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    Category: Language & Words

    Caught In A Chinese Language Trap

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Coworkers, Language & Words

    (My father had an Asian coworker who worked front-house at the rib shack he works at. One day a customer walks in and is extremely rude to him. The coworker speaks perfect English, having been born in America.)

    Customer: *very slowly and loudly* “I WOULD LIKE TO ORDER [ITEM]!”

    Coworker: *asks him to repeat his order in scattered English*

    Customer: *even louder* “I WOULD LIKE TO ORDER [ITEM].”

    Coworker: *asks him to repeat in even more scattered English*

    (This goes on for some time, and the coworker decides that the louder the customer says his order, the less English he knows. The coworker ends up shouting very angry-sounding Chinese very quickly, punctuating it with sharp arm movements. The customer leaves out of frustration.)

    Dad: *after he finally stops laughing* “What were you shouting at that guy, anyway?”

    Coworker: “I think it was an old fairy tale my parents used to tell me. It’s basically the Chinese version of Sleeping Beauty.”

    The Ultimate Bye

    | HI, USA | Language & Words

    (I work in the section next to our busiest doors to the outside. I say ‘Hi!’ and ‘Bye!’ in succession to people going in and out, until one time when, with a cheery smile, I said:)

    Me: “Die!”

    (Luckily I don’t think anyone noticed my use of the wrong consonant!)

    Not Enough ‘G-Force’

    | USA | Employees, Language & Words

    (I am calling my pharmacy regarding a mail order sent to me at college. It is routed through a call center rather than a local pharmacy.)

    Employee: “May I please have the name the prescription is under?”

    Me: “Gregory [Last Name].”

    Employee: “I’m sorry, I’m not seeing that. Is there another name it might be under?”

    Me: “Try ‘Greg’ instead of ‘Gregory.’ My doctor might have used that.”

    Employee: “Is that Greg with one ‘G’ or two?”

    Me: “One.”

    Employee: “I’m still not seeing that in our system.”

    Me: “You’re spelling my last name [spelling], correct?”

    Employee: “Yes.”

    Me: “And you’re spelling ‘Greg’ as G-R-E-G?”

    Employee: “No, sir, we are spelling it with one ‘G.'”

    Me: “That’s correct. There is only one ‘G’ at the end, not two.”

    Employee: “So the ‘G’ is at the end, not the beginning?”

    Me: “No, there’s one ‘G’ at the beginning and one G at the end.”

    Employee: “So then there are two ‘G’s?”

    Me: *giving up* “Yes, I suppose so.”

    Can’t Quite Picture Your Request

    | Newbury, MA, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words

    Me: “Can I get a pitcher of sangria?”

    Employee: *confused* “I’m sorry; I don’t think… Yeah, we don’t do that.”

    Me: *more confused* “Okay, thanks. I’ll find something else.”

    (I go back to looking at the menu, which clearly lists pitchers of sangria. Two minutes later…)

    Employee: “Wait, did you mean like drink pitchers? I thought you meant like a picture! Like you wanted to know what it looked like or something! I was so confused! Yeah… We do drink pitchers. I’ll get you one. I’m sorry, I was so confused!”

    Me: “…It’s that kind of day, isn’t it?”

    (The sangria was lovely, and I couldn’t blame her! It was Friday afternoon by the beach; she was ready to be done! Still, though… Who asks for a PICTURE of a drink?)

    Fear Not The Magic Of The Lightning Guild

    | FL, USA | Awesome Workers, Geeks Rule, Language & Words

    (I am having some work done in my house when a new worker shows up, surprising me since I thought I knew everyone and the head contractor had not told me new people were showing up.)

    Man: “Fear not my magics, fair maiden. I am a servant of peace! I am the one they call the Ender of all that is Dark! The vile forces of the water dwellers have rendered my brother unable to continue the tasks unsigned to him by the leader of our order.”

    Me: “I- uh… what?”

    Man: *laughs heartily* “I’m the new electrician; [Name] got some bad sushi last night, so our boss called me in to finish the job.”

    Me: *bursts out laughing* “Oh, my god, that is the best thing I’ve ever heard!”


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