In Pained English

| Working | May 30, 2012

(I’m a young white female in the women’s clothing department. I walk up to the register to purchase a t-shirt. In front of me is a middle-aged Chinese customer. She has a slight accent, but speaks English fluently and is very easily comprehensible.)

Chinese Customer: “Hi, do you have this in a size 8?”

(Instead of responding normally, the employee shouts and speaks very slowly to the Chinese lady, as if she can’t understand English.)

Employee: “OKAY. JUST. WAIT. WHILE. I. CHECK. THE. COMPUTER!”

Chinese Customer: “That’s okay. I’m not in a hurry.”

Employee: “THERE. IS. ONE. IN. SIZE. 8. AT. ANOTHER. STORE. DO. YOU. WANT. TO. GO. THERE. OR. DO. YOU. WANT. US. TO. GET. IT?!”

Chinese Customer: “I’d rather that you asked them to send it to you. I don’t want to drive all that way. ”

Employee: “OKAY. PLEASE. GIVE. ME. YOUR. NAME. AND. ADDRESS. AND. PHONE. NUMBER!”

Chinese Customer: *gives details* “Thanks. When will it be in?”

Employee: “IN. ABOUT. TWO. TO. FOUR. DAYS!”

Chinese Customer: “Thanks.” *leaves*

(I walk up to counter.)

Employee: *speaking perfectly normal* “Hi, it’s such a great day, isn’t it? How are you today? Just this one?”

Me: *speechless*

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A Lose-Snooze Situation

, | Right | May 23, 2012

Customer: *rushes into the store* “I need a battery.”

Me: “Sure, what type of battery do you need?”

Customer: “It’s for my home alarm system. It’s not working because the battery is dead.”

Me: “Okay, do you know what size or type of battery it uses?”

(I show him the various sizes: AA, AAA, C, 9 Volt, etc.)

Customer: “I don’t know. These all look the same.”

Me: “Could you bring in the one that is not working and I will match it up with the correct one to ensure you purchase the correct one?”

Customer: “You mean, bring the dead battery here?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “I can’t do that! It’s for my alarm system. If I take the battery out, it won’t work. The battery is dead, so my alarm is not working!” *leaves*

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Ooh, Shiny

, | Working | May 4, 2012

(I am standing in the menswear section and can’t find what I’m looking for. An employee walks through.)

Me: “Can I ask you a question?”

Employee: “Sure.”

Me: “Do you sell French cuff shirts?”

Employee: “The kind that buttons up the front?”

Me: “Yes, but the ones you use cufflinks with.”

Employee: “You mean the shiny things?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Employee: “Nope, haven’t seen any!”

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Eau De Hoo Ha

| Right | March 21, 2012

(A elderly woman approaches the counter and I greet her.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. Would you like to try a sample of our new fragrance?”

Customer: “Actually, I was looking to buy some Juicy Cooter.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “It’s my granddaughter’s birthday. It’s coming up and she said she wanted that new Juicy Cooter perfume.”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Oh you mean Juicy Couture? Yes, we carry that.”

Customer: “No, not the French one! Just show me your Juicy Cooter!”

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2 Good 2 Be True

, | Right | October 14, 2011

(I am working in the young men’s department of a large department store. My department contains athletic clothing, including swimwear. A customer is looking at a large rack of bathing suits that are on clearance.)

Me: “Hello, how are you, sir?”

Customer: “Fine, thank you. I can’t believe all these bathing suits are so cheap!”

Me: “It’s officially the fall season, so all of our bathing suits are reduced for clearance.”

(The customer mumbles something about $2.00 and hands me the suit he’s holding, which is made by one of the most expensive brands we carry.)

Me: “I’ll be happy to check the price for you.”

(I walk to the register, which is nearby, and check the price. It rings up for $39.00.)

Me: “Sir, this suit is on sale for $39.00.”

Customer: “The price tag says it’s $2.00.”

Me: “It was originally $78.00, but now it’s $39.00.”

(I point to the price tag, which very clearly in large numbers says the original price and the reduced price.)

Customer: “No, it says ‘Now 2.’ Two dollars, see?”

(He points to the tag, which has a very tiny number 2, much smaller than where it says $39.00, under the word “Now”.)

Me: “I see. That just means it’s the second reduction. The price is $39.00.”

Customer: “Well, that’s confusing! You shouldn’t put that it’s $2.00. They all say they’re $2.00. I don’t want to pay more than $2.00!” *leaves in a huff*

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