Gonna Bay For It Now

| Nashville, TN, USA | Health & Body, Pets & Animals, Top

(I work as a receptionist for a vet clinic. When people are thinking about adding an animal to their life, we always recommend they do a lot of research into the breed, so they can choose the pet that’s best for them, both for their sakes and the pets. One morning, a woman calls in, frantic.)

Client: “I have to see a vet as soon as possible. I think there’s something horribly wrong with my beagle puppy!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I’m pencilling you in. Can I ask, what are his symptoms?”

Client: “I’m not sure exactly, but he’s running around the house making this horrible sound, like he’s in pain. I don’t know what to do!”

Me: “Alright, well just take a deep breath. Can you get a good look at him? Does he have any injuries, or any other symptoms? Is he vomiting?”

Client: “No, he’s just making this awful sound! I think he’s-” *she’s interrupted by the ‘horrible’ sound* “There! That’s what he’s been doing all morning!”

Me: “Um, ma’am, how old is your beagle?”

Client: “Six months, why?”

Me: “Ah. Well, it sounds to me like he’s baying.”

Client: “What’s that? Is it serious?”

Me: “No, ma’am. Baying is a distinctive type of howl that hunting dogs make. When hunting breeds reach a certain age, their voice drops, the same way a human’s does, and they begin to bay when they’re excited. It sounds like your puppy just found his bay.”

Client: “But he’s not a hunting dog! I don’t even hunt!”

Me: “Beagles are a hunting breed, ma’am. They have been used to hunt for centuries. Baying is instinctive.”

Client: “Well, make him stop!”

Me: “I… what?”

Client: “Make him stop making that noise, it’s terrible!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t… make him stop. He’s doing what he’s bred to do. It sounds like he’s just excited with the new noise he can make and he’s showing it off. He’ll probably use it less once the newness has worn off.”

Client: “Less?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Client: “But…” *pause* “He’s going to do this forever?”

Me: “Welcome to owning a beagle, ma’am.”

It’s An Art


Via.

Shogun The Way To Go Home, Part 2

| Tokyo, Japan | Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Language & Words, Top, Tourists/Travel

(I grew up in Japan and am bilingual, even though I am Australian by birth. I am showing some Australian friends around Tokyo.)

American customer: *to the station attendant, in English* “Hey, I need to get to Akihabara station. How do I do that?”

Station attendant: *in Japanese* “Sorry, I do not speak English. Could you point it out?”

(As the station attendant speaks, he has a big map of the subway system and his gestures make it VERY obvious what he wants the customer to do.)

American customer: *in English* “Are you deaf?! I need to get to Akihabara station!”

Station attendant: *in Japanese, while gesturing at the map emphatically* “I don’t know English, sorry. Please point where you are going.”

American customer: *in English* “Stupid Asians. Just tell me how to get there!”

(I intervene at this point, as I feel sorry for the poor station worker.)

Me: *in Japanese* “He wants to get to Akihabara station. I know the way; I’ll explain it to him.”

(I explain, in English, how to get to the station, and tell him the station attendant was trying but he doesn’t speak English.)

American customer: *to me, in English* “These stupid Japs should learn English. Why couldn’t he tell me that?”

Me: “When Asians visit your country, you expect them to speak English, right? So it’s only fair when you come here you try to use their language. Plus, he was trying to help you if you had just pointed it out on the map.”

American customer: “Everyone should know English!”

(He storms off without apologizing, or thanking me or the station worker.)

Station attendant: *to me, in Japanese* “Thank you so much for helping. I didn’t know what to do.”

Me: “Don’t worry about it. He was just being rude. I feel like I should be apologizing for his behaviour on behalf of all foreigners.”

Station attendant: “Oh, don’t worry, we get much worse. Then there are people like you who help convince me you’re not all bad. Thanks again!”

Related:
Shogun The Way To Go Home

Putting The Bus Into Busy

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Food & Drink, Top

(My mother and I go to lunch at a popular fast food restaurant. The store’s location is in a plaza directly across the street from the local mall; as such, despite the fact that it is the lunch hour, there are few customers in the dining room other than us, though the drive-thru is a flurry of activity. We wait at the counter, and the woman there takes our order.)

Cashier: “Will there be anything else today, sweetie?”

(I am a pretty scrawny and short eleven year old, and painfully shy.)

Me: “No thank you, that’s okay. But um… there’s a bus full of kids coming here for lunch. They should be here soon.”

