Signs Of Trouble, Part 2

| Colorado, USA | Working | January 10, 2013

(I’m staffed as an extra at a cafe so I can fill orders for the lunch rush. I notice one of my coworkers talking abnormally loud to a customer.)

Coworker: “WE DON’T HAVE THAT TODAY!”

(The customer, an elderly gentleman, looks confused and makes a gesture, asking for pen and paper. I quickly give someone their bagel and return to focus on my coworker and the customer. He holds up the paper after writing.)

Coworker: “WE…” *waves hands to indicate the staff* “…NO HAVE…” *points to paper* “…THAT TODAY. NO!” *waves his hands in an X motion*

(The customer cocks his head and looks rather confused and upset. I turn to the elderly man and start to sign.)

Me: *signing* “Excuse me, are you deaf?”

(Visibly relieved, he signs back.)

Customer: *signing* “Yes, yes I am. I was wanting a [sandwich].”

Me: *signing* “We ran out of that maybe an hour ago; I’m really sorry. Is there another sandwich I can get you? Anything else?”

Customer: *signing* “Well, perhaps I’ll have the Chicken Caesar instead.”

Me: *to my coworker* “Go help Lauren.” *signing to the customer* “So, one Chicken Caesar sandwich… anything else? Coffee?”

Customer: *signing* “Oh no, thank you; I have some. I didn’t know anyone here could sign! How long have you studied?”

Me: *signing* “About a year. I’m still learning, so I’m sorry for all of the fingerspelling! ”

(The customer and I have a lovely chat. He helps correct a few of my signs, and I gave him a free cookie. Later on, I’m speaking with my coworker.)

Me: “You know I could sign. Why didn’t you come grab me?”

Coworker: “I thought he’d understand if I shouted loud enough!”

(The customer leaves, but not before giving me a sweet smile and waving. He came in several more times with a piece of paper with my name on it so my coworkers could come grab me. Unfortunately, I was told he stopped frequenting the store after I left.)

 

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