What Fun Your Yonder Ignorance Breaks

, , , , , , | | Right | May 18, 2018

(I was born in the southern US and raised there all my life, so I have a THICK southern accent. I also have two degrees, one in archaeology, the other in anthropology. At the time this takes place, I am working on my archaeology thesis, and have taken a job at a local “big box” home improvement store just to make ends meet. I’m about to get off work for the day, and I’m walking back in the direction of the customer service desk to clock out, when a customer approaches me.)

Customer: *with a thick Jersey, or New York City accent*  “Could you tell me where plumbing is located?”

Me: “Just down yonder, ma’am. Under the sign that says plumbing.”

Customer: “’Yonder’? ‘Yonder’? God, that’s why I hate coming to the south: all these d*** uneducated rednecks. ‘Yonder’ isn’t even a word! I’ve taught English all my life and I’ve never heard it. Can’t you use proper English, or is that beyond your eighth-grade education?”

Me: “’Yonder,’ as you might be interested to know, is an old English word that was first recorded as being used in the 1400s, though historians agree that it likely was in popular use prior to that. Specifically, it refers to an instance when the person making use of the term does not know the cardinal direction in which they are directing. Furthermore, when used as a measure of distance, it must be a distance that is greater than a few feet, but shorter than a full mile. Thus, when Romeo makes the famous statement, ‘But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? ‘Tis the east, and Juliet is the sun,’ Romeo is noting that he does not know what direction Juliet is from him in relation to the cardinal directions, and that while she is some distance from him, she is well within the standard of being less than a mile away, but more than a few dozen feet away. In the southern United States, due to the majority of early settlers coming from poorer regions of the United Kingdom, the term ‘yonder’ was retained; whereas in more urban environments, where settlers came from more wealthy locations, the saying fell out of favor, due in no small part to persons not wanting to sound poor.”

Customer: “I… What… I… How do you know that?”

Me: “Studied English in college. It was a requirement.”

Customer: *a bit huffy* “Well what are you studying? Liberal arts? Fat load of good that will do you.”

Me: “Actually, I’ve my masters in anthropology, and I’m finishing up my doctoral thesis in archaeology. I just work here to make some extra cash.”

(The customer gets VERY quiet, and then finally says:)

Customer: “Ah, so, under the plumbing sign?”

(I just nodded while she tottered off. I do believe I rather destroyed her prejudiced idea about all “rednecks” being ignorant.)

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Doesn’t Know What The Truck He’s Talking About

, , , , , | Working | May 15, 2018

(I receive a call from a truck driver asking for directions. There are two exits from the interstate, both clearly marked as to which direction they go. The first exit goes west, and the one he should take goes east and exits two miles further down the road. I’ve given the same directions many times, and the occasional driver will take the first exit and head the wrong way, so I always reiterate that the correct turn will be the second. Later, the driver checks in but is highly upset. When asked what the problem is, he says he got an expensive ticket for driving off the truck route, and he expects reimbursement for his trouble. I’m not the one checking him in, but I can hear him and my coworker from where I am, around a corner and not immediately visible from the driver’s entrance.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry you received the ticket, but why do you think we should pay for it?”

Driver: “I called for directions and the broad I talked to told me wrong. I took the exit she said, and the highway went west. I knew I needed to go east so I went east. The road took me into downtown, and next thing you know I was pulled over and given the d*** ticket!”

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name], did you talk to the driver from [Company]?”

Me: *rounding the corner* “Yes, I did, and I reiterated with him, and asked for his understanding, that he was not to take the exit for [First Exit] but continue on the interstate to the exit for [Second Exit]. If he took the wrong exit, then willingly ignored the, ‘no trucks,’ signs and turned east, anyway, it’s his own doing.”

Coworker: “Does that sound right, [Truck Driver]?”

Driver: “Maybe. But she’s a girl; what does she know?”

Coworker: “She knows that you don’t take the [First Exit] to go east, and she knows that you don’t ignore the, ‘no trucks,’ signs when you are given perfectly good directions to keep you on the truck route! Now, back your rig into dock two, and [My Name] will get you unloaded.”

