Category: Language & Words

Married To The Job

| Denver, CO, USA | Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(I am a receptionist at a bank.)

Me: *answering phone* “Good morning! This is Banker’s Life!”

(Next call.)

Friend: “Good morning! This is Banker’s Life!”

(Next call.)

Friend: “Good morning! This is the banker’s wife! Um… oh, dear!”

Stuff The Translation

| Japan | Coworkers, Language & Words, Lazy/Unhelpful, School

(I’m an American working as an assistant language teacher in Japan. I work with multiple JTEs, or Japanese teachers of English, in teaching English at junior high schools. I’m not allowed to speak Japanese during English class, so many JTEs take it upon themselves to translate my words for me when the students absolutely cannot understand and make repeated incorrect guesses. One particular JTE, however, is adamant about never translating for me, even when the students become so confused that the lesson cannot progress. This has been going on for a couple of months when this lesson takes place. The Japanese are, as a whole, very strict in terms of cleanliness and preventing the spread of germs and sickness.)

Me: *holding up a stuffed animal* “This is a dog!”

Students: *in Japanese, to one another* “That’s not a dog. That’s a toy.”

Me: “Correct! This is a stuffed animal. It LOOKS like a dog, but it isn’t a dog. What does “stuffed” mean in Japanese?”

(The students give various guesses.)

Me: “I’ll give you a hint.” *I rub my stomach* “Mmmm, I’m so stuffed!” *I place a bunch of books inside a basket and make a show of trying to squish them down to fit* “This basket is STUFFED with books!”

(After several awkward minutes of me trying to make them understand and not succeeding, I glance desperately at the JTE. The students, too, look to the JTE for an explanation. The JTE pointedly looks away, and that’s when I’ve had enough.)

Me: “Okay, fine.”

(I take the grammar worksheet that the JTE has made, wad it into an enormous ball, and without hesitation stuff the whole thing into my mouth.)

Students: “WHAAAAAT?”

JTE: *nervously* “Um… hold on…”

(I remove the ball, which has become a giant spit wad, and plonk it down onto the JTE’s desk, much to his utter horror.)

Me: “Get it now? I STUFFED the paper into my mouth! My mouth is STUFFED with paper!”

(Finally, it dawns on one of my students what I’m talking about.)

Student: *in Japanese* “…stuffed?”

Me: “YES! Thank you!”

JTE: “Um…”

Me: *already moving on to the next object* “Okay, next! What’s this?”

(The lesson continues without further incident, except that the JTE keeps staring at the spit wad on his desk. After class gets out, I throw the spit wad away then kindly wipe down his desk to remove the traces of spit. Maybe next time he’ll translate for me.)

Sleeping On The Job

| Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(I work in the human resources department for a large company, with a centralized HR model. My job is to answer the phone calls of employees, and I usually start out with a greeting and asking who I am speaking with. Only today I slipped up:)

Me: “This is [My Name], may I ask who am I sleeping with?”

Endowed With Knowledge

| WY, USA | Bosses & Owners, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(I work as a cashier at a popular craft store in my area. A customer has asked me a question I don’t know the answer to and it just happens that my manager is up front talking to my supervisor. I escort the customer over to ask the manager to help us.)

Me: “Here’s my manager! He’ll be able to help answer your question!”

Supervisor: “Yep, he’s very well endowed!”

(There’s a very long pause as she and everyone else processes what she just said.)

Supervisor: *who is now a bright red* “Oh d***, I meant well INFORMED! WELL INFORMED!” *we’re all laughing at her at this point* “I’m never going to live this down, am I?”

(Nope, she’s never gonna live it down!)

The Wambu Method Works

Chicago, IL, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Language & Words

(Telemarketers are a pain, especially when they won’t take no for an answer. After getting calls from the same company for about a week and unable to make them stop, I decide to mess with them. The following is roughly what happened:)

Caller: “Hello, I’m calling from [some useless article distributer] and I was wondering if you’d be interested in [useless article]?”

Me: “Gue? Canthym ushwess comphrest!”

Caller: “Um, excuse me?”

Me: “Wichten! Wichten wue triggen wears!”

Caller: “Miss, I’m afraid I don’t understand—”

Me: *screaming* “WAMBU!”

Caller: *slams the phone down*

(I haven’t heard from them since.)