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Home Is Where The Handmade Is

, , , , | Right | August 28, 2021

I work as a Christmas seasonal worker at a well-known bath products chain. Their slogan is “Handmade Cosmetics,” and it’s in big white letters under the shop’s name. I hear a coworker trying to explain something to a tourist and having some problems speaking to them. I go to her aid. The tourist is angry and talking super-fast, so I first ask my coworker if they need help.

Me: *In Spanish* “Do you need help? I can speak to her if you want.”

Coworker: *In Spanish* “Yeah! I don’t get what she means at all; it makes no sense.”

I find this weird because this coworker is pretty fluent in English, as most of us are. Our shop is in a pretty popular tourist hotspot, so it is always full of foreign customers. In any case, I turn to the tourist, who is getting impatient.

Me: “Hello! What were you looking for? I’ll help as best as I can.”

Tourist: “Well, I want to know if you sell glycerin and essential oils for soap making.”

Now I understand why my coworker was confused. We only sell finished products.

Me: “I am very sorry, but we do not sell that.”

Tourist: “That doesn’t make any sense.”

Coworker: “Our products are handmade, though; they are all-natural and ethically sourced.”

Tourist: “But do you do it at home?”

Me: “No, we have a few factories in Europe which send us the finished products.”

Tourist: “Then you are lying! Outside says it’s homemade. If you make it in a factory, it’s not homemade. You should not lie about that!”

Me: “Ma’am, nowhere does it say that. Our goods are handmade, though.”

Tourist: “No, no, home-made. You should not say it’s homemade if it’s not. Do you know where I can buy glycerin and essential oils?”

Coworker: “Um, no?”

Tourist: “Then goodbye. And do not lie to your customers anymore; it is not homemade and you should be ashamed of yourselves for lying!”

After the tourist leaves, my coworker and I just look at each other and say, in Spanish:

Us: “What the h*** was that?”