You Shall Not Pass This Iceberg

, , , , | Learning | October 7, 2015

(I teach English as a second language. In my conversation class, we’re talking about movies.)

Me: “What’s your favourite movie, [Student]?”

Student:Lord of the Rings!”

Me: “Oh, I love Lord of the Rings. The hobbits are so cute!”

Student: “What?”

Me: “The hobbits. You know, the little short people with the hairy feet.”

Student: “Huh?”

Me: “Um, why don’t you tell me what Lord of the Rings is about.”

Student: “There’s a man and a woman and they fall in love on a boat, but the boat sinks and he dies and it’s very sad.”

Me: “…Titanic. You mean Titanic.”

Student: “Yes! That one.”

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Racially Aware Of What He Was About To Say

, , , | Working | August 17, 2015

(I work for a food bank. We are doing a large re-packaging run at a local food security agency. Several members of a nearby First Nations community have come to help but we are still short of bodies to do the work.)

Supervisor: *to me* “The main problem is that we have too many chiefs and… never mind.”

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Getting The Message Across

, , | Working | August 8, 2015

(My dad works at a company that designs and produces light fixtures. His division is him, two other people, and the boss, a loud Irish man well-known for his bad language.)

Boss: *storms in and shouts* “One of you, e-mail [Client] and tell him to F*** OFF FOR A BIT!”

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Can’t Be Possible

, | Right | July 28, 2015

(During a call with an irate customer.)

Customer: “Don’t you know you can’t use the word ‘can’t’ in customer service?”

Me: “Okay, then, it’s not possible.”

Customer: *expletives*

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Your Words Are Broken

, , , , | Learning | April 22, 2015

Me: “What’s up, [Student]?”

Student: *looking sad* “Oh, teacher, I’m so depressed. I broke my girlfriend.”

Me: “You what?”

Student: “I found out she cheated on me so I had to break her.”

Me: “Oh, you broke up with her. That’s too bad.”

Student: “Yes, yes! I feel so bad; I think I might throw out.”

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