Even Spelling It Out For You Needs Spelling Out

, | Working | August 29, 2017

(I am ordering pizza. I live in a slightly out-of-the-way place, and the address format is a little odd, so we often have trouble with it. However, never before have I had this much trouble.)

Operator: “Okay, do you live in a house or a flat?”

Me: “Flat. It’s flat [Letter].”

Operator: “Okay.”

Me: “And the building is C2B.”

Operator: “Can you spell that?”

Me: “Spell it?”

Operator: “Yes.”

Me: “… C2B.”

Operator: “Spell it, please. Do you mean C for cat?”

Me: “Yes, C for cat. C2–”

Operator: “2 for umbrella?”

Me: “Two, for the number 2.”

Operator: “… the number 2?”

Me: “Yes. C for cat, two for the number 2, B for boy.”

Operator: “All right. So, you live on street C2B.”

Me: “C2B is the building. My street is [Street].”

Operator: “Can you spell that?”

(I proceed to spell the entire street for the operator.)

Operator: “All right, so the street is [Street] and the flat is [Flat]. Which building are you in?”

Me: “C2B.”

Operator: “Can you spell that?”

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They’re All United On This

, , , | Friendly | August 28, 2017

(I have a friend who is an exchange student from Canada, and for some reason, hates that citizens of the USA call themselves Americans. She’s said it all, from how it’s basically us calling ourselves superior to others in the Americas, to how we’re calling people like her inferior, to it just being confusing for the whole world. Finally, I decide enough is enough, so one day in class…)

Canadian Friend: “I just don’t get why you call yourselves ‘Americans.’”

Me: “Probably because it’s part of our country’s name?”

Canadian Friend: “But it’s so stupid. Why don’t you guys call yourselves something else?”

(That statement causes some in the classroom to laugh when they hear it.)

Me: “What else are we supposed to call ourselves?”

Canadian Friend: “Statesmen?”

Me: “Not happening.”

Canadian Friend: “Your state names?”

Me: “We did that before the Civil War, and it did not end well.”

Canadian Friend: “Well, how about USAians or United Statians?”

Me: “Once people from other countries start calling themselves Republicans or Unionians, then we’ll consider it.”

Canadian Friend: “Stop that! No other country has their continent name in their country name; you guys are the only ones who do!”

Me: “…So does South Africa not exist in Canada or something?”

(My friend then literally screamed and stormed out of the room. It was quiet for a few seconds, then everyone continued on as if nothing happened. I get that some people might be upset by the name, but trying that in a rural town in Virginia might not work in your favor. Just saying.)

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The ‘S’ Is For Stereotype

, , , , , | Working | August 28, 2017

The company that I work for has a Japanese client.

One of the employees for the Japanese company sent us an e-mail and signed her name, which also happens to be a common Japanese word, beginning with the letter ‘S’. Our CEO responded to the e-mail (with a sizable portion of the company CC’d onto it), and tried typing the employee’s name into his iPhone.

Unfortunately, his keyboard auto-corrected the unfamiliar word, and chose the closest recognizable thing.

Thus, half the company, and our Japanese client, received an email ending in, “Thank you, Samurai.”

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Got To HAND It To Her

, , , , | Learning | August 24, 2017

(In grade five, my class is given a writing assignment where we have to make step-by-step instructions for making a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. I feel confident about how thorough mine are, so when the teacher asks who would like to read them out, I volunteer. She has come to class equipped with sandwich-making supplies so that she can follow our directions as we read.)

Me: “‘… use a knife to scoop up some peanut butter while holding the jar…'”

(I am staring at my notebook while I read it out, and suddenly the entire class erupts in laughter. I look up to see my teacher standing on one foot, ‘holding’ the jar with her other one, and trying to scoop up peanut butter while the jar keeps scooting across the desk.)

Me: “With your HAND!”

(She was an awesome teacher.)

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These Customers Are Better Than Those Ones

, , , , | Right | August 22, 2017

Customer: “Excuse me, are you [Store] people?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. How can we help you?”

Customer: “Do you ever have store meetings with all the workers?”

Me: *thinking she’s going to ask us to promote something* “Yes, ma’am, we do.”

Customer: “Oh, good. The girl in the shoe department was showing someone some boots and she said ‘these ones’ and ‘those ones.’ Someone needs to tell her it’s ‘these’ and ‘those,’ not ‘these ones’ and ‘those ones.’” *looks at me expectantly*

Me: “I’ll… um… all right.”

(I have worked retail for years and am a grammar perfectionist myself. I have never considered telling another adult in the workplace to correct her grammar. My favorite part was that she didn’t want me to walk right over and talk to her; she wanted me to bring this up at a store meeting in front of everyone!)

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