You Can Be Pompous In Any Language

, , , , , | Right | October 25, 2017

(I am serving a customer when an older woman comes up and speaks to me in a language other than English.)

Me: “Sorry, I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

(The older woman shrugs and wanders off.)

Customer: *in a snooty voice* “She was speaking Arabic; she asked you for a bag.”

Me: “Oh, did she? I’ll get her one when I’ve finished serving you.”

Customer: “You don’t speak Arabic, then?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

Customer: “You mustn’t be very well-travelled, then.”

Me: *annoyed now* “Unfortunately not. I’m afraid I only speak four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Polish. Had she spoken to me in any of those languages, I could have responded, but unfortunately I have not yet learnt Arabic.”

Customer: “Well, I speak the language fluently. It’s quite an important language in Australia.”

(I’ve just finished an Anthropology course on migration in Australia, so I know this fact.)

Me: “You’re right; it’s currently spoken by almost 1% of our population.”

(She went red at this and we finished the transaction in silence.)

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