Category: Top

Respect Is Learned Before It Is Earned

| Phoenix, AZ, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month, Top, Transportation

(I am a teenage passenger on a public bus and there is an older gentleman talking so loudly on his cell phone that he’s drowning out my music player. I talk to the driver, who’s clearly just as annoyed by the man as the rest of us are.)

Me: “He’s being really loud. Is there anything you can do about it?”

Driver: “I would, but I’ve already been written up twice this week because rude customers complained about me telling them off; one more and I lose my job. I can’t take the chance.”

Me: “Okay, no problem…”

(I go over and stand in front of the rude passenger who’s still on his phone.)

Rude Passenger: *to his phone* “…KIDS ARE SO RUDE THESE DAYS! THEY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THEIR ELDERS!”

Me: “Excuse me, sir.”

(He ignores me and keeps talking. I decide enough is enough, and snatch the phone from him and turn it off before handing it back to him.)

Me: “First off, it’s rude to ignore someone when they address you. Second, it’s really disrespectful to be so loud in a public space; I couldn’t even hear my music over your griping. Maybe you wouldn’t have so much to complain about if you set a better example.”

(He was quiet the entire rest of the trip, and the driver gave me a free all-day pass!)

Gonna Bay For It Now

| Nashville, TN, USA | Health & Body, Pets & Animals, Top

(I work as a receptionist for a vet clinic. When people are thinking about adding an animal to their life, we always recommend they do a lot of research into the breed, so they can choose the pet that’s best for them, both for their sakes and the pets. One morning, a woman calls in, frantic.)

Client: “I have to see a vet as soon as possible. I think there’s something horribly wrong with my beagle puppy!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I’m pencilling you in. Can I ask, what are his symptoms?”

Client: “I’m not sure exactly, but he’s running around the house making this horrible sound, like he’s in pain. I don’t know what to do!”

Me: “Alright, well just take a deep breath. Can you get a good look at him? Does he have any injuries, or any other symptoms? Is he vomiting?”

Client: “No, he’s just making this awful sound! I think he’s-” *she’s interrupted by the ‘horrible’ sound* “There! That’s what he’s been doing all morning!”

Me: “Um, ma’am, how old is your beagle?”

Client: “Six months, why?”

Me: “Ah. Well, it sounds to me like he’s baying.”

Client: “What’s that? Is it serious?”

Me: “No, ma’am. Baying is a distinctive type of howl that hunting dogs make. When hunting breeds reach a certain age, their voice drops, the same way a human’s does, and they begin to bay when they’re excited. It sounds like your puppy just found his bay.”

Client: “But he’s not a hunting dog! I don’t even hunt!”

Me: “Beagles are a hunting breed, ma’am. They have been used to hunt for centuries. Baying is instinctive.”

Client: “Well, make him stop!”

Me: “I… what?”

Client: “Make him stop making that noise, it’s terrible!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t… make him stop. He’s doing what he’s bred to do. It sounds like he’s just excited with the new noise he can make and he’s showing it off. He’ll probably use it less once the newness has worn off.”

Client: “Less?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Client: “But…” *pause* “He’s going to do this forever?”

Me: “Welcome to owning a beagle, ma’am.”

Shogun The Way To Go Home, Part 2

| Tokyo, Japan | Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Language & Words, Top, Tourists/Travel

(I grew up in Japan and am bilingual, even though I am Australian by birth. I am showing some Australian friends around Tokyo.)

American customer: *to the station attendant, in English* “Hey, I need to get to Akihabara station. How do I do that?”

Station attendant: *in Japanese* “Sorry, I do not speak English. Could you point it out?”

(As the station attendant speaks, he has a big map of the subway system and his gestures make it VERY obvious what he wants the customer to do.)

American customer: *in English* “Are you deaf?! I need to get to Akihabara station!”

Station attendant: *in Japanese, while gesturing at the map emphatically* “I don’t know English, sorry. Please point where you are going.”

American customer: *in English* “Stupid Asians. Just tell me how to get there!”

(I intervene at this point, as I feel sorry for the poor station worker.)

Me: *in Japanese* “He wants to get to Akihabara station. I know the way; I’ll explain it to him.”

(I explain, in English, how to get to the station, and tell him the station attendant was trying but he doesn’t speak English.)

American customer: *to me, in English* “These stupid Japs should learn English. Why couldn’t he tell me that?”

Me: “When Asians visit your country, you expect them to speak English, right? So it’s only fair when you come here you try to use their language. Plus, he was trying to help you if you had just pointed it out on the map.”

American customer: “Everyone should know English!”

(He storms off without apologizing, or thanking me or the station worker.)

Station attendant: *to me, in Japanese* “Thank you so much for helping. I didn’t know what to do.”

Me: “Don’t worry about it. He was just being rude. I feel like I should be apologizing for his behaviour on behalf of all foreigners.”

Station attendant: “Oh, don’t worry, we get much worse. Then there are people like you who help convince me you’re not all bad. Thanks again!”

Related:
Shogun The Way To Go Home