Category: Language & Words


Exhaustion Loves Company

| London, ON, Canada | Employees, Language & Words

(I work at a grocery store, and I’ve only been there for about two months now. I’m still considered new, since the other women and men that work there have been working there for at least two years. It is probably important to note that I’ve had a long day at school, it’s about eight pm, I’ve been working since I got home from school and walked to work, and I’m exhausted. Customer #1 walks up to my till, and says hello.)

Customer #1: “Hello! Are you new?”

Me: “Little bit, ma’am. I’ve been here for about two months!”

Customer #1: “Well, this must be the first time I’ve seen you, then. I usually can remember a face!”

Me: *laughs, and begins to ring through Customer #1, bagging items as quickly as possible*

(I finish ringing her items through as Customer #2 arrives at my till.)

Me: “All right, what will it be today? Cash? Debit? Credit?”

Customer #1: “Oh! Debit!”

Me: “All right… Have a good day!” *pauses, confused* “I mean, go ahead! Did I just—”

(Customer #1 and Customer #2 laugh.)

Customer #1: “You must really be tired!” *finishes paying*

Me: “Yes, ma’am, long day! Would you like your receipt?”

Customer #1: *chuckles* “Yes, please!”

Me: “All right, here you are. Have a good day!”

Customer #1: “Yes, hello!”

(Pause, before Customer #2 laughs.)

Customer #2: “Guess we’re all exhausted, aren’t we?”


Communicated That Very Clearly

| UK | Language & Words, New Hires

(I work for a growing company, and am currently writing a how-to book on succeeding with communications both internal and external. The content of the book is as follows:)

Lesson One: “Scenario: Your phone is ringing. Answer it.”

Lesson Two: “There is no lesson two.”


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.)


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*


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!)