Today Is A G’Day To Try

, , , , | Right | February 3, 2020

When I was in high school, I also worked at a local supermarket on checkout. As a self-conscious and non-confrontational two-meter-tall — 6’5″ — male, I always greeted everyone with a smile and a “G’day, mate,” just on pure reflex, which is perfectly acceptable in Australia.

But there was one middle-aged man who, every time he came through, got upset at me for calling him “mate” because he went to some high-end English university and he felt he should be called “doctor” and that I was not his mate. 

I wasn’t going to change my normal habits just for him, so I thought nothing of it until one day he just snapped and started to scream at me.

I’d never had anyone scream and berate me for something that is understood as a perfectly normal Australian greeting. After he finished yelling, saying that he would never return, and I shakily finished ringing up his goods, I accidentally said, “Have a good day, mate,” on pure reflex as he left.

He paused for a second and I froze in my spot, but thankfully, he continued walking.

My supervisor gave me some time to calm down and said that I should ignore him and not change myself based on one person.

I took her words to heart and, when he came back a week later, I gave him a nice big, “G’day, mate!” as he came through my checkout. He just ignored me and after that avoided me every other time he came in.

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