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    Abusing The Language Barrier

    | Houston, TX, USA | Top

    (I am rolling some fabric for sale. A woman and her daughter approach the basket full of unidentified fabrics that I’m working on.)

    Customer, to her daughter: “Pregúntale a la muchacha si hay más de esta.” (“Ask the girl if there is more of this.”)

    Me: “¿De cual tela, señora?” (“Which fabric, ma’am?”)

    Customer: “How dare you?”

    Me: “I-I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “You’re all the same. How dare you assume I don’t speak English!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you asked your daughter to ask me a question in Spanish instead of asking me yourself. I assumed you were more comfortable with Spanish.”

    Customer: “Well, I speak English just fine.”

    Me: “I see that, yes. I was just trying to make things easier–”

    Customer: “I just didn’t want to speak to YOU.”