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Unfiltered Story #293124

, | Unfiltered | June 10, 2023

(This story takes place a couple years before the health crisis, and a recent story I read on NotAlwaysRight.com reminded me of this one. I worked at a popular Swedish furniture store. We operate on the outskirts of Sweden, so lots of our customers speak fluent Finnish or Swedish and limited English. Because of that, all the European or American employees have to speak at least enough Finnish and Swedish to complete a sale. I, being the overachiever I am, speak both fluent Finnish and fluent Swedish even though I’m American. Lots of people do the sale in English and then switch to the language they normally speak to talk to their family and friends they shop with. This particular story took place in the afternoon about an hour before I usually take my break. This elderly couple walked in and they seemed sour, but I’ve learned that even the sourest looking people can be sweet, so I just went back to my work. About 10 minutes before I take my break the couple walked to the front of my line.)

Me: *smiling* “Hallå! How may I help you?”

(They have a couple furniture carts with the furniture boxes piled on top, which the man was starting to unload onto the conveyor belt. Please note that if you have furniture boxes you leave them on the carts, and that the belt was only for small items.)

Me: “I’m sorry sir, you have to leave the furniture boxes on the cart please! The conveyor belt is only for smaller items, not furniture boxes!”

(He seemed to realize that I was American, and assumed I didn’t speak Finnish, so he says this:)

Man: *in Finnish* “You can’t force me to do anything, stupid girl!”

Woman: *also in Finnish* “Yeah, don’t tell him what to do, stupid girl!”

(At this point I was getting offended. The man had stopped putting the furniture boxes on the belt, but I decided to not say that I spoke Finnish, and instead have some fun with them.)

Me: *in Swedish* “I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you said. Do you speak Swedish?”

(At that point both the man and woman laughed at me. I still decided to pretend I didn’t speak Finnish.)

Man: *in Finnish* “Stupid girl. Who works in a store near Sweden and doesn’t speak Finnish?”

Woman: *in Finnish* “Stupid girl! Stupid girl!”

(I was fed up with their crap, so I broke the facade. Oh, and also note that their Finnish was broken up and hesitant, so it obviously wasn’t a language either was familiar with.)

Me: *in perfect Finnish* “Oh yes, of course I’m a stupid girl! A stupid girl that speaks perfect Finnish!”

(They both went red when they heard my perfect Finnish, and the rest of the sale went normally. They became regulars, but when I got promoted to manager, I always went to the register they were at and made sure they didn’t make fun of any of the other cashiers, and they never did once they saw me.)

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