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In Soviet Russia… I Still Can’t Speak Chinese

| CT, USA | Bizarre, Language & Words

(I’m multiethnic and have a unique look. This usually prompts questions from strangers. This time I’m at a salon and the inquirer is a fellow patron, about 18 years old.)

Patron: “Where are you from?”

Me: “I was born in Ukraine. Dad is from Central African Republic. Mom is from Russia.”

Patron: “Africa? Russia? Where’s Russia? Is that in China?”

Me: *politely* “Erm, no. It’s in– ”

Patron: “So, can your mom, like, speak fluent Russian?”

Me: “Yep, so can I.”

Patron: “You can speak Russian? Tell me something!”

Me: *Says ’nice to meet you’ in Russian*

Patron: “Oooh! Hey, Ma, she just said something to me in Russian. Wait, so does that mean, like, you can understand Chinese?”

Me: *politely* “Erm, no.”

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Not Their Number One (O’clock) Customer

| Frisco, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Popular, Time

(I am a receptionist for a fairly busy salon. I get a phone call about booking an appointment.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Salon]. May I schedule a signature service for you?”

Guest: “I need an appointment for my daughter for tomorrow. I want hair and make-up done and you have to see us at exactly one o’clock.”

Me: “Well, for tomorrow I do have an opening a 1:15 or 1:30. One is cutting it close since there is a client before you.”

Guest: “Well, it’s one or nothing because I have to be out of here by five.”

(I check the times for what she wants and even if she came in at three, I could get her out well before five. Reluctantly I agree to a booking at one, again reminding her of the guest ahead of them. The next day, at about 12:50 the guest, her daughter, who is about 17, and the girl’s grandmother all arrive.)

Me: “Hi, you’re a little early, but I can get you changed into a smock now while she finishes up with the other guest.”

Guest: “That is unacceptable! We had an appointment at one! We need to be seen now!”

Me: “You will be seen. I’m just saying that she is finishing up with another guest.”

(I go back and check with my stylist. She says that she’ll only be about five more minutes, meaning she can still see them before their appointment starts. I relay this to the guest, and the grandmother starts swearing under her breath. When I go to take the guest back, the mother is on her phone, and the girl is having a meltdown.)

Girl: “Why do I have to wait?” *she’s stamping her feet and carrying on*

(By the time I can get the guest off her phone long enough to listen to me, it is 1:12.)

Guest: *hanging up her phone* “This is the worst salon! We are leaving! Good luck finding someone else! You’ll be out of business in a week!”

(My stylist and I both went on break after that.)

Canadian Hair-itage

| Buffalo, NY, USA | Canada, Crazy Requests, Health & Body

(I am getting my eyebrows threaded; while in the chair, I hear this exchange between an employee and another customer.)

Customer: “How much to thread [facial area I didn’t see]?”

Employee: “Ten dollars.”

Customer: “But I don’t have that much hair there, can I get a discount?”

Employee: “I’m sorry ma’am, it’s a flat rate; it’s ten dollars no matter how much hair you have.”

Customer: “But I’m Canadian.”

Employee: “…”

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