Category: Language & Words

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Spec Oil Dip Oil Oil Interval Oil

| San Jose, CA, USA | Language & Words

(In our service department, the technicians write the stories for the repair orders describing the work they performed on the cars. As a service advisor, I make a habit to check over the stories and clarify details and/or fix typos as needed. One technician recently had a talking-to from the managers for not being comprehensive enough in his tech stories; he’s certainly shaped up. Today I get a repair order back from him for a basic service. His story starts well, but then it just suddenly all falls apart at the end.)

Story: “Performed oil and filter change. Drained oil and replaced oil filter. Torqued both oil filter and drain plug to specifications. Performed oil change reminder interval reset procedure. Topped off oil to spec oil oil dip siick.”

(I checked with him to make sure he hadn’t had a seizure or anything. Apparently he got distracted talking to someone while he was typing. I understand a little better now why he doesn’t usually multitask.)

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You’re Not A Straight Arrow

| San Jose, CA, USA | Bosses & Owners, Language & Words, Technology

(My manager frequently calls me into his office or rings me on my desk phone when he isn’t sure how to phrase or spell something. Today, however, was a really good one. My desk line rang and showed his extension.)

Me: “Helloooooo!”

Manager: “Is there a key on the keyboard that makes an arrow?”

Me: “Wait… what?”

Manager: “I want to type an arrow. Is there a way to do that?”

Me: “I usually do a hyphen and a carat.”

Manager: “What? Okay… Hyphen.” *I hear him hit a key in the background* “And what?”

Me: “Like a greater than or less than sign, depending which way you want your arrow to point.”

Manager: “Oh! Yeah! Wait, how do I make those again?”

Me: “Capital period or capital comma, depending.”

Manager: “There it is! AND LOOK AT THAT! AN ARROW! Man, you are SOOO SMART!”

Me: “So it’s not really a key for an arrow, but a combination. A build-your-own-arrow. I can teach you how to make lots of other things too! Some of them are dirty!”

Manager: “Okay, that’s probably enough for today.” *click*

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Doesn’t Give A Shed

| USA | Language & Words, Pets & Animals

(I’m at the front desk to check out a regular customer who has a Kuvasz, a very large and furry white dog, of which I am very fond. The owner and I have spoken on several occasions. At the time it is changing from summer to fall and the dogs are shedding quite a bit. Keep in mind I have a pretty thick New England accent.)

Owner: “How did everything go today with Indigo?”

Me: “Oh, very well! Of course, she was shedding all over the place!”

Owner: *furrows brow* “She… she pooped all over?”

Me: *realizing my own accent* “SHED. SHED-DING. Like her hair’s coming out!”

(We shared a laugh about it, but I was so embarrassed!)

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Let’s Have A Fiasco On Saturday Night?

| San Jose, CA, USA | Bosses & Owners, Language & Words

(Honed by an indoorsy past as a voracious reader, my English/writing skills have caught my manager’s attention and he often calls me on my desk line or brings me into his office for advice on how to word things like promotional e-mails, letters, etc. My desk line rings – caller ID shows his extension.)

Me: “Helloooooo!”

Manager: “What are some other words for party?”

Me: “Uhm… Celebration? Bash? Blowout?”

Manager: “Can you think of anything that starts with an ‘F’?”

Me: “Not offhand. I’ll let you know if I think of anything.”

Manager: “Okay.”

(We hang up. About a minute later, my phone rings again. It’s him.)

Me: “Long time no talk!”

Manager: “Is a fiasco a bad thing?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Very, very sure.”

Manager: “So it’s not like a party.”

Me: “No, [Manager]. A fiasco is nothing like a party.”

Manager: “Oh. Okay. If you’re sure.”

(We hang up a second time. This time it’s only about two seconds before my phone rings yet again.)

Manager: “I was thinking of a fiesta.”

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I Need Help

| CA, USA | Language & Words

(It’s the mid-90s, and I am working at a pizza place at the front (phones and register), on a busy Monday night. There are four employees, as Mondays are not usually busy, so I am manning the front by myself. Normally, the phone greeting is “Thank you for calling Pizza Place. This is My Name. How can I help you?”… except this one time.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Pizza Place]. This is [My Name]. How can you help me?”

(I saw the other employees look at me. It took me a while to realize what I said. Fortunately, the caller had a sense of humor as I explained it was busy and I was manning the phones and register by myself.)