Gweilo-No-No

, , , , , | Right | July 21, 2021

I work at a grocery store that also has fish in their pet department, which I am in charge of maintaining this evening. An Asian man walks up.

Me: “Hello, sir. Do you need help?”

Male Customer: “No.”

Me: “If you need assistance, feel free to let me know.”

I continue to clean tanks and do paperwork nearby, in view. An Asian woman joins him looking at fish and I ask again if they need help. I’m told no and I repeat my message to let me know if they need assistance.

A few minutes pass. I’m keeping busy with tanks and the two are just staring at me making me very uncomfortable. I keep cleaning. After five more minutes of staring, the woman snaps.

Female Customer: “Aren’t you going to get us fish?”

Me: “I apologize! Absolutely!”

Female Customer: “We have been waiting ten minutes! This is ridiculous!”

Me: “I’m sorry. I did say to let me know if you needed help. I apologize for that wait.”

She tells me the fish she wants — a specific goldfish out of tanks of hundreds of goldfish that look near identical and two male bettas that she tries to get me to bag together — and demands a giant bag that holds a gallon for a single twenty-five-cent goldfish.

The entire time, she and the man are talking smack about me in Mandarin, which I studied for five years in school. I know enough to keep up a conversation and know they are talking in racial slurs and talking about how I must be in an abusive sexual relationship with a woman because of my shaved hair; I’m female with heavy scarring on my scalp from a car crash.

I hand them their fish.

Me: *In Mandarin* “Here you go, have a good day. I had an accident and am happily engaged. Don’t talk about what you don’t know.”

Watching their faces pale was delightful and their complaint to my boss was ignored.

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If You’re Looking For A Sign, This Is It

, , , , , | Friendly | July 21, 2021

As a raised Christian who has since turned agnostic (bordering on atheistic), I make a point of maintaining an “agree to disagree” policy when communicating with other religious people. I give a simple nod and neutral reaction to any statements referring to their faith.

However, one friend I have had since high school is so deeply religious, it has me questioning whether it is faith or sheer madness. For example, she told me she had been permanently banned from returning to a church where she’d been a member for many years. I asked what happened.

Friend: “I had a dream that [Pastor] was having sex with [Twelve-Year-Old Girl]! And I knew in my heart this was a revelation from God. I told his wife about it and then told [Twelve-Year-Old Girl]’s parents that they should sit down with her and find out what was going on.”

Sometime later, she lost her job and remained unemployed for quite some time. She mentioned to me that the public assistance she was using was about to expire and she was concerned she was going to lose her apartment.

Me: “I know for a fact my job is hiring because we’ve been seriously understaffed after a group of people moved on after graduating from college. I’m great friends with the team leader and even the human resources manager; I can definitely set you up with an interview!”

Friend: “No… I don’t feel that God is leading me in that direction.”

Me: “Okay… but what are you going to do? You’re running out of time.”

Friend: “Maybe go to Syria and share the word of God with the terrorists so they will stop killing innocent people.”

Me: *Holding in various comments* “Okay, not that you would survive longer than two weeks, but how do you intend to get over there with no money and survive with no source of income?”

Friend: “God will take care of me.”

Me: “Right. Well, what’s your plan B if you aren’t able to make it out of town?”

Friend: “I have no choice but to wait on a sign from God. I’m hoping for an epiphany or for Him to send an angel to tell me what I should do next.”

I’m stunned into silence… and then I start slowly flapping my arms.

Me: “I’m Saint [My Name], sent directly from Heaven with a special message just for you. You are about to be homeless soon. Get… a… job!”

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Carrying The Banner For Bad Phrasing

, , , , , , | Learning | July 18, 2021

In high school, I’m in a musical that takes place in New York around the turn of the twentieth century. One of our musical numbers is performed by a group of girls who are referred to in the script as “Bowery Beauties.” We’re at rehearsal, but we’re also on lunch break, and one of our directors is darting around to different tables.

He comes to our table, which is completely composed of girls.

Director: “Have you seen any Beauties around here?”

We connect the dots pretty quickly and figure out that he’s asking for the actresses, so we help him as best we can. He thanks us and leaves.

A minute later, he comes back to our table with an apology, reassuring us that we are all beauties and he shouldn’t have phrased it that way. I had a lot of not-so-great experiences in that theater, but that was one thing I’ll always remember in a positive light.

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Tipped To Be One Of Those Days

, , , , , | Right | July 6, 2021

We are currently in a national change shortage and are asking customers to pay in exact change when possible. 

Customer: “Can I get $3 in quarters so my kids can use the candy machines?”

The candy machines aren’t even a part of our store, just inside the mall.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we currently don’t have many quarters in the store, so I’m unable to give change at this time.”

Customer: “It’s okay, I’ll just take it from your tip jar.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but please don’t take money out of the tip jar. If there are quarters in there, I genuinely need them for our business. You can maybe try the business next door for quarters.”

Customer: “Fine! Thanks for upsetting my kids.”

Later at close, I counted the tips; we only had two quarters in the tip jar anyway.

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Let The Chips Fall Where They May

, , , , , | Related | July 6, 2021

I’m the oldest of four children. We’re quite spread apart in age; the youngest is nine years younger than me. [Brother #1], who is eleven years old, has gotten a single-serve bag of chips and a drink as a special treat for his baseball team, and [Brother #2], who is nine, is jealous, since we almost never have junk food in the house.

[Brother #2] has tried and failed to steal the chips, so [Brother #1] has decided to eat them right now so he can’t try again.

Me: “Hey, [Brother #1]? May I have one?”

Brother #1: “Sure.”

Brother #2: *Incomprehensible sputtering* “Wha— Why can’t I have some?!”

Brother #1: “Because she didn’t try to steal it!”

Me: “And I asked nicely.”

Brother #2: “She’s eighteen! I’m nine!

Flawless kid logic. He did not get any chips, and our dad told him to drop it.

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