Customer/Sales-Assistant Translation Phrasebook – The New Yorker

Customer/Sales-Assistant Translation Phrasebook – The New Yorker

This bilingual dictionary is designed to translate common phrases from the language of the customer to that of the sales assistant (and vice versa). In the past, misinterpretation has often resulted in hurt feelings, and sometimes even physical altercations, which makes this an essential text for navigating the stressful world of client-associate relations.

Customer: “Are there any in the back? Surely you’ve got to have some more in the back.”
Translation: “I know you’re hiding more of what I want in there, out-of-stock sign be damned.”

Customer: “So, do you guys do samples, or . . . ?”
Translation: “I want a sample, but am too polite and embarrassed to ask you outright, in case you think I’m cheap or wasting your time.”

Customer: “Hey, you. I want a sample.”
Translation: “I want a sample, and I was raised by wolves.”

Customer: “I would like to speak to the manager.”
Translation: “I’m going to intimidate you into giving me what I want by threatening your job security.”

Customer: “It’s such a shame that your products have all these chemicals in them!”
Translation: “I don’t actually know what the word ‘chemical’ means, but I see it printed a lot in the Daily News, so it can’t be good.”

Customer: “No, I’m just browsing.”
Translation: “It is five minutes before closing time, but it is imperative that I look at this lip balm, and that I be rude to you as I do so.”

Customer: “Come.” (N.B.: This may sometimes be accompanied by a forceful grab.)
Translation: “I have mistaken you for my pet dog.”

*

Sales Assistant: “We have a tester here if you’d like to try out the product.”
Translation: “For the love of all that is holy and good, please use the item marked ‘tester’ or ‘try me’ instead of the brand new one that you’re not actually going to buy.”

Sales Assistant: “No, it’s actually unisex!”
Translation: “Gendered products are usually nothing but marketing; I promise you won’t die if you wash with pink soap. I might die if you ask me again which products are for men, though.”

Sales Assistant: “Cool! I’ll leave you to have a look then.”
Translation: “You really could have just responded with ‘hello’ to me instead of scowling and opening that umbrella in my face.”

Sales Assistant: “Yes, the bag’s free.”
Translation: “I’m not sure why spending fifteen cents more on a bag would bother you when you’re already spending two hundred and fifty dollars on things that you’re going to wash down the drain, but yes, the shopping bags are free.”

Sales Assistant: “I’ll do my best! Wait here and I’ll be right back with an answer!”
Translation: “You’re actually behaving civilly, so I’m going to ask my manager that question for you even though I know that the answer’s no. When she does indeed say no, I’m going to stand at the back and down a whole water bottle, and regret every life decision that brought me to this point in time.”

Sales Assistant: “You’re so welcome!”
Translation: “You didn’t thank me, and this is the most aggressive way I can remind you that you’re mannerless without being reprimanded by my manager.”

Sales Assistant: “We close at ten, but you’re more than welcome to browse for a bit longer!”
Translation: “Don’t take me up on this. Don’t you dare.”

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/customer-sales-assistant-translation-phrasebook

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