Good People Are Not Dime A Dozen

, , , , , | Right | June 13, 2013

(I work in my university’s campus shop. I arrive for my shift to find the site in lockdown. There are security guys and people in ‘hi-vis’ jackets everywhere. They check my ID, and let me through, so I think nothing of it. Later that afternoon, one of the ‘hi-vis’ jacketed guys comes to my till with a drink and bar of chocolate. He looks stressed.)

Customer: “Hey, how much for this?”

Me: “£1.10”

(The customer starts rummaging in his pocket.)

Customer: “Oh for f***’s sake; I’ve gone and left my f****** wallet in the truck. I’ve been here since four am, and this is the only break I’ll get! I’ve only got a £1 coin. Leave the chocolate; I’ll just have the drink.”

Me: “Nah, no worries; I’ll spot you the 10p. People leave their change behind all the time.”

Customer: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yeah, positive. You look like you could use it. I hope your day gets a bit better!”

Customer: “Thanks, love! You put a smile back on my face. Bless you!”

(A couple of hours later, the same guy comes back in just as I’m closing up.)

Customer: “Are you closing?”

Me: “Yes, sorry, the till’s already been shut down.”

Customer: “Excellent! If you’ve got 10 minutes, go sit on the wall outside there, and keep quiet, okay?”

(Intrigued, I go sit where he asks, which is just outside the doors of the building. A dark SUV pulls up, and security guards materialise from nowhere and start moving people away. They try to move me on, but the customer tells them that I’m with him, and they leave us be. The next person to come out of the doors is Leonardo DiCaprio, who then gets into the SUV. My mouth drops in shock.)

Customer: “10p for the front-row seat. Can’t say fairer than that, can you?”

(Some months later, I recognise one of my university’s lecture halls in the movie ‘Inception’!)

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So Pho, So Crazy

, , , , , , | Right | December 3, 2010

(I am working the tills at a supermarket. I am of Vietnamese descent but was born in London. An older gentleman comes through my till.)

Customer: *practically shouting* “Ni-Hao!”

Me: “Hello to you, too, sir, but that’s Chinese. I am actually Vietnamese.”

(I point to my name tag which in our shop goes by family name instead of first name. Mine is the very common ‘Nguyen,’)

Customer: “Don’t lie!”

Me: “I assure you sure I am Vietnamese.”

Customer: “There aren’t any Vietnamese people left!”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “Yeah, the Americans killed them all back in the seventies or something.”

Me: “I think you may have your history confused. I assure you there is still a Vietnam and it is full of Vietnamese people.”

Customer: “Well I don’t know how you managed to escape but I wouldn’t say it so loudly. There might be Americans around looking for survivors.”

Me: *as I ring up his last item* “Probably a good idea. That will be £10.34 please.”

Customer: *as he pays* “Wouldn’t want a young lad like you getting caught!”

(The customer heads towards the exit, but unfortunately notices the security guard who also happens to be my brother. He is 6ft tall and a body-builder and I dread what might happen.)

Customer: “Ni-Hao!”

Brother: “Actually I’m Vietnamese.”

Customer: “Another one?! But the Americans wiped you all out!”

Brother: *standing to full height* “I think you might want to just keep on walking.”

Customer: “How dare you talk to me like that?! I’m going to call the Americans, and then they’ll come down here and shoot you!”

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Not Just Ol’ Gay Paris Anymore

, , , , , , , , | Right | April 27, 2010

(I am of Chinese descent but I was born and raised in London. I am serving a table of American tourists, headed by a rather boisterous older woman.)

Me: “Welcome to [Restaurant]. What will you be having today?”

Customer: “Oh, my God!”

Me: “Are you okay, ma’am?”

Customer: “What’s wrong with your voice?”

Me: “Nothing, ma’am. I’m perfectly fine.”

Customer: “But you sound English!”

Me: “I am. I was born here.”

Customer: “But that’s impossible!”

Me: “I assure you, ma’am, I was born right here in London. This is my normal accent. So, what can I get you to order?”

Customer: “How old are you?”

Me: “21, ma’am.”

Customer: “Would you like to meet my daughter? She’s thinking of studying here for school.”

Me: “No thanks, ma’am. I’m gay and have a boyfriend so I doubt she’d be interested in me.”

Customer: “You’re gay?”

Me: “Guilty.”

Customer: “So that explains the accent.”

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Saw The Wrong Dust

, , , , , | Right | March 16, 2010

Customer: “Is this movie one of those violent ones?”

(Customer shows me a copy of ‘Stardust’.)

Me: “No, sir, that’s a family fantasy movie.”

Customer: “Are you sure? I thought Sawdust was violent and gory?”

Me: “Sir, you’re thinking of the ‘Saw’ movies. You have a copy of ‘Stardust’, which is completely different.”

Customer: “I was looking for something really disturbing and violent.”

Me: “Well ‘Stardust’ has a scene with Robert De Niro in a dress doing the can-can.”

(Customer mulls this over for a few seconds.)

Customer: “I think you’d better show me where those ‘Saw’ movies are.”

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(V)ery (A)bsent (T)hought

, , , , | Right | February 25, 2010

(After confirming the price of every single item in a customer’s basket as it goes through the till, I finally hand her the receipt.)

Customer: “Wait, what’s this thing here? It was really expensive!” *points at item on her receipt*

Me: “That’s VAT.”

Customer: “What’s that?”

Me: “Value Added Tax.”

Customer: “I didn’t buy any of that.”

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