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Ironing Out Some Laundry Stereotypes

, , , , | Right | March 23, 2011

(I am sitting in a laundromat, waiting for my laundry. An irate customer approaches me while I am reading a book.)

Customer: “Can you help?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Can you help me with this machine? I don’t think it’s working properly.”

Me: “I can take a look, but I don’t know too much about these things.”

Customer: *exasperated* “How is it that you don’t know how these machines work? What kind of lazy employee are you? You just sit here reading a book when customers are struggling?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m just trying to do my laundry like you are.”

Customer: “This is the worst experience I’ve ever had here! Where are your parents? I need to complain to them.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m 25 years old and my Korean parents live in New Jersey. There is a nice Chinese family that owns this business. They might be able to help you better than I can.”

Customer: “But don’t you all know how to fix these things?”

Fighting Ignorance With Ignorance, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | February 7, 2011

(I am working in the clothing section of a department store when I overhear this conversation. I work with a very nice woman who moved to America from India about ten years ago.)

Mother: “Did you find everything you needed, hon?”

Child: “Yep! A really nice Indian lady helped me.”

Mother: “No, no! We don’t say Indian. We say ‘Native American.'”

Child: “No, mom, not that kind of Indian. One from India!”

Mother: “Don’t be silly, hon. We took their country from them, not gave them one.”


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How Not To Curry Favor

, , , , , , | Right | January 19, 2011

Me: “How may I help you today?”

Customer: “Yeah, am I calling India? Because I don’t want to be talking to some outsourced guy.”

Me: “No, sir, you are not.”

Customer: “I’ve been watching this TV show about how they can disguise their accents. How do I really know you aren’t in India?”

Me: “Sir, we are based out of Los Angeles.”

Customer: “Well, prove it, then. What’s the capital of Los Angeles?”


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So Pho, So Crazy

, , , , , , | Right | December 3, 2010

(I am working the tills at a supermarket. I am of Vietnamese descent but was born in London. An older gentleman comes through my till.)

Customer: *practically shouting* “Ni-Hao!”

Me: “Hello to you, too, sir, but that’s Chinese. I am actually Vietnamese.”

(I point to my name tag which in our shop goes by family name instead of first name. Mine is the very common Nguyen.)

Customer: “Don’t lie!”

Me: “I assure you, sir, I am Vietnamese.”

Customer: “There aren’t any Vietnamese people left!”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “Yeah, the Americans killed them all back in the seventies or something.”

Me: “I think you may have your history confused. I assure you there is still a Vietnam and it is full of Vietnamese people.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t know how you managed to escape, but I wouldn’t say it so loudly. There might be Americans around looking for survivors.”

Me: *as I ring up his last item* “Probably a good idea. That will be £10.34, please.”

Customer: *as he pays* “Wouldn’t want a young lad like you getting caught!”

(The customer heads towards the exit but unfortunately notices the security guard who also happens to be my brother. He is six feet tall and a body-builder and I dread what might happen.)

Customer: “Ni-Hao!”

Brother: “Actually, I’m Vietnamese.”

Customer: “Another one?! But the Americans wiped you all out!”

Brother: *standing to full height* “I think you might want to just keep on walking.”

Customer: “How dare you talk to me like that?! I’m going to call the Americans, and then they’ll come down here and shoot you!”


This story is part of our Bad-With-History roundup! This is the last story in the roundup, but we have plenty of others you might enjoy!

23 Stories From The Museum – From Stupid Visitors To Amazing Children!

 

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Knocked It Before He Thai’d It

, , , , | Right | November 22, 2010

(Our store has a hot lunch station, which includes soup made in-house.)

Customer: “Is there a schedule for the soups? Like, is it the same thing week after week?”

Me: “It is right here.” *pointing to this month’s soup menu*

Customer: “It seems like the soups lately have all been kind of, well, leftish fringe. All red lentils and stuff.”

(He scrutinizes the menu, muttering to himself.)

Customer: “Ha! ‘German Sausage and Potato.’ That’s normal. Who knows what the h*** is in ‘Thai Curry.’”