The English Are Everywhere!

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 1, 2021

I am in a lift — ahem, elevator — with an English colleague. His parents are from Hong Kong and speak no English, but he grew up in a town on the Sussex coast so his accent is pure home counties; think Hugh Grant but without the London twang. The third person in the lift is a stranger.

Me: “Where should we go for dinner tonight?”

Colleague: “Maybe that hamburger place on Washington Square [Colleague #2] suggested?”

Stranger: *Pointing* “You shouldn’t have that accent!”

She immediately clapped her hand over her mouth and looked embarrassed, apologising. He laughed it off because he got it. Asian accent, sure. Asian with an American accent, sure. Asian with a British accent, shocking!

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Demanding To A Fault(line), Part 3

, , , , , | Right | February 16, 2021

Customer: “Hello! I live in Chicago and am looking to book a trip to Los Angeles, but I have heard there have been a lot of earthquakes in Alaska lately. I wanted to know if you all had felt them down there and if it was safe.”

Me: *Confused* “Alaska? Ma’am, Alaska is extremely far away from us. We wouldn’t be affected by their earthquakes.”

Customer: “No! Alaska is on the west coast just like California! I want to know if you have felt the earthquakes and if it is safe! I read all about the earthquakes happening there.”

Me: “Ma’am, we haven’t felt any of the earthquakes here. Alaska is over 3,000 miles away from us.”

Customer: “Look. I just want to know if it is safe because you are both on the west coast!”

Me: “Ma’am, have you felt the earthquakes? Chicago is the same distance from Alaska as Los Angeles is.”

Customer: “Ugh, you are so unhelpful!” 

Demanding To A Fault(line), Part 2
Demanding To A Fault(line)

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They Totally Brew That Delivery

, , , , | Right | January 28, 2021

I’m a shift supervisor. I have just returned from a year off for maternity leave so I’m a little rusty with the addresses and any new places that have opened.

I’m currently running the till with a small line-up of customers looking to buy slices for our daily lunch special and the phone rings. It’s just me and my manager working trying to balance everything so I go to take the phone and place it on hold so I can finish up with the one customer I’m with.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Pizza Chain]; can I put you in a quick hold?”

Usually, customers accept this, and I can continue.

Caller: “Yeah, do you deliver?”

Me: “Yes. Can I put you on hold for a moment?”

Caller: “I’m at [garbled] Microbrewery; do you know where that is?”

Me: “Sorry, sir, can I put you on hold?”

Caller: “Ugh, yeah.”

I place him on hold, apologize to my in-store customer, and finish up with him. I return to the phone.

Me: “Thank you for holding. Can I get the address for your delivery?”

Caller: “I’m at [garbled] Microbrewery, do you know where that is?”

I later find out this place only opened about three months ago. I have never heard of it.

Me: “I’m sorry sir, Microbrewery? I don’t know where that is. I will need an address for the order.”

Caller: “[Garbled] Microbrewery! You don’t know where that is?!”

Me: “No, sir, I don’t. I do need an address.”

Caller: *Sighs heavily* “Ugh, I’ll have to go grab the address. While I do that, can I place my order?”

Technically, our system does allow us to go to the order screen and then back out and add the customer info, but I feel if this guy is going to be petty, I will, too.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, my system won’t allow me to do anything without your information. I’ll need that address before I can do anything.”

Caller: *Another heavy sigh* “FINE. Hang on while I go get an address!”

Moments later, he supplied me with the information needed, begrudgingly, I might add. The rest of the order went off without a hitch.

Don’t call somewhere for delivery expecting people to know where you are!

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Superior In Name Only

, , , , | Legal | January 23, 2021

I live in a second-floor condo when this happens. One night, I’m watching a film and having a couple of beers. At 23:30, the outside doorbell rings.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Police, open up now!”

Something isn’t right. It’s been a quiet night.

Me: “One minute, please. I’ll come downstairs.”

I walk down two flights of stairs. I open the door, confused, to find four police officers.

Me: “Can I help?”

Officer: “Is this 17 [Location]?”

Me: “Yes?”

Officer: “Open, mate, we have business to do.”

I stay where I am and hand him my police ID. It has my picture and name and says, “Sworn in [date one month ago]”.

Officer: “Oh, hello. We haven’t been introduced, I’m Sergeant [Officer].”

Me: “Reserve [My Surname]. What’s going on, Sarge?”

Officer: “A hoax emergency call was placed for an ambulance to this address. Do you know anything?”

Me: “Huh? A hoax ambulance call? Not me.”

Officer: “Is there anyone else on the property?”

Me: “My roommate. Speak to him if you like; he doesn’t know much English. What’s the address again?”

Officer: “17 [Location] Boulevard, [postcode].”

I’m annoyed. He’s got the wrong address; a cop should know the area. It also isn’t how I planned to introduce myself to a superior officer.

Me: “Sergeant [Officer], this condo block is [Location] Plaza, not [Location] Boulevard. Can I help you find [Location] Boulevard?”

Police: “Please.”

Me: “Street over there. Odd numbers are on the left.”

Clarity, people. Google Maps is there for a reason.

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Welcome To Idiotshire, Population: Me

, , , , , , , | Working | January 19, 2021

The animal rescue/sanctuary charity I volunteer with also serves as the helpline for a national bird of prey charity. We only have the resources to go to local cases but have a directory of rehabilitators across the UK so we can put callers in contact with someone close to them. For those unfamiliar with the UK’s counties, many are named after the most important city in them — Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, etc.

In this instance, I’m helping a caller who came across a wounded peregrine falcon and I have reached the stage of finding someone who can help them.

Me: “All right, let’s see if we can find anyone close by. Whereabouts are you?”

Caller: “I’m in Cambridge.”

Since this is one such city as I mentioned before, this would be enough for most people to go on. But in this case, my brain completely fails me and I respond before I can stop myself.

Me: “Right. My geography’s not very good; what county is that?”

There’s a slight pause, just long enough for it to sink in.

Caller: “Cambridgeshire.”

Unsurprisingly, the feeling of idiocy strikes me hard as I realise how incompetent I sound and I try to think of something to say to get things back on track.

Me: “I rest my case.”

For what it’s worth, that did get a chuckle out of her and helped lighten the mood of an otherwise serious call. Mercifully, I was able to find a rescue center close by that the caller could take the bird to for treatment, without even forgetting the layout of my own country again!

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