Sales End, But Bad Customers Are Forever

, , , | Right | March 27, 2020

(I work at a health food store, and we pride ourselves on having the lowest prices. In the rare case we don’t, we can almost always offer a price match.)

Me: “Hello! Are you finding everything okay?”

Customer: “Yes, my sister was here last week and got this hair dye for $2 less. Will you price match?”

Me: “Oh, that’s because it was on sale last week. The sale ended two days ago.”

Customer: “So, will you price match?”

Me: “You’re asking for us to price match an expired sale?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I’m sorry. We can’t do that.”

Customer: *scoffs*

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Seat Down And Choose Your Battles

, , , | Right | March 26, 2020

(I’m talking to an elderly patron on the phone. He’s buying tickets to the most recent show.)

Me: “I can get you two seats in the middle of orchestra right, row C.”

Patron: “I don’t want them near the far end. What seat numbers are they?”

Me: “C8 and C10.”

Patron: “No, I want two seats together.”

Me: “They are together; the seats in orchestra right are numbered by even numbers and orchestra left is odds.”

Patron: “Oh, okay. How many seats are in this row?”

Me: “Ten, sir.”

Patron: “But you’re putting me in C10! That’s the last seat.”

Me: “No, sir, the seats go from C2 to C20.”

Patron: “That doesn’t make sense!”

Me: “As I said before, the orchestra right seats are assigned even numbers only.”

Patron: “I want to be in the middle!”

Me: “Yes, your seats are in the middle of the row. That last seat in this row is C20.”

Patron: “So there are twenty seats in this row?”

Me: *pause* “Yes.”

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Even Language Teachers Have Language Barriers

, , , , , | Learning | March 22, 2020

(I am working as an online English teacher for kids in China. Sometimes during a lesson, a kid might not understand what he is supposed to do. The most direct explanation would be to explain it in Chinese; however, there are three reasons why this is the last resort. The class is supposed to be immersive and the students should not hear or speak Chinese during the lessons. My Chinese is not good enough to carry on a conversation. Despite my best efforts, my accent confuses kids who have not had much English experience and they think my Chinese is just more English they do not understand. Here is an example of what can happen when I resort to Chinese.)

Me: *circling the fire truck on the screen* “What is this?”

Boy: “What… is this?”

Me: “No, no… What is this?”

Boy: “What is this?”

Me: “No…” *still circling the firetruck* “Zhege shi shenma?” *“This one is what?”*

Boy: “Zhega shi shenma…”

Father: *laughing and saying in Chinese* “No, the teacher is trying to speak to you in Chinese. He is asking you what this is.”

Boy: *sheepish chuckling* “Oh, oh, oh… It’s a firetruck.”

(The rest of the class proceeded much easier as he got better at recognizing the receptive language. It’s nice when there is an English-proficient parent around to bail me out.)

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Cool Old Ladies Can Be A Retail Worker’s Best Friend

, , , , , | Right | March 17, 2020

(I am ringing up a woman and her teenage daughter.)

Guest: “I just don’t understand why you can’t give me a discount.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the sale ended yesterday.”

Guest: “I just think you’re being a b****.”

(She leaves. The elderly woman behind her has been eyeing her with disgust.)

Elderly Guest: *with a thick Georgia accent* “Now, don’t you pay her no mind. People like her don’t know how to be classy.”

Me: “I suppose so.”

(As I’m ringing her up, I notice a tattoo on her right hand in the shape of a diamond. She also has a large diamond wedding ring on her left hand.)

Me: “I love your tattoo!”

Guest: “Oh, why, thank you! Was quite a scandal when I got it, but I don’t really care. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, you know. Make sure your boyfriend buys you a nice one, now!”

(She leaves. Absolutely made my day.)

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Learning The Dangers Of Video Conferencing Early

, , , , , | Learning | March 16, 2020

(I work as an online English teacher for children in China. When I only have a single student for a low-level class, I play a game where they say “apple” and I jump, and then we switch roles. This class, I have a six-year-old girl as my only student.)

Me: “Apple!”

Girl: *jumps*

(Something about her doesn’t look right, but I don’t realize what it is at first.)

Me: “Apple!”

Girl: *jumps*

(That’s when I realize what the problem is: she is naked from the waist down! The mother shouts something in Chinese and the girl sits back down and stays seated as the mother rushes over with a pair of panties and helps her put them on.)

Mother: “Sorry! Sorry! She, uh… pee-pee! She pee-pee!”

Me: “It’s all right.”

(Once the girl had her underwear on, class resumed as normal for the rest of the session. My guess as to what happened is that the girl had wet herself right before class and, not having enough time to clean her up properly, the mother simply stripped off the soiled clothes and didn’t think I’d notice during the 25-minute class.)

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