Needs Oil On This Troubled Water

| QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Transportation

(I watch a fancy BMW pull up to the entrance to the fuel station. An old rich-looking man gets out and walks into the store.)

Me: “Hey, how’s it going?”

Customer: “Yeah, good.”

Me: “What can I help you with today?”

Customer: “I need to get some oil for my car.”

Me: “Yup, all of our oils are on the rack beside you.”

Customer: “Can you tell me what oil I need for my car?”

Me: “I don’t know sir, and I’m not allowed to recommend anything. Company policy.”

Customer: “You’re a fuel station and you can’t recommend me the correct oil I need for my car?”

Me: “That is correct, sir.”

Customer: “Well, I think that is completely stupid.”

(The customer grabs a random bottle of oil from rack and pays for it.)

Customer: “I’ll use this one, and if it’s wrong I’ll come back and sue you.”

Me: “And THAT is why we can’t recommend one for you, sir!”

Not Cosplaying Around Any More

| CO, USA | Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

(I manage to get a job with one of my friends in a gas station on the north end of town, which is where a lot of the weirdest people are. My friend is entirely too trusting, and becomes friends with one of the homeless guys, an older veteran who rarely ever bathes. The guy hangs out with her when she has to work the evening shift by herself. I somehow get talked out of my phone number as well. One day I get a random text. It is a picture of a girl taking a selfie in the bathroom, having just applied makeup and a wig, with a weird border obviously added by a program.)

Text: “Guess who this is?”

(I’m confused, because I don’t know who would send me a text like that, so I check the sender. It’s the veteran, and after staring at the picture I realize it’s of my friend cosplaying.)

Me: “Hey… [Friend]?”

Friend: “Yeah?”

Me: “Did you post any cosplaying pics on Facebook recently?”

Friend: “Oh, yeah. I was working on applying the right amount of makeup to look like [Character] and posted it to get opinions. Why?”

(I show her the message, and she goes slightly pale)

Friend: “Who did this?!”

Me: “[Veteran]. I take it he didn’t ask permission before probably sending this to every contact in his phone?”

Friend: *even paler* “No.”

Me: “And I imagine the picture didn’t have this weird border beforehand?”

Friend: *barely audible* “No.”

(Fast forward a couple hours, and the veteran drops by.)

Veteran: “Hey, [Friend]! How you doing?”

Friend: “Did you send my cosplay picture to all your friends?”

Veteran: *looking proud of himself* “Yes! I thought it was really pretty!”

Friend: “All of them?!”

Veteran: *catching on to her tone* “Uh… yes?”

(Long story short, he got lectured in the middle of the gas station while other customers looked on. Over the next few days all of his buddies showed up looking for my friend, several of them intoxicated and making not so nice comments about her, before they were kicked out!)

Diolch yn fawr Very Much, Part Dau

| Deiniolen, Wales, UK | At The Checkout, Language & Words

(I am on about my third shift as a new employee at a petrol station. I am currently the only day-staff member who speaks Welsh, and many customers, it seems, have never met the store’s Welsh-speaking night staff. As I live and work in a very Welsh-speaking area, my ability to use the language seems to be something of a novelty for the regular customers).

Customer: *in Welsh* “So nice to have a true Welsh-speaking Welshwoman on the staff here, even if you’re not local.”

Me: *in Welsh* “Well, thank you for the compliment. There are actually two ‘true Welsh-speaking Welsh’ staff members, but I’m afraid I’m not one of them!”

Customer: *in Welsh* “Sure you are. I mean it’s obvious you’ve come up from, like, [Mid Wales Town] or somewhere to study at [Nearby University], as your manner of speaking is a bit more polite than us lot. We do like to yell at each other, you know.”

Me: *in Welsh* “Well, you’re right about me studying at [Nearby University], but I’m actually from [Southern England town]. I’m polite because I am working in a shop and I’ve been trained to always treat customers with care and respect.”

Customer: *in English* “No f****** way! You can’t be English. Your Welsh is too good!”

Me: *in Welsh* “I assure you, I am English. I’ve had 3.5 years of Welsh lessons, and plenty of friends who’ve encouraged me to practice the language so that I’m comfortable using it in a work situation. I am flattered that you felt my Welsh was good enough to count me amongst born-and-bred Welsh speakers, though.”

Customer: *in English* “So you could understand everything I was saying to you just now?”

Me: *in Welsh* “Well, weren’t you of the impression I was from [Mid-Wales Town]? We sustained a conversation in Welsh.”

Customer: *in English* “I just can’t get my head around being able to talk in Welsh to an English person. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to talk to you in English. I can’t deal with talking to you in Welsh. It’s too much.”

Me: *in Welsh* “Whatever makes you more comfortable. Would you prefer it if I also switched to English?”

Customer: *in English* “Oh God, no! It’s about time you lot learned our bloody language!”

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Diolch yn fawr Very Much