An Introversion Of Justice

, , , , , , | Learning | October 17, 2018

(I’m in tenth grade. My English teacher is a first-year teacher, and is very mild-mannered. My classmates figure this out quickly, and take advantage of it. Despite being in an honors class, we learn nothing all year, as everyone constantly talks and argues over the teacher. She usually gives up midway through the period. I am naturally introverted, and none of my friends are in my class, so I just try to focus on my work and tune out my classmates. At the end of the year, we are starting to pick out classes for the next year. My teacher gets up to speak.)

Teacher: “QUIET!”

(Everyone shuts up and stares, as we’ve never heard her raise her voice.)

Teacher: “I know it’s class-picking day for next year. I also know that many of you will ask me if you can take Advanced Placement English next year for college credit. The answer is no.”

(The class erupts in protest.)

Teacher:You will let me finish! This class has been extremely disrespectful all year. AP classes are a privilege, not a right, and none of you have behaved well enough to earn it. Now, I will call each of you up, and I will tell you what level of English you’ll be in next year. Most of you don’t even deserve to be in honors.”

(She stomps back to her desk, sits down, and starts barking out last names. As I sit near her desk, I can hear most of my classmates begging to take AP or honors. She flatly denies every request. I’m the last one she calls up.)

Teacher: *barks* “[My Last Name]!”

(I timidly approach.)

Teacher: *quietly* “Now, what did you have in mind for next year?”

(I really want AP English, but I remember what she said, so I decide to play it safe.)

Me: “Um… honors, I guess. If that’s okay with you.”

Teacher: “Oh. I had you pegged as an AP English student next year.”

Me: “Well… I’d like to take AP, but you said you weren’t going to approve it.”

Teacher: “Ah, you were paying attention. But I always intended to make an exception for my best students. In this period, that’s you. You are a hard worker, and it shows.” *signs the paper and hands it back to me* “Plus, you’ve been quiet in class all year. I appreciate that. Now, don’t mention this to anyone else.”

(The bell rang. I ducked out. Being an introvert does pay off sometimes!)

Been Saying That Since You Were Born

, , , , , | Friendly | October 16, 2018

(I’m young and in a wheelchair. My leg, which is visible, has a giant red birthmark. Other than that, I look healthy. As I’m leaving the store, a worker stops me.)

Worker: *concerned* “Oh, no! What happened?”

Me: *casually* “I was born this way.”

Worker: “Oh… um…”

Me: “Have a nice day!”

(I left. This doesn’t really bother me; it’s said with genuine concern. However, I wish more people thought of disability like we think of hair color. It’s no tragedy, just something that exists.)


Totally Estúpido! Part 5

, , , , , | Right | October 16, 2018

(I work at a call center for a popular vacation company. I am trained to take calls from guests and travel agents in English. Even though I have an obviously Spanish name — which I have to say in full when answering calls — and can speak Spanish pretty well, I don’t feel confident enough to take Spanish calls. Once I am done training, I request to not have Spanish calls come to me. The company is happy to oblige and removes my phone from that list.)

Me: *in English* “Thank you for calling [Company]. This is [Obviously Spanish Name]. How may I help you?”

Travel Agent: *in English with heavy Spanish accent* “Oh, you speak Spanish! Perfect! I was wondering if you could…” *trails off into Spanish*

Me: *still in English* “I’m happy to help you; however, please know that I am not trained in Spanish and may need you to repeat yourself in English if I don’t understand something.”

Travel Agent: *back to English* “Oh, that’s okay. I’ll speak to you in English, then. So, my client needs…” *trails off into Spanish again…*

Me: *English* “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Would you mind saying it in English? Or I can transfer you to our Spanish desk, and they’ll be happy to help you.”

Travel Agent: *English* “I’m so sorry. Okay, I’ll try in English. The customer needs to know when…” *trails off into Spanish… AGAIN*

Me: *English* “Ma’am, I’m more than happy to transfer you to our Spanish desk if it’s easier for you to communicate that way. It’s really no trouble at all. They’re very quick to pick up, since we don’t get many Spanish calls.”

Travel Agent: *in Spanish* “But you speak Spanish, right? You have a Spanish name. So why don’t you speak in Spanish to me?”

Me: *English* “Because I wasn’t trained to take calls in Spanish. Some terminology used in [Our Industry] are unknown to me, so I wouldn’t know how to explain something if I needed to.”

