A Real Joan Groan

, , , , | Right | February 13, 2020

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. Can I get your first and last name, please?”

Customer: “My name is Joann [Last Name].”

Me: “And is Joann spelled with an E?”

Customer: “No, with a J.”

(Later in the conversation:)

Me: “Okay, let me just verify that I’ve got all your information correct. Your name is Joann, spelled J-O-A-N-N…”

Customer: “No, that’s J-U… Wait, can you spell that again?”

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A United Kingdom But Not Always

, , , , , , , | Working | February 12, 2020

(My boyfriend and I are waiting in line to be served. We’re chatting about what food to order, but not in English. As we approach the cashier, she looks up and folds her arms.)

Cashier: “I hope you foreigners are planning on ordering in English.”

Boyfriend: “Pardon?”

Cashier: “We’re in the UK; you should be speaking English, not whatever [racial slur for Pakistani people] gibberish you were speaking.”

Boyfriend: “Actually, we’re in Wales, and we were speaking Welsh.”

Cashier: *turns red and runs off*

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We Have An Item To Discuss

, , , , , , | Working | February 11, 2020

(I’m at an ethnic food restaurant; the menu doesn’t have any sort of descriptions of the items.)

Me: *to waitress* “What is an [item]?”

Waitress: “It’s a [slightly different pronunciation].” *stares at me*

Me: *stares back for several seconds* “What is it?”

Waitress: “It’s an [item]!”

Me: “I have no idea what that is.”

Waitress: *explains it to me like I’m three years old instead of just telling me it’s a type of pasta*

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Look Hu’s Talking

, , , , , | Working | February 11, 2020

(I have just gotten a new officemate who is also new to the company. He knows people on our team well enough but is still learning names from other teams that we have to collaborate with. He is attempting to send an email to someone on a particular project.)

Officemate: “What’s Albert’s last name?”

Me: “Hu.”

Officemate: “Albert. He works on the [Project]…”

Me: *sensing the spirits of Abbott and Costello disturbed and rising from their graves to haunt us* “His name is Albert Hu. H-U.”

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Just Another Day In The Big Apple

, , , , , , , | Friendly | February 11, 2020

A few years ago, I took a trip to NYC with my mom and my cousin. It was a girls’ weekend to celebrate my cousin’s upcoming wedding. We spent the morning shopping and stopped in a family-owned Italian restaurant that was recommended to us. The woman who greeted us was the chef, and her elderly mother who’d started the restaurant was behind the register. There were only five tables in the whole restaurant and we were currently the only customers. 

We’d been seated and were chatting about what we wanted to do that night when my cousin suddenly stood and pointed behind my mom and me. Black smoke had started pouring from a staircase in the hallway that lead to the businesses above that one. Thinking the floor above us must be on fire, my mom ran to the back to grab the chef, while we tried to convince the elderly Italian woman, who it turned out spoke no English, to come outside. She couldn’t see the smoke from her place behind the register and kept swatting us away and scolding us in Italian. 

Finally, my cousin physically picked the lady up. Yes, it was as awkward as it sounds, but thankfully, she was a tiny lady and my cousin was strong. We got her outside and she finally saw the smoke, which was now also streaming out of the windows of the floor above her restaurant. My mom and the chef made it outside right behind us, and the mother and daughter began speaking rapidly in Italian. 

My mom took her phone out to call the fire department, but someone else must have already done that because we heard the sirens coming our way. The fire truck rounded the corner, crushing the front end of a cab in the process. That was something else to see on its own. The passengers in the back of the cab started screaming in panic, and the driver just sat there looking bored, like this happened every day.  

Thankfully, no one was hurt. We didn’t find out what had caused the fire, but at least it didn’t spread beyond the second floor. The chef thanked us for helping them, and her mother kept hugging my cousin and kissing both of her cheeks. The rest of the weekend was uneventful compared to that afternoon, and I’ve always wanted to go back and see if that restaurant was still there.

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