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    A Wee Bit Foreign, Part 2

    | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I am Scottish, and working the registers.)

    Me: “Hi, how are you today, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Pardon?”

    Me: “Uh, was just asking how you were going today.”

    Customer: “Wow, that’s a strong accent you have there. Are you working whilst backpacking or something?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I have lived here for the last 10 years now. Moved over here with my parents.”

    (I continue scanning and packing the customer’s items, while she just stares at me blankly.)

    Customer: “So, if you’ve been here so long, how come you still can’t talk properly?”

    Me: “Uh… I’m sorry, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Oh, it’s alright. Not your fault you’re a bit slow.”

    (After finishing the transaction in stunned silence, she thanks me and leaves with her items. I look over at my supervisor who heard the exchange.)

    Supervisor: “You always get the interesting ones, don’t you?”

    Related:
    A Wee Bit Foreign

    Extreme Foreign Interests

    | England, UK | At The Checkout, Geography, Language & Words

    (I suffered from a speech disorder as a child, and while I speak perfectly now, I have a slight twang in my voice. I’m on the checkout when a smartly-dressed customer approaches the till.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

    Customer: “…where are you from?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Where. Are. You. From?”

    Me: “Um, I’m local, if that’s what you mean.”

    Customer: “No, where were you born?”

    Me: “In [local hospital].”

    Customer: *sighs* “Where are your parents from?”

    Me: “They’re from [local town] and [local city].”

    Customer: *getting irate* “I just want you to tell me where you’re from! Explain your accent!”

    Me: “Oh! My accent! Yes, there’s an explanation for that; see when I was a kid—”

    Customer: “I don’t want to hear your life story! Why are you ashamed of your heritage? You are probably bringing shame to your family by denying them! I get that there are racists here, but you don’t need to deny who you are! I won’t judge you!”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t know what you want me to say.”

    Customer: “Tell me your parents were born in a different country!”

    Me: “Um… they were born in [other country]?”

    Customer: “Yes! See how easy that is? Why couldn’t you have just said that in the first place?!”

    (He grabs his bags and marches off. I turn to the next customer.)

    Me: “Afternoon!”

    Customer #2: “That was a lie, right?”

    Me: “Yep. How can I help you today?”

    Doing A Number On The Wrong Number

    | UK | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

    (Our home phone number is only one digit different from a local supermarket. We get about one call a month intended for them. I’m about 14 years old.)

    Me: “Hello?”

    Caller: “I have a complaint.”

    Me: “Uh… this isn’t—”

    Caller: “You are all incompetent! Why is my delivery so late?”

    Me: “Look this is a private number—”

    Caller: “I have friends coming over! I’m hosting a dinner party, and I have no food because you are all useless!”

    Me: “I’m sorry but—”

    Caller: “I want to speak to your manager! I want—”

    (I give up and hang up. The phone rings almost immediately.)

    Caller: “HOW DARE YOU RANG UP ON ME, YOU B****!”

    (I hang up again. The phone rings again.)

    Caller: “GIVE ME YOUR SUPERVISOR RIGHT F****** NOW! I’M GOING TO HAVE YOUR JOB, YOU LITTLE S***!”

    Me: “Oh, you want to speak to Mum or Dad?”

    Caller: “…what?”

    Me: “Like I tried to tell you: this isn’t [shop]; this is a home number.”

    Caller: *very small voice* “…What?”

    Me: “This isn’t [supermarket].”

    Caller: “But… but… I called them! WHY ARE YOU ANSWERING THEIR PHONE!?”

    (I hang up again, and tell my dad he is answering if she calls back. She does. It is a very short conversation.)

    Makes You Want To Dye A Little, Part 5

    | UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (I am a female and have worked in the same supermarket for the past five years. I used to be blond, but I decide to dye my hair red. Most people have commented about how they like the new color, and how it suits me, and how they don’t recognize me.)

    Customer: “Oh, I see you have dyed your hair. I almost didn’t recognize you.”

    Me: “Yeah, I was fed up with the original color, so I went for a change.”

    Customer: “Well, I don’t like it. I want you to change it right now.”

    Me: “You want me to leave work and pay to have my hair dyed a different color because you don’t like it?”

    Customer: “Yes, why is that a problem?”

    (The customer then stands there for another five minutes waiting for me to leave the till to go re-dye my hair.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I cannot leave my till until I finish work.”

    Customer: “Well that is just rude. I expect your hair color to be different when I next come in.”

    (The customer walks off. I look at my coworker, who looks just as confused as me.)

    Coworker: “Did that really just happen?”

    Related:
    Makes You Want To Dye A Little, Part 4
    Makes You Want To Dye A Little, Part 3
    Makes You Want To Dye A Little, Part 2
    Makes You Want To Dye A Little

    Saving Money And Wasting Time

    | Brighton, England, UK | At The Checkout, Money

    (I work for a supermarket that has launched a ‘price promise.’ If you spend more in the supermarket than you might have spent in a competitors, the till system automatically prints a coupon for the difference. If you saved money over shopping with competitors, it prints a little ‘for information’ slip to tell you how much money you saved over going elsewhere.)

    Me: “That’s £14.87 please, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Oh! I have this coupon! I can save 50p!”

    (The customer hands me a ‘for information’ slip that is not actually a coupon.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid that’s an advice slip. You already saved your 50p on your last shop.”

    Customer: “Exactly. So I get 50p off now, right?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. This piece of paper says ‘You saved 50p’ and is for information only. If it was a coupon, it would have the writing ‘Save 50p off your next shop!’ instead.”

    Customer: “So it’s a coupon?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. It’s for information. If it was a coupon it would have the text as I described, and also a barcode beneath for me to scan to apply that discount. As there is no barcode, regrettably it is not a coupon, and unfortunately I cannot credit you with this 50p.”

    Customer: “So why did they give me a coupon to save me money if I can’t actually save any money?”

    Customer’s Husband: “FOR LORD’S SAKE, WOMAN! The lady has very nicely tried to explain several times that THIS IS NOT A COUPON. You ALREADY saved your money, so you can’t save it twice. Can we PLEASE just pay and go before people start questioning why I’ve not divorced you yet?”

    Customer: “Oh. Sorry, dear.” *to me* “Sorry to you too, dear! I don’t understand why they gave me a coupon I can’t spend, though.”

    Customer’s Husband & Me: “It’s not a coupon.”

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