Doesn’t Speak (Or Hear) French

| Montreal, QC, Canada | Right | June 21, 2014

(I work in a library which serves mostly English-speaking patrons, but also French-speaking patrons, too. As such, the library uses both a French and English name. I receive a call from a number with an area code that I do not recognize, but is somewhat similar to the library’s area code.)

Me: “Bibliothèque Publique de [City]. Public Library. How may I help you?”

Patron: “Yes, I received a notice that my books are late. I would like to renew them.”

Me: “Certainly. May I have your last name?”

Patron: “It’s [Last Name].”

Me: “Thank you.”

(I pull up the list of our patrons with the last name in question.)

Me: “What is your first name, please?”

Patron: “It’s [First Name].”

Me: *checking the list* “I’m afraid I can’t find that name on my list. Did you perhaps register your membership under a different first name, or were you using someone else’s card?”

Patron: *a little annoyed* “No. I used my card, and my name is [Name].”

(We go back and forth for a moment, before I ask…)

Me: *hesitant* “Ma’am, are you sure you are calling the right library?”

Patron: *a little offended by my suggestion* “Well, I am calling the library in [City], [US State]?!”

Me: “No, ma’am. You called [City], Quebec, Canada.”

Patron: “…”

(She said goodbye and hung up. I’m not sure how all the French and the different area code failed to clue her in! I’m also curious how much the long distance call cost her!)

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Poor Service

| Right | June 20, 2014

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The Mass Of The Sun

| Right | June 20, 2014

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Wasting Quality Time On Quality Food

| Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Right | June 20, 2014

(My sister and I are in line at a popular fry and poutine joint. We are at the front of the line, but haven’t quite decided what we want yet. There is a customer behind us, so we tell her to go ahead if she knows what she wants. The following exchange ensues.)

Cashier: “Hello. What can I get for you tonight?”

Customer: “What is on your bacon poutine?”

Cashier: “Um, bacon, cheese curd, and gravy.”

Customer: “What about the pulled pork poutine?”

Cashier: *motions to the board behind him where every menu item is listed with

ingredients* “Pulled pork. Cheese curd. Gravy.”

Customer: “And the Phillie cheesesteak poutine?”

(She continued to go through all 20 menu items. Eventually the cashier just turned around and read off the board as blatantly as he could. Entire transaction time: 17 minutes.)

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Not Big On Tips And Bigots

| VA, USA | Right | June 20, 2014

(It’s my third night of waiting tables at a restaurant. The weather is really nice so we open up the patio area for seating. I seat two couples, one significantly older than the other. The women both place their purses in the middle of the aisle so that they virtually trip every server coming through the patio.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m so sorry but could you move your purses? We need to get through this area safely and I would hate to spill or drop anything on you!”

(They both glare daggers but move their purses without a single word to me. Later on, I seat a couple next to the first table, a white woman and a black man. All goes well until I’m dropping off drinks for them and I hear this from the next table.)

Younger Woman: “I can’t believe a girl that pretty would be with someone like HIM. Ew.”

Older Woman: “I know. Your father and I would’ve died if you brought home that type of man.

(They all laugh derisively. I HOPE I’m thinking the wrong thing. But when I return they are shooting dirty looks at the interracial couple, who have been nothing but model customers.)

Me: *to the interracial couple* “Is everything all right here?”

(I notice the lady is looking VERY upset.)

Man: “They were looking at us funny the entire time. When I went to the car to get something I forgot, they said something about how I must’ve stolen it.”

(I look at where he’s pointing and it’s a shiny black BMW.)

Me: “Oh… hmm. I’ll be right back.”

(I pop inside to explain what’s happened to my manager, and ask whether I can comp the interracial couple a free dessert taken out of my tips. My manager agrees readily.)

Me: “Here’s a dessert on me, guys.”

(The entire table next to me turns and GLARES. I smile sweetly and walk back inside. Of course I earned no tip from the racist table, but the humongous tip I got from the interracial couple more than made up for it.)

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