It’s “Really New” Zealand

, , , , , , | Learning | February 3, 2018

(We are writing about the histories of English-speaking countries for a project on colonialism. This happens when I read out a history of New Zealand in front of the class.)

Me: “People have only lived in New Zealand for approximately 700 years. It may be as long ago as 800 AD, but—”

Teacher: “No, [My Name], I need a history of the natives, not the settlers.”

Me: “But the Māori only arrived in New Zealand from the Pacific in what would have been the medieval times in Europe.”

Teacher: “When I said a history of New Zealand, I didn’t mean just the white people. The white people may have arrived then, but tell me what year they came from Australia, shall we?”

Me: “No, really, it was less than a thousand years ago. They didn’t come from Australia; they came from the Pacific Ocean. And Europeans weren’t interested in places outside of what they already knew until after Columbus came back from America. Well, roughly. So, everything you’re saying is wrong.”

Teacher: *passive-aggressively* “Hmm, I think I’ll be the judge of that.”

(I got a C.)

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Doesn’t Have Hundred-Percent Comprehension

, , , , , | Right | February 2, 2018

(I have just started my shift and I only have $100 in my till, as per policy.)

Customer: “I would like change for a hundred.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t have enough change at this time.”

Customer: “Then I would like an iced coffee with cream and sugar, please.”

Me: “Okay, the total will be [less than a five].”

Customer: “Well, here is my hundred.”

Me: “I’m sorry. I don’t have change for a hundred.”

(He continued to stand there staring blankly at me for a few minutes, holding up the next customers I was trying to serve, before walking out in a huff.)

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Toying With The Numbers

, , , , | Right | February 2, 2018

(The restaurant I work in has toys that go with the kids’ meals. There are various ones that change from time to time. Right now they are a very popular series of characters that are highly sought-after.)

Customer: “What toys do you have?”

Me: “We have numbers three and nine.”

Customer: “That’s all?”

Me: “That’s all for now. We may have another one later this week.”

Customer: “Do you have number five?”

Me: “No, just numbers three and nine.”

Customer: “Oh. Well do you have the [costume styled] one?”

Me: “No, just the two.”

Customer: “You have number two?! Well, I need that one; I’ll take one!”

Me: “We don’t have number two. I said we have two numbers: three and nine.”

Customer: “Well… do you have number seven?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “You’re very unhelpful.”

Me: “Sorry.”

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Giving You The Cold Shoulder… And Hands, And Feet, And…

, , , , | Working | February 2, 2018

(The weather has turned cold, and as I arrive for work I notice that inside feels colder than outside. I turn on the AC, which has been put on cooling. We have one coworker who complains about the heat; even in the middle of winter she will sneakily put the AC on to cooling. She cannot be made to understand that customer comfort comes first over staff; if it’s too cold, even in summer, they will leave the shop. The place starts warming up, but not enough for me to remove my cardigan that I am wearing over a long-sleeve top. Customers have their jackets on and are complaining about the coldness of the place. As a supervisor, I carry a set of manager’s keys that access the office.)

Coworker: “[My Name], can I have the key for the office?”

Me: “What do you need it for?”

Coworker: “Uh… I was going to adjust the AC; it’s soooo hot out here.”

Me: “I’ve got work to do in the office. I’ll do it when I get there.”

(I leave it for about ten minutes and then set it just one degree down as I sit down to do my work. Several minutes later the internal phone rings.)

Coworker: “[My Name], did you forget about the AC? It’s still too hot out here.”

Me: “I’ve already turned it down; it should be cooling down out there soon.”

Coworker: “Okay, thanks. I think it does feel better.”

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Unhealthy Conversation

, , , , | Related | February 2, 2018

(My dad’s American and my mom is from the Philippines. Every couple years, we visit Mom’s side of the family. One of my cousins has a new girlfriend, and all the aunts and uncles are excited to meet her for the first time. My parents and I end up being unavailable when he brings her to meet the family, so later we ask my aunt, that cousin’s mom, about her.)

Mom: “So, how did it go? How was she?”

Aunt: “Healthy.”

Mom: “Okay? What was she like, though?”

Aunt: “Just healthy.”

(I asked my mom about this later, and she confirmed that my aunt was saying the girlfriend was fat. No other indication of her personality or accomplishments, just that she was fat. As much as I like being Filipina, they can be savage, and I’m glad I don’t spend a lot of time with that side of the family.)

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