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  • Updates Berates

    | Johannesburg, South Africa | Ignoring/Inattentive, Liars/Scammers, Technology

    (My husband and I own and live at a guesthouse, which he runs as I have my own job. However, I work from home so I answer the guesthouse phone if he’s not there. We get a lot of telemarketers calling, but their products or services are aimed at big businesses, which we’re not.)

    Me: “Good morning, [Guesthouse]. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Hi, can I please speak to [Husband]?”

    Me: “Sorry, he’s not in at the moment. Can I help you?”

    Caller: “Yes, please. I’m looking for the person who’s in charge of buying hardware.”

    Me: “That would be me, but we’re a small company so we’re not interested in what you’re selling.”

    Caller: “I’m not selling anything. But even as a small company, you must have a fax machine, laptops, etc…”

    Me: “We have some equipment obviously, but I’m still not sure what it is you want.”

    Caller: “Well, we help you replace anything that’s broken with regards to your hardware.”

    Me: “No, thanks. We’re a two-man business, so if something breaks, we just go to [Major Electronics Store] and replace it ourselves.”

    Caller: “Well, can I get your name and email address so I can send you updates?”

    Me: “Updates on what? I’ve just said we’re not interested in what you’re selling.”

    Caller: “I’m not selling anything! We just need your email address to send you updates.”

    Me: *getting frustrated now* “No, thanks. I don’t want to be spammed.”

    Caller: “We do not spam! We’ve been around for two decades so we don’t need to spam!”

    Me: “I’m still not sure what you need our email address for. What are these ‘updates’ you keep mentioning? I’m not giving you our email address and we’re not interested in whatever it is you’re offering.”

    Caller: “Never mind, I’ll just speak to [Husband].”

    Me: “It’s not going to help you. I’m his wife, and he’s going to tell you exactly the same thing.”

    Caller: “Well, I’ve done my job!” *click*

    (Very) Bad Translation

    | Singapore | Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (I have a new colleague who can only speak English and Korean. She wants, very much, to get along with everyone at the front office, including the chief concierge, who is a middle-aged, very proper Malay gentleman. She enlists the bellhops to teach her greetings in Malay. They oblige, not knowing that she was going to use what she would learn on their boss, the chief concierge. Unbeknownst to her, all they taught her were curse words. This happens one morning when she is assured that she is fluent in the language.)

    Colleague: “Mr [Chief Concierge], [swear word]!”

    Chief Concierge: *shocked* “Who taught you that?!”

    Colleague: *innocently* “[Bellhop #1] and [Bellhop #2]. I asked them to teach me how to say ‘Good Morning’ in Malay. Did I pronounce it wrongly?”

    Chief Concierge: *angrily* “What else did they teach you?”

    Colleague: *taken aback by his reaction* “Well, some other greetings, like [lots of foul language].”

    Chief Concierge: “Nice girls like you shouldn’t know such bad words! How dare [Bellhop #1] and [Bellhop #2] teach you such nasty stuff? Don’t ever say all that again!”

    Colleague: “What?! They taught me bad words?! I might have said it to a guest!”

    (The two bellhops were standing nearby, horrified, when this incident happened. They were reprimanded severely by the chief concierge.)

    A Howler Of A Caller

    | KY, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Employees, Pets & Animals, Top

    (I work as a receptionist at a hotel. A friend of mine was recently hired as a receptionist at the sister hotel across town, and I help train him. The first night my friend is working the night shift alone I decide to have some fun.)

    Receptionist: “Thank you for calling [Hotel]. My name is [Receptionist]. How may I help you?”

    Me: *in a stereotypical redneck accent* “Hey, do y’all accept pets?”

    Receptionist: “Yes, we do, sir. We are a very pet-friendly hotel.”

    Me: “Well, that’s good. Now let me ask you something. Are there any pets you won’t accept?”

    Receptionist: “Uh… badgers?”

    Me: “Okay, okay. Now I have a little bit of a situation. Let me see if you can help me out. Me and the missus, see, we’re really into that Eastern mysticism stuff. Now we went on a vacation to India and… and well, my wife died.”

    Receptionist: “Oh, no! I am so sorry, sir.”

    Me: “Oh, well now, that’s okay. But I appreciate it. Now see, my situation is that my wife got herself reincarnated as one of those howler monkeys. And now we’re goin’ on vacation, me and my wife, and I was wonderin’ if you could accommodate us, seein’ as how she’s a howler monkey?”

    Receptionist: “…”

    Me: *normal voice* “Hey, [Receptionist], this is [My Name].”

    Receptionist: “Oh, thank goodness! All I could think was ‘I can’t wait to tell you about this!’”

    Giving You The Ringaround Runaround

    | TN, USA | Crazy Requests, Employees, Extra Stupid

    (I walk up to the front counter of a hotel which is hosting a convention I’m going to. They aren’t busy and there are multiple employees there.)

    Me: “Hi, I’d like to get a room for tonight, please.”

    Employee: “Do you have a reservation?”

    Me: “Nope.”

    Employee: “Okay, we can’t get you a room here. Walk further into the lobby, turn down that hall, and at the end there is a red phone. You have to pick up the phone and call us from that.”

    Me: “What?”

    Employee: “You have to call us on the phone. We can’t give you a room at the desk.”

    Me: “So, I have to walk away from you, use your hotel’s phone to call you, who is currently standing right in front of me, to get a room.”

    Employee: “Yup!”

    (They really made me walk around the corner to call them to get a room. Most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Haven’t been back.)

    Failed The Phone Interview

    | Chicago, IL, USA | Extra Stupid, Job Seekers, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (Each department in the hotel where I work offers a temporary management training position that, once you complete it, lets you transfer to a management position in any hotel in the chain with openings. One of my coworkers, who is known for being very childlike and constantly using his cell phone — which is not allowed — applied for the position.)

    Coworker: “I didn’t get the management job.”

    Me: *inaudibly* “I didn’t think you would.”

    Coworker: “They should have given it to me! They gave it to somebody who doesn’t even work here! I already know this job! I told the general manager of the hotel in my interview that I could do my whole job while having a conversation on my phone at the same time!”

    Me: “Wait a minute. You told the general manager that you’re on your phone while you’re supposed to be working?”

    Coworker: *nodding enthusiastically and grinning* “Yeah!”

    Me: “And you don’t know why you didn’t get the job?!”


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