What people say and what they really mean!

Have you ever got fed up by the standard lines churned out by customer service representatives, telephone queuing systems and government officials?

Have you frequently doubted the sincerity of those apologetic letters you receive when you write to a company or organisation to complain?

Are you guilty of simply saying what you think your customer needs to hear, rather than saying what you really feel, or telling it 'like it is'?

Well, having got to thinking about this very subject I decided to come up with a list of what these people, systems, notices etc say, and what I suspect they really mean.

What they say.

Whilst calling telephone banking the automated system answers saying:

"I'm sorry, all of our customer service representatives are busy right now, but please continue to hold and a member of staff will be with you shortly".

What they really mean.

"This is a bloody credit crunch mate. We sacked another 20 staff yesterday, the remaining 10 staff are all now on Prozac and half of those are on a tea break. We find it makes us feel better to simply ignore the phones and continue shuffling around dribbling at each other whilst uttering occasional grunts, oh, and by the way, don't expect the phone to be answered for a good hour at least, so make yourself comfy until the cleaner gets so frustrated by the ringing phones that she answers them herself"

*****

What they say.

On a sign in a shop.

"Warning Wet Floor" or "Slippery Surface"

What they really mean.

" We are working on the assumption you are idiots and cannot see for yourself that the floor is wet. Naturally we don't want to be sued, otherwise we wouldn't give a toss if you slipped and broke your leg, after all, if you can't work out for yourself that the floor is wet, and therefore slippery you probably shouldn't be allowed out in public unsupervised"

*****

What they say.

When you complain that your food is at fault in a restaurant.

" I am very sorry, excuse me whilst I return this back to the kitchen and have it replaced".

What they really mean.

"My God, there is just no pleasing whingers like you. So what if your steak a little undercooked, it's dead isn't it? The only consolation I have is that once back in the kitchen all the staff will spit on it, rub it round the floor a few times, before briefly waving it back under a hot grill and then returning it to your table for you to enjoy".

What they say.

When entering Customs.

"Are you carrying any illegal drugs, weapons or explosives?" etc.

What they really mean.

" Okay we have to ask this rather daft question, stupid idea really, I mean we would probably pass out cold if you actually admitted to having any of these items on you. WTF, you would have to be the dumbest criminal or terrorist known to man if you went to all the trouble of hiding this stuff, only to admit to a customs officer that you were in possession of it. Still, I suppose it gives us something to do to earn our wages".

*****

What they say.

In an electrical retail shop.

" Hello Sir/Madam, how can I help you today?"

What they really mean.

" Hello potential commission person. I don't want to ask "can I help you", as this is a closed question, and you will no doubt say "no thank you, I am just looking", so by asking you "how" I can help you I am forcing you to engage in conversation with me. This not only keeps my manager off my back, but at least offers me the possibility of topping up my crappy wages with the very low commission I shall receive if you buy one of our products, plus I may even get the opportunity to sell you one of those extended warranty thingies that cost nearly as much as the goods themselves, and you will most likely never claim on, but this would at least ensure I earn even more commission. Now I have you cornered I shall stalk you around the store until you either buy something, or leave in frustration".

*****

What they say.

In public toilets.

"Now wash your hands".

What they really mean.

"We know you are mostly dirty bastards who we suspect rarely wash, and frequently pee on your hands when you aren't peeing on the toilet seat and surrounding floor area. At the risk of us catching something nasty from you we would prefer you to wash your hands before coming near the exit door handles, just in case we can be bothered to clean these toilets later".

What they say.

When you write to a company to complain about a rude member of staff.

" We apologise that our member of staff failed to live up to the excellent level of customer service our company normally provides. I would like to assure you that this member of staff has been severely reprimanded, and as a goodwill gesture I am enclosing some vouchers entitling you to £20 of goods at our store".

What they really mean.

"I called the member of staff into my office. They denied all culpability and told me it was you that was rude to them. We then had a good laugh at your expense and arranged to meet up for a beer after work. To keep you quiet I have sent you a standard letter and some vouchers so that you don't slag off our company too much to your friends and neighbours, plus you are now comfortable thinking that I have chewed this member of staff's ear off for being rude to you".

*****

What they say.

When the Police pull you over on a drink driving road check.

"Good evening Sir/Madam, have you been drinking tonight?"

What they really mean.

"Well I know you aren't going to tell me the truth if you have drunk too much to drive, but by getting you to talk to me whilst I have my head firmly wedged through your car window I can at least smell your breath when you answer me, plus judge if you are slurring your words in a drunken manner"

*****

What they say.

