Doesn’t Know When To Finnish

| Canada | Crazy Requests, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(I’m teaching myself Finnish by talking to a friend over texts and by reading the newspaper clippings she sends me every now and then. It takes me a long time to read them, because I’m just beginning, so I do it in a library with a notebook to jot down notes. An elderly woman comes up while I am in the middle of getting my clippings, notebook, and pen out.)

Woman: “Oh! What are you doing there? Learning Arabic or something?”

(I look down at the very obviously not-Arabic text.)

Me: “Nope, actually Finnish.”

Woman: “What?”

Me: “Finnish? Suomi?”

Woman: *annoyed* “Are you telling me you don’t want to talk to me?”

Me: “No, miss, I’m just saying that I’m teaching myself Finnish, the language from Finland.”

Woman: *finally clicks* “Oh! I’m so sorry! I keep sticking my foot in it!”

Me: “Not a problem, ma’am.”

(I go to start working, and then I see the headline and stop.)

Woman: “What’s the problem? You can’t do it?”

Me: “No, ma’am, it’s just I’m not sure this story is quite appropriate.”

(I go to turn the page, but the woman snatches the clipping away and looks at it, bewildered.)

Woman: “Don’t be ridiculous; how hard could it be?”

Me: “Finnish isn’t related to English, so it’s unlikely you’d be able to recognize much.”

Woman: “You’re just faking; [you’re] trying to pick up women by looking clever! I f****** hate you f****** a**-holes who think they can fool people! You’re just a f****** b****** who thinks he’s so smart! D*** f****** kids these days!”

(The woman flings the clipping back down and storms off. I begin translating, saying it as I write just loud enough for her to hear.)

Me: “HORNY BEARS TORMENTING PEOPLE…”

Doing Laps

| San Antonio, TX, USA | Bizarre, Rude & Risque

(The store I work in has had a serious power outage, so a coworker and I are standing in the main aisles directing guests. As we’re standing there, an elderly customer on a personal scooter almost runs me over.)

Me: “Can I help you find something?”

Customer: “Why’s the power out?”

Me: “We’re not entirely sure yet, but our managers are contacting the power company. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “Hop on my lap and take me to the men’s department.”

(My eyes go wide and I can barely respond. After I politely decline and provide directions, my coworker just looks at me.)

Coworker: “Did that just happen?”

Me: “Yes… yes it did. And unfortunately, this isn’t the first time.”

Profit And Hair Loss

| MN, USA | Awesome Customers, Health & Body, Money

(We’ve had trouble keeping business up, as our location is right next to a larger chain. On a particularly slow day, I’m confused when I see a young man come in with his entire head shaved nearly flat.)

Customer: “Excuse me; you may not still have me on file. I was here about 14 months ago.”

(I look him up.)

Me: “Yeah, you’re still on file; how can I help you today?”

Customer: “Well, I didn’t know what to do with my dad’s hairline. It was starting to look like a bad comb over, and you guys convinced me to shave everything.”

Me: “Yeah.”

Customer: “Well, now that I have a razor and can do it myself, I realized that’s $14 a month you could be making. Can I just pay for a haircut, you don’t do anything, and you can just take the money?”

(After blinking for a moment, I consult my manager, who clears the sale. The customer insists on full price.)

Me: “Thanks, glad it worked out for you.”

Customer: “Thanks a million. [Competitor] made it look like crap. I just felt bad, you know? You lose the rest of my sales because you actually know what the heck you’re doing.”

(The customer even tipped well, which made our day. The other stylists and I were sharing the story all week.)