What Are They B****ing About?

, , , , , | | Working | May 22, 2019

It’s my first few months working at a smaller chain pet store in my city. In spite of having worked there a bit, corporate wants me to finish up training on the products the company sells directly.

On its own, this is just boring, but my manager warns me in advance that in the section on discussing health and how our dog food and health treats can help breeding and mother dogs, they use the B-word to describe them, purely clinically like how dog breeders insist on doing, but he warns me I should probably pause the video when there are customers in the store.

Fast-forward to me standing at the register letting the video run; it’s the video I was told uses said word to describe the dogs, though it seems pretty sparing of it. I’m doing some other things I needed to finish up when I hear the bells on the door ring, right as the video says the B-word no less than four times. I stumble to pause the video and look up to see this older lady who has be no younger than 60 with a granddaughter who is no more than six. She looks at me, mortified, for a handful of seconds before staring intensely at me like I am the devil incarnate, and turns on her heel and leaves.

My manager has been hanging in the back but I tell him what happened when he comes back up. He laughs and says something similar happened to him, and that I wouldn’t be in trouble because if she called and complained to corporate he’d have my back, since it’s corporate’s fault for having training videos that include that word in the first place.

Some English Is Not The Same English As Your English

, , , , | | Right | May 20, 2019

(I am trying to explain to the customer that she will have to pay $25 for her service because her insurance only covers half of it, but she is obviously having some difficulty understanding the coverage details. I’ve explained to her about twenty times how it works, lining the details up in the simplest way possible. Throughout the entire call, the customer has been switching between her and a companion. While the customer herself seems to have difficulty giving me the information I need, her companion seems to have trouble hearing me at all. I am speaking to the companion when this happens. Keep in mind that I was born and raised in a family that spoke only English, and do not have a thick accent at all.)

Me: *explaining the situation for the twentieth time*

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Here, ma’am, let me explain it again…”

Customer: “Can I speak to someone who speaks English?”

Me: “I’m sorry? I don’t know what you mean…”

Customer: *very slowly* “English. I want someone who speaks English.”

(I am completely thrown off, as she is treating me as if I’ve been speaking with a very thick, foreign accent when I have been speaking completely normally. I decide to just go with it and get a supervisor to speak to the customer since I’m not having any luck getting through to them.)

Me: “Okay, may I put you on a brief hold while I get someone on the line?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: *slowly* “A brief hold?”

Customer: “Oh. Okay.”

(I found a supervisor and brought them over. The supervisor ended up repeating exactly what I had said and finished up the call. All of my coworkers had a nice laugh about it afterward, as I had clearly spent a long time with the customers trying to explain to them what was going on.)

A Signed That It’s Going To Be A Good Birthday

, , , , , | | Hopeless | May 19, 2019

(I’m a high-medical-needs child, and one of my conditions is severe tinnitus in one ear and complete deafness in the other. I’m completely deaf in restaurants and public places, because of the noise, so it is very hard for me to order. I am out for lunch on my birthday.)

Waitress: *after taking everyone else’s orders* “Okay, and what would you like, sweetie?”

Me: *no response*

Waitress: “Excuse me?”

Me: *no response*

(Finally, my dad explained my situation, and she signed to me her question. Later on in the meal, she brought the whole staff out, with a free dessert. While the entire staff was singing to me, she signed the entire time. If you are reading this, miss, thank you so much!)

Are You Bready For A Language Lesson?

, , , | | Right | May 19, 2019

(I work in the bakery department of the local supermarket, and as anyone who has worked in retail can attest to, customers who drop suddenly unwanted items in random areas are a source of unending frustration. I’m on the shop floor, stocking freshly-baked bread when I observe a customer change her mind and put a loaf of bread back WHERE SHE GOT IT FROM! Happy days! Unable to contain myself, I go over to thank her. I can only speak English.)

Me: “I just wanted to thank you for putting that bread back instead of just dropping it anywhere. That stuff means a lot to us.” *big smile*

Customer: *looks at me silently with a politely puzzled expression*

Me: *still smiling*

Customer: *starts asking me a question about a special, in what I suspect is Portuguese*

Me: *in my head* “Bugger.”

(I got a rough idea what she was asking and helped as best I could.)

Don’t You Speak Asian? – Part 3

, , , , | | Right | May 18, 2019

(I’m Asian-American but I grew up in the South, so I have a bit of an accent. It tends to throw people off, especially working at a southern chain restaurant.)

Me: “How are y’all doing today?”

Customer: “Stop faking an accent.”

Me: “I was actually raised in Tennessee, sir.”

Customer: “That doesn’t mean you have to fake an accent to fit in.”

Me: *concentrating on not speaking with an accent* “O…kay…”

Related:
Don’t You Speak Asian? – Part 2
Don’t You Speak Asian?

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