Driver: “What about the ticket?”

Me: “What about it? Consider it a costly lesson in following directions!”

Driver: *addressing coworker* “Are you going to let her get away with that?”

Coworker: “Are you going to get the trailer unloaded, or would you rather you be refused and have us call your company to tell them why?”

(The driver backed into the dock, and when he returned, he refused to even look at me the entire time I was unloading the trailer. After I signed off on his paperwork and he was leaving, he commented again about me being “a girl,” and that I shouldn’t be allowed to give directions or unload trucks. My coworker called his company to report his behavior and, although the trucking company continues to make frequent deliveries to the store, we’ve never seen that driver again.)

Their Brain Is Offline

, , , , | Right | May 9, 2018

(I work in a home improvement store.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Where are your pools?”

Me: “I don’t think we carry pools in the store.”

Customer: “Yes, you do. I saw them online.”

Me: “Yes, we have several, but they are indeed online.”

Customer: “So, where are they?”

Me: “They are online only.”

Customer: “But where are they in the store? I know you have them because I saw them online.”

Me: “I’m sorry; we only carry a few pool accessories in the store, like pool salt.”

Customer: “Oh, then would the pools be by the salt, then?”

Me: “No, all of our pools are online only.”

Customer: *to a different employee walking by* “Excuse me. Where are your pools?”

She Almost Blue Up

, , , , , | Right | May 2, 2018

(A customer comes in with a microwave in its box in their cart.)

Me: “Hi, how we doing today?”

Customer: “Crappy.”

Me: *lifting the microwave box out* “So, what was the reason for this return?”

Customer: “It blew.”

Me: “Blew up? Well, that’s not good. Were you using it at the time?”

Customer: “NO. It’s not blown up.”

Me: “But you said it blew.”

Customer: “Listen here, you moron: it’s blue. B. L. U. E.”

(This prompts me to blink and then raise an eyebrow. As I start to open the box, my manager comes over, and the customer begins to get in a huff.)

Customer: “What, you don’t trust me? You’re just racist like everyone else.”

Me: “Honestly, I’m just curious. I’ve never seen a blue microwave before.”

(She starts going off on a rant about how we’re obviously racist, while my manager shoots me a quizzing look. I shrug and open the box, then pull out the foam.)

Customer: “I knew I shouldn’t have come here, with you stupid racists. I’m going to complain. You idiots don’t know what you’re doing. I wanted stainless steel, and that moron back there sold me a blue microwave.”

(At this point, I know exactly what’s wrong, and try to chime in, only to have her yell at me to shut up. The manager is trying to explain, but she’s not hearing it. Halfway through her latest rant, I finally manage to get a bit of the film up, and I grab it and pull hard. There’s a LOUD ripping sound, revealing the stainless steel underneath. The customer looks at me in shock, and I shrug.)

Me: “It’s not blue now. The film, you see: you have to take it off. It protects the stainless steel.”

(The woman reluctantly took the microwave back. About twenty minutes later, while I was at lunch, the lady’s husband came back. My manager came looking for me, and I came out. The lady’s husband handed me a large pizza from the local pizza place, and then chuckled, saying that he’d tried to explain it to her, but she wouldn’t listen to him. The pizza was her idea to apologize for making an idiot of herself. Free lunch. I can’t complain.)

English To Gibberish Dictionaries On Aisle Four

, , , , | Right | April 30, 2018

(A customer approaches a coworker and I standing together.)

Customer: *while twirling his fingers around* “Do you have one of those things that’s like a shape with holes and feet? It’s kind of like a–” *gestures* “…but not a circle?”

Coworker: “Uh…” *while turning and pointing to me*

Me: “Yep, conduit clamps; aisle three, about a quarter way up on the left.”

(I walk that way with the customer and the coworker following behind.)

Me: “Here they are, in a variety of sizes.”

Customer: “Yes, this is exactly what I was looking for. I asked two other people, and they didn’t know what I was talking about. Thank you so much.”

(As I’m walking back to my department with the coworker again….)

Coworker: “Thanks. I knew if anyone here was fluent in spoken and signed gibberish, it would be you.”

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