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Poking idiots in the eye since 2002
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Possibly semi-literate 
28th-Oct-2013 09:37 am
So I'm at the supermarket, and I want to buy some Bertolli pasta, because of their gay-friendy ads. There's lots and lots of Barilla pasta (they of the gay-unfriendly gaffe), and lesser quantities of various other brands. Don't see any Bertolli.

Just then this guy comes along, seems to be dressed like a supervisor or something. So I ask him, sir, do you have any Bertolli pasta? Oh sure, it's right there. He gestures towards some boxes.

So I point to one. Can't hide the annoyance in my voice. "Sir, what does that say?"

Actually took him a couple of seconds.

"Oh! 'Barilia'!"
28th-Oct-2013 02:32 pm (UTC)
Sounds to me less like illiteracy and more like an issue of reading what you think it says rather than what it actually does say. I do that all the time when I just skim something.
28th-Oct-2013 02:43 pm (UTC)
I agree. I do this all the time when I am in a hurry.
28th-Oct-2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
I don't think this is stupid per se, although it's made a bit worse because he was supposed to be providing you service. I'm guilty of this all the time though. I think most people do it pretty frequently. Our brains like heuristics.
28th-Oct-2013 03:49 pm (UTC)
Or possibly a hearing difficulty: if you're listening for key words (which people in that sort of customer service job do a lot), "Bertolli pasta" doesn't sound that different from "Barilla pasta." (Vowels are remarkably malleable across dialects.)

When you asked "What does that say?" it was also a clue that you cared about the brand name.

Looking for non-Barilla pappardelle did remind me how much of the market Barilla has. (I'm looking for Ronzoni, which is the pasta I defaulted to where I used to live, but I'd have to go to a further-away supermarket and wasn't up for that yesterday.)
28th-Oct-2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
It's unfortunate that the two names are so similar, because until you mentioned Barilla, I was thinking Bertolli was the company who made the gaffe. Perhaps the person helping you out made a similar error, given the "B" and the two L's. Of course if I was going to purchase some pasta, I would probably Google the news item to be sure I boycotted the correct one. LOL
28th-Oct-2013 07:39 pm (UTC)
Having worked in customer surface most of my laugh, most of what my clients say have little resemblance to what it actually is, if I've had a penny for each time people described something bright red or with glitter "natural" I'd have a lot of pennies, but I don't think he was that stupid and you were just mistaken for a customer who doesn't know what he's looking for.
29th-Oct-2013 12:29 am (UTC)
This happens all the time in pharmacy - "I need some ommyprazzle and some Dom Perignon".
29th-Oct-2013 01:53 am (UTC)
That sounds like a great combination! I'll have a big bowl of the Ommyprazzle and a neverending flute of the Dom.

Cheers! *raises flute to toast you*

6th-Nov-2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
There are some medication names I won't even try to pronounce without looking at them. Amuses patients to no ends some days. :)
6th-Nov-2013 09:47 pm (UTC)
UK pharmacy staff are normally pretty good at pronunciation, because everything's referred to by the generic name so you just have to get used to it, and you learn the naming patterns. But everyone's arch nemesis? Naftidrofuryl. One of my colleages runs a medicine helpline and one of the questions they received one day from a patient was just "I've started taking this medicine, how do you pronounce it?" (Bonus: I think my colleague might have needed several attempts to get it out correctly.)
12th-Nov-2013 09:19 pm (UTC)
Naff tea dro fur ill? Maybe with the stress on the fur?
12th-Nov-2013 10:26 pm (UTC)
Pretty close - more like naff-tid-row-fyur-rile (can't represent the furyl part brilliantly, but there's an IPA representation here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/furyl, rhymes with docile). The problem we have is the middle syllables get a bit swallowed in our local accent, so unless you're being really careful it sort of turns into "naf-tid-row-mrph-mrr".

Edited at 2013-11-12 10:27 pm (UTC)
29th-Oct-2013 12:26 am (UTC)
I actually feel bad for the guy. I think you were/are being unduly harsh.
12th-Nov-2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think so too. It would be okay if the OP tried to laugh it off with him. Instead, she got annoyed.
29th-Oct-2013 05:13 am (UTC)
My friend does that. He's dyslexic.
29th-Oct-2013 09:35 am (UTC)
The moron!
29th-Oct-2013 12:17 pm (UTC)
This is a bad post and you should feel bad.
30th-Oct-2013 09:00 am (UTC)
i tried to buy bertolli, too recently because of a coupon i have.
and there was none! and i know they used to carry it. wtf
20th-Nov-2013 04:02 am (UTC)
Some stores have started pulling one or both brands over the issue.
25th-Nov-2013 04:24 am (UTC)
Just sounds like heuristics or plain skimming. Or possibly, he didn't give enough of a shit about what stupid brand of pasta you wanted because he's probably paid only $8 an hour to deal with nitpicky morons like you.
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