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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Unfiltered Story #188410

, , | Unfiltered | March 7, 2020

I work front desk at a gym, checking in members. This is after a particularly bad blizzard, when many places in town are closed. The gym is not very busy, but I am standing behind the desk and easy to see when you walk in.

A customer opens the door and steps inside.

Me: Hello!
Customer: (looks around, then at me, dead serious) Are you open?
Me:… No sir, I’m just standing here for the heck of it.

Unfiltered Story #187681

, , , | Unfiltered | March 1, 2020

I am at my table dealing blackjack when a customer comes up to my table. Players in this city are notorious for being cutthroat and ruthless.

Me: How’s it going tonight sir?
Player: Shi**y that’s how.
(He then slams a single 25$ green chip in the betting circle and I deal him a fourteen.)
Player: Best you could fuc**ng do huh? Hit me!
(Lost the first hand. It’s important that this time he put another SINGLE chip up. I dealt him a 13 turned to do a check in with my supervisor and out of the corner of my eye saw him add money to his bet. As I have been dealing here awhile and have become accustomed to players trying to cheat I simply flick the chip back)
Me: You can’t add money to your bet after the cards are out sir.
Player: hit me
Me: Bust
Player: The fuck is wrong with you? I didn’t ask for a hit I want my 100$ back.
Me: You did, and you only had 25$ up.
Player: No way call the floor.
(I called my supervisor over and told her of what happened, she decides to call surveillance. I normally let it go but because this time this guy was being a pain I leaned back and let her know he capped his bet, the industry term for adding money after the cards are out. Meanwhile I have another player in the table who doubled for a large amount of money waiting.)
Me: I’m so sorry about all this sir.
Other player: Don’t worry it’s quite all right.
(Meanwhile while waiting he goes to the table next to me and within 2.5 seconds)
Other Dealer: Floor!!
(My pit boss a separate supervisor comes up behind me.)
Me: What’s this guy doing?
Pit boss: Sit tight somethings happening.
(Never having heard that before I was nervous, within a minute security was surrounding my table asking the guy to step off the table. They pull him away and begin arguing. He suddenly breaks away comes back to the table slams his hands down and yells at me.)
Player: Did I add money to my bet?
Me: Yes I pushed the chip back to you and tried to forget it.
(He was then escorted out yelling the whole time how he wants his 100 dollars back. I never saw him again.)