Canadian Politeness Is XL

, , , | Working | September 28, 2017

I was working in a gift shop at a popular amusement park, and there were only two weeks left until we closed for the season, so all the staff were getting pretty laid back.

We had these sweatshirts that kept falling off their hangers, because only sizes XL and 2XL were left.

One of my workers got so annoyed at these sweatshirts that she just yanked them off the rack and threw them in the back room. Our boss didn’t like that, so she tried another tactic. She just left the sweatshirts in precarious positions on the hangers, waiting for guests to knock them over. Because we Canadians are so polite, the customers would stop and hang the sweatshirts back up themselves, saving us the trouble.

I thought it was brilliant.

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Peppered With Requests For Water

, , , , , | Working | September 28, 2017

(I and my two friends go out to eat after work. [Friend #1] was born in Peru, but was adopted as an infant by her white mother and as such, has no connection to South American culture. This means she has a very low tolerance for spicy food. We are eating, and [Friend #1] realizes she just ate a jalapeño accidentally. We flag down our server to ask for some water.)

Server: *with three glasses of water* “Wait, why do you need water?”

Friend #2: “Please, she just had too much spice.”

Server: *while still holding the water away from the table* “But, she doesn’t need water. Why do you need water? Aren’t you Spanish or something?”

Me: “Please, just give her the water. She is not Spanish, and that doesn’t matter anyway.”

Server: “But I don’t get it; why can’t she eat spicy stuff?”

(We looked at each other and glared at her until she gave our friend her water.)

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A Sink Or Swim Comment

, , | Learning | September 28, 2017

(I see a girl who needs help swimming. I offer my services to her parents, and we make arrangements for me to teach her at the pool. After a few weeks, she is completely confident and enjoys going to the deep end. The following happens when we are walking down to the shallow end.)

Girl: *looks up at lifeguard* “You know, I think I want to be a lifeguard when I’m older.”

(This makes me feel very proud as her instructor, as she used to be terrified of the water, and I am about to encourage her in this endeavour. I don’t get a chance to because she looks at me and says:)

Girl: “I think you’ll be dead by then.”

(I was not expecting this comment, so I burst out laughing and asked her how old she thought I was. She simply shrugged. Later, I told her parents what she said and I watched her mom practically double over with laughter.)

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Time To Draw A Line In The Sand

, , , , , | Right | September 28, 2017

(I’m a cashier. An older lady comes up with her grown son, looking for construction sand. The son explains that there are only two bags left in the bay where the sand is kept, and they need eight. I radio the back and the backlot staff tell me they need about ten minutes to bring more over with a forklift. Ten minutes go by, and the pallet still has not arrived. The mother checks back with me and I give the back a call. They tell me the forklift was in use and they are waiting for it. I tell the customers it will be a bit longer. Another ten minutes pass, and the mother is getting visibly annoyed and muttering under her breath.)

Mother: “I can’t believe it’s taking this long. We should have been out of here ten minutes ago. What kind of customer service is this?”

Son: “Mum, weren’t you just saying today that you want to make sure you don’t develop bad habits as you get older? This is how you end up as an angry old lady shouting at cashiers because your coupon is expired.”

(The mother shut up and waited patiently for the sand to arrive. The son flashed me a knowing smile as he paid. I get the feeling he’s worked retail before.)

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I Bet The Farm That You’ll Be Fired

, , , | Learning | September 28, 2017

(A student of mine has been giving me non-stop attitude all day and refusing to do work. After three chances, I ask her to stay for second recess so we can talk about her behaviour.)

Me: “What’s up, [Student]? Is everything okay? Why are you acting this way?”

Student: “I just stayed up too late, and I’m too tired this morning, so I don’t want to work.”

Me: “Why were you up so late?”

Student: “I was playing a video game on my DS.”

Me: “I know it’s hard to sleep sometimes, but you have to find a way to stop impacting the rest of your work. I mean, when you grow up and get a job, your boss isn’t going to accept that as an excuse. You will get fired.”

Student: “I just won’t work, then.”

Me: “Are your parents okay with that?”

Student: “They can’t tell me what to do when I move out!”

Me: “How are you going to move out if you don’t have money from a job?”

(The student stares off in silence. Obviously she didn’t think that far ahead.)

Student: “I guess I can work on my grandfather’s farm, then.”

Me: “A farm is a lot of work, you know. What if you tried that excuse on your grandfather?”

Student: *smirks* “My grandfather wouldn’t fire me.”

(Since nothing was getting through to her, I called her mother later to let her know what she said. She assured me that the student’s grandfather would definitely fire her if she tried that.)

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