What You Call Things In Your World Has No Bearing On The Real One

, , , , , | Right | June 23, 2021

A woman comes up and slams her hand on the bakery case and gives me the “come over here” finger.

Me: “Hi there, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Come over here, now.”

We walk over to the donut case where she waves her hands at the donuts.

Customer: “Y’all got any of those corsage donuts?”

Me: “I’m… not sure. Do you mean our croissant donuts?”

Customer: “No! Corsage donuts!”

Me: “Can you describe them to me? I’ve never heard of a donut with that name.”

Customer: “I call them corsage donuts! How do you not know what I’m talking about?! Corsage donuts!”

Me: “O-okay. Let me go talk to our donut maker. I’ll be right back.”

I go into the back and ask my donut guy if all the donuts he made for the day are out in the case. He says yes, so I go back to the woman.

Me: “All right, ma’am, I’m really sorry, but it looks like all the donuts have been made for the day, so what we have is what we have.”

Customer: “But you don’t have the corsage donuts! I want the corsage donuts! This is ridiculous! CORSAGE DONUTS, YOU STUPID GIRL!”

She stormed off. I still have no idea what kind of donut she was looking for. Our grocery store does have a policy where we can give people items for free if they’re unhappy, so if she had just described them to me, I probably could have found something similar and given it to her for free.

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Engl-ish Makes Sense… Ish

, , , , | Working | June 22, 2021

I work on a temp team that was formed to deal with a large-scale mistake caused by the incompetence of a government-controlled body. On the team are two non-British people. They’re honestly the two most friendly and fun people on the team. English is their third or fourth language, and they are extremely fluent, but they struggle with some phrases. The team leader has just wrapped up helping the Bulgarian with a call.

Team Leader: “You need to call [company] at three-ish, [Bulgarian].”

The leader then walks off without waiting for questions or anything. [Bulgarian] sits there, confused, and then turns to [Ukrainian] and says something in a language that I don’t understand, mentioning the word, “three-ish.” [Ukrainian] shrugs and responds in the same language, also mentioning “three-ish” and my name.

Bulgarian: *To me* “What is this ‘three-ish’ he speaks of?”

Me: “Around the time of three.”

Ukrainian: “This ‘ish’ is what? Many words have it but they’re not the same?”

Me: “We add it to the end of words to mean… um… ‘sort of’ or ‘kind of’… or ‘about that’. So… you know what someone who’s happy is, yes?” *They nod.* “If they were happy-ish they were kind of happy but also not happy. It’s not as strong as the emotion of being fully happy.”

Ukrainian & Bulgarian: “Ahhhh. Yes!”

Ukrainian: “Things start to make a bit more sense. Silly English and their silly added words to make more words… like the Germans. ‘Handschuhe’! ‘Handschuhe’!” 

English Coworker: “Why are we yelling in German?”

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Et Voila!

, , , , , , , | Working | June 18, 2021

I’m on the last stage of my training for this call centre, which involves me taking calls with my trainer listening in to make sure I’m doing it right. One reason I’ve been hired is that I’m bilingual in French and English, but the trainer on this call is not fluent in French. 

Trainer: “Okay, now I’m going to connect you to the network. Ready for your first call?”

Me: “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

The phone rings immediately. 

Me: “Thank you for calling [Employer], this is [My Name]. How can I help you today?”

Caller: *With a very thick Quebecois accent* “Sorry, I thought I call the French phone?”

I switch over to French, as I notice that my screen is telling me the call is coming from a part of Quebec notorious for the weirdness of its accent.

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t notice that it was a French call. What can I do for you?”

The caller explains his issue, which I solve for him.

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

Caller: “No, that’s great, thanks. Bye!”

I hang up and turn to my trainer.

Me: “How was that?”

Trainer: “Well, since I understood about a tenth of what you said and not a single word the caller said, I’m going to assume you did awesome.”

Me: “Yay!”

Trainer: “I am going to ask the manager to put you on English-only calls during our training shifts, though.”

Me: “Boo…”

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Old Joke Super-Sized

, , , , , | Right | June 17, 2021

I’m at a restaurant with some friends from my high school cross country team. We’re placing our orders. One friend’s order has some options he needs to choose from.

Waiter: “Super salad?”

Friend: “Well, I don’t know if I’m that hungry… How big is it?”

Waiter: *Confused* “Um, which? The super salad?”

Friend: “Yeah, like it is as big as the entree?”

Waiter: “The super salad?”

Friend: “Yes.”

The conversation goes on like this for a couple of minutes, everyone’s confusion growing more and more, until finally, something dawns on the waiter…

Waiter: “Um, do you want salad or soup?”

Friend: “Oh! Side salad, please, with Italian dressing.”

It’s a pity we weren’t a baseball team!

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Woof, That Joke Is Ruff

, , , , , , , | Learning | June 14, 2021

My dad taught our childhood dog commands in both English and Spanish. For example, “sit” and “toma asiento” would both get her to sit down. In first grade, we had a pet show and students could bring in either a live animal or a stuffed one. I proudly showed off my dog and her tricks.

Me: “Sit.”

She sat and then got back up.

Me: “Toma asiento.”

She sat again.

Teacher: “Wow, your dog speaks Spanish!”

Me: *Incredulous* “What? No, she only barks.”

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