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Chipping Away At Those Cultural Differences

| USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(Some of my extended family from Ireland have come over to the US for a cross-country road trip. My one cousin is obsessed with French fries, which are called “chips” over there.)

Cousin: “Can I have some chips?”

Server: “Oh, I’m sorry we don’t have potato chips.”

Aunt: “He means ‘French fries,’ sorry!”

(Whether he just never clued in or refused to change what he called them, he never said French fries. When they finally get back to the east coast before flying home, we’re having dinner with them when this happens.)

Cousin: “Can I have chips with that?”

Waitress: “Of course!”

(We were thinking the waitress just recognized their accent and knew the difference in terms; turned out when the food arrived, alongside his hamburger was a giant mound of made-on-premises, freshly fried, potato chips! We got a good laugh out of it, and thankfully they were tasty, too!)

Refilled With Lies

| OK, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

(I work in a diner-style restaurant. I wait on a couple mid-afternoon, during the slower part of the day, when there’s not much staff on. Everything seems normal, and since it isn’t busy, it is easy to keep a close eye on their needs, refill drinks, bring the food right out, and so on. I have side-work to do, but it is all things to be done in the front, like straightening up the area where we dish up soup and salad. This is right in front of the pass-through to the kitchen, so I am basically in sight the whole time. I have asked them a couple of times if everything is all right, and have been assured that it was. When they come to the register to pay, the manager on duty is manning the register.)

Manager: “Afternoon, folks. Was everything all right with your meal?”

Customer: “No! Our waitress was horrible. She was always in the back, and we didn’t get refills on our drinks, and our food sat in the window for about 15 minutes before she finally came out and brought it to us!”

Manager: “I’m sorry to hear that; that doesn’t sound like her. Let me just verify that with the cook, and I’ll be happy to comp that for you.”

Manager: *to cook* “Hey, [Cook], I gotta cheeseburger with fries and an open-face beef with mash. These guys say [My Name] let it sit in the window and dry out. How long was the order up here?”

Cook: *with a snort* “How about… zero seconds? She was straightening the salad station when I said she was up, and I put the plates right in her hands. They literally didn’t even touch the window.”

Manager: *to customers* “Folks, my cook says they didn’t sit at all, much less 15 minutes, so I’m not going to be able to comp these for you after all. That’ll be [amount], please.”

Customer: “Are you going to take his word over mine?”

Manager: “Yes, I am!”

Customer: “Are you calling me a liar?”

Manager: “Well, since I caught you in a lie about this, and I can see from here that your glasses on the table are still half full, so either you didn’t need a refill or you did get one when you said you didn’t. I suppose that would also be a yes. Yes, I am.”

(The customer fumes, but tosses a $20 down, and gets his change.)

Customer: “I can’t believe this place. We are NEVER coming here again!”

Manager: “Promises, promises.”

The Ten Doctors Versus The Ten Commandments, Part 2

| Seattle, WA, USA | Family & Kids, Geeks Rule, Religion

(I am queuing for my meal at a diner. I am a huge ‘Doctor Who’ fan. I am looking at an annual from the old series (1963 – 1989) when the customer behind me in the queue looks over at me.)

Customer: “Hey! Why are you reading that bulls***?”

Me: “It’s not bulls***.”

Customer: “It is! That thing’s evil! It lies about how the universe was made! It says the universe has more than humans!”

Me: *annoyed* “Look, if you want to be b****y, then push off.”

(I see the customer leave, and I get my meal, thinking nothing more about it. Then the customer gets the seating next to me. I’m about to get away when she comes near, but she gestures to stop.)

Customer: “Listen, I’m sorry I was like that. It’s just that I’ve had a bad history with the show.”

Me: “What happened?”

Customer: “How old are you?”

Me: “20.”

Customer: “When I was a few years younger than you, I watched that show like anything. I absolutely loved it. But my parents are members of [really religious group], and said it was against our belief. I kept telling them I didn’t care what they said; I liked the show and I know this sounds silly, but I loved The Doctor. He actually did look good then. But my mom threw the television out the window and shouted at me. So I get memories whenever I see it.”

Me: “I am SO sorry! Listen, I’m really sorry I did that. If you want, I can give you the annual. You’ve missed out a LOT.”

Customer: “I don’t know about anything that happened in the last 30 years on the show. My parents even told me I was being a stupid lovesick girl. Well, they’re in the old people home now, so I don’t care.”

(I proceed to tell her most of what I know, and give her an address for a shop of old show memorabilia. I’m just happy someone can overcome their problems.)

Related:
The Ten Doctors Versus The Ten Commandments

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