Monsieur Shouty-Pants: A Cautionary Tale

, , , , , , | Right | January 1, 2018

(I’m half French, and the following takes place in Paris when I’m flying back from a family event. My flight is cancelled, and the inevitable queue of disgruntled passengers is starting to build around the customer service desk. I am standing behind an American chap who is in full how-dare-you-cancel-my-flight, do-you-not-know-who-I-am mode, made worse by the fact that he is shouting in English and the representative is clearly French. He eventually storms off, I suspect without the ticket he needs. The representative shakes her head and gives a shrug as I approach.)

Me: “Quel gentilhomme charmant!” *What a charming fellow!*

Representative: “Ah, je ne m’en fous pas!” *I don’t give a f***!*

(She then realises what she’s said and turns bright red.)

Me: *in hysterics* “Ah, oui, moi je n’ai pas envie de le f***** non plus!” *I wouldn’t want to f*** him either!*

(She made sure I got on the next flight. I didn’t manage to get an upgrade, but I suspect I got home much more quickly than Monsieur Shouty-Pants.)

Counting In Massachusetts

, , , , , , , , , | Related | December 30, 2017

(My sister and I — both adults, more or less — are at our parents’ for Christmas. We’re all playing dominoes, at which my dad is truly terrible.)

Dad: “I just never have the right number! Look at this: four, four, I just need four! *he holds up his fingers as he counts* “One, two, three, four!”

Me: “Un, deux, trois, quatre!” *also holding up fingers*

Dad: “Ichi, ni, san, chi!”

Me: “Ein, zwei, drei, vier!”

Sister: *holds up fingers* “Shut. The. F***. Up.”

(Ah, family!)

Uncle Sam Is A Hebrew Name

, , , , | Right | December 30, 2017

(I have a somewhat uncommon name of Scottish origin, but I am American. I usually hear others with the same name go by a nickname, but I do not, so the full spelling is on my nametag. As I’m running a register, this catches the attention of a young boy.)

Kid: “Grandma, that girl has a weird name.”

Older Woman: “Yes, she does.” *to me* “Are you not American?”

Me: “Actually, I am.”

Older Woman: “Then, why do you have some foreign name?”

Me: “I think my parents just liked how it sounded. Some people go by [Nickname], but I like the full version better.”

Older Woman: *grumbling* “How hard is it to give a child a decent American name?”

Me: “You know, a lot of popular names in the U.S. have foreign roots, or are directly from another language.”

Older Woman: “Yes, it’s ridiculous. People these days just can’t use a good, old-fashioned, American name.” *to her grandson* “Let’s go, Sean.”

(I barely kept a straight face; Sean is a common Irish name.)

Kitted Out For This Situation

, , , , , | Right | December 29, 2017

(We have four sizes based on number of scoops: toddler, small, medium, and large. People tend to refer to the “toddler” size as the “kiddie” size, but we know what they mean. A woman and her maybe three- or four-year-old girl come in while I am working with my other coworker.)

Mom: “She will take a kiddie cup, vanilla.”

Me: “All right!”

(I add one scoop to the Styrofoam cup and hand it to the mother, who then hands it to the girl. The girl pouts.)

Little Girl: “Aw, Mommy! I wanted the kitty cup!”

(We all started laughing at the sheer cuteness. My coworker took back the “kiddie” cup and drew a kitty picture on the cup with a sharpie, making it the “kitty” cup she wanted. They were both very pleased, and left a nice tip!)

Doesn’t Seem To Realize Where English Comes From

, , , , , | Right | December 27, 2017

(After assisting a customer with an account issue.)

Customer: “I hate having to speak to all these foreigners before speaking to a real American. They can’t even speak English half the time. Thank God I am speaking to a real American.”

Me: “I will say, it can be hard to understand some of our overseas reps at times.”

Customer: “Yeah, lucky you and I were born in the USA. Real Americans.”

Me: “Actually, I was born in England, in the UK.”

(Shocked silence.)

Customer: “Well, you speak English real good. Fooled me.”

Me: “Uhh… Thanks? Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “No, no.” *muttering to himself before he disconnects the call* “D*** fooled me. Don’t know what’s going on in the world these days. Can’t tell the foreigners from the Americans!”

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