I Don’t Work Here Is Lost In Translation

| Midlands, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry

(I work in a department store, but am not employed by that company so I can’t handle their furniture or answer questions about it either. To help customers realise there is a difference, I tend to wear coloured clothes as the host store staff can only wear black. I’m currently cleaning a selection of finishes and the customer beckons me over.)

Customer: “Thank god we found someone. Now, we want something that is full wood. Nothing veneered and nothing of this chipboard rubbish. Do you have any?”

Me: “My company doesn’t do full wood pieces, only veneers. If you find any of the ladies or gents in black who are in charge of [Host Store]’s stock, they’ll be able to help you. I’m a rep from a different company so I don’t know their stock.”

Customer: “No.” *starts to slow her speech down* “Do you have any full wood pieces?”

Me: “Like I said, I don’t, but if you find one of the ladies or gents in black they may have some.”

Customer: *slowing down to the pace you’d use to teach babies new words now* “Dooo yoooou haaaave aaaanny fuuuuull woooooood piiiiieeeces?”

Me: “No. As I’ve said, my company doesn’t but [Host Store] may do.”

Customer: “You really don’t understand what I’m saying and you sound foreign!”

Me: “Eigentlich bin ich aus Deutschland, aber ich war in England angehoben. Ich versichere Ihnen, ich verstehe dich, aber ich kann nicht sagen, das Gefühl.” *Actually I am from Germany, but I was raised in England. I assure you I understand you, but I can’t say the feeling is mutual*

(With that the customer stormed off and I saw her repeating the whole thing again to one of the Host Store people.)

Un-American Idiots

| Italy | Bizarre, Musical Mayhem

(I work at a pretty popular furniture store. A girl and her friend come in. After looking around for a bit and giggling to themselves, the girls come up to me.)

Girl #1: “Hi. Yeah… we… like… we wanted to know… do you guys sell band members here?”

Me: “Sorry, what?”

Girl #1: “Yeah! Band members! Like, you know, people who are in bands and play music?”

Me: “Oh! No, we don’t really sell band posters, sorry.”

Girl #1: “No! Not posters! We want band members!”

Me: “What? You mean you want me to sell you the actual band members? As in the actual people who play in the band?”

Both Girls: “Yeah!”

Me: “I’m sorry… I don’t think we have any in stock, and we’re probably not going to get some anytime soon. Actually, I think no store will have what you’re looking for, girls.”

Girl #1: “Aw, really?”

Girl #2: “Come on… Are you sure? Not even clones?”

Me: “Yeah, I think the most you will find will be posters and band merchandise. With pictures of them, maybe, but not the actual people. I’m very sorry.”

Both Girls: “Aw… it’s okay; sorry for bothering you.”

(As they walk away, I overhear them talking.)

Girl #2: “Aw, I really wanted a Billie Joe Armstrong.”

Girl #1: “Yeah… I guess our best bet is asking Adrienne if she’s willing to share.”

Girl #2: “Yep, we should do it. I mean, it’s like… It’s not like I want to marry him or something. I just want to be his friend. and cuddle with him, and pet his hair. Don’t forget about petting his hair.”

Girl #1: “Same here! Hmm, you know what this means, right?”

Girl #2: “Yeah. Let’s ask her on both Twitter and Instagram until she finally answers.”

(My manager has heard everything, and comes over to me laughing. We’re both huge Green Day fans.)

Manager: “Oh, God… Were they… really?

Me: “Yeah.”

(My manager starts singing to the tune of the chorus of the song “Stray Heart”.)

Manager: “Everything that they want, they want from him, but they just can’t have him. Everything that they need, they need from therapy, but they won’t realize it.”

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag

| USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

(A customer is buying furniture to be delivered and assembled by our tech.)

Customer: “I have cats, so whoever you send over must not be allergic.”

Me: “No problem, ma’am.”

Customer: “Make sure he’s a vegetarian, too.”

Me: “Um…”

Customer: “He has to have brown hair, and an earring, but no tattoos. He needs to be good at sports.”

Me: “I don’t think we can do all that.”

Customer: “He needs to know a language other than English.”

Me: “You’re just kidding, right?”

Customer: “Yes. Just stick with the no cat allergy request.”

Me: “Alright then.”