Cashier: “Wait, what?”

My Mother: “Well, my daughter was late to school today because of a doctor’s appointment. I normally drop her off with a note for the teacher, but her grade is on a field trip touring the local police station up the street from the restaurant. I drove her to the station and stayed with her as we caught up with the tour, and then decided to drive the two of us to the restaurant after. We’re here first because it takes time to load up two classes of kids into a school bus.”

Cashier: *pale* “Could you just wait one moment, please?”

(She goes and gets her manager, and my mom and I explain everything again.)

Manager: “How many people are we talking about here?”

Mom: *to me* “How many kids in your class, honey?”

Me: “It’s not just my class. It’s [other teacher]’s class too, and there’s 25 kids in hers. [My teacher] has 27 kids, but there’s [classmate] and [teacher’s aide] ’cause she’s special ed. And [third teacher] has some of his kids too, so…” *does the mental math* “Maybe 60 people?”

Manager: “60. Some adults, mostly kids.”

(She breathes deeply in and lets it out slowly with a whoosh.)

Manager: “Got it.”

(She turns to her crew, barks out orders, and the previously laid-back kitchen area explodes into action. Meat’s on the grill, batches of fries and nuggets are dropped into the fryer and just in time because five minutes later my classmates and teachers are swarming the place. The manager was nice enough to track me down in all the fuss and give me a free sundae. It wouldn’t be until years later, when I was working in fast food myself that I appreciated the reprieve even a few minutes’ advance warning could bring!)

A Disabling Argument

| Champaign, IL, USA | Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month

(I work in the computer department at a major electronics retailer. Another employee is helping a woman who is pushing around a man in a wheelchair while I am looking at tablets with another customer. The woman and the man in the wheelchair leave the other employee and begin looking at tablets at the opposite end of the row. When they move away from the display, I scoot down to show those tablets to my customer. The woman makes annoyed noises but doesn’t say any words.)

Me: *to my customer* “So, the main differences between this tablet and the ones at which we were just looking—”

Woman: “You know, you need to learn how to treat people. Just because he…” *motions to the man she’s pushing around* “…is in a wheelchair doesn’t mean we don’t want to look at the tables too! You can’t just walk right in front of us and block our view!”

Me: “I’m sorry, when you folks backed away from the display table, I thought you were done looking at that one. Here, you can keep looking at this one, and we’ll look at iPads for a bit.”

Woman: “No! We’re leaving! You can’t treat people like this just because they’re in wheelchairs!” *leaves with her companion, who hasn’t said a word*

Customer: “That was weird. They left the table. How were we supposed to know they were still looking at it?”

Me: “Welcome to retail, sir.”

(After finishing up with my tablet customer, I go to tell another employee about the few weird customers I’d already had that morning. Just as I get to telling him the wheelchair woman…)

Me: “And the third crazy customer…”

(Just as I say this, she storms up the aisle screaming loudly enough that people from across the store are looking, now without the man in the wheelchair, which means she must have left him in the car.)

Woman: “You! You need to learn how to treat people! You can’t ignore people just because they’re in a wheelchair! You think you can just walk in front of us while we’re looking at things because he’s in a wheelchair!”

Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t mean to block your view. Can I explain what happened from my perspective?”

Woman: “No! I know what happened! I don’t want to hear your lies! You can’t lie to me!”

Me: “Ma’am, you left the table. The other customer I was helping also thought you were done with that tablet. It had nothing to do with anyone being in a wheelchair. I am sorry that I moved in while you were still interested in looking at that tablet, but I did offer it back to you right away, and you decided to leave instead of accept that offer.”

Woman: “What’s your name!? I’m reporting you to a manager for lying and discriminating against people in wheelchairs! And I’m calling corporate to report you! That’ll teach you a lesson about treating people in wheelchairs fairly!”

(The customer is now crying and letting out the occasional loud sob.)

Me: “My name is [name]. Feel free to report me if you think that’s what you need to do.”

(As the customer leaves, I turn back to the employee to whom I was talking before the crazy woman returns. He has been watching the whole incident with a shocked look on his face.)

Me: “So, I guess now I don’t need to fill you in on how crazy that third customer was.”

(My very next customers were an older couple that waited for me to free up because I’d helped them pick out a computer before and they thought I gave them excellent service. The couple was a woman who was pushing the man around in a wheelchair!)

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