PDA

View Full Version : You have caused me physical pain.....


Dave1982
08-31-2010, 07:24 PM
You know how sometimes you hear something so profoundly stupid that it "makes your brain hurt?" Though I've used the phrase before, I'd always thought it was hyperbole....until yesterday.

Guy comes in and hands me a list of stuff his daughter needed for school....or at least part of one. 2 each boxes of kleenex, hand sanitizer, hand soap, wet wipes, and ziploc bags (dunno what the purpose of that last one was, but whatever).

Now, this guy clearly didn't speak English as his first language, but he seemed proficient enough. The problem came when I handed him a multi-pack of kleenex.

SC: What's this?

Me (immediately confused): Tissues.

SC: What are these for?

Me: Um......for blowing your nose?

SC: I dont' need this *puts the tissues back* Now what about the rest of this?

Congratulations, you just gave me a headache...literally....how goddamn stupid do you have to be to not know what kleenex are and what they are for? OK sure, maybe he didn't understand what I was telling him due to language barriers, but how could he not see the tissue box and know what it is? Seriously?

Not wanting to endure any more pain I went and fetched the remainder of the items he needed (except for the ziplocs, which we don't have) and handed them to him.

Me: OK, that's this, this, and this *points to each item on the list.*

SC: OK, but this one? *points to "2 boxes of kleenex" on the list*

Me: That was the one I already gave you that you put back.

SC: Oh...and this? *points to the ziplocs*

Me: Like I said, I don't carry those.

SC: Where can I get them?

Me: At any grocery store.

SC: What's "grocery store?" :confused:

:banghead:

Me: You know, like [popular local chain].

SC: What's [popular local chain].

*whimper*

Me: A FOOD store.

SC: Oh....thank you.



A little while later he asked me another question, this time about the sale pricing on an item. TO my amazement, he seemed to understand when I told him that the first two would be $0.50 each, and any more would be regular price.

But he didn't know what tissues are or what a grocery store is.
:cry:

DigitalEyes
08-31-2010, 09:09 PM
Yeah, funny how that works, huh?

greek_jester
09-01-2010, 08:43 PM
A little while later he asked me another question, this time about the sale pricing on an item. TO my amazement, he seemed to understand when I told him that the first two would be $0.50 each, and any more would be regular price.

But he didn't know what tissues are or what a grocery store is.
:cry:

Second rule of survival in a foreign language - learn monetary amounts so you know if someone's trying to screw you over.

First rule of survival is work out how to ask where the nearest loo is.

MoonCat
09-02-2010, 05:43 PM
Wonder where he was from? I could see not knowing what it is just from looking at the box, if he had never seen one before. Tissue boxes don't picture the product.

I also remember going to school without any of that stuff!! And somehow we made it through without succumbing to hideous germs.

blas
09-02-2010, 06:19 PM
We have hand sanitizer at every time clock at my work, and we were also given free bottles of hand sanitizer instead of the usual freebies at our yearly insurance fair.

Yeah, that won't help. This is a factory. Everyone gets everyone sick.

telecom_goddess
09-02-2010, 10:13 PM
I remember going to school with a binder, some paper, and a few pencils. That's it. No crayons, no kleenex, no baby wipes, no sanitizer (didn't exist then anyway) no funky ass calculators, none of that crap. And wow I made it all through 12 years and 2 years of college without all that stuff. Amazing!

Merriweather
09-03-2010, 11:41 PM
Guy comes in and hands me a list of stuff his daughter needed for school....or at least part of one. 2 each boxes of kleenex,

Now, this guy clearly didn't speak English as his first language, but he seemed proficient enough. The problem came when I handed him a multi-pack of kleenex.

SC: What's this?

Me (immediately confused): Tissues.

SC: What are these for?

Me: Um......for blowing your nose?

SC: I dont' need this *puts the tissues back* Now what about the rest of this?

Congratulations, you just gave me a headache...literally....how goddamn stupid do you have to be to not know what kleenex are and what they are for? OK sure, maybe he didn't understand what I was telling him due to language barriers, but how could he not see the tissue box and know what it is? Seriously?



Actually, I can offer a very good explanation.

The list said only "2 boxes Kleenex".
You handed him a box of tissues of another brand.
If he was new to this country, he could very well not have known that "Kleenex" meant tissues - the list asked for something he did not recognize called "Kleenex", and you hand him tissues, which are not on the list - his "what are these for" did not mean he didn't know what tissues are, but did not understand why you were handing them to him, as they were not on his list.

Not all brands are carried in all countries, even in two countries speaking the same language, each will have brand names that have become generic in that country alone. When I moved to the UK from the US, I had plenty of moments similar to the above, where I had no clue what someone meant when they used a brand name as generic, or when I forgot and asked for a product by it's US name. Took me a while to learn to ask for a plaster, not a Band-Aid, or for a Biro, not an ink pen.

MoonCat
09-08-2010, 06:13 AM
Merriweather makes a very good point! Growing up, nobody in my family referred to "Kleenex" (because we usually bought a different brand), and we just called them all tissues.

Imogene
09-09-2010, 05:58 PM
Dating myself a bit, but my class lists were always:
Trapper Keeper
3 pocket folders
Box of Kleenex for class use
Pencils
Paper
Occasionally colored pencils

That's it!