This Conversation Is Too Pho Gone

, , , , , , | Related | February 3, 2019

(It’s past midnight and I am on the phone with my brother, who is visiting some of our relatives on the other side of the country. I’m about to end the call and go to sleep when my mum’s cousin, who I’ll just call Uncle H, enters my brother’s room and asks who he is speaking to, which inevitably leads to him asking how I am doing. My brother has his headphones on, so I can hear Uncle H somewhat, but he can’t hear me. My brother and I are speaking to each other in English, but Uncle H is Vietnamese, and my brother’s Vietnamese is a little rusty.)

Brother: “Yeah, she’s good. She’s happy. She’s living in America.”

Uncle H: “Oh, that’s nice. How long has she been in America for?”

Brother: *emphatically* “Oh, she’s been there for years.”

Me: “Erm, [Brother], it’s only been one year.”

Uncle H: “Wow! What does she like there?”

Brother: *to me* “What do you like most about living in America, [My Name]?”

Me: “Oh, geez. It’s too late at night for this; my brain is mush.”

Brother: “Come on! Something you like about America!”

Me: “Um… I like that you get free refills here. Like, when you go to a restaurant and you order a drink, pretty much every restaurant gives you free refills here. There. That’s something I like.”

Brother: *in Vietnamese* “So, [My Name] says that her favourite thing is—“

Me: *cracking up* “Hey, I never said it was my favourite thing!”

Brother: “—when you go to a restaurant, and you get something to drink, they give you… lots and lots of it. Lots of… liquid. To drink.”

Me: “Do you not know the word for ‘refill,’ [Brother]? Or even just the word ‘free’?”

Brother: *laughing as well* “So, she just drinks a lot when she’s there. And she really likes that.”

Me: “You moron.”

Brother: “Hey, I did ask you what you liked most!”

Me: “Ugh. I don’t know. The things I pay attention to are really random and weird! Okay, I’ll give you another example. Here’s something else I like: you know how, back home, when a police car or an ambulance comes through with the sirens blasting and everything, they have right of way, but they’re expected to just manoeuvre around everyone, and it can get really confusing? Well, in America, when an emergency vehicle has its sirens on, everyone just stops and waits and basically lets them pass, and they don’t move again until the police car or whatever it is has gone past.”

Brother: “Interesting.”

Me: “Yeah! I know it’s really random, but I think it’s neat and I like it. We should have that back home.”

Brother: “That’s cool. Okay, I’ll translate.” *in Vietnamese* “So, another thing [My Name] really really likes… is the food you can get in America.”

Me: “OH, MY GOD.”

Brother: *also laughing* “Yeah, so, in addition to having lots of stuff to drink… there’s also so much stuff you can eat there…”

Me: “You little s***.”

Brother: “…and that’s why [My Name] likes America so much.”

(Eventually, Uncle H leaves.)

Brother: “It’s fine. You’ll probably never even meet [Uncle H] in real life, anyway.”

Me: “He probably thinks I’m a total fat-a**!”

Brother: *laughing hysterically* “He totally does!”

I Am Violently In Love With You

, , , , , | Romantic | January 25, 2019

(I am a young woman with multiple health problems, which have left me in a wheelchair currently. On top of that, my left eye is light-sensitive, red, and watery. I’ve had it checked out by the doctor, but they think it was just a bit of dust, and it’s fixing itself. However, I get to look like I’m crying from the left all the time until it goes away.)

Husband: “Aw, is someone a widdle sad?” *makes mock-crying noises*

Me: “Yes, that is what you’ll sound like… after I shank you in the kidney!”

Husband: “Oooh, ouch. It’s a good thing I love your adorable violent streak.”

Me: “I wonder how much you’ll love it after peeing blood for a few weeks.”

Husband: “Probably less so, then.”

Keeping These Customers At Injured Arm’s Length

, , , , , , | Right | December 12, 2018

(I’m cashing out a lady whose arm is in a sort of sling. I assume it’s sore or injured, but she seems to be managing fine otherwise, if a little slower than average. At first, she’s polite, but becomes increasingly difficult as the transaction goes on.)

Customer: “Can you check the price of this, please? The ticket says a dollar, but I’m not sure.”

(She hands me a two-litre bottle of soft drink, one I know for a fact is not $1, nor have we ever sold it for that price.)

Me: “The [soft drink] should be $1.69.” *scans item* “Yes, it’s $1.69.”

Customer: “No, the ticket says one dollar.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but it is actually $1.69. The ticket should say that [soft drink] is $1.69, also. I know, because I put the ticket there myself, actually.”

Customer: “NO! You’re wrong! It says one dollar.”

Me: “Sorry, but [soft drink] is $1.69. It was previously $1.50, but we have never once sold it for $1. If you want, I’ll call for a price check.”

(She agrees, so I call my coworker for a price check. Surprise, surprise, they confirm that the ticket does say $1.69. The customer decides to leave [soft drink], and I continue scanning the rest of her items, with her occasionally asking the prices of other items. Finally, we get to the end, and it’s time for her to pay.)

