Think Before One Flaps One’s Gums

, , , , , | Working | October 24, 2017

(My family and I are on vacation in London. We go to the Great British Beer Festival that happens in August. There’s a little vendor there selling my favorite British candy, wine gums, which I can’t easily buy in the US. I’m fairly certain I have a pretty obvious US accent, having lived there my entire life.)

Me: “I’m so glad I found these here! It’s our last day in London, and I haven’t had any wine gums the whole time!”

Vendor: “You know, we deliver candies all over!”

Me: “All over, really?”

Vendor: “Yeah! We can go anywhere!”

Me: “To the States?”

Vendor: *dejected* “Oh, yeah, I guess not anywhere. I meant within the UK.”

(I was sad, too. I really wanted those wine gums delivered to me!)

About To Start A Storm In A Teacup

, , , , , | Related | October 10, 2017

When I was around seven, my mom brought me to a music festival. While we were walking into the building, my mom pointed at some mint in their garden, and told me you can make tea out of it.

A couple hours later, I wanted something to drink, and tried to get a tea from the concessions stand. They didn’t have any. So, I returned outside, and got an idea. In short order, I and several other unsupervised children began pulling up as many mint plants as we could. When we’d gathered a sizable amount, I brought my bounty inside and dropped it on the concession counter. By chance, my mom was right there when I did so, and scolded me. I turned to her, confused, and declared, “But now they can make tea!

For some reason, she was less than pleased by my ingenuity, and immediately bundled me into the car. The next year, the concession stand offered tea.

Selfie Sick

| Germany | Friendly | January 4, 2017

(During a town festival our class is holding a bake sale to raise money for our graduation party. Occasionally, customers will ask for a sample before buying something, so we have a plate with a few bite size pieces ready. A man in his 60s comes along.)

Customer: “Oh, that cake looks delicious! Could I get a sample?”

Classmate: “Sure!”

(Before she can grab one, the customer pulls a fork out of his pocket and proceeds to unfold it, much like a telescope. The thing is almost a meter long. He then takes one of the samples with it. We all start laughing.)

Me: “Wow, that’s a pretty cool gadget! Where did you get something like that?”

Customer: “Oh, you can get this kind of stuff in dollar stores all the time! Here, look, I have some really fun things with me at all times. Never know when you might need it!”

(He then proceeds to pull increasingly ridiculous items out of his pockets, locking my classmate and me into a lengthy conversation. We don’t really mind, since it isn’t busy. He seems a little bizarre, but not overly creepy, until he whips out an angled mirror, extendable like the fork…)

Customer: “And this thing, you can use to look under pretty, young ladies’ skirts!”

My Classmate & Me: “…”

Customer: *winks and stretches across the table, as if to use the mirror as described*

(We both jumped back. Before we could say anything, he laughed and wandered off. And he didn’t even buy anything!)

Greek Shriek

| USA | Right | December 19, 2016

(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.”)

Must Work For The Umbrella Corporation

| Annapolis, MD, USA | Friendly | November 13, 2016

(My two friends and I are at a Renaissance fair and it’s raining. At the beginning of the day, one of them gives me a very large umbrella, big enough to fit three people under, to borrow for the duration. Around lunch, I decide I want a pulled turkey sandwich and my other friend and I go to purchase the food, taking the umbrella with us. There’s a group of four standing by the counter, staring at us as I order my sandwich, but I don’t think much of it. Immediately after ordering the food, one of the men darts over and starts to TAKE THE UMBRELLA OUT OF MY HANDS.)

Man: “Can I borrow this? You’re under the overhang so you don’t need it.”

Me: *caught off guard and a bit freaked out* “Uh, I’m sorry?!”

(I try to back away, but he continues to hold onto the umbrella.)

Man: *aggressively* “Come on, we’ll be standing right there!” *he gestures towards his group while maintaining a grip on the umbrella*

Me: *finally managing to pull the umbrella away and take a step back* “I’m sorry, this umbrella’s not mine; it’s a friend’s…”

(My friend and I left the safety of the overhang and stood out in the rain to get away from the man and his group, who glared at us until my sandwich was ready and we could leave. Dude, maybe next time you should ASK before you try to borrow something from a complete stranger?)

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