Posts Tagged ‘japanese’

Ice Cubes for Baby!

July 7, 2011

I’m standing with a coworker as we watch a customer with a crying baby in a stroller. The baby won’t stop crying, and I assume he’s thirsty, because his mother is trying to open a drink cup. Mind you, he looks about six-months old (and my coworker tells me babies that old shouldn’t be drinking water, soda or anything like this).

Well, don’t worry, there is no water left in this lady’s iced coffee cup. So instead she starts pouring ice cubes into her child’s mouth, nay make that toddler, nay make that infant-close-to-newborn baby’s mouth. So an ice cube drops in roughly the same size as the child’s mouth and disappears. We stand there watching in amazement. I don’t know if this woman expects her toothless son to chew on the ice, or to know how to suck an ice-cold cube. Of course, the expected happens, and the baby begins to choke–well actually, more like the child can’t breathe because the ice cube gets lodged in the back of his mouth.

So she quickly starts patting his chest. Then she frantically unbuckles the baby from the stroller. Then she turns him over in the air and starts slapping his back. I’m not entirely sure if an ice cube even pops out or if the child has already swallowed it. She continues to check her baby and looks inside his mouth. By now my coworker goes to offer the customer help.

The woman is Japanese and doesn’t speak English, so I look for a coworker who can offer her help–either telling her we have a drinking fountain in the back, and we have fitting rooms if she needs to nurse or something. Instead, the woman ignores all of us, and rushes away with her baby and disappears.

No further comment.

Customer Types: The Dumb,

Advertisements

No Medium Anywhere

December 27, 2010

Well, today my friend was called a racist, and the customer went to complain to the manager–only because they expect him to deal with every single Japanese customer and my coworkers have stopped trying to put effort and use their brains. I don’t even speak real Japanese, but I can communicate with all but the most confusing, detailed customers. Actually, I’ve been called a f-ing bitch, I’ve had my intelligence insulted, had my folding mocked, been personally degraded, and even once been told, “You should get off the island more often.” I have yet to be called a racist–yet, I can tell you, I judge every customer by race, gender, and actions. So I’m basically a humanist, right?

Either way, my story was a bit simpler. It’s busy, I’m trying to help a lot of customers, because either everyone is at the cash register, their face is buried in a pile of clothes they’re folding (because they don’t realize it will get looked at a minute later and they end up refolding the same pile ten times, without even acknowledging a single customer, thanks a lot coworkers!), or they are otherwise preoccupied in casual conversations with each other. So basically, less than 10% of my coworkers directly contribute to the paychecks of the entire store, and the rest just mooch off of us like fat leeches.

So a customer comes to me, angry, disgruntled and gay. I saw him a few minutes ago, sprawled on our pile of clothes, leaning on it with his full body weight, probably spreading his sweat all over it. He tells me, “We want that dark gray shirt! We looked everywhere!” Sure, from the spot you were standing for several minutes? “There’s no medium anywhere! Except, there is one up there! Can you bring it down for us?” He points to a shelf out of reach–a visual display. And I start looking at the table where he was standing, and he says, “No, we looked everywhere! It isn’t here! We need the size that’s up there–.”

At the same time, I point to a pile of this ‘hard-to-find, gray top’, it’s been sitting there right under him the entire time he was standing around like a pile of blank. I just ask, “Do you still need me?” And then I walk away. Seriously, from lazy coworkers who can’t even try to deal with Japanese customers to customers who can’t even move their fat asses, what is this world we live in?

Customer Type: Big Baby, The Blind, The Complainer

Negative Nancy

September 21, 2010

We are all familiar with this sort of person. They speak negatively, pessimistically about everything, and approach situations from a position of doubt, disbelief, or any of the many emotions which make others feel down.

“Excuse me, I don’t want to be a pain, but can you help me with these pants, I can’t understand a thing.”
So I go to her, and I explain the sizing. She seems to be under the impression the larger the size, the longer they are, and I point to the length indicator, telling her each pant is the same length.
We go to look at our denim. And again, she remarks on how the larger sizes are going to be longer than the smaller sizes. And again, I remind her, there are clear indicators saying the length on each pant, so the smallest and the largest are the same length. She waves me off in disbelief, saying they are longer. Perhaps it would help if you grabbed the correct sizes, Nancy? I should have grabbed a super-long small, and a super-short large size, and said, “Oh, this is a defect, we should take this away. No slim people are this tall.” At least not in her reality.

All during this time, she keeps yelling her daughter’s name, we’ll say it’s, “Margaret.” Her daughter has remained in the same spot the entire time I’m helping her, mind you.
“I don’t understand the sizing of these.”
“Well, the first number…”
“Excuse me, Margaret! Oh, please continue.”
“The first number is the waist size, and the second is the length.”
“Margaret! Come here. But the larger sizes are longer, I don’t see the point in putting lengths, it serves no purpose.”
“Each sizes has different lengths…”
“Margaret! Stay close to mommy!” Then she turns to me and say, “We’re visiting from Japan, and over there you don’t need to worry. Now, we’re in the United States, so someone could just come up and snatch her away when I’m not looking. It’s not as safe here, I always need to keep an eye on her. Margaret! Or else, someone will just come and steal her.”
I laugh, and I tell her it’s generally safe.
“Maybe because you live on an island. Margaret!”
So I decide to take her to a fitting room.

A few minutes later, I ask how she’s doing.
“I hate everything! But it’s not your fault, so don’t worry.”
I’m not. I’m more worried how your child will grow up, since you’re a strange Caucasian woman from Japan.

Customer Type: The Deaf, The Racist, The Rambler

Fake Japanese?

August 17, 2010

I have just finished helping a Japanese couple, speaking with the sparse Japanese I do know and understand. I greet the next customer. He’s a 6’3″, 225 pound man who has the look and accent of someone from the Mid-Western United States of America. He says, loudly, “Aye-Ree-Gah-Toe!” I instantly look away, thinking, “Are you serious. Why do I have to deal with these kinds of people?”

I quickly try to do my transaction, as he says random Japanese words he’s heard and can’t pronounce correctly. I speak to him in English, since I’m quite aware I look like a Japanese tourist and can act like a Japanese tourist. I tell him the total, and he proceeds to count, “Nii, San… Nii, San…” Or perhaps it’s, “Nissan, Nissan.” I much prefer the homophone, “Ichi, Nii” which sounds like, “Itchy knee.” Either way, I’m standing there rolling my eyes, since he can’t keep track of counting his counts, while saying “Nii, San.” I’m all but too happy to see him go. Really, why do I get the weirdos?

Customer Type: The Dumb, Lowered Expectations, The Racist,

Cultures Clash

June 16, 2010

I am standing near a Japanese duo who are lost. They decide to ask the most local woman (and I mean local, plus she doesn’t even work at our store) for help. This is the kind of local customer who would consider the mall high-paced, and would rather be on a lonely street, or a beach up north where it’s just everyone who looks and acts like you. I’m not saying she’s a bad person, I’m just saying, she definitely won’t be very helpful. As a statement of this fact, they aren’t getting anywhere, because the woman doesn’t even speak good English, nor do the Japanese men. What happens when two groups try to speak a language neither of them are good at? Exactly. Utter chaos.

To my amusement, her high-school aged son starts to ask loudly, “Is there anyone that speaks Chinese here?” This definitely made me laugh. I almost wanted to find a Chinese coworker who’d arrive saying the Chinese greeting, “Ni hao!” Followed by the Japanese, “Ohayo?” And the English, “What?”

Customer Types: Learn the Language