Monday, April 4, 2011

Getting Shit Thrown at Me

I seriously can't stand it when people that don't speak English come into my store.

Well, let me clarify before someone gets pissed off. I don't mean the people that are friendly and trying to show me what they want.

I mean the assholes that come in, mumble what they want in very bad English, and then get extremely angry when I don't understand what they are saying.

This happens to us all the time. It's usually when they want a pack of cigarettes that we have a hard time understanding them. With gas it's pretty straightforward, but when they want one of the thousands of cigarettes there are to choose from, well that's when it gets difficult.

If I don't immediately understand what kind they want, they will start sighing loudly and repeat themselves. If I still don't understand, they will then yell and enunciate their words like I'm a moron. If I still can't grasp what they are saying, they will then pull out an empty pack of cigarettes from their pocket and whip it at me. Yes, I have had cigarettes whipped at me before.

What I don't get is why they don't pull the pack of smokes out first so neither of us look like jackasses.

I have family overseas and every time they come to visit they make sure one of us is out with them to translate. It's not that difficult. Either bring someone with you or learn just enough clear English to be able to make a quick transaction.

Like I said, not all of the non-English speaking customers are like this. There are only a select few, and they all happen to be men. And they all happen to come into my store.

Does this bother anyone else?


  1. We used to get Canadians from Quebec all the time when I worked at the convenience store. Most were really nice but there were a few who pretended not to speak English. I had one guy drive off without paying for his gas- funny, when the cops pulled him over, he spoke English just fine.

  2. Dang...I was thinking from the post title that it was literal "shit"'ve had an awful lot of bathroom posts before.


    But yeah, I get tired of the ones who get frustrated when you are really trying to be patient and helpful. No disrespect to anyone who has a language barrier, but if it's that bad, get help or ask for help.

  3. We get a good amount of spanish speaking guys in the store, I know it's awful but I just use good old fashion stereotyping and the 20 spanish words I do know to get by. If that fails I repeat back to them what I'm hearing but something close in english "mustard huff?", they usually get embarrassed or they give up. Some have even made a call on their cells and then handed me the phone, usually at the other end is someone who can speak my lingo a bit more.

  4. I once had a coffee thrown at me. The lady wanted a refund because she couldn't finish her coffee and therefore felt she shouldn't have to pay for the whole thing. When I told her I couldn't give her a refund she flipped out and eventually threw the coffee at me.

    People are crazy.

  5. I work within walking distance of IBM and a dozen other software firms...which brings a LOT of help on from overseas. Mostly the hard accents I get are from the middle east and several Asian cultures. They get all pissy when I won't let up on asking what they have in their hand, because I can't ring it up until they tell me. Seriously, if it's an issue for you to not be understood, then perhaps it's time to enroll in an ESL class after your work is done?? Or perhaps, just ORDER YOUR DAMN FOOD ONLINE!! It prints me a sticker, which I affix to a bag, and all I need is your name. Surely you can manage that one...

    If what happened to dannifoley happened to me, I would be INSTANTLY fired. Because I would karate chop that bitch's face off her god damn body!! The nerve of these motherfuckers, I tell ya.

  6. When I was 16 I worked at A&W. My hometown is a tourist trap during summers because we're based beside a huge lake. One day a huge bus pulled in full of Japanese tourists (so stereotypical it was funny, with cameras around their necks, those goofy sun visors, mom jeans). There must have been about 60 of them, completely filled the restaurant which was already packed since we were right across from the beach. The two other cashiers had been told to take their breaks, leaving just me. So I had to deal with each of these 60 Japanese tourists, not a one who spoke a word of english. It was insane! They would point behind me to which burger they wanted, which got frustrating real quick because, similar to your cigarettes behind the till, there's about 10 different burgers/meals pictured! Omg it was the worst experience ever!! I'm like 'That one? (pointing) No? This one? That one?' and they were getting so mad at me. Like, omg, where was the damn english-speaking tour guide or bus driver or ANYONE?! After they finally left, several locals came up to me and actually gave me like $5 each, saying that I'd handled it all so patiently and graciously that they felt I deserved a little reward. Crazy!



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