Having A Light-Bowb Moment

, , , , | Right | October 4, 2018

(The hardware store where I work is in a large Asian immigrant community, and while the younger generations often speak fluent English, the older generations often don’t. Sometimes this can cause problems, but usually we find a way to work through it. Sadly, though, we only have two or three bilingual associates who can translate. I’m working in the lighting department, organizing light bulbs, when a little, old, Asian guy walks up to me and shouts in a thick accent:)

Customer: “BOWB!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “BOWB!”

Me: *assuming he means “lightbulb”* “Okay, what kind of bulb?”

Customer: “BOWB!”

Me: “Okay, sir, what kind of bulb?”

Customer: *frustratedly* “BOWB!”

Me: “Um… Do you have an old bulb?”

(I’m frantically looking for someone who can translate and coming up blank.)

Customer: *frustratedly* “BOWB!”

Me: “Sir, I—”

Customer: *now livid* “BOWB!”

Me: “I under—”

Customer: *practically trembling with frustration and anger* “BOOOOWB!”

(At this point, he finally grabs something from his pocket and shakes it under my face. Turns out it’s the old bulb, all right. Unfortunately, his grip on the thing is weak, and it goes sailing past me to shatter on the ground. I stare at it for a second, and then back at him, because that wasn’t exactly expected.)

Customer: *in a tone like someone just kicked his puppy* “Bowb…”

(The poor guy looks just so crestfallen that I pick through the shards, pull out the metal base with a wattage rating, and manage to line it up with a replacement. And of course, as he leaves, in a cheerful tone now…)

Customer: “BOWB!”

(To this day, my coworkers tease me about it by saying, “BOWB!”)

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