How Many Languages Can You Tell Her To “Shut Up” In?

, , , , | Right | February 5, 2020

(I’ve always been friendly with this customer and she has been coming into the store for at least a month. My coworker doesn’t speak any English. This happens while I am serving another customer nearby. Note, most Germans do understand English and many speak it very well. They are often happy to help someone in English, as long as that person isn’t being unpleasant. This customer gives a pile of change with some paper money to my coworker and tries to explain something in English. My coworker looks confused as there is no obvious sense for all the change.)

Me: “[Coworker] doesn’t understand any English!”

Customer: “I’m sick of being harassed for not speaking German! I’m not here long enough to bother learning any. Why are you being rude to me? Every time I come here, you are rude to me!”

Me: “I’m not being rude to you. Every time you have come here, I have served you nicely and in English. I’m just telling you that my coworker doesn’t understand English. She speaks German or Turkish.”

Customer: “I don’t care; translate for me!”

(I quickly translate for my coworker while trying to still serve my own customer in German.)

Customer: “I’m the customer; you should respect me! You’re always rude to me! Why should I learn German when I’m not going to be here long enough?”

(By this point, the other customers are just staring at her as most of them know me and know that I am usually very friendly and will serve people in both German and English, depending on their requirements. Then, the customer storms out while yelling about how I am rude to her and that I should respect her because she’s the customer.)

Coworker: *in German* “What was that about?”

Me: “Apparently, I am rude because I told her that you don’t understand English.”

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