Posts Tagged ‘speak’

Can You Speak Slower?

July 12, 2011

A customer approaches the cash register. He’s holding a large pile of clothes, and I ask, simply, “Ready?” Sometimes I can’t tell if people speak English, and he looked quite iffy. He didn’t look at me and walked by my register, then stopped and turned back to face me. “Are you ready?” What comes from his mouth in the next few seconds bewilders me.

He replies, slightly confused and slightly irritated, “Can you speak slower?”
Okay, so I tell myself, he’s just visiting and doesn’t speak English–although normally, people who don’t speak English can’t say, “Can you speak slower,” usually they say, “I don’t understand,” or “No English.”
So I repeat myself, this time, much, much slower, “You ready?”
He casually places his pile down, and replies, “Yes, my wife is still shopping. I’m going to pay now, and wait for her outside.”

Wait, what? Yes, what just happened? So he doesn’t understand, “Are you ready?”, but can spit out an entire on-going sentence about himself and his wife? Yes. So where did he need me to slow down? Was it the are, the you, or the ready?

Some people make no sense at all.

Customer Types: The Deaf, The Dumb, Learn the Language

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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

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,

English 101- I Want an Extra Small!

May 3, 2010

I return from a break and a woman is standing there looking for help. (I swear, I walk into these things.) She hands me a small top and says, “I want an extra small!” I can tell by her loud tone, she’s quite demanding and short-tempered. I search around, and search again, as she follows me around. Eventually, I find an XS-size, and I give it to her. She looks at me angrily, yelling, “No! I didn’t ask for this! I said I wanted an ‘extra’ small! I want another small!”

My face becomes utterly blank, since my patience suddenly dissipates. Seriously, you are in a retail environment, using nomenclature for sizes in inappropriate ways. How can your vocabulary be so stunted that you must use the word ‘extra’ to mean ‘another’ or ‘an additional’ or ‘more’. Don’t ever ask for an extra small or an extra large. I mean, literally, saying you want an extra medium already sounds sketchy. Either way, I get her the ‘extra’ small, so now she has two; I even get an extra-extra, giving her two more, but she refuses–she only wanted one extra small. Seriously?

Customer Types: Learn the Language

Friends, Family, Countrymen…

February 19, 2010

I can’t handle people who are rude, dumb, or senseless, coming into the workplace of one of their friends (or family members), acting like they own the place, saying, “Is my friend working today? I want to complain!” Now, if a friend comes into the store and is courteous, sensible, and acts totally respectable, then some coworker is rude to them, I totally understand–complain away and get them fired. But when a friend walks in acting like a jackass and then complains because people aren’t bowing down to them just because they ‘know a manager’, then they have issues. I’m speaking of ‘Big Baby’, ‘Capitalism’, and ‘Modern-Day Slavery’ issues.

I tell people, if my own mother came in and acted rude to my co-workers, I would yell at her in front of everyone.  If I have a friend that’s a jackass, my friend is never allowed to come in. I even warn my friends, “If you are coming in today, behave yourself, or I will kick you out.” We have enough rude, obnoxious customers, we don’t need more–especially if they’re going to make a bad impression on someone who works there. You degrade the status of your friendship, and your worth as a human being. I expect more from people who are my friends, they aren’t my friends because of pity or circumstance–at least you can choose friends, you no power to choose family members who ‘aren’t embarrassing’, like the aunt who tried to use her nephew’s employee discount, “I am a customer! I can do what I want!” Not really.

In all of this, I’m often told how nice and courteous I am when I’m shopping at other stores. Because I really believe there are certain social graces you should have when you walk into a place of business. There is a certain level of respect and dignity you should give and take.  My friends are surprised I’m not rude or sarcastic when I’m shopping. Yet, the moment I run into a rude customer anywhere, I pounce. Rude customers think they’re better than salespeople. What does a rude customer do when they meet their ‘equal’? From my experience, they gasp in surprise, and then walk away with their tail between their legs–just like bullies in high school who have self-esteem issues. Think about that for a moment. Go on, think.

The bottom line is this, all of my friends and family know, you do not walk into the place I work and act like you’re god’s gift to mankind. I don’t except other people’s friends or family to walk in acting like they’re special. If you want to feel like you’re better than someone else or own them, I recommend a spa-package somewhere where they must treat you like a princess, or perhaps a time-machine to older days that no longer exist which involved whips and plantations.