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    Category: Tourists/Travel

    This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 3

    | Cabazon, CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (Our mall is a big tourist destination. They don’t often speak English, and occasionally have translators. They are also notorious for wanting ‘new’ items ‘from the back’, even if the item is brand new.)

    Me: “Hello, sir, what can I help you find?”

    (The customer looks at me confused, then to his translator, who tells him what I said. The translator responds to me.)

    Translator: “He would like this dress shirt in his size.”

    (I measure the man, and get his dress shirt size from the wall. He removes the tissue paper, cardboard, and plastic clips that all new shirts come with. After looking at it, he drops it on to the ground.)

    Translator: “He says he likes it. Can you get him one?”

    Me: “So, he doesn’t want that one?”

    Translator: “It’s for a gift; he wants a folded one. This one is dirty.”

    (I notice an assistant manager is behind me, waiting to see if I need them to step in.)

    Me: “I didn’t see anything on it when I pulled it out, but if it’s damaged, I can have a manager approve a discount for you?”

    Translator: “No. He only wants a new one. He says it’s ‘ruined’ now.”

    Me: “Alright, let me go see what I can do.”

    (I take the shirt for reference and go to the back. I refold his shirt, exactly as they are packaged, and take it back.)

    Me: “How about this one?”

    (The customer looks very happily at me, and says thank you several times before wandering off to the register.)

    Manager: “Was that the same shirt?”

    Me: “Yep.”

    Manager: “Did you clean it with a lint roller or something?”

    Me: “Nope, but two can play at the bull-s*** game.”

    Related:
    This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 2
    This Round He Lost (In Translation)

    Tinker, Tailor, Waiter, Spy

    | Mendoza, Argentina | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (I am a US citizen. I don’t look like a native Argentine. I’m with a group of my friends. I have a face that is often mistaken for a worker wherever I am—even in the USA. I grab a menu so I can decipher it while we are waiting for a waiter. A customer grabs me by my lapels.)

    Customer: *in Spanish* “We’ve been waiting for 40 minutes and no one has come. Why? We’re hungry and livid!”

    Me: *thinking quickly* “I’m sorry, ma’am. We got a sudden lunch rush. Half of our wait staff called off because of sickness, and those who are here are working as hard as we can.”

    Customer: “It’s not enough! You better take our order, NOW!”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, you’re next on my list. I’ll take care of you right now. Let me go get my stuff; I’ll be right back.”

    (She shoves me away, and into another table. I stand up, apologize, and rejoin my friends.)

    Friend: *in English* “What was that all about?”

    Me: “That lady has been waiting for a while and she’s angry about it.”

    Friend: “So… she… thinks you’re a waiter?”

    Me: “Yep, and she’s going to be waiting a while longer.”

    In Need Of A Sanity Check

    | Federal Way, WA, USA | Bizarre, Money, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at a retail financial institution that cashes all types of payroll checks. The customer that walks up to my window is a regular that comes in once a month to cash her government check that has an image of the Statue of Liberty on it. We are almost finished with the transaction.)

    Me: “Did you need anything else today, like money order or stamps?”

    Customer: “No, but I had a question about my check.”

    Me: “Ask away! I’ll do my best to answer!”

    Customer: “That picture of the Statue of Liberty on the check, does that mean I get to fly to New York and see the Statue of Liberty for free?”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “Does that mean I get to fly to New York and see the Statue of Liberty for free?”

    Me: “Uh, no. It does not let you fly to New York for free.”

    (I hand the check to her to sign, as I start to get cash from her transaction.)

    Customer: “You’re a liar! It does mean I get to go to New York and see the Statue for free! You’re just trying to keep the ticket for yourself!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but the picture on the check is just a symbol representing America. It is not a plane ticket.”

    Customer: “LIAR! You’re a LIAR!”

    (At this point, she snatches the check from the tray under the glass separating us, and runs off screaming about me being a liar.)

    Coworker: “What was that?”

    Me: “I seriously don’t know.”

    A Badly Drawn Request

    | San Antonio, TX, USA | Health & Body, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at a theme park as a caricature artist.)

    Customer: “Hey, if I get one of these done can you make me skinny?”

    Me: “Well, it’s a caricature, so you can have an exaggerated bikini body or something if you like?”

    Customer: “Oh, good! Can you make my teeth look better, too?”

    (I can see the customer has a gap in her teeth.)

    Me: “Well, if you’re sensitive about something like that you could always give me a closed mouth smile.”

    Customer: “And could you make me blonde? And maybe a smaller nose?”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m not sure you’d want a picture if I altered it that much.”

    Customer: “Why not?”

    Me: “Because… it wouldn’t look like you!”

    Discrimi(nation)

    | Canada | Bigotry, History, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at a museum which features a large permanent exhibit of local First Nations artefacts, living spaces, and other historical paraphernalia. Because of this, we offer free admission to First Nations patrons. I have just finished printing tickets for two First Nations women. The next woman in line is Caucasian.)

    Woman: “Did they just get in for free?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Woman: “Why?”

    Me: “They’re First Nations. We offer free admission to those with status cards.”

    Woman: “But that’s outrageous! I have to play $15, and they get in free just because they’re lazy natives?”

    Me: “Ma’am—”

    Woman: “It’s not our fault they spend all their money on booze and can’t afford the museum! Why should they get in for free?”

    Me: “Ma’am! This museum features artefacts that were at one time stolen from the local bands. They are now put on display in exhibits of cultural history, of which the museum now makes a profit. You think we should charge the members of the culture it was stolen from to come see it?”

    Woman: “Yes!”

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