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    I Don’t Work Here Is Lost In Translation

    | Midlands, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry

    (I work in a department store, but am not employed by that company so I can’t handle their furniture or answer questions about it either. To help customers realise there is a difference, I tend to wear coloured clothes as the host store staff can only wear black. I’m currently cleaning a selection of finishes and the customer beckons me over.)

    Customer: “Thank god we found someone. Now, we want something that is full wood. Nothing veneered and nothing of this chipboard rubbish. Do you have any?”

    Me: “My company doesn’t do full wood pieces, only veneers. If you find any of the ladies or gents in black who are in charge of [Host Store]‘s stock, they’ll be able to help you. I’m a rep from a different company so I don’t know their stock.”

    Customer: “No.” *starts to slow her speech down* “Do you have any full wood pieces?”

    Me: “Like I said, I don’t, but if you find one of the ladies or gents in black they may have some.”

    Customer: *slowing down to the pace you’d use to teach babies new words now* “Dooo yoooou haaaave aaaanny fuuuuull woooooood piiiiieeeces?”

    Me: “No. As I’ve said, my company doesn’t but [Host Store] may do.”

    Customer: “You really don’t understand what I’m saying and you sound foreign!”

    Me: “Eigentlich bin ich aus Deutschland, aber ich war in England angehoben. Ich versichere Ihnen, ich verstehe dich, aber ich kann nicht sagen, das Gefühl.” *actually I am from Germany, but I was raised in England. I assure you I understand you, but I can’t say the feeling is mutual*

    (With that the customer storms off and I see her repeating the whole thing again to one of the Host Store people.)