworker and the clients are both much older.)

Coworker: “Well, how about calling her Eagle? Keep the golf theme going.”

Client: “No, we want to avoid golf; too many memories of Birdie.”

Coworker: “So, no theme, then…”

Client: “I’d like a theme; I just can’t think of anything that goes with Bogey.”

Me: “Bacall.”

Client: “What?”

Me: “Bogey and Bacall — Humphrey and Lauren. Y’all were actually alive when those movies came out. You’ve seen them, right?”

Client: “I have, but when did you?”

Me: “My dad is a high school teacher, and for as long as I can remember, any time he made a reference in class that a student didn’t get he would come home and make sure I did. I also know who Fred and Ginger are.”

(Lauren — they decided Bacall didn’t fit — and Bogey got along great. And my coworker was happy to find someone to discuss old movies with.)

Initially Incorrect

, , , , , | Legal | April 13, 2019

(I am a “mononym.” That is, I only have one legal name, which I tend to use as a surname.)

Caller: “Please could I have your first name?”

Me: “I don’t have a first name, only a surname: [My Name].”

Caller: *thinks for a second* “What about an initial?”

Me: “An initial? For a first name that I don’t have?”

Caller: “…”

Me: “…”

This Is Not The Stroller Of Sam

, , , , | Right | April 11, 2019

(I work at a theme park. We rent out strollers, and we make everyone sign a waiver before renting them out, as they get a deposit back.)

Man: “I’m here to return our stroller.”

Me: “Excellent. What’s the name on the waiver?”

Man: “Sam.”

(I look through the waivers and find his stroller number, but the name on the waiver is Sanmanpreet, not Sam.)

Me: “Is it just Sam?”

Man: “Yes.”

Me: “On the waiver it says a different name.”

Man: “Sanman?”

Me: “Not that, either, sorry.”

Man: “It’s just a d*** name!”

Me: “It’s for security reasons, sir.”

Man: “You know what? Just take the d*** stroller! Forget it!”

(My coworkers and I believe someone else gave him the stroller — which happens: people sell the stroller once they’re done with it and then the person they sold it to will get to use the stroller for the rest of the day — and didn’t think to tell him their full name.)

A Yuneek Name

, , , , , | Right | April 5, 2019

(My name is Monika, which is pronounced exactly like Monica. My parents just chose the K because it would make my name unique. We all wear name tags at work so a lot of customers try and use our names.)

Me: “Can I help you guys with anything?”

Customer: “You sure can, Mow-neek-ah.”

Customer’s Wife: “It’s pronounced, ‘Monica,’ dumba**.”

Customer: “Well, it looks Spanish.”

Me: “Actually, it’s the German spelling.”

(I can’t tell you how many people mispronounced my entire name because of one letter which makes the same sound.)

Can You Be Bigoted Against Grammar?

, , , , , , | Right | March 26, 2019

(I am a cashier at a large grocery store and I have been working there for more than a year. A customer walks up to my till and ignores my normal greetings of, “Hello! How are you? Did you find everything okay?” all done with the utmost cheer and smiles. He starts rattling off the phone number attached to his rewards card so I can look it up in the system. Being used to this kind of disregard by many customers, I enter the phone number. The last name of the cardholder pops up automatically on my display. It is policy to read the name back to the customer so we can ensure we heard the number correctly and that the discounts will be attributed to the proper account. So, I read back to the customer the name, “Steele.”)

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Steele? Are you Steele?”

Customer: “I didn’t steal anything! What do you mean? Are you calling me a thief?!”

Me: “No, sir! Of course not! I…”

Customer: “Check my pockets! I didn’t do anything!”

(This exchange is getting louder and more frenzied as the customer talks and I try to get a word in to assure him I did not think he stole anything.)

Me: “No, no! Your name is just a homophone…”


Me: *very taken aback and frightened as to his apparent misunderstanding and reaction* “Nothing!”

(I finished scanning his groceries in silence and gave him his receipt. I was called into the manager’s office later while a customer service manager watched — for “our mutual benefit” — as I was instructed on not saying anything the customer might deem as offensive, even if it’s a joke. Similar situations occurred multiple other times in the years following that I have continued to work there throughout college. I have met with the managers several other times regarding customers claiming I told them their house stunk after buying a literal cart load of broccoli — in all likelihood, it did after all that — intentionally not giving customers sale prices, and not counting $0.03 cents of change back to a customer.)

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