Travel Agent: *Spanish* “This is ridiculous. You should speak Spanish to me if you have a Spanish name. How can you not speak Spanish?”

Me: *English* “I do speak Spanish, but my [Industry] vocabulary is limited, and I’d hate to say something incorrectly. As I stated before, I’m more than happy to get you someone from our Spanish desk. I’ll even gladly stay on the line with you until someone comes on. Would you like me to do that?”

Travel Agent: *Spanish* “No. I want you to speak to me in Spanish. Why are you not speaking to me in Spanish? Aren’t you required to speak Spanish?”

Me: *English* “It’s not my job here to speak in Spanish. So, no, I am not required to speak to you in Spanish. As you wish to continue speaking in Spanish, I will transfer you now to the Spanish desk. Thank you and have a pleasant day.”

(After I transferred the call, I got my Q&A evaluation with a zero score because I said it was “not my job here to speak in Spanish,” even though they knew I was not on the Spanish desk. Needless to say, I fought to get reevaluated by my direct supervisor and the Q&A management. The score was removed, and I asked to be allowed to use my English, no-trace-of-Spanish-in-sight nickname for the duration of my time with the company. They approved that request without resistance!)

Totally Estupido, Part 4
Totally Estupido, Part 3
Totally Estupido, Part 2

A Hybrid Engine Made Of Hybrid Companies

, , , | Right | October 16, 2018

(I work at a call center where I set appointments for others to have their car maintenance done. I’m already bad with cars, but some customers will not be told they’re wrong about a type of car for anything. This customer wants an oil change for her Prius, only she has no idea the type of car she drives.)

Me: “Hello, and thank you for calling. My name is [My Name] and I’d be happy to help you today.”

Elderly Woman: “Is this the Kia of [Town]?”

Me: Oh, no, this is the Toyota of [Town], but we do sell Kias here. Would you like to have yours serviced?”

Elderly Woman: “Oh, well, yes, please. I need to have an oil change for my car.”

Me: “All right. What is the year, make, and model of the vehicle, ma’am?”

Elderly Woman: “It’s a 2014 Kia Prius.”

Me: “Oh, well, I know Toyota makes a Prius, so I’ll go ahead and—”

Elderly Woman: “It’s not a Toyota; it’s a Kia!”

Me: “But, ma’am, Kia doesn’t make a Prius. Toyota does, though, and we do sell Kia vehicles, so I’m sure this is the correct—”

Elderly Woman: “I’m not driving a Toyota! I bought a Kia! K-I-A!”

Me: “All right, ma’am. Can you please check the license plate on the rear of your vehicle?”

Elderly Woman: “Okay, what am I looking for?”

Me: “Do you see where it says, ‘Toyota,’ in metal letters?”

(She proceeded to yell at me until my manager came and took the call for me. What a lovely woman!)

Not A Regular Problem

, , , , , | Right | October 15, 2018

(There’s been a regular that we’ve had coming for years now, and all of the staff knows him. We look forward to him coming, and he’s gotten our personalities down pat. This is going on before he enters the store.)

Customer #1: “Can I get a refill, please?”

Me: “Of course!”

([Customer #1] and [Customer #2] hand me their drinks, and I’m filling them as the regular customer comes into the store.)

Me: *yells out in a joking tone* “You know you’re not allowed in here!”

Regular Customer: “How many energy drinks have you had already today?! And how’s your ankle feeling?”

Me: *as I’m walking to the table* “It’s getting better!”

(Another regular walks in. I yell out the other regular’s name and ask her how she is today; she smiles and answers back as she heads to the restroom. I hand [Customer #1] and [Customer #2] their refills.)

Me: “Is there anything else I can get you?”

Customer #1: “No, but I have a question: are you going to remember my name every time I come back?”

Me: *laughing* “Only if you come back every week!”

Customer #1: “I’ll come back every other week, then!”

(I didn’t know how to answer that, and thankfully [Regular #2] walked out of the bathroom just then. I had her rung up and had her sides and drink ready before she even sat down. [Regular #2] loves this and is always happy with the service we provide. The whole time during this, [Customer #1] and his companion were just staring at me, and when I walked into the back I heard [Regular #2] laugh at something and say, “No, I love it! I wouldn’t know my own order if [My Name] didn’t take me.” Thankfully, that table left before they experienced four more regulars walking in right after.)

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