Keeping Pulling At That Thread

, , , , | Friendly | February 2, 2019

(When I am young, I go to a summer camp every year that is mainly staffed by people from overseas, primarily England. Being a bunch of middle-schoolers that rarely meet anyone from another state, never mind another country, we don’t quite get that it is rude to insist on hearing someone speak with an accent, but the counselors are mostly patient with us. Sometimes though, our ignorance gets a little too much for some…)

Us: “What’s your name?”

Counselor: “Pull.”

Us: “Huh?”

Counselor: “Pull?”

Us: “What?”

Counselor: *slightly pleadingly* “Pull?”

Us: “What kind of name is that?!”

Counselor: *with a resigned sigh and an exaggerated American accent* “PAAWWL!”

Us: “Oh! Paul!”

(Sorry, man! I promise I’ve learned to better understand accents in the twenty-plus years since!)

A Diverse Office Means Pronouncing Some Weird Names

, , , , , , , , | Working | February 1, 2019

(I’m the idiot here. I ask a coworker for clarification about a note he’s written.)

Me: “See, right here by your signature, it says, ‘Xzziz.’ What’s all that about?”

Coworker: “That’s, ‘Extension 2212.’”

Not The Pet That’s Acting Rabid

, , , | Right | February 1, 2019

(I work at a pretty popular pet store in the USA. Our pet store happens to have a boarding kennel for dogs. We can take in any type of dog as long as they are friendly and the owners can prove current vaccinations. I have dealt with many difficult customers in my years working here, but this one takes the cake.)

Customer: “Hello. I would like to board my dog here soon, and I know you need vaccinations, so here they are.” *holds out an odd booklet of some sort*

Me: *examines booklet* “Ma’am, this is not in English; I cannot read this.”

Customer: “No, you can. It says, ‘rabies,’ right at the top! It’s fine!”

Me: “Well, yes, it does say that, but we require proof of other vaccinations, as well, not just the rabies.”

Customer: “He has those. Look!” *points to random scribbling that makes no sense to me*

Me: “I do apologize, but I cannot accept these as valid vaccinations, because I cannot discern what is what. I don’t know this language, and the only English on here says, ‘Other vaccinations,’ which does not help me. I wish I could help, but I cannot.”

Customer: *completely irate at this point* “NO! YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. HE HAS ALL HIS VACCINATIONS; THEY’RE RIGHT HERE! I CAN READ THEM TO YOU!”

Me: “With all due respect, ma’am, I am unable to accept your word as proof. I need actual evidence of vaccinations from a licensed vet.”

Customer: “WELL, IT’S NOT MY FAULT YOU CAN’T F****** READ THE F****** PAPERWORK!”

Me: *remaining completely unfazed, even though she is shouting right in my face* “Ma’am, there is no need to yell. I have already told you these are unacceptable and I will not budge on this. If you take the paperwork to a local vet and they give the okay on these vaccinations, then we will accept them. Otherwise, we will not accept them and you cannot leave your dog here.”

Customer: “THIS IS RIDICULOUS! JUST LOOK UP THE CODES FOR THE VACCINES; IT IS UNIVERSAL! JUST LOOK IT UP!”

Me: “I cannot because I am not a vet, nor do I have access to that information. If you g—“

Customer: “YOU ARE USELESS! WHY IS THIS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND?! HE HAS THE VACCINES, SO YOU HAVE TO TAKE HIM!”

Me: “No, ma’am, I do not. We need proper vaccination records. There is a vet very near here. Take the vaccines there, ask them to look them up, and have them call us. We will take them if they are approved.”

Customer: *finally seeming to understand* “Okay, fine. I will.”

Me: “Good. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I am bringing my friend’s dog in, too. Do I need to bring anything for him?”

Me: “Yes, we need proof of current vaccinations for him, too.”

Customer: “BUT WHY!?”

Me: *internally screaming*

Good Thing She Only Lost Her Number Two Jacket

, , , , | Right | January 31, 2019

(A resident rolls up to my desk in her wheelchair to ask a question.)

Resident: “It’s written on my coat… my defecation…” *trails off*

Me: *blink* “Your… what now?”

Resident: “My name and… my phone number… My defecation is on my coat.”

(I remember a coworker saying something about someone missing their coat so I take a shot.)

Me: “We’ll find it [Resident]; don’t worry!”

Resident: “Oh, thank you! My defecation is on it…”

(She honest-to-God kept saying, “defecation,” but I hope she meant identification. I pity who finds the coat if she really did mean defecation.)

Taking Stock(holm) Of The Language

, , , , | Right | January 31, 2019

(I’m Canadian, currently doing a study-abroad semester in Stockholm. It’s just before Christmas, when I’m set to head home, so I’m browsing a well-known department store for some gifts. I’m looking at a display of scarves when an elderly woman comes up to me with an armful of items.)

Customer: *speaks Swedish*

(Although I’ve tried to learn the basics, I’m nowhere near fluent in Swedish and have no idea what this lady is saying.)

Me: “Um… Jag kan inte… pratar svenska. Um… sorry.” *I can’t speak Swedish.*

Customer: *scoffs and rolls her eyes, and keeps speaking Swedish*

Me: “I don’t speak Swedish. Um, I’m sorry. I can’t help you.”

(I turn back to the display of scarves, but she forcefully grabs my arm and tries to pull me back. I can’t stand random people touching me, so I give her hand a brisk slap.)

Me: “Please don’t touch me! I have no idea what you’re saying and I can’t help you. I’m very sorry! Now, please leave me alone!”

Customer: *starts screaming at me in Swedish*

(Her expression makes her look like she wants to claw my eyes out. Thankfully, an employee comes over and tries to defuse the situation. It doesn’t help much, and eventually, the lady has to be escorted out by security.)

Employee: “I’m so sorry. She thought you worked here and was trying to get you to give her a discount. She’s actually done this to so many people that she’s not supposed to be in the store, but we have so many entrances it’s hard to keep her out. But you’re American, right? No one from here would’ve stood up for themselves and caused a scene.” *pauses* “Not that it’s a bad thing. We Swedes just don’t like drawing attention to ourselves.”

Me: “Canadian, actually. But thanks, I think?”

Employee: “Aha! Well, that explains how you can stand up for yourself and be polite at the same time. Good for you!”

(He went back to work, and I was left there thinking, “What the heck just happened?”)

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