What Books Have They Been Redding?

, , , , , , | Working | July 26, 2018

(I work in IT. I am on a call with an intern who needs a laptop sent down to her. She is giving me the address of her office, as it is not classed as a head office, and therefore is not on our directory.)

Intern: *giving address* “It’s [Number], [Street], the town of Reading.”

(She pronounces it as though you were “reading” a book. I repeat the address back, saying Reading as you are meant to say it, with the “read” being pronounced like “red.”)

Intern: “Uh, no, it’s ‘reading.’ Get it right or it won’t get here.”

Me: “I know it’s spelt, ‘reading,’ but it is pronounced with a ‘red’ instead of ‘read.’ It won’t really matter, as the postcode should tell the courier where it needs to go.”


(Ignoring the outburst, I send the laptop down. I included Reading in the address, and I received confirmation that it was received and signed for. The intern left six months later and the laptop was returned. When I opened the laptop, I found an entire Wikipedia article printed out and squished between the monitor and keyboard. The article was for a city in California called Redding, with a sticky note telling me to “learn my geography.” I had a good laugh over it with the rest of the department.)

Let Me Educate You On Politeness

, , , , , | Right | July 20, 2018

(While the company I work for is country-wide, customer service is mostly province-based, so as customer service agents, we normally don’t deal with calls from or about a province outside our own. A guy from one of our suppliers calls the English-speaking line, but speaks to me in French.)

Caller: “Hi, could you transfer me to the service line closest to Mississauga?”

(That’s in Ontario. Unfamiliar with that particular city, or where it is exactly, I try to deduce which center would be closest.)

Me: “Is that near Ottawa?”

(He speaks French and reached the Quebec line, so I think he might be based near the capital, which is very bilingual and close to the provincial border.)

Caller: *laughs* “That’s kind of right next to Toronto! My brother used to be minister for the education; guess he did his job wrong!”

Me: *silent and unimpressed, looking for the right number to transfer him*

Caller: *after a moment not awkward enough for how rude he just was* “Well, it’s a beautiful place.”

Me: “I’m sure it is. Let me put you on hold to transfer you.”

(I’m guessing he didn’t realize he had gotten a line in another province, but it was still incredibly rude. I got a call from a different guy from the same supplier right after, and he was super pleasant.)

Five-Hour Gap In Your Geography

, , , , , | Working | July 19, 2018

(I call a tech company that is based in the USA. I’m in Canada.)

Tech Company: “Just drop into our nearest store and we can do this.”

Me: “That won’t happen.”

Tech Company: “What do you mean? It is just the next town over, right?”

Me: “Yes… which is about five hours away.”

Tech Company: “What do you mean? It’s the next town; it can’t be that far.”

Me: “You do realize how far apart cities are here in Canada, right?”

An Up-Top Down-Under Conversation

, , , , , , | Friendly | July 14, 2018

(I have just finished my holiday in Tenerife and am eating at an airport restaurant, sitting at a bar. An Australian man sits next to me.)

Aussie: *looks straight at me* “You all right, mate?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m good, thanks, just waiting for my plane.”

(We talk for a bit, and then he asks…)

Aussie: “So, where you from? USA?”

Me: *laugh* “No, I’m from England. I’m guessing your Australian, though?”

Aussie: “Yeah, I am. Nice, so, you’re from the Up-Top-Australia, eh?”

(I just stare at him for a few seconds and burst out laughing.)

Aussie: *confused chuckle* “What’s so funny?”

Me: “Never in my life have I ever heard England described as the ‘Up-Top-Australia.'”

Aussie: “So, what do you call Australia?”

Me: “Either ‘Australia,’ or we refer to it as ‘down under.'”

Aussie: “Really?”

Me: “Does everyone in the down-low-England call England that?”

Aussie: “No.”

Me: “So, you never thought in that time that England wasn’t known as that?”

Aussie: *laughing* “Never noticed, I guess. So Australia is the only country you call by a nickname? Nothing for say, Nigeria?”

(As I am about to say no, another dude from an unknown region, who has been listening a lot more than we realised, interjects and says:)

Random Guy: “Well, I call it ‘N*****-Country.’”

(We both stare at this guy.)

Random Guy: “I think I misread the conversation.” *pays and leaves*

(With a hour until my flight, the gates open I start to leave.)

Me: “Well, that was a funny conversation; thanks for the entertainment.”

Aussie: “It was an absolute pleasure, mate. Until next we meet, my up-most compadre.”

Me: *furiously trying to think of a witty thing to say* “See you, my downy friend.”

(Mentally bashing my head against the wall, I left, chuckling to myself.)

Not ALL Roads Lead To Rome

, , , , , , | Learning | July 8, 2018

(I am working as a long-term sub for a teacher on maternity leave. It is an English class and we are reading Julius Caesar. While the kids are working on a different assignment, I mention something I just heard on the news.)

Me: “Hey, something you guys might find interesting: archaeologists just announced they found where Caesar landed with his army during their invasion of England.”

Student: “But… they didn’t have planes back then.”

Me: *bewildered* “Uh, no, but they did have ships.”

Student: “But why didn’t they just drive?”

Me: “You didn’t do well in geography, did you?”

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