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The Expo Is Eighty-Sixing Spring Rolls All Day (Or Something Like That)

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: coinmurderer | March 9, 2023

I’m a manager, server, and bartender at a pub. I love it; I work with mostly great people and I love our regulars.

One day, I am bartending a full bar at night with a new girl who is only working part-time while she’s in high school. She’s running food. She comes from the back and approaches me.

New Girl: “[My Name], [Manager] wanted me to let you know we have exactly eighty-six spring rolls left.”

Right away, the “eighty-six” catches my ear and I know the message she is trying to convey.

Me: *In a friendly way* “He said we have exactly eighty-six left? Like, he counted and wanted me to know that?”

New Girl: “Yes, that’s exactly what he said.”

Me: “Can you just go back and double-check for me?”

I’m not being an a**hole; I say this with no attitude and with a smile. I realize she doesn’t know what the term “eighty-six” means, and we get along well, so I figure she’ll appreciate learning in a funny way.

New Girl: “Okay, sure!”

She goes back, and a minute later, she walks up to the bar with her head half down and a sheepish look on her face.

New Girl: “We are out of spring rolls.”

For those unaware, the term “eighty-six” means that a restaurant is completely out of an item. I just thought it was funny that to someone new, this meant that a manager really counted each spring roll and felt it urgent for me to know that there were only eighty-six left.

Totally Estúpido! Part 25

, , , | Right | March 9, 2023

An old woman walks up holding a piece of virus scanner software.

Customer: “Do I need a computer to be able to use this?”

Me: “It’s a virus scanner for a computer, ma’am.”

Customer: “Oh. I needed one for my DVD player. It’s got some virus on it that makes all my videos Spanish.”

It was a very productive hour teaching her how to select the language on her DVDs!

Totally Estúpido! Part 24
Totally Estúpido! Part 23
Totally Estúpido! Part 22
Totally Estúpido! Part 21
Totally Estúpido! Part 20

She Finally Has The Words

, , , , , | Learning | March 8, 2023

I’m a teacher who works at a school in a very diverse neighborhood. We have a beautiful little girl in our third-grade class whose mother is from Pakistan, but her father grew up ten minutes down the road in the next suburb. I had the pleasure of teaching this young lady in kindergarten, and again last year in second grade. Up until this point, her dad had come along with her mum to every parent-teacher interview or school event. Her parents were both lovely people, and their daughter was so bright and well-behaved that we’d never had much cause for extra interaction.

School started up last week and we are having the initial round of meetings with parents to talk about what will be covered this year and if they have any questions or concerns. My student arrives with just her mother in tow.

Student’s Mother: “Sorry, my husband has been caught up at work and can’t make it today.”

Me: “No worries! Just us girls today, eh [Student]?”

My student laughs and proceeds to get into the Legos I set out for the kids to entertain themselves with while I talk to the parents. I start talking and handing over various forms/printouts to her mother – who is a very intelligent woman, but she seems panicked the more pieces of paper I hand over to her.

When she begins staring at a form in dismay, I think she might be concerned about the price of the school excursion later in the year. I drop my voice so my student can’t hear us.

Me: “If you’re having any problems with finances for the excursion, we have a fund here at the school to help with that and I can get you the information if you’d like.”

Student’s Mother: “Oh, it’s nothing like that, we can afford it and she is so excited! It’s just…”

She looks like she might start crying at any moment.

Student’s Mother: “I’m sorry, usually my husband comes to handle this sort of thing, but I actually can’t read English. I can barely read my own language.”

I was gobsmacked. This woman has always been very smart and engaged, has volunteered countless times to help with school events and last year personally hand-made almost a thousand ribbon flowers for a fundraiser we put on.

Student’s Mother: “I can speak it just fine; my parents taught me English as a child, but even in my own language and any language we learned in school, the words all seem to jumble up and swim on the page when I try to read them. When I was little my parents thought maybe I couldn’t see and got me glasses, but it never helped. I can write, and spell any word you ask me to, but anything more than ten or so words on a page…”

This poor woman seemed so humiliated to be admitting this to me. I scrambled in my drawer for a moment and handed her a new page.

Me: “Does this seem better?”

Student’s Mother: “Oh, wow!”

She stumbled over a couple of words but happily read out the entire paragraph that was written on the page. She looked at me with entirely different tears in her eyes.

Student’s Mother: “How is this possible?”

Me: “This is a special font we use for people with dyslexia. It’s a little bigger than usual and has extra shadows and spaces to help differentiate between the letters. You can read this?”

Student’s Mother: “I can! [Student], look! Mama can read this!”

Student: *Looking over at the page.* “Wow mama! That’s so many words! I don’t even know all those words.”

Student’s Mother: *Very quietly crying.* “I’m not just stupid…”

Me: “I never thought you were for a second.”

I sent her home with a tonne of resources I’d accumulated for people with dyslexia over the years, including a few chapter books printed in dyslexic-friendly fonts. She’s back tomorrow to help out with our swimming carnival, and I am SO excited to hear how she’s going! Her husband came to me at school pickup and told me he’d managed to set up her iPad so it used one of the fonts and he can barely get her to look up from it the past few days. He said this all with the proudest grin on his face I’ve ever seen.

You Never Know What People Will Understand

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: TylPlas26 | March 8, 2023

I come from a Dutch background. I am nowhere near fluent in the language, but I know enough that I can pick up some words and understand a few sentences.

I am helping a customer who needs some paint made. As I’m mixing it, her phone rings, and she answers it and begins speaking in Dutch.

As she is talking, I can pick up that she’s telling the person on the phone where she is. Then, she says something along the lines of:

Customer: “I have one of these dumb young workers mixing it.”

I say nothing. I decided to wait for the right moment as I mix her paint and she continues talking.

When her paint is done, I hand the can of paint to her. She says thank you, and I say, in Dutch:

Me: “You’re welcome. Goodbye.”

She freezes, her mouth open.

Customer: “You speak Dutch?”

I didn’t want to let her on how little I actually knew, so I just simply said, “Yup.” She quickly darted for the cash area. It was very funny and rewarding.

They’ve Cracked The Code!

, , , , , , , | Working | March 3, 2023

In high school, my friend and I worked at a fast food burger place. The sandwiches were made to order, where the customer could select any combination of eight different condiments. The register employee would call out the type of sandwich followed by the list of condiments. The order receipt would also detail the condiments. Since this was the 1980s, the receipt had a limit of characters it could print. A single cheese with catsup, pickle, and mustard would be listed as: “SC, C, P, M,” with each condiment listed on a separate line.

On nights we were closing, we would be assigned to the dining room and/or salad bar duty. But on school nights, we’d be on the front line: he’d be on the grill and I’d be the sandwich maker. Our duties often included having to walk off the line to get supplies. So, if an order came in, standard practice was to go to the counter and read the receipt. We found that time-consuming, so we would help each other by telling the other the order when we returned to the line. Being geeks, as well, we would just rattle off the abbreviations. A typical interaction:

Friend: “DC, MA, P, M.”

Me: “Okay.”

He’d then give me two patties with cheese in between, and I’d have the mayonnaise and pickles on the top bun. He’d place the patties on the bottom bun, then I’d swipe some mustard on top of the meat, put on the top, and then wrap it.

Our manager always gave us an odd look whenever we’d have one of these exchanges. But we were efficient.