, , , , , , | Working | December 5, 2017

(Our vacuum cleaner has died on us, so my dad and I go shopping for a new one. We go to an appliance store. I’m a young teen at the time. A salesperson starts showing us various models.)

Salesperson: “And here we have a Sauber.”

Me: “Huh. German for ‘clean,’ right?”

Salesperson: “Yeah. You speak German?”

Me: “Not fluently, but decently well.”

Salesperson: “Dein Vater is doof.” (“Your father is stupid.”)

(He then winks at me, like I should find him hilarious. I don’t.)

Me: “So does my Dad.”

Dad: “Ich möchte zu dein Geschäftsführer sprachen, bitte.” (“I would like to talk to your manager, please.”)

(We had a lovely talk with the manager about employees who like to call their customers stupid, especially to their own kids, even if they’re doing it in another language. We went elsewhere to buy our new vacuum, so I don’t know what happened after, but I can’t imagine that the employee stayed long at his job.)

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Really Gives Me The Heels

, , , , , | Friendly | December 4, 2017

(My friend and I are heading to his car, which is parked in downtown Seattle. We’re approached by a short black man appearing to be in his late 40s with a thick Southern accent.)

Man: “Y’all got any money you could lend me? I’m here visitin’ from N’awleans, see, and my car got impounded. I’m trying to raise money to get it out of impound.”

(My friend and I have only a moment to start the normal “Sorry, can’t help you” spiel we give panhandlers, but the guy quickly continues.)

Man: “See, I’m visitin’ from N’awleans. Y’all got a gorgeous city here, though. It is absolutely gorgeous.”

Friend: “Yeah, it’s pretty when the weather is good.”

Man: “Yeah, they ain’t been no rain while I been here; it’s been gorgeous. You know what else is gorgeous? Y’all’s women! Man, they fine! Y’all got some good lookin’ women in Seattle, but I’m a short man and they so tall! What they puttin’ in your water makin’ these women so tall?”

Me: *laughing* “Not sure, man.”

Man: “You know what else, though, ’bout this city, is these heels is killin’ me!”

(My friend and I both look at his shoes — normal sneakers — expecting to see pumps or platforms or something.)

Man: *feigning offense* “Now, why you people always be looking at my feet when I talk about y’all’s heels? Huh? I said, ‘heels!’ Not, ‘heels!’”

(We’re both getting confused.)

Man: “Man, how you white people say it?” *he stiffens up, straightens his shoulders, and does a faux Napoleon pose with his hands, then speaks in a deep, mockingly formal-sounding voice* “HILLS!” *he relaxes* “Y’all’s heels! See? They killin’ me!”

(The animated way he conducted himself was so entertaining to us we couldn’t help but give him some money. Hope he got his “car” out of “impound.”)

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They Need To Go On Gardening Leave

, , , , | Working | December 4, 2017

(It’s a sad fact that libraries often have to remove and delete old books from the shelves to make way for new ones, as we don’t have the space to keep all our books. We tend to call this process “weeding.” I’m on pretty friendly terms with my supervisor, and we occasionally talk about gardening and other things. Since I’ve been assigned a large weeding project just at the beginning of gardening season, I suppose it was inevitable that the following would happen:)

Supervisor: “How’s the weeding going?”

Me: “Oh, we haven’t started yet.”

Supervisor: “…”

Me: “Oh, you meant weeding the shelves! That’s going pretty well. I’m sorry; I thought you meant our garden.”

(We had a good laugh, at least.)

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Leaving Them In The Dark

, , , , | Right | December 4, 2017

(I’m working the 4:00 to 10:00 night shift. It’s about 6:30 in the evening, and I’ve been ringing out a woman who has been nothing but pleasant the entire time.)

Me: “And here’s your change. Have a good night!”

Customer #1: *suddenly snobbish* “It’s still sunny out.”

Me: “I’m sorry; this is actually the night shift. Um, have a nice day.”

(She takes her things and leaves without another word. A second customer comes up and I ring her through no problem. Since the first woman was so appalled, I decide maybe I should stick to “day,” since the sun is, in fact, still shining.)

Me: “Have a nice day!”

Customer #2: “The day is practically over. You should have said, ‘Have a good night!'”

(She took her things and stormed out while I silently banged my head against the register keyboard. Everyone else that night got a vague, “Have a good one,” until it was firmly dark outside.)

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Disneyland Is Really Swinging

, , , | Learning | December 4, 2017

(I work as an ESL teacher and am working on practicing “Where’s ____ going?” “He’s/She’s going to _____” with two nine-year-old girls. I’ve written down a bunch of locations numbered 1-20 and they have to roll the twenty-sided die to figure out the place, but they’re free to choose the character/person themselves. Lines in [brackets] are in Japanese.)

Girl #1: “Where’s… Mickey going?”

Girl #2: *roll* “He’s going to Disneyland.”

Girl #1: “[That’s pretty normal. He’s just going to work. Okay then, I’ll do…] Where’s Minnie going?”

Girl #2: *roll* “She’s going to the shopping mall. [Aw, that’s mean, Mickey’s off working and she’s skipping off to go shopping.] Where’s Donald going?”

Girl #1: *roll* “He’s going to the shopping mall.”

Me: “[It’s an affair!]”

Girl #2: “[Minnie, how could you!]”

Girl #1: “[Mickey’s out working and you’re having an affair with Donald! Let’s see then…] Where’s Daisy going?”

Girl #2: *roll* “She’s going to the shopping mall!”

Me: “[She found out!]”

Girl #2: “[Ooooh Minnie, you’re in trouble!]”

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