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Unfiltered Story #248072

, | Unfiltered | December 1, 2021

This happened to me years ago when I worked at ASDA, the UK brand of Walmart. The town had a high percentage of polish and Portuguese immigrants, which is a key factor in this story.

We had a worker in our section (let’s call him J) who was deaf and was practically mute except for the occasional mumble. He mostly communicated with us using hand signals and we had it down.

If a customer approached him, he could usually understand what they needed through lip reading and hearing aids and lead them to the product and point at it. If he couldn’t understand the customer, or felt they needed more verbal interaction he’d lead them to one of us and tap our shoulder.

So this day, I get a tap from J. I acknowledge him and address the customer.

Customer: “bless him, I suppose he’s probably foreign and can’t understand me (laughs)”

Me: “actually madam he’s deaf and cant talk back to you, so he’s brought you to me for further help”

Customer’s face drains… she feels embarrassed she’s made a potentially xenophobic comment and actually it was someone with a disability. Double hit.

Customer:” oh my god… I didn’t mean it to sound that way, I just presumed…”

I assured her it was fine, I was just making her sweat – she clearly wasn’t actually xenophobic, she was just making conversation with me and chose her icebreaker poorly. We had a good chuckle and I sent her on her way with what she needed (and a smile!)

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What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

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