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    Category: Language & Words

    Have To Die To Get A Break

    | Tilton, NH, USA | Bosses & Owners, Language & Words

    (I work in a women’s clothing store where all the associates wear headsets to keep in contact with everywhere in the store. I am at the register with a coworker, while two others are in our fitting room and our manager is in the back.)

    Manager: *over the headset* “All right, [My Name]. When you’re done with your customer I’m going to send you to the fitting room so [Coworker #2] can go decompose.”

    (I pause, wondering if I heard right. I head back toward the fitting room.)

    Coworker #1: *over the headset* “Decompose?”

    Manager: *over the headset* “Decompress, compose herself, whatever.”

    (I could hear Coworker #1 laughing across the store and found Coworker #3 trying not to laugh in the fitting room. We now joke about going on break to ‘decompose.’)

    Giving Dry Humor A Dry Run

    | Gascoyne, WA, Australia | Employees, Language & Words, Tourists & Travel

    (I work in a remote roadhouse. After many years of the same questions I get a bit tired of them so I have a little fun.)

    Customer: “Do you have a shower?”

    Me: “Yeah, about once a day. Twice if it’s hot.”

    Customer: “Where are your toilets?”

    Me: “If you go out that door you can go anywhere in the courtyard. All of the plants need to be watered.”

    (Everyone usually laughed. They hadn’t seen people on over 100 km so a sense of humor was appreciated, no matter how dry.)

    That Blew Up In His Face

    | Watford, England, UK | Employees, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (My spouse, parents and I are visiting a popular studio tour for a certain movie series. It’s bank holiday weekend, so the crowds are pretty big. We’ve been queuing for a while, and as we’re led into the first room, we’re tired and restless, and surrounded by many people feeling just the same.)

    Guide: *climbs onto a platform so everyone has a clear view of him* “Good afternoon, everyone! My name is [Guide] and I’m here to blow you this afternoon!”

    (The guide freezed, realising what he’s just said. The kids were oblivious, but several adults, my family included, started giggling as the guide composed himself and continued as if nothing happened.)

    This Customer Is A Godsend

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Language & Words, Religion

    (I’m at a convenience store. When I get to the register, I note the cashier’s name tag says ‘Saraswati.’ I’m slightly confused, because I understand the name’s history, but the cashier doesn’t appear to be of Indian ethnicity. Nonetheless…)

    Me: “Hello, Goddess.”

    Cashier: *stops scanning items and looks at me haltingly* “Why did you call me ‘Goddess’?”

    Me: “Well, your nametag… Isn’t that the name of a Hindu Goddess?”

    Cashier: “You’re the ONLY person who’s ever known that!”

    Me: “Heh. It does confuse me a little. You don’t really look Indian. One of your parents..?”

    Cashier: “No. I’m not Hindu. My parents just named me after the Goddess for some reason. I’m still just baffled. Lots of people have asked about my unusual name, but you’re the only one who’s ever known about it without an explanation!”

    Me: “I’m flattered. Take care, Goddess.”

    Cashier: “You, too!”

    A Symbol Of Ignorance

    | Canberra, ACT, Australia | At The Checkout, Coworkers, Language & Words

    (We have recently had a large credit card fraud take place at our store, so all the checkout staff have had to do refresher training for identification procedures, including making sure signatures match. A few days after this, I hear an elderly customer getting increasingly angry with one of my coworkers.)

    Customer: “They look the same!”

    Coworker: “I can’t speak Chinese!”

    (I walk over to the register to find out what’s going on.)

    Coworker: “Oh, good. Do you speak Chinese?”

    Me: “No, why? The customer’s talking to you in English.”

    Coworker: “I’m trying to verify her signature, but I don’t speak Chinese.”

    Customer: “But they look the same!”

    (I look at the customer’s credit card and the receipt slip she’s signed, holding them side by side. Her signature is made up of two Chinese characters, and although I don’t know what they mean, I can clearly tell the signature matches both times. I accept the transaction on my coworker’s register, and hand the customer back her card.)

    Me: “Here’s your card ma’am, and sorry about the delay. We’ve just had extra training to prevent credit card fraud, but I think [Coworker] needs to go back to preschool and learn to match pictures.”


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