Name Change Approved

, , , , , | Healthy | May 4, 2018

(A customer is picking up a regular prescription medication but he also wants something else.)

Customer: “Can I also have some ‘Stuffy Nose Squirts’?”

(He wanted a decongestant nasal spray.)

Do You Speak Asian?

, , , , | Working | May 2, 2018

(My boyfriend is Chinese, but is fluent in both English and Mandarin. He does have a noticeable accent, which sometimes makes people assume he knows less English than he does. He finds this hilarious and tends to mess with people who do it. This is the best/worst example we’ve seen yet.)

Boyfriend: *approaches cashier with a pair of headphones* “Hi, do you have—”

Cashier: *interrupting him and speaking VERY slowly* “I. Only. Speak. English.”

Boyfriend: *smiling and switching to Mandarin* “Do you have these headphones in any other colors?”

Cashier: “No, no.” *gesturing to herself* “English.”

Boyfriend: *still in Mandarin* “Yes, I heard you the first time.”

(The cashier sees me looking at a nearby display and desperately beckons me over.)

Cashier: “Are you with him?”

(I nod. I am Caucasian and look it, but my boyfriend has taught me a good bit of Mandarin.)

Cashier: “Do you know what he wanted? He—”

Me: *in Mandarin* “Why are you asking me? Talk to him.”

(I turn and go back to my browsing. The cashier throws up her hands in exasperation and cranes her neck, spotting another employee across the store.)

Cashier: *shouting* “[Other Employee], help me, please!”

(The other employee, who is also Asian, comes up to the register.)

Cashier: *pointing to my boyfriend* “I can’t understand him.”

Boyfriend: *to the other employee, still in Mandarin* “Hi, how are you?”

Other Employee: *obviously trying not to laugh* “[Cashier], I’m not Chinese; I’m Japanese, and I don’t even speak that.”


(She flees from the counter, and the second she’s out of earshot, my boyfriend switches back to English.)

Boyfriend: “I was just wondering if you had these headphones in any other colors. Sorry, I think my accent confused her.”

(The other employee just stares for a second before bursting out laughing.)

Other Employee: “Yes, we do! I’m so sorry about her; it’s not the first time she’s done that.”

(He gave us a discount for the trouble, and promised to have a talk with the cashier.)

Use Your Ears And Your Eyes

, , , , | Working | May 2, 2018

(I work in a factory in the Netherlands, with a lot of immigrants. Some of them still struggle with speaking Dutch, but they really try to learn, and encourage everyone to talk to them in Dutch. I have a young colleague from Morocco, but born in the Netherlands, who always likes to mess around. He asks one of the immigrants to pass him something from across the assembly table. Upon receiving it, he suddenly points at his nose and yells, “Nose!” Cue laughter from the whole table for the random act. The Moroccan dude just smiles. Later, he asks the guy to pass him something else. This time he points at his eyes and yells, “Eyes!”)

Me: “Dude… What are you doing?”

Coworker: “They want to learn Dutch, right? I’m helping them! This way they remember!”

(So, for the rest of the day, he shouted more body parts at random, pointing at each part with every word. In the end of the day, he quizzed the immigrant guy by just pointing at the body parts and sure enough, this guy blurted out all the right words.)

Not A Standardised Way Of Saying It

, , , , , | Learning | May 1, 2018

(In South Africa, the years in school used to be called, “standards,” like in Malaysian primary schools, but in the 1990s they switched to calling them, “grades,” like in the USA. My friends in this story are in their late 30s, so they would have been in school before the change.)

Me: “English is my home language; I only learned Malay in Standard One.”

South African Friend #1: “You have standards?”

South African Friend #2: “Hey, that’s not nice, to say she doesn’t have standards.”

The Signature Reason You’re An Idiot

, , , , , | Working | April 30, 2018

I am ordering business cards for one of my coworkers, who is notorious for having what my boss likes to call “small man syndrome” [he’s short, so he compensates with his attitude]. He rejects the first proof that I send him because he wants a second job title added to it. Yes, he has given himself a second role.

I’m gagging internally, but his manager has approved it, and I want to get rid of him, so I have the proof amended to what he wants. The printing company automatically corrects the spelling of one of the words in his second role to the British version. I send the updated proof to my coworker, who approves it. Then, five minutes later, I get a second email telling me that his second job title is spelled wrong.

Being non-confrontational, I email back, “Are you sure? S is the American way; Z is used in English.” His response is, “No, it’s an S. Read my signature.”

Oh, the email signature that you created?

Now, I’m pissed, but, like I said, non-confrontational. So I order the cards the way he wants them. Petty, yes, but I like to think that our educated clients will read them and laugh at him.

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