Greek Shriek

| USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Food & Drink, Language & Words

(I am 15. Like many Greek Orthodox churches, my church holds an annual Greek Festival where we sell Greek food and display Greek culture. It’s my first year working there, and my older sister has promised to help me. We are the only people working at the the dessert stand. Note: Greek is the language we speak at home, so it’s the language my sister and I communicate in.)

Sister: *in Greek* “Why don’t you take this one?” *points to approaching customer*

Me: *in English* “Hi, I’m [My Name]! How may I help you today?

Customer: “DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?”

Me: “Yes, I do. What can I get for you today?”

Customer: “Good, I heard that other girl talking in that foreign muck and I was afraid you’d be too stupid to speak English too. Give me a dozen baklava.”

Me: *shocked* “Yes, ma’am. That’ll be [Price]. Just pay [Sister] after I load your box.”

(I start to load a styrofoam take-away box with baklava.)

Customer: “NO! I don’t want those. They’re too small. Give me the big pieces!”

(She points to galaktoboureko, a completely different dessert cut into bigger pieces than the baklava.)

Me: “I’m sorry, that’s galaktoboureko, a custard-based dessert, not baklava. If you’d like to try some I’d be happy to give you a sample—”

Customer: “Don’t you dare try to cheat me! I want the big pieces, you little foreign brat!”

Sister: *in Greek* “Just give her the galaktoboureko.”

Customer: “I know you’re insulting me in your language! Speak English like a normal person!”

(I nod and smile as I fill a new box up with galaktoboureko. She pays and walks away with a smug smile on her face.)

Me: *in Greek* “Do you think she’ll notice?”

(One hour later, the customer returns dragging the Festival Director behind her. She looks angry.)

Customer: “There! That’s the girl that cheated me! She gave me this squishy stuff instead of baklava! I demand my baklava and I want a refund!”

Festival Director: “[My Name], is this true? Did you give [Customer] the wrong dessert?”

Me: “Yes, but she asked for it. She said she wanted the big pieces, and I told her it was galaktoboureko and not baklava, but she accused me of cheating her, so I gave her what she wanted. Also, she called me a ‘little foreign brat.’”

Customer: “No! That’s a lie! She purposely tricked me, and the other girl insulted me in your language! You should really hire employees that are smart enough to speak English.”

Festival Director: “[Sister], did you insult her?” *in Greek* “I don’t blame you if you did.”

Customer: “YOU’RE DOING IT AGAIN! STOP INSULTING ME, YOU B*****S! I WANT MY FREE BAKLAVA!”

(She throws her galaktoboureko box to the ground and starts stomping on it, then moves aggressively towards my sister.)

Festival Director: “Ma’am, I’m going to ask you to leave.”

Customer: “FINE! I’LL JUST MAKE MY OWN BAKLAVA AND IT WILL BE BETTER THAN YOUR S***!”

(She storms out and security confirms that she’s left the premises.)

Sister: *in Greek* “I swear to you nothing like that has ever happened before.”

(The next year I worked in the kitchen and I liked it much better. People still talk about “crazy baklava lady.”)

Not A Skinny Woman

| CO, USA | Bad Behavior, Pets & Animals

(I’m looking around in a renaissance festival shop that specializes in real animal furs. A woman in a rockin’ outfit walks up to the employee that’s helping me right now.)

Woman: “Excuse me!”

Employee: “Yes?”

Woman: “Your store is a sick madman’s shop! I don’t understand what the h*** is wrong with you! These poor animals all died for this?! You’re a monster!”

(She storms off angrily, flipping off the shop owner.)

Me: “Should I tell her that leather’s made from cows?”

(That rockin’ outfit was made of full leather!)

An Act Of Togetherness

| SC, USC | Bad Behavior, Bizarre

(I work at an arts festival over the summer.)

Me: “[Festival], this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m looking at your website and I’m trying to get tickets.”

Me: “Okay, I can help with that! What event are you looking at?”

(He names an event that I’m certain is part of a sister/fringe festival that runs concurrently, because it’s definitely not one of ours.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. That’s probably a [Fringe] event, not—”

Customer: *immediately and violently explodes* “NO! NO! NO! NO! God-d*** it! You f****** idiot! I’ve already TALKED to them and they said it’s NOT one of theirs and I’m sick and tired of being TREATED this way!” *he continues berating me as I hold the receiver in shock*

Me: *finally regaining composure* “I’m so sorry, sir. Is there anything I can do? I’ve got their booklet here and can try to look it up, so—”

Customer: “I’m SICK of you! You need to get your f****** ACT together!” *click*

(Another employee, having overhead part of the exchange, looks over at me as I woodenly hang up the phone.)

Employee: “Yikes, what was that about?”

Me: “Well, I’m not sure, but I guess I need to get my f****** act together.”

(As it turned out, the event was neither ours nor the fringe festival’s, but a completely unrelated event. I’m sure he felt like he was getting the run-around, but he could have easily checked the local paper to verify. As for getting my act together, at the end of the festival, I was presented with a superlative: “Most likely to have his act together.”)

I’ll Drink Outside To That!

| CO, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Popular

(I’m at the renaissance festival with my wife and her friend. I have just purchased a cup of ale and the two ladies want to go into a costume shop to see what is for sale. They have a sign, not only on the pillar, but also on a table outside the shop which reads “Please leave your food and beverages here or outside while shopping!” I stop before going in and my wife calls out to me.)

Wife: “Something wrong?”

Me: “Not at all. I’m going to wait outside. They don’t want me coming in with a drink, cuteness.”

(All of a sudden, three women, all in costume come RUNNING out of nowhere from inside the shop and stop in front of me.)

Me: “Uh…”

All Three Ladies: “HUZZAH FOR THE READER! HUZZAH! HUZZAH! HUZZAH!”

(My wife, her friend, and I start cracking up as they clap.)

Me: “Well, the sign is pretty big and specific.”

Lady #1: “Oh, you wouldn’t believe how many people miss that.”

Lady #2: “Yesterday we had a man come in with orange juice. A kid ran by, smacked his elbow, and he ended up buying a $3,500 costume!”

(I blink, not realizing things in the shop were so expensive.)

Me: “Well… as much as I do want to get my wife a costume, I’d rather get one she wants!”

Lady #3: “And in the right size… and the right color…”

Me: “And not $3,500! No offense!”

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Popped Her Ballooning Fantasy

, | NY, USA | Family & Kids, Money

(My sister and I are doing balloons at a local festival. We are selling the balloons for one to two  dollars – pretty cheap compared to most other balloon artists when charging per balloon. Because it’s rainy, we haven’t had many customers. A woman and her daughter walk up to my sister when we have no line.)

My Sister: “Hi! Would you like a balloon?”

Woman: “Yes, she’d like— Oh! It costs money?”

My Sister: “Yes, it does.”

Woman: “Oh… sorry, sweetie, we can’t have any.”

(At hearing this, the daughter bursts out crying. The woman tries to console her.)

Woman: “It’s okay; we’ll go do something else.”

(Instead of going to do something else, the woman hangs around my sister, glancing at her hopefully now and then, obviously hoping she will get a free one. My lovely sister, who’s very stubborn, is not budging. Eventually, the woman’s hopeful glances turn into full out glares, as the child continues to cry and make a scene. Finally, as another man walks up:)

Woman: “All right, well, let’s leave- Oh! Sir, is there any possible way you could give me a dollar?”

Caller: “Oh… uh, yeah, I guess.”

(He handed her the dollar, and so the woman got her suddenly all-smiles daughter a balloon. After my sister handed it to her, she, of course, didn’t even say thank you.)

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