Not Kidding About That Discount

| Vienna, Austria | Right | May 26, 2015

(We have a really convoluted system of discounts based on age and group size. People rarely ask for the right ticket, so we ask follow-up questions.)

Customer: “Hello, I’d like one family ticket: two adults and two children.”

Me: “Sure, how old are the children?”

Customer: “22 and 24.”

Have No Old Faithful In Humanity

| West Yellowstone, MT, USA | Right | April 19, 2015

(My family and I go to visit my aunt and uncle in West Yellowstone, Montana, which is about an hour north of Yellowstone National Park. There are painted bison statues around town that are been part of a contest. My mom and I stop at a tourist information center.)

Mom: “Excuse me; do you have a map of where the buffalo are?”

Employee: “Oh, they’re all over the park. You just have to drive around and keep an eye out for them.”

Mom: “…No, the painted ones around town.”

Employee: “Oh! Yes, I do have a map of those.”

Mom: “Do people seriously ask you that?”

Employee: “Yes. They also ask when Old Faithful is turned on and when the bears are let out.”

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Speaking American Is A Country Diction In Terms, Part 3

| Torino, Italy | Right | April 17, 2015

(As the city is hosting a big international event, we’ve been having a lot of people asking for information about venues, transports, and such. For guests’ convenience we set up two different lines, one for information in English and Spanish and one for information in French and German, as these are the four main languages our guests require. We used flags to represent languages, with a standard UK flag standing for English. A third colleague is standing by the door, answering questions in miscellaneous other languages and directing people to the lines. A couple walks in and addresses him in English.)

Guest: “Excuse me, sir?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir? How can I help you?”

Guest: “We need information in American. Which one of these lines is the correct one?”

(My coworker points to the English speaking line.)

Guest: *pointing to the flag* “That’s an English flag. There’s no American flag here. Are you sure this is the correct line?”

Coworker: *trying not to laugh* “Yes, sir. Yes, I’m quite sure it is.”

(At this point the couple cuts the entire 20-something people line and simply walks up to me while I’m busy with another guest.)

Guest: “Good morning, we would like to know if—”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but you can’t just cut the line like that.”

Guest: “But your colleague said this was the American speaking line.”

Me: “It is sir, but as you can see there’s a lot of people waiting for information. You’ll have to wait like everybody else. I promise you it won’t be long.”

Guest: “But… but… I’m AMERICAN!”

Speaking American Is A Country Diction In Terms, Part 2
Speaking American Is A Country Diction In Terms

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Doesn’t Snow What She’s Talking About

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Working | February 17, 2015

(I work in Los Angeles. Washington D.C. is being hit by a big snowstorm. The company I am working for needs an updated student visa form for one of our clients that is coming in five weeks, and the form is not available online. I send an e-mail to the visa agent, explaining the situation, but I add that I understand the reply would be delayed because of the snowstorm and to send it at their earliest convenience. Three weeks pass with no reply. I send a follow-up e-mail and call them two times, with the same results. My bosses are getting on my case, so I call for the third time and the agent finally picks up:)

Me: “Hi. I am calling regarding about the visa for [Client] from [Company]. I understand that you guys had a snowstorm, but it has been three weeks and it is very urgent.”

Visa Agent:*sighs with a condescending tone* “Yes. I saw your e-mail.”

(I ignore it, trying to be civil.)

Me: “Great! I thought it got lost in cyberspace. Would it be possible for you to send us the updated visa sometime today?”

Visa Agent: *continuing on with her tone* “You know, we did have a big snowstorm a few weeks ago.”

Me: “And I appreciate your time in helping us when you are busy catching-up because of the storm.”

Visa Agent: “Look. I know you are from LA, so you wouldn’t understand this whole concept of snow or snowstorms and how it causes delays and—”

Me: “Ma’am, let me stop you right there. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and got my undergrad in Colorado. So please, enlighten me about this whole concept of snow and snowstorms and how it causes delays, while I wait for you to send the updated visa to me.”

Visa Agent: …I will send it to you right away.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(After we hung up I received the visa within five minutes.)

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Getting Confused With A Devourer Of Snakes

| WV, USA | Related | January 20, 2015

(We stop at a rest stop/visitor center that happens to have a live snake show going on to teach people about poisonous snakes in the area. I sacrifice my own squeamishness to show my two-year-old son, the snakes.)

Me: “This is a snake. Can you say snake?”

Son: “Skank.”

Me: “No, [Son], SNAKE.”

Son: SKANK!”

Me: “Ssssnnnaaaakkkkeee.”

Son: “Skank, skank, skank!”

(And he continued to say it the rest of the trip.)

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