Paging Doctor Cymbeline

, , , | Healthy | March 9, 2020

(I work on the switchboard for a major hospital. We take a lot of calls, have a lot of options to put callers to, and are, unfortunately, very used to callers giving us very little information so we have to guess the rest.)

Me: “Good afternoon, switchboard.”

Internal Caller: “Yeah, can I speak to Imogen?”

Me: “Imogen who?”

Internal Caller: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Uh, okay. Do you know what Imogen does or what department she works in?”

Internal Caller: “I don’t know; the doctor just wants a copy of an X-ray.”

Me: *light-bulb moment* “OH! You want to speak to imaging!

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Signing Yourself Up For Friendship

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 8, 2020

(My two preschool-aged children and I are taking the bus home. Both have speech issues, so we use some sign language as well as their gradually-improving English to communicate. The speech therapist says that signing is a great way to help them out; rather than not communicating at all, they just have trouble talking, which is resolved a few years after this story happens. I’m signing to them when two young men catch my eye and start signing to me. The following conversation takes place in American Sign Language. In ASL, it’s common to have name signs to avoid spelling out a person’s name every time you need to reference it.)

Young Man #1: “You three sign? Is one of you deaf?”

Me: “No, we’re hearing, but the kids are still learning to speak, so we sign in the meantime. I learned to sign in school, so at least this way they can tell me what they need!”

Young Man #2: “Oh, I see. Good thing you sign. It’s nice to meet you; we almost never see people signing!”

(Both young men spell their names and show their name signs.)

Me: “Nice to meet you, too!”

(I introduce both of my children by spelling their names and giving their name signs, and I introduce myself by spelling my name.)

Young Man #2: “Do you have a name sign?”

Me: “Huh. No, they just call me ‘Mom.’ I haven’t needed a name sign!”

(We didn’t come up with one for me and I still don’t have a name sign, but the young men and I got a good laugh out of my neglecting to think of one.)

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There Is A Fly In My Ice!

, , , , | Right | March 6, 2020

(We have a variety of individuals who frequent our cafe. This particular individual is from South Louisiana and has a very thick accent. I am grateful she has such a sense of humor. I have already taken her beverage and meal order and served both.) 

Customer: “May I have a fly swatter?”

Me: “Excuse me, I misunderstood. What may I get you?”

Customer: “A fly swatter.”

(I am confused as to why she is asking for a fly swatter. She is seated outdoors, but I don’t see any flies. I return with a fly swatter and hand it to her. She looks at me, very confused.)

Customer: “Well, what did you hand me this for?”

Me: “I thought you asked for a fly swatter.”

Customer: *laughs* “I said… ‘May I get a glass of ice water?’.”

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Tastes Like The Third Reich

, , , | Right | March 5, 2020

(We’re at a small local restaurant eating dinner. My grandparents have just finished their appetizer of shrimp gazpacho, a soup traditionally served cold. My grandmother raves about the soup and calls the waitress over.)

Waitress: “Yes, ma’am?”

Grandmother: “I just loved that soup! How often do you serve that shrimp gestapo?”

(Being a history major, I practically drop my fork and burst out laughing.)

Waitress: “You mean gazpacho?”

Grandmother: *realizes her error* “YES! GAZPACHO!”

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Many Thanks!

, , , , | Right | March 4, 2020

(I’m eating out with my mom and her twin sister. When we’re almost done with our meal, my aunt flags down the waitress.)

Aunt: “How do you say, ‘Thank you,’ in Chinese?”

Waitress: “Xièxiè.”

(With her particular accent, the waitress pronounces this so it sounds like, ‘Say say,’ which my aunt takes to mean, “Say that again.”)

Aunt: “How do you say, ‘Thank you,’ in Chinese?”

Waitress: “Xièxiè.”

Aunt: “How do you say, ‘Thank you,’ in Chinese?”

Me: “[Aunt], she’s telling you that ‘Xièxiè’ is Chinese for ‘Thank you.’”

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