Talking Turkey About Tofu

| Chicago, IL, USA | Food & Drink

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Restaurant]. What can I get for you today?

Customer: “Um… well….. hmm… Is there turkey in the turkey sandwich?”

(I have been having a very bad day:)

Me: “Nope. It’s tofu.”

Customer: “Oh, I love tofu. I’ll have that…”

Practically Screaming Your Age

, | Yorktown, VA, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(I work at a drive-in where you park you car and order food from a speaker, then we bring it to you. Sometimes customers let their kids make the order for them.)

Me: “Welcome to [Restaurant]. What can I get for you?

(The drive-in is very new, and our headsets have pristine hearing.)

Mother: *whispering* “Tell them, ‘one chocolate milkshake.'”

Child: *screaming* “ONE CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE!”

(I nearly fall over as I jerk the headset off my ears. I can still hear talking through them.)

Mother: *whispering* “One vanilla milkshake.”

Child: *screaming* “ONE VANILLA MILKSHAKE!”

Mother: *whispering* “And two strawberry milkshakes.”

Child: *screaming* TWO STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKES!”

(I gingerly put the headphones back on.)

Me: “Okay, that will be [price]. Will it be cash or card?”

Child: *screaming* “I DON’T KNOW! I’M SIX!”

A Total Brazil Nut

| France | Food & Drink, Geography, Language & Words, Top

(Every year I work at a local fair as a waitress, at a travelling Brazilian restaurant. I am not a native, but my Portuguese is perfect. A Brazilian woman, accompanied by a French friend, sits at one of my tables and interrupts other customers while I finish taking their orders.)

Customer: *in Portuguese* “YOU! Come serve me right now! I’m starving. I am Brazilian, you know! Brazilians eat a lot. We are not like these skinny French people who don’t eat a thing. These French people can wait. I can’t!”

(After explaining her the different formulas she can choose from, she goes for all you can eat beef.)

Me: “I will only serve the side dishes, and the meat slicers will cut prime beef into a plate whenever you want it.”

Customer: “My friend doesn’t want to eat; just a cocktail, because she is French, and these people don’t eat like Brazilians.”

(Her friend confirms it to me in French. When her plate and the friend’s cocktail are ready I start serving her the side dishes.)

Customer: *yelling* “What is this? Are you putting me on a diet? This is NOT what I had ordered! I wanted all you can eat beef and you are not serving me meat! This is outrageous! If this were Brazil, you’d be fired straight away!”

Me: “I am sorry; maybe I haven’t explained myself very clearly. I am just serving the side dishes, and the gentlemen other there will come straight to your table and cut beef right into your plate.”

Customer: “I have another HUGE problem. Look at my friend; she’s got nothing to eat. This is so rude of you; you have only served her a drink. She may be one of those skinny French, but she has the right to eat you know! This is clearly not Brazil! What part of Brazil are you from to be such a bad waitress?”

Me: “I am sorry; I’ll bring food to your friend right away. And I am not actually Brazilian. I am a local.”

Customer: “Why would they dare employ a non-Brazilian? This is outrageous! French people are just NOT qualified to work here.”

Me: “Well, you hadn’t noticed my accent until now, so it means my Portuguese is good enough to work here. Besides, I’ve lived in Brazil, I am married to a Brazilian, and I am also a certified samba instructor, so it is not as if I didn’t know anything about your culture.”

Customer: “I can’t believe this! This is a scandal! You are not Brazilian! You are such a bad waitress! Call the boss; I’ll make sure you’ll get fired because you are not Brazilian! You can’t possibly know how to serve us. You are a disgrace to my country!”

(I refused to continue serving her. When she finished eating, she made a scandal at the checkout. While leaving, she met the restaurant’s boss, and told him that the service had been horrible, that I had been rude to her, and that French people shouldn’t work at such a place. She also complained about the ‘fat b****’ she had to deal with at the checkout. The boss replied that no one had ever complained about the quality of my service, and that the ‘fat’ woman at the checkout was his pregnant wife. He told her to never dare come back again, and insulted her in front of a bunch of laughing Brazilians.)