It’s A Family Joke

, , , | Right | October 2, 2019

(We’re at a museum on a family vacation. We’re at the front desk paying to get in.)

My Mom: *studying the prices* “Four stuniors.”

(She has mashed up “two seniors” — my parents — and “two students” — my brother and me.)

Employee: “How about a family pass?”

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Nobody Expected The Spanish Sign Language

, , , , , | Working | October 2, 2019

(I am relatively fluent in American Sign Language. I am the only one at the donut/coffee shop I work at that is, and as a result, I often get asked to assist deaf customers. I am on my break and have stepped out of the back of the store to eat my lunch and relax in the sun, when my manager comes charging through the back door and runs up to me.)

Manager: “[My Name]! We have a deaf customer; is there any way you can assist? I’ll clock you in and you can take an extra five minutes on your break either way.”

Me: “Of course!” *runs back to the front of the store*

Me: *signing to the customer* “What can I help you with?”

(The customer looks very confused and a little panicked. He says something and makes hand motions which I don’t recognize as any ASL I’ve ever learned, but it does sound familiar. I try to repeat in ASL one more time, slower, and spelling it out as opposed to actually using signs. The customer responds in a louder and more flustered voice, but very clearly in an incredibly Spanish accent:)

Customer: “Spa-nnnnnishhh?”

Me: *turns to my manager as I, my manager, and my coworker all realize what’s happening* “Yeah, he’s definitely not deaf, he’s asking for Spanish, not Sign.”

(My manager turned red and ducked into the back with an apologetic look to me. Thankfully, I speak enough broken Spanish that I could explain to the customer what had happened — when he used hand gestures and drew out the N in “Spanish,” my manager mistook it as drawing out the N in “Sign” — and the customer had a giant laugh! In Spanish, he explained that he was confused about why the manager had brought up a deaf cashier to help him! He then also asked me to grab my manager so he could assure him that he wasn’t offended at all, and that this situation made him laugh. The customer even corrected me a little bit on my bad Spanish, and left a $5 tip on a $10 order! All of us were still chuckling when he left the store with his donut and coffee.)

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A “Bit” Too Late

, , , , , | Friendly | September 28, 2019

(I’m walking to the bus stop when a group of grey-haired men walks toward me.)

Gray-Haired Man: “But I don’t need to hear the problems of a bit–” *sees me* “–female customer.”

(I appreciated that he didn’t want to offend me!)

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A Most Bearable Wedding

, , , , , | Related | September 27, 2019

(I am hanging out with my future brother-in-law, who is seven. He is deaf, and we’ve been discussing his role in the upcoming wedding. This whole conversation is in sign language.)

Me: “Are you excited for the wedding?”

Brother: “[Fiancé] told me I would be the ring bear!”

(I chuckle, thinking he has gotten confused like kids do, but he continues.)

Brother: *signing excitedly* “I’ve been practicing my bear walk and roar and everything! Want to see?”

Me: “Yes, but can I ask you something?”

Brother: “What?”

Me: “You know it’s ‘bearer,’ right?”

(It turns out, my fianceé told him over text that he would be the ring bearer, only her autocorrect changed “bearer” to “bear” and she didn’t notice. We told him he could be the Ring “Bear” if he wanted to, of course.)

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H2-OMG Just Take The Water!

, , , , | Right | September 25, 2019

(I work in a restaurant as a hostess. Sometimes customers start throwing their orders at me as soon as they come in, so I offer to get them glasses of water to make up for the fact that I’m not allowed to take their orders. A couple of regulars come in and start doing this as I’m seating them at their table.)

Woman: “I’d like a sweet tea and bowl of vegetable soup to start.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’m not able to process your meals; however, I can start you off with a glass of water while you wait for your server to arrive, if you’d like.”

Woman: “Sure, we’d like half.”

(She waves me away without explaining what “half” means, so I’m left having to guess at what she wants for her and her husband. After a minute, I return to their table with two glasses filled halfway with ice and the rest with water. The woman looks at me funny as I set them down.)

Woman: “No, I said I wanted half. These aren’t half.”

Me: “Oh, sorry about that, ma’am. I’ll fix these right away.” 

(I go back to the drink fountain and fill their glasses halfway with water, still attempting to figure out what “half” meant. I bring the glasses back to their table again and she huffs, looking at me with an annoyed expression.)

Woman: “No, these still aren’t right. I said I wanted half; this isn’t half.” 

(I have customers who need to be seated waiting at the door, so I finally decide to ask this lady what she means by “half”.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’m afraid I don’t understand exactly what you mean by ‘half.’ Could you explain one more time?”

(She gives a rude sigh and rolls her eyes.)

Woman: “I said I wanted half. A glass with just ice, filled halfway. My husband wants the glass filled. Was that so difficult?”

(I take a silent deep breath as I fix their waters yet again and take them to the couple’s table. The woman finally seems content with what I brought her.)

Woman: “There, finally.” 

(The husband gave me an apologetic look and I finally got to seat my waiting customers. To this day, I still wonder how she expected anyone to get “one half glass of ice and one full glass of water” from “I want half.” Needless to say, I stopped offering to get anybody a glass of water after that.) 

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