A Sign It Isn’t Going To Work

, , , , | Right | January 27, 2019

(Our town has a school for the deaf, so we get a lot of deaf customers in the store. I don’t know sign language. This evening we get a regular deaf customer but this is my first experience with him. He makes it clear to me that he’s deaf, so I start to try and take his order by pantomiming what I’m asking for. I ask him what he would like to drink, and he then proceeds to point at the word “tea” on the menu. We have sweet or unsweet tea. I proceed to ask him whether he wants sweet or unsweet, but he keeps pointing at the word “tea.” I decide to get him a sweet tea because that’s the most popular among our guests. When I deliver his drink, he takes a big gulp and starts making a disgusted grunting sound, and continues to point at the word “Tea.” I decide to bring out an unsweet tea and he seemed happy about it. His drink order took about a half an hour. For ordering his food, he points at the word “hamburger steak”, which is basically a hamburger patty with nothing on it. I proceed to try and ask him how he wants it cooked, but he just doesn’t understand what I’m saying. One of my coworkers, who is legally deaf, decides to try and help me take his order by signing to him. She proceeds to try and take his order for about ten minutes: she’s finally successful.)

Coworker: “He wants a hamburger steak, medium rare, with a side of greens and mashed potatoes.”

Me: “Why did that take so long?”

Coworker: “This guy seems like he knows sign language, but everything he signed to me was just gibberish.”

(After I delivered his food to him, he was pretty self-sufficient. The only downside was that he nursed his drink and his food and sat at that table for almost five hours total.)

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