October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Needs To Take A Pager From The Book Of Patience

| Woodbridge, VA, USA | Bad Behavior, Time

(I’m a hostess at a restaurant. Saturdays are our busiest days, and we are on a wait all day long. On this particular day, several of our tables just don’t want to leave, and our queue starts to run over.)

Guest: *storms in through the door* “How long do I have to wait?”

Me: “For how many, ma’am?”

Guest: “Four.”

Me: “Right now, the wait is about 45 minutes, but you’re welcome to go walk around the mall for about twenty minutes and check back in with your pager.”

Guest: *snatches pager from me* “Okay.”

Guest: *comes back ten minutes later* “How long do I have to wait?”

Me: “You still have about a half hour left.”

(The guest takes two steps back and stands in front of me the rest of the time. Her friends join her; she checks back in every few minutes. She is now seventh on the list. I page a couple people.)

Guest: *comes forward and shoves her pager in my face* “I’m next, yes?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I still have a few names in front of you. A few of our tables are sitting a lot longer than we expected, but as soon as they come available I will page for them.”

Guest: “This is ridiculous! I have been here over an hour!”

Me: *looks at the timer next to her name on my screen* “You’ve been here fifty minutes.”

Guest: *swings pager around* “But I got this over an hour ago!”

Me: “You got it fifty minutes ago.”

Guest: *pauses* “Well, that’s almost an hour.”

Me: *looks at her and gives a forced smile*

Guest: *glares at me the rest of the time until I page her*

(I pretended to be preoccupied with my screen not to notice. Her party ended up being five; she didn’t count her child.)

Getting It All In Español, Part 2

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

(A group of guys come in speaking Spanish, which I understand and speak fairly well. They shove the one white guy in the group forward to talk to me, the white hostess.)

Guy: *in English* “Hi, uh, can we get a table for eight, please?”

Me: *in English* “Sure thing. I think I have one cleared off, but let me go check for you.”

Guy: *in English* “Yeah, no problem.”

(I go to check the table. It is clear. When I get back, the guys are talking to the bartender in Spanish.)

Guy: *in Spanish* “The girl here was pretty cute, huh, man?”

Bartender: *in Spanish* “Yeah, she’s okay.” *looks at me, says in Spanish with an evil grin:* “Hey, white girl, is the table ready yet?”

Me: *in Spanish* “Yeah, it’s ready. Come on, guys.”

(The whole group blushed bright red. They were very polite to the staff the whole time and left us a great tip!)

Getting It All In Español

Fluid Memory; Difficult To Grasp

| Tucson, AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I sometimes eat in at a pizza joint about a block or so down the road from work when my shift is over and I’m hungry enough to eat a rhinoceros.  I’m doing so after a very busy Christmas week shift I hadn’t been prepared for. Needless to say, I’m a bit out of it, and I usually order the same thing, so I hardly ever look at the menu. The drink order goes a bit like this.)

Employee: “Hi, welcome to [Restaurant]. What can I get you to drink?”

(At this point, I recall a half-and-half mix of root beer and Dr Pepper I grew fond of during a recent dinner party, and decide that’s my drink order for the evening.)

Me: “Could I get a half-and-half of root beer and Dr Pepper?”

Employee: “We don’t have Dr Pepper. Would you like something else in that half-and-half?”

Me: “Well, could you please tell me what you do have?”

Employee: *lists several sodas, including root beer – which I somehow mishear as Dr Pepper*

Me: “Dr Pepper.”

(The waitress repeats that Dr Pepper is unavailable at least three more times before I pause for about three seconds. I face-palm and start chuckling once I realize I’ve momentarily become that customer who never seems to understand something spoken to him, clear as day, regardless of how many times it’s mentioned.)

Me: “Oh, my God. Ah, I’ll have a cola-root beer half-and-half, please.”

Employee: “All right, a cola-root beer half-and-half. Anything else to drink?”

Me: “No. Thanks for being so patient with me, by the way!”

(I still visit that particular pizza joint. But every so often, as I’m eating my pizza, I still remember how I once somehow failed to understand what “We don’t have Dr Pepper” means.)

Totally Estúpido, Part 2

, , | Cleveland, OH, USA | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

(I have a Hispanic name, but was born in raised in the United States; therefore, I have no accent. The phone rings and I’m the closest so I go to pick it up.)

Me: “Having a great day at [Restaurant]. This is [Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Customer: *beep*

Me: “Hello?”

Customer: *beep*

Me: *I try one more time before hanging up*

Customer: “English.”

Me: *in an overly enthusiastic voice* “Having a great day at [Restaurant]. This is [Non-Hispanic Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Oh, that’s better. I think I got the Spanish line when I first called.”

Mexican’t Have Cheese

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

Waiter: “Table five wants vegan nachos. And yes, I already told them that that’s basically just toasted chips with tomatoes and jalapenos and they still want it.”

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