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    Category: Language & Words

    That Age-Old Problem

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words, New Hires

    (I am training a new employee on how to run the cash register. A trainer is expected to cover every topic in the store. After around six hours of babbling, my mouth is running on automatic. A woman in her 30s enters the line and asks for cigarettes.)

    Me: “Okay, [New Cashier]. Whenever you’re running on a normal register, you need to page customer service to get cigarettes. Remember, you’re also responsible to check IDs. You really don’t have to now, but—”

    (The new cashier turns and gives me a look of horror while the customer scoffs.)

    Customer: *sounding offended* “Thanks a lot!”

    Me: “What?” *the realization of what I said then sinks in* “OH! Oh, no I didn’t mean anything by that! I meant that, uhm… I’m sorry?”

    (The customer refused to look at or listen to me, and I lost my train of thought and fell silent. She paid for her cigarettes and left without another word. Sorry, Customer! I really didn’t mean to imply that you looked old!)

    Siamese Cats

    | MA, USA | Bosses & Owners, Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (An older couple who cannot speak any English come into my store. They are on the phone with their daughter, who can speak English, and hand my manager the phone.)

    Manager: “How do you say hello in their language so I can say hi to them?”

    Caller: “Ni-hao.”

    Manager: *to customers* “Meeeoww.”

    (I turned six different shades of red, tried not to laugh, and corrected her. This is NOT the first time she’s done something like this. When we have an extra percent off clearance she tells people ‘venti cinco percent’ or she tries to speak Portuguese.)

    Can’t Get With The Program(ming)

    , | Australia | At The Checkout, Employees, Language & Words

    Customer #1: “And that’s all today!”

    Me: “Alrighty!” *hands over food* “Is there anything else with that today?— Oh, sorry, programming. Have a nice day!”

    Customer #1: *laughs and walks away*

    Me: *to Customer #2* “Have a nice day— Argh! I mean, having a nice day? I mean— Hi, what can I get you?”

    Customer #2: “You’re glitching a little, dear.”

    Coworker: “I think she just needs a reboot.”

    Management Speak

    | WI, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Bosses & Owners, Language & Words

    (I’m in a meeting with several managers and assistant supervisors. The director, who has been running around all day like his hair was on fire, pokes his head in.)

    Director: ”Where—” *stammers something unintelligible*

    (He frowns as his mouth refuses to work right, but then grins and decides to run with it.)

    Director: *gibberish*?

    Manager: *gibberish while pointing to the right*

    Director: *gibberish while nodding*

    (The director leaves like his question has been answered. The rest of us watching are in stitches.)

    Assistant Supervisor: ”What the h*** was that?!”

    Name Isn’t Seth In Stone

    | TN, USA | Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Language & Words, New Hires

    (There are mostly women working in the store so a coworker and I are quite excited to have a new guy working on the truck with us to help with the heavy lifting. We are talking about him and how well he’s working out when the head manager comes into the back and overhears us.)

    Me: “The new guy is really working out so far. He’s been asking great questions and he’s really fast at his work.”

    Coworker: “What’s his name again?”

    Manager: “Siet. Weirdest name I’ve ever heard.”

    Me: “I thought his name was Seth.”

    Coworker: “That’s what I heard.”

    Manager: “How do you spell that?”

    Me: “Seth. S-E-T-H.”

    Manager: “How do you say it?”

    Me: “Seth.”

    Manager: “I’ve never heard of someone named Seth. Have you?”

    Me: “I think it comes from mythology, but it’s a pretty common name.”

    Manager: “Hmm. Well, I don’t like it. What’s his middle name? We’ll have to find something else to call him.”

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