Fun With Language Barriers

, , , , , , | Right | March 18, 2008

(I work at this little burger joint in Seattle. I’m white, but I’m bilingual. Our grill workers all speak primarily Spanish, so I talk to customers in English and call back orders in Spanish.)

Old Man Customer: “Now, what is a pretty young thing like you doing speaking the Dirty Man’s Language?”

Me: “Excuse me, sir?”

Old Man Customer: “You should be speaking English! It’s only natural, here in America!”

Me: “It’s just fastest, sir. The language communicates more efficiently in an environment like this.”

(I am not about to tell him that the grill workers are mostly South American immigrants, after hearing his first reaction.)

Old Man Customer: “Have some pride in your country! SPEAK ENGLISH when you call back my order, do you understand?”

Me: *knowing full well that his order won’t actually come through if I did that* “I’m sorry, sir. I’m afraid it’s procedure.”

Old Man Customer: “I want to speak with your manager! This restaurant is just UNAMERICAN!”

Manager: *who had been working the register next to me* “Si, señor?”

Old Man Customer: *storms out*


This story is part of our Confused-With-Spanish roundup!

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