A Healthy Conversation About Religion

, , , , , | Right | November 9, 2018

(I’m a cashier. A customer sneezes several times as he approaches one of the self-checkout stations.)

Me: “Ah, gesundheit, sir!”

Customer: “You know you shouldn’t be saying that to people, miss.”

(A little perplexed, I stop making rounds around the self-checkout stations and turn to look at him.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir? What should I not be saying?”

Customer: “You shouldn’t say, ‘God bless you,’ to people.”

Me: “Eh, I didn’t say, ‘God bless you,’ though, sir; I said, ‘Gesundheit.’”

Customer: “I heard what you said; ‘gesundheit’ means ‘God bless you.’” *beginning to get irked*

(It takes me a moment to process what the man’s just said to me, since I know for a fact that “Gesundheit” means something like, “Good health to you.” But before I have a chance to respond to the man, he starts off on a tirade about how he can’t stand the fact that people have to shove matters like religion and God onto him and others all the time and can’t keep their opinions to themselves and whatnot. Meanwhile, I’m standing there, stock-still and quiet, as I’m holding my handheld monitor to my chest, definitely feeling a bit more than dumbfounded at what I’m hearing, all because I said a simple phrase! At some point I finally find a break in the man’s fervent outburst and manage to get a word in.)

Me: “Um, sir? ‘Gesundheit’ doesn’t mean ‘God bless you.’ It’s German for ‘Good health to you.’”

Customer: *stares at me again* “You sure about that?”

Me: “Completely so, sir.”

Customer: “It has nothing to do with God.”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, you know, you still shouldn’t say, ‘God bless you,’ to someone.”

Me: *actually feels my eyelid twitch a bit at this* “Yes, sir, I know that. Anyway, if you should at all require assistance while checking out, sir, let me know, okay? I’d be more than happy to help you.”

(I had to walk away from the man ASAP as I had a feeling that he would continue to incessantly drone on about why you shouldn’t say, “God bless you,” to someone when they sneeze. Honestly, had I known the man was going to get so cantankerous about me saying something with polite intention when he sneezed I’d have just stayed quiet! I’m not even religious, anyway!)

1 Thumbs
411
VOTES