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Category: Family & Kids

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Chipping Away At Those Cultural Differences

| USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(Some of my extended family from Ireland have come over to the US for a cross-country road trip. My one cousin is obsessed with French fries, which are called “chips” over there.)

Cousin: “Can I have some chips?”

Server: “Oh, I’m sorry we don’t have potato chips.”

Aunt: “He means ‘French fries,’ sorry!”

(Whether he just never clued in or refused to change what he called them, he never said French fries. When they finally get back to the east coast before flying home, we’re having dinner with them when this happens.)

Cousin: “Can I have chips with that?”

Waitress: “Of course!”

(We were thinking the waitress just recognized their accent and knew the difference in terms; turned out when the food arrived, alongside his hamburger was a giant mound of made-on-premises, freshly fried, potato chips! We got a good laugh out of it, and thankfully they were tasty, too!)

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Holy Justice League

| AR, USA | Family & Kids, Movies & TV

(I am a shift manager for an entertainment retailer in a small town. The town is dominated by a Christian college and most of the town is associated with it in some form. They are sweet and kind people, but they’re rather sheltered, so much so that outsiders call it “The Bubble.” The following is a great example of said Bubble:)

Me: *answering phone* “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I’d like to speak with your manager, please.”

Me: “Speaking. What can I do for you this evening?”

Caller: “Well, this is kind of embarrassing, but one of your workers sold my five-year-old son something inappropriate.”

(This is scary, because our company takes that stuff very seriously and I don’t want anyone to get fired over it.)

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that. If I may, what did they sell to him?”

Caller: “It was a Justice League animated movie.”

Me: *mentally sighing in relief* “Well, I see that this title is rated 13+. Did your son come in and buy it by himself?”

Caller: “No, my husband was with him.”

Me: “So they sold it to your husband?”

Caller: “Well, yes. But it was obvious it was for my son. It was very inappropriate! A man commits suicide in the first scene!”

Me: “Well, they were allowed to sell it to your husband because he is over 13. But if you’ll bring the DVD back to the store, we’ll refund or exchange it for you.”

Caller: “I just don’t understand how your store could sell something like that without a warning. Do your employees not preview your movies so they can make recommendations?”

Me: “Ma’am, we have well over 100,000 titles in this store alone, and a few million titles in our corporate database, which are periodically rotated. There’s no way we could manually preview all of that material. Do you know about the rating system?”

Caller: *becoming frantic* “So, you just sell things without knowing what’s in them?!”

(I proceed to explain the rating system to her and point her to a few non-profit/Christian websites which provide reviews of movies and TV shows. It was like a revelation from Heaven. Pun intended.)

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My Soul For A Steam-Iron

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Family & Kids, Popular

(I’m selling $250 steam irons and working on straight commission. A customer chats with me for 10 minutes, growing progressively more interested in the machine. I need this sale to make quota for the day, so start to hope when he says “I’m going to go find my wife and bring her to see this!” A few minutes after, while I’m scanning the aisles hoping to see him come back – 75% of the time these “Be backs” never return – a three-year-old boy comes up to my booth.)

Little Boy: “I’m lost. Can you help me find my mommy?”

Me: “Absolutely!”

(I’m a traveling demonstrator and don’t work for the store, so have no idea policy about lost children, but figure I’ll walk him to the managers. I take him up front, but forget to put out my “Be back in five minutes” sign. After I get him into the hands of the floor manager, I head back to my booth, gone less than five minutes. Shortly, the customer returns.)

Customer: “You just lost a sale! I came back with my wife and you were gone! We weren’t going to wait around for hours for you; she’s gone to check out. Guess you weren’t really interested in a sale!”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but a little boy was lost and asked me for help finding his mommy. He was scared and I took him to the manager.”

Customer: “Too bad for you! That’s not your job. You’re here to sell!”

(Customer storms off just as the manager walks by with the little boy, bringing him to the mom who happens to be near my booth and is starting to panic.)

Manager: “This brave little boy knew what to do when he realized he was lost. He went right to a staff member in a badge—” *pointing to me* “—and asked for help. Always go to a person in authority and we’ll take care of you!”

Mother: *looking at me* “Oh, my god! Thank you so much! I’ve worked these kinds of booths; I hope being away didn’t cost you a sale?”

Me: “Not helping would have cost me my soul.”

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