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Fun With Language Barriers

, , , , , , | Right | March 18, 2008

(I work at this little burger joint in Seattle. I’m white, but I’m bilingual. Our grill workers all speak primarily Spanish, so I talk to customers in English and call back orders in Spanish.)

Old Man Customer: “Now, what is a pretty young thing like you doing speaking the Dirty Man’s Language?”

Me: “Excuse me, sir?”

Old Man Customer: “You should be speaking English! It’s only natural, here in America!”

Me: “It’s just fastest, sir. The language communicates more efficiently in an environment like this.”

(I am not about to tell him that the grill workers are mostly South American immigrants, after hearing his first reaction.)

Old Man Customer: “Have some pride in your country! SPEAK ENGLISH when you call back my order, do you understand?”

Me: *knowing full well that his order won’t actually come through if I did that* “I’m sorry, sir. I’m afraid it’s procedure.”

Old Man Customer: “I want to speak with your manager! This restaurant is just UNAMERICAN!”

Manager: *who had been working the register next to me* “Si, señor?”

Old Man Customer: *storms out*


This story is part of our Confused-With-Spanish roundup!

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Hissy Fits As Profit Centers

, , | Right | March 10, 2008

(I am working the morning shift at a local sandwich shop and accidentally give the wrong order to the wrong patron. I run outside to trade the first customer and come back in and approach the second.)

Me: “Sorry, sir, I gave your order to the wrong man. Would you like me to remake this for you?”

Customer: “You put s*** in my sandwich! I don’t want it back!”

Me: “Oh, no, sir. I’m sorry. See, I gave this to the wrong man and ran out to trade him. As I said, I can remake this for you; it will just take a minute.”

Customer: “NO. You put s*** in my sandwich. I don’t want you to make me another.”

Me: “Well, okay, sir. If you meet me at my register, I will be more than happy to refund your money.”

Customer: “Listen here, you little b****, you put s*** in my f****** sandwich! I can’t believe your manager doesn’t fire you!”

(This whole time my manager stands there laughing, doing nothing to help.)

Me: “What can I do to make this experience better for you? I can make a new sandwich or give you your money back.”

Customer: “F*** YOU!”

(He then storms away and leaves sandwich/money free. As he’s leaving, I yell…)

Me: “Thanks for breakfast!”


This story is part of our Swearing Customers roundup!

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Behind Every Man Is An Embarassed Wife

, , , | Right | March 9, 2008

(Where I work, our dining room closes at 10:00 pm but the drive-thru stays open all night. I have just locked both the dining room doors when a man comes up and starts banging on the first door. We start talking through the door.)

Me: “Sorry, we’re closed.”

Customer: “You screwed up my order!”

Me: “I’m sorry. You could go through our drive-thru and they’d be happy to help you.”

Customer: “I just came through! They’re the ones that messed it up.”

Me: “I’m really sorry about that; if you go through again they’ll fix it for you.”

Customer: “I don’t have my car!”

Me: “But you said you just went through?”

Customer: “Yeah, but I don’t have my car anymore.”

Me: “I can give you our store number. If you call, we’ll replace your order tomorrow.”

Customer: “Just open the door!”

Me: “I can’t sir; we’re closed.”

(The man then walks around the store to the second door and starts banging there.)

Me: “Sir, the only way we can fix this is if you go through the drive-thru or give us a call.”

Customer: “I don’t have a phone!”

Me: “You can save your receipt and show it to us tomorrow. We’ll replace the whole order.”

Customer: “This is bulls***!”

(He then enters the drive-thru on foot, weaving through cars in line, gets between the drive-thru window and a car waiting to order, and starts banging on the glass.)

Manager: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t open the window unless you’re in a car.”

Customer: “I don’t have my car anymore and you messed up my order. Tell your employees to open the door.”

Manager: “I’m sorry, we can’t unlock the doors once we’re closed. That’s our policy. If you return in the morning, we’ll be glad to help.”

Customer: “Don’t f*** with me. I’ll call the cops on you! You can’t refuse service to me!”

(Just then, a car pulls up behind him. The woman driving rolls down her window.)

Woman: “Get in the f****** car! It’s not that big a deal.”

Customer: “They won’t fix our order!”

Woman: “Get in the f****** car! This is f****** embarrassing!”

(The man gets in and the car pulls up to the window.)

Woman: “I’m sorry. All that happened was you forgot to give us a burrito.”

Manager: “We’ll get that for you right away.”

(As soon as the window was closed, the woman started yelling at the man again.)

 

The Straw Man

, , , | Right | February 26, 2008

(It’s lunchtime at a busy shopping center fast food restaurant. Holding a large box of straws, I walk out toward the customers’ side of the registers to refill all the straw holders.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir…”

(I walk up beside the customer, still giving him some space despite the fact that it is busy and crowded.)

Angry Customer: “To h*** with that crap. Why do you get to go first? I’ve been waiting here for TEN MINUTES!”

Me: “I’m just…”

Angry Customer: “You’re just impatient; that’s your problem. Wait in line like the rest of us.”

(A lot of other customers are staring at him. He has clearly not even realized I am in uniform.)

Me: “Sorry, sir. I work here and I need to refill these straws. A lady complained before because all the straw holders had run out.”

Angry Customer: “Well, why are you doing that NOW? Couldn’t you have picked a better time to do it?! I lined up here and all I want is a lousy meal and you’re in my way…” *continues on and on*

Me: “Look, it’s our policy to not hand out straws because of hygiene reasons, so I must refill the straws so the customers can take them themselves so they can, you know, drink?”

Angry Customer: *loudly* “You’re very rude. I want to talk to your manager immediately!”

Me: *sarcastically, as he has not noticed “MANAGER” on my name badge* “Hi, I am the manager on duty. My name is [My Name]. What seems to be the problem?”

(Other customers nearby giggle.)

Angry Customer: “Well, that’s just f****** great. What a piece of s*** place anyway. F***!”

(He stormed off after wasting about fifteen minutes of his life over some straws.)


This story is part of the Wrong But Committed Customers roundup!

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Alignment, Lawful Good; Wisdom, -6

, , , | Right | February 18, 2008

Customer: “Yes, do your combo meals come with a Coke?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, they come with fries and a drink.”

Customer: “But what if I wanted something other than Coke?”

Me: “Well, you fill your drink yourself around the corner over there, so you can get whatever you want.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.” *customer places order*

Me: *sets out tray with receipt on top*

Customer: *looks at receipt, suddenly frowns* “Hey, it says ‘Coke’ on here for a drink. I didn’t order a Coke!”

Me: “That just means you ordered a drink.”

Customer: “But I didn’t want a Coke!”

Me: “That’s fine, ma’am. You can put whatever you’d like in your drink at the drink machines back there.”

Customer: “BUT IT SAYS COKE ON THE RECEIPT!”

Me: “All of the soft drinks are the same prices. It doesn’t matter what it says on the receipt.”

Customer: “Oh…” *leaves with her cup and fills her drink*

Coworkers: *laugh for the next ten minutes*