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Public Service Warning

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Cannot Speak The Language Of Respect

| USA | Bigotry, Geography, Language & Words, Theme Of The Month, Top

(I am out to eat with a friend, and we are waiting for our table. There is an older Spanish-speaking couple nearby also waiting, and two boys of about high-school age. I don’t speak Spanish, but I picked up a handful of words from an old job.)

Spanish-Speaking Woman: *asks me a question in Spanish*

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I only know a few words in Spanish. What was that?”

Spanish-Speaking Woman: *smiles, and repeats herself*

(I realize she needs to know where the bathroom is.)

Me: “Oh! See the stairs? Go to the hallway next to the stairs; it’s right there.”

(She thanks me, and hurries off to the bathroom. The high school boys make faces at me, and chime in.)

Boy #1: “Damn, b****, why are you helping them? You should’ve made them ask in English first!”

Me: “I’m not going to dignify that with a response.”

Boy #2: “Hey! You show me and my friend some respect, old lady! Do you know who we are?”

Me: “I don’t care who you are, my dear child. Why don’t you go bother somebody else?”

Boy #1: “Oh, hell naw! You ain’t talkin’ to me like that! You show me some respect, right now!”

(He stamps his foot. My friend and I burst out laughing.)

Me: “Oh, this is going to be an entertaining evening.”

Boy #1: “You ain’t allowed to laugh at me; I’m a man!”

Me: “No, dear. What you are is a minor child throwing a temper tantrum because you happen to be a racist. Now, shoo, adults are talking.”

Boy #2: “Naw! All you gotta do is show them d*** immigrants who’s boss! They gotta speak our language if they want to be here! I went to Mexico and none of them f****** spoke English! Ain’t got no respect!”

Me: “You do realize that Mexico is a different country, don’t you?”

Boy #2: “Duh!”

Me: “And their official language is Spanish.”

Boy #2: “So?”

Me: “So… you think that people who move here should have to speak English because most people here do, in some form or another. But when you visit other countries, where official language is not English, they should have to learn to make your life easier?”

Boy #2: “Yes!”

Me: “I… have a headache.”

(The older Spanish-speaking couple are seated a few tables away from us. The teens are there to apply for jobs, but because they’d put on their little display in full view of the hostess, they were not-so-kindly shown the door.)

Currently, They Cannot See Currency, Part 2

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(One of our self-serve machines is currently unable to accept or dispense any cash. There are four signs on the machine stating this. We have four other machines that are working fine and can accept cash. A customer walks straight up to the machine with signs on it, ignoring the four other vacant machines.)

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am; I am just letting you know that these machines are EFT only. They can’t accept cash.”

(The customer brushes me off.)

Customer: “Yes, yes, whatever.”

(At the end of her transaction, she yells at me to attend to her.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am, what seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Where do you put the coins?”

Me: “This machine is EFT only. It is unable to accept cash.”

Customer: “Yes, but where do I put the coins?”

(I talk a little bit slower.)

Me: “This machine can not accept cash.”

Customer: “So where do I put the coins?”

Me: “Would you like me to move you to another machine, as this one will not take any cash?”

Customer: “No, it’s fine. I’ll pay with my card. You really should put signs up, or tell people they can’t pay with cash, though.”

(I looks at the four signs individually, and then back to the customer.)

Me: “You’re right. Signs on the machine might help. Or I should start telling customers when they walk up to the machine.”

Customer: “Yes, you should! It would have saved me a lot of time and hassle!”

Related:
Currently, They Cannot See Currency

Stick It To The (Business) Man

| Liuzhou, Guangxi, China | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(My family are visiting my mother’s hometown in China. We are at a noodle shop for breakfast, where I am buying a stick of fried dough. I am a 12-year-old American-born-Chinese, so I can speak Chinese relatively well.)

Me: “Hello, can I get a—”

(A businessman barges in front of me, cutting me off mid-sentence.)

Businessman: “I need two sticks, hurry!”

(The man behind the stall looks shocked, but still takes the man’s money before reaching to get the fried dough sticks.)

Me: “Excuse me, I was in front of you. You cut in front of me.”

Businessman: “No, you weren’t! You were still walking over here when I was ordering! You should respect your elders! Kids these days!”

(He continues berating me until the man gives him his fried dough sticks. I glare at the businessman as he walks away, before turning to the man at the stall.)

Man: “Wow, you must be so brave to stick up like that! That guy has been bothering me for ages! He’s always acting like that.”

Me: “You’re welcome. So, could I please have a stick of fried dough?”

(The man happily gives me my stick of fried dough, smiling the whole time. He said that I made his day!)

Respect The Bottom Line

| Bismarck, ND, USA | Awesome Workers, School

(I supervise over the electronics area. I like to get to know the people that are working for me. It is the first day on the sales floor for a coworker just out of high school. I have just gotten the initiative to sign up for classes to get certified in Windows and perhaps improve my work situation. I am telling him about it.)

Me: “How about you? Any plans to go to college or work in a trade?”

Coworker: “I respect hard work to move up, more than what college fails to follow through on. I’d rather start at the bottom and work my way—”

Customer: “WHERE THE F*** IS THE G** D*** BATHROOM?”

(My coworker points roughly ten feet to the customer’s left, waits a second, and turns to me.)

Coworker: “Is this what I can expect without college?”

Me: “Higher education helps, but it isn’t a guarantee. You have to show the work and initiative to get into a position in a place where things like that don’t happen. If there is one person that no one respects, it’s the guy working at the bottom.”

(He finished his shift, but only returned again for his paycheck. On the way out, he stopped to thank me and inform me he’s applying for scholarships.)

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