Changing Languages Doesn’t Change The Facts

, , , , , , | Working | January 6, 2021

I’m in line at a Hispanic grocery store with an older Japanese woman in front of me. The cashier finishes ringing her up and the customer hands her a twenty for a six-dollar charge.

Employee: “Here you go, ma’am.”

The employee gives her four dollars in change.

Customer: “Umm, excuse me. You messed up my change.”

Employee: *Dismissively* “No, I didn’t. Now, if you could please move along?”

Customer: “Wait, please, I do need the money.”

The cashier looks noticeably annoyed.

Employee: “Look. I get that English isn’t your first language, but that’s how much change you get from a ten.”

Me: *Interrupting* “Hey, she gave you a twenty, not a ten. Why won’t you give her the right change?”

This seems to set off the cashier, who quickly walks off to get a manager. She brings the manager and talks to her, facing her and ignoring us.

Employee: *In Spanish* “This old lady keeps insisting that I took her ten dollars and won’t go away. “

Me: *Interrupting again in Spanish* “She paid with a twenty and you didn’t give her the correct change.”

The cashier glared at me, and with a huff, took the cash from the register to count it with the manager. They came back about seven minutes later, the manager looking annoyed and the cashier completely unwilling to look me or the older woman in the eyes as she gave her the correct change.

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