Kindness Knows No Language Barrier

, , , , , | Hopeless Right | January 10, 2019

I’m a customer in a pharmacy in Berlin, behind an older man. I don’t speak German as I’m just a tourist, but he is very obviously driving the cashier crazy, pointing to everything five times and asking the price, wasting her time by debating the price, raising his voice, and flailing his arms about. Even though I can’t understand a word he is saying, his rudeness is clear! The cashier is doing a great job of staying calm, but he is visibly upsetting her.

When he finally leaves — some five minutes later, only having purchased one thing — I approach the register, smile, and roll my eyes. As she serves me, she chats away about the customer — made obvious from the things she points to while talking — and it’s clear from the relief on her face that she just needs to unload on someone who understands. I smile and nod and laugh when she laughs, and say, “Ja,” a couple of times, and she seems much calmer and happy by the end of the transaction.

Dear cashier, even though I didn’t understand a word you said, our conversation was wonderful and friendly; we both speak the universal language of “hating bad customers”!

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