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Mother Russia

, , , , | Right | December 4, 2021

I work in a Pennsylvanian Dutch amusement park. A Russian woman comes up with her toddler, babbling away in baby talk.

Apparently, this child is talking to me, because the mother gets very upset at me, yelling and cussing me out because I can’t understand her two-year-old child speaking Russian baby-talk. Not only do I not speak Russian, but even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to understand him, just like I can’t understand other two-year-olds I have to work with. Usually, I just have them point at what they want or their parents will help, but not this lady.

Mother: *Cussing me out and yelling in Russian.*

When she finishes she seems to expect a response:

Me: “Uh, I’m sorry, ma’am, I don’t speak Russian.”

She repeats most of it in English, still yelling, then grabs one of the things I am still holding out to offer the kid and storms off.

Don’t You Speak Asian?, Part 5

, , , , | Right | December 3, 2021

A mother and her grown son are shopping in the store. The son keeps trying to hit on me.

Son: “Konnichiwa! You’re so kawaii!”

I try to ignore this, but this causes the mother to blow up at me.

Customer: “Stop being so stuck up and racist! You should be glad my son is worldly enough to speak Asian to you!”

I have never met him before and I am not Japanese. I just respond:

Me: “Sorry, no English.”

They had previously heard me speaking English with my friend. I then just walked away.

Don’t You Speak Asian?, Part 4
Don’t You Speak Asian?, Part 3
Don’t You Speak Asian?, Part 2
Don’t You Speak Asian?

There Are Worse Wrong-Number Texts You Could Send

, , , , , , | Romantic | November 30, 2021

This takes place during the 2010 World Cup. The guy I am dating at the time is German and a huge soccer fan. He’s texting me one day during one of the games.

Guy: “I finally got my cousin to watch the game with me!”

Me: “The one in Germany?”

Guy: “Yep! We’re texting back and forth, so if I don’t reply to you, I’m probably talking to him.”

Me: “No worries. You soccer fanatics enjoy the game.”

About two minutes later, I get a text all in German with lots of exclamation points. I pop it into Google Translate and realize it’s a complaint about the game. I start typing that I think he texted the wrong person when another text comes through in all caps. I put that into Google Translate and it spits out two words: “S*** referee.” I laugh and text him back in English.

Me: “Why is the ref s***?”

Guy: “Because he sucks. Wait, how did you know that?”

Me: “Check your sent messages.”


Me: “Yep.”

Guy: “You speak German?”

Me: “No, but I can work Google Translate.”

Guy: “Then what did I just send my cousin? Hold on.”

After about two minutes, he texts again.

Guy: “My cousin wants to know why he got a text in English calling him ‘babe.’”

Accidentally Encouraging, But Encouraging Nonetheless

, , , , , , | Working | November 29, 2021

I have been working at a call center for a phone company for a few months, mostly taking calls from very unhappy people who haven’t paid their phone bills in months and have had their lines suspended.

My manager keeps track of various stats we have, including results from customer surveys. One of those survey questions asks about whether or not the individual felt like a valued customer by the end of the call. My manager has told me all my stats are great but I could probably increase the customer value result. They recommend that I throw in a line during every call that’s something along the lines of, “As you’re a valued customer, I’ll be happy to help.”

Personally, I find lines like that can sound really disingenuous and I hate saying them, but I try to throw it in whenever I remember to. This call happens a few days after my manager advised me to say the line more often.

The lady on the line was calling for help making a payment plan as she had been hit hard by the health crisis and was not going to be able to pay her bill on time this month. The call was going smoothly, she was very kind and apologetic for not being able to pay in full right away, and I could tell she was really stressed about finances. 

Caller: “I’m just so embarrassed. I never miss payments. I really hate having to do this.”

Me: “Hey, I get it. The health crisis has hit everyone really hard, so we totally understand.”

I remembered about the valued customer line at this point and thought I might be able to work it into the conversation in a genuine way.

What I tried to say:

Me: “I can tell from your account that you’ve been with us a long time and you’ve always had a great record in the past. You’re a valued customer and I’ll definitely help to get something worked out for you,”

What I actually said:

Me: “I can tell from your account that you’ve been with us a long time and you’ve always had a great record in the past. You’re valuable—”

Then, my brain realized that I had misspoken and just shut down entirely, ending the sentance very short.

When the caller responded, she sounded like she was on the brink of tears.

Caller: “Oh, thank you. It’s really nice to hear someone say that. I really appreciate it. It’s been really hard these past few months, and it’s nice to be reminded that I’m valuable.”

Me: “Uh, no problem. Now let’s take a look to see what we can do to help.”

We got the caller set up with a plan and the call was coming to an end.

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

Caller: “Oh, no, dear. You’ve been wonderful. Thank you so much, and just remember, you’re valuable, too!”

The customer hung up at that point. I spent the next few minutes laughing at myself for screwing up my words, but I was glad I could help and that my messed-up words had helped comfort her. It was honestly one of the most heartwarming calls I took the entire time I worked that job.

Finally Clocked What They’re Looking For

, , , | Right | November 24, 2021

Caller: “I’m looking for a clock. I was told it has to be an NP1.”

I’m clueless as to what NP1 means in regards to clocks.

Me: “Is that a brand? What does that refer to?”

Caller: “I actually have no idea; it’s just what they told me. I was looking at all the different clocks on your website, and I found [part number]. Is that NP1?”

I pull up the part number and it’s a sealant. I figure I must have misheard him.

Me: “I’m sorry. Can you repeat the part number for me?”

He repeats the same part number and I repeat the number back.

Me: “It’s coming up as a sealant for me.”

Caller: “Yes, a sealant. Like the kind you would in a clock gun.”

Caulk. The guy was looking for caulk.