On a restaurant bill.

"10% service charge included".

What they really mean.

"We know our service is rubbish, (not to mention our food), and we therefore suspect that unless we include service charge in the bill you tightasses will leave without giving us a penny".

What they say.

In a hotel room notice.

"For the sake of the environment please turn off the lights" or " In in the interest of the environment if you require a change of towels please leave them on the floor, otherwise we will assume you are happy to re-use them".

What they really mean.

"We want to make as much profit as humanly possible, so if you turn off lights and re-use your towels, our electricity bill drops down hugely and we also save money on soap powder, plus you think we really care for the welfare of the planet".

*****

What they say.

A Politician.

"I became a politician because I wanted to be able to really make a difference"

What they really mean.

" I became a politician because I wanted to really be able to make a difference.......... and I did, my life is now completely different, I earn mega amounts of money, my mortgage gets paid for me by the taxpayers, my children go to private schools, I get to play golf every day of the week if I want to, millionaires offer me free use of their villas for holidays, I have a housekeeper that the taxpayer also pays for, I no longer need to pay for my car or my petrol (did I mention the taxpayer pays for that as well?), I can have two homes, one in the countryside and one in the city, both of which the taxpayer pays for etc etc, and all I need to do to do to get these perks is to turn up a few times a week in the House of Lords and show my face, plus cheer or jeer in the right places according to what our party leader tells us are our policies, being a politician has certainly made a big difference to me"

*****

What they say.

In the pub at closing time. The bell is rung and then they say....

"Come on ladies and gentlemen, time to drink up now".

What they really mean.

" We've had your money, you're all extremely pissed now, we want to go to bed and we still have all these glasses to clear up, vomit to mop up from the toilets, and the cashing up to do, so for pity's sake F**k off until tomorrow, when we happily relieve you of the remainder of your wages".

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Comments 15 comments

jiberish profile image

jiberish 7 years ago from florida

A little long, but absolutly true and funny...Thanks I needed a good laugh.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Jiberish, pleased you enjoyed it and sorry if it was a little bit long :)


Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 7 years ago from Australia

Hi Misty,

I enjoyed reading this hub, but found it to be a little bit short :-)

I suspect that the call centre one is pretty close to the truth for some companies. And I'll be trying the tomato sauce message.

We once waited so long in a restaurant for service, that I went out to a takeaway and bought a pie and brought it back and started eating it at my restaurant table.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia

That was a good read. Loved the letter from David Logan - should be more of those.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Jewels, wondered what had happened to you, (and loads of others) :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL Eric, thanks so much for that comment, loved it, plus the cheeky pie eating story :)


elisabethkcmo profile image

elisabethkcmo 7 years ago from Just East of Oz

LOVE YOUR HUMOR!!

check out my hubs too if you'd like


Chloe Comfort profile image

Chloe Comfort 7 years ago from Long Island

So true and so funny! Thumbs up!


ocbill profile image

ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

Hey, I am starting to like your hubs as much as Steve's. Great finds on the photos and sad that customer service is this way. Everybody working is looking for something better so CS will be lacking.


ocbill profile image

ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

Hey, I am starting to like your hubs as much as Steve's. Great finds on the photos and sad that customer service is this way. Everybody working is looking for something better so CS will be lacking.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks elisabethkcmo. Really pleased you enjoyed this and share a similar sense of humour. Will look out for your hubs too :)

Hi Chloe, cheers for the thumbs up, glad you found this amusing and true :)

Thanks ocbill, a huge compliment. I am delighted you feel this way about my hubs :)


2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Funny hub - and some of those 'official' lines all too familiar.

Pat's wonderful Husband recently stayed in a hotel where the heated towel rail had been disconnected 'for our guests' convenience'. (honestly)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL, I wonder in what way this was 'convenient' to the guests.


Suiiki profile image

Suiiki 7 years ago from City of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead

It was convenient to the guest because they didn't have to disconnect it themselves if they didn't want heated towels, I assume.

yet another brilliant Hub :) A good laugh, though unfortunately all too true. I have been having internet trouble lately, and every time the Telus guy comes, he just leaves a "Sorry we missed you" notice on the door. I think next time I call them, I will not only tell customer service to make sure they ring the damn doorbell, but also put a sign on the door that says "Press this button if you want me to know you are hear. I'm not a mind reader, nor do I have sufficient super-human hearing to hear a knock if I am across the f***ing house"


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Suiiki, Thanks for the great compliments. So sorry you are having Internet problems, I know how frustrating this can be!!!

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