Me: “Okay, your total comes to [total]. Was that cash or card?”

Customer: “Oh, I better transfer some money. Just wait one second, please.”

(A queue has built up, so I call for another cashier. A few minutes pass, and the customer is still transferring her money, meanwhile rambling to me about how she needs to go to [Health Insurance] to get a refund, and that’s why she doesn’t have enough money in her account. I’m nodding along politely, but the line is building, so I try to politely hurry her along)

Me: “Sorry, but would you mind if I put your items to one side while you wait for your transfer? We just have a few people in line.”

Customer: “No, I’m nearly done! You have to be patient with me; I’ve only got one working arm!”

(She happens to tilt her phone and I get a look at the screen. She is using the same banking app that I have myself, and I know a transfer takes only a few seconds. She has been standing at my register for almost ten minutes TRANSFERRING money. I have no idea what she could be possibly doing, but finally, she tells me the money has transferred and she pays.)

Customer: “Thank you for waiting.” *goes to grab items* “Oh, you need to double-bag these. I’ve only got one working arm!”

Me: “Oh, sorry, ma’am, it’s just that we’ve got customers waiting…”

Customer: “I don’t care! You have to be patient with me! I’ve only got one working arm, and I’m not supposed to be using this one; it’s injured! My doctor is going to be mad at me!”

(Finally, after a nearly twenty-minute transaction, she leaves.)

Coworker: “First of all, you were stuck with her for over ten minutes; how much more patient can you be?! And second, how is it your fault that her arm is injured? If doctor’s orders say she shouldn’t be using it, she shouldn’t be using it! Some people!”

(I mentioned the ordeal to my manager. He said I should have kicked her out of the store when she refused to move aside so I could serve others!)

Fake Names Get Fake Service

, , , , , | Right | November 28, 2018

(I work at a self-service photo lab. You enter your memory card into a computer, select your photos, and enter your name. It prints off a slip, you pay, and you come back later to collect your photos. Every single time, we remind customers to hold onto the receipt with the slip, as it not only proves you paid for your photos, but has your name and order number on it, so we know what photos are yours.)

Customer: “I’m just here to pick up my photos.”

Me: “Sure, no problem; can I get the receipt?”

Customer: “Sorry, mate, I lost it.”

Me: “That’s okay; it happens. What name were they under?”

Customer: *gives his name*

Me: *looks for photos* “I can’t find any order by that name. Did you order them today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I did it like twenty minutes ago.”

Me: “Okay, cool. Let me just look again.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Me: “I still can’t find any photos under that name. Are you sure that’s the name that you ordered them under?”

Customer: *gives me a condescending look* “Mate, I’m pretty sure I know my own name.”

Me: “Fair enough. Let me look again to be sure.”

(I look for the photos again.)

Me: “There is definitely nothing under that name. Are you sure that you printed and paid for them here?”

Customer: “100% sure.”

Me: “There definitely isn’t anything under here with that name.”

(I go through all the orders and show the customer the first photo of each order to see if he recognises his order. We aren’t really meant to do this, but it’s the only way I can think of to ID his order. After about thirty orders:)

Customer: “Yep, that’s one of mine. The next photo should be of a boat.”

(The next photo is indeed of a boat, so I’m confident this is his order.)

Me: “These photos are under the name of [Completely Different Name].”

Customer: “Oh, yeah, that’s right; I used a fake name. Sorry about that.”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here: The Book

, , , , | Right | November 11, 2018

(I work in a library, and one of the best parts of my job is when I get to go shopping for new books with what essentially amounts to a blank cheque. The bookstore we have an account with knows us, and when I or my colleagues turn up to do some buying they usually give us a big trolley to pile up our purchases in. These are staff trolleys; most customers in the shop wouldn’t use anything bigger than a shopping basket. I’m dressed in casual shopping clothes; the staff have uniforms, name tags, and lanyards. Another customer approaches me while I’m pushing my trolley around selecting books.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Do you know if you have [New Popular Cookbook] in stock?”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t work here!”

Customer: “Oh, I just thought…” *gestures at the trolley*

Me: “Yeah, I know it’s confusing. But I actually work for a library and I’m here buying some new stock!”

(The customer stares at me blankly before walking away. This has happened to me before, and this is the second time that line has gone down with blank stares and borderline hostile reactions, as if it’s my fault that they made the mistake and can’t just laugh it off or admit that they’re super jealous that I get paid to shop for books. I continue on my merry way, until about five minutes later, when the same woman approaches me again in a different aisle.)

Customer: “Do you know where [Some Other Specific Book] is?”

Me: *incredulously* “I still don’t work here?”

Customer: “Oh, I know. I just thought you might know, anyway.”

(The store is busy, but there’s always staff around who are knowledgeable and eager to help. I have no idea why she decided that I was more likely to know than they were, or why she doubled down on being wrong. But my library got new books, so it’s all good!)

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 33
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 32
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 31

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