Posts Tagged ‘misunderstanding’

Don’t Trust Size Conversions!

August 24, 2010

My experience with conversion charts is sometimes it is better not to show it at all. My best example was one day, I approached a woman looking at denim. She says she doesn’t know what size she is. I ask where she’s from, and she replies, “Australia.” I already know Australian sizes are two-sizes larger than U.S. sizes, or they go down two-sizes. Thus, if you are a size-8, you would be a size-6 or 4 in the United States. At this time, I thought showing them the sizing chart was easier than letting them trust me words. So I pull it out, and say, “You should be about two-sizes smaller here.”

She looks at the chart, and looks at the flag my finger is pointing to–which points to the British sizing. Then she gets mad, and yells at me, “I am not from the UK! I am from Australia! We aren’t the same country!” It is as if years of frustration and prejudice have suddenly exploded from her body. It makes me feel as if she was a child beaten up and abused by those ‘UK kids’, the same ones who left her people as criminals to live in Australia to start their own Euro-styled culture and civilization. It is as if I don’t know where Australia is and I’m some moron. I sternly tell her, “No, people from Australia always go down two-sizes.”
“You are pointing at Britain, I am from Australia, we aren’t the same country!”
“I know…”
She screams at me, “Obviously, you don’t know! Can you get someone else to help me? Someone who knows what they’re talking about.” She sighs loudly placing her hand on her forehead, looking at me like an idiot. My eyes explode out of my forehead, and I feel my entire face go red, “Excuse me? I am the pant specialist here, and I’ve been doing this for years, you’re the one that needs to learn what size you are in the US!”
Then a manager comes in, breaking us up. As much as I dislike morons and idiots, I despise more when they treat me like I’m the dumb one, when it’s their problem. Either way, somehow they convince this angry, ignorant person to try on the denim sizes she wants, and the ones I suggested. I tell the fitting room person to let me know how it goes, since I already know who will be right.

Several minutes later, the angry, idiot leaves without a word and buys nothing. I ask the fitting room person what happened. “Well, the size you suggested fit her perfectly, but she didn’t want it.” Can someone turn on the laugh-track please? Oh, this is real-life? Well, I can laugh at her instead. Ha-ha. I guess she needs to go back to her country and find out why they use British sizing, huh?

Customer Type: Capitalist, The Deaf, The Dumb, Modern-Slave Owner, Unapologetic

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Beijing with Love

June 23, 2010

In another incidence of cultural clash, I was trying hard to help two women who spoke very little English. Basically, they held a sweater, saying, “Size,” then point at another sweater in a different color–saying they wanted one color in the other color’s size. Got it? Good. So far, so good. Except, they kept asking me for help and became decidedly more and more confusing. Speaking to each other, I detected accents of Korean, so I called a co-worker who could speak Korean.

As she approached, they suddenly saw her and started to call out to her, waving her over. I thought it was over, and sighed happily as I walked away. Less than a minute later, the girl says on the walkie-talkie, “They aren’t speaking Korean, I don’t know what language it is, maybe Chinese?”

Okay, so I call over another coworker who speaks Chinese. Yet another exchange ensues, and yet again a failure. She comes up to me saying that she’s never heard their version of Chinese before. They say they’re from Beijing, but their dialect is totally different.

So I looked it up, and I found Beijing’s national language, which is only the dominant language, of course. Mandarin pops up as the first, primary answer. Yet, I also see something called Mandolin. Interestingly, there is also the Guangzhou dialect of Cantonese. Well, we definitely got no where with them.

Although they attempted to buy something, they had no understanding of our sales tax, which amounted to about 4%. After a long exchange of misunderstanding and defensiveness, acting like we’re cheating them, I don’t think they bought their $20 sale sweater, because of the added tax of about $0.80. Yes, eighty-cents. I have something to say, but it would be misconstrued.

Customer Types: The Dumb, Learn the Language