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I always get a kick out of incidents like that; unfortunately, as I've failed every single language class I've ever taken, I've never been able to pull one off myself. And not to sound like a creeper, but I'm glad to see another post from you; reading your posts is always enjoyable, something about the way you write.

The Last Archimedean

And that, folks, is why you NEVER assume that what you say can't be understood by the others around you. Short of conversing in Aramaic or Attic Greek, there is no way to know when someone -- who may not look it -- speaks another language. [My mom looks more whitebread than Pat Buchanan and speaks perfect Arabic, for example.]

As Everett McGill put it in Under Siege 2, "assumption is the mother of all fuckups."

But even without that, that was a totally scummy thing to do, coming in that late and demanding you stay 2 hours past time to help them, without so much as an acknowledgement of the HUGE favor you were doing for them. I hope I never have to be in a store that long past closing but I would buy everyone there dinner and drinks for being so courteous if, Zeus forbid, the situation arose.

Hopefully karma pays them back in spades.


I used to work in Engineering for a large corporation - any copy sizes over a B size (11 x 14) must be made with at least 24 hours advanced notice - because they take so long to print, trim, and collate.
If they were any kind of professional, they would know that. Don't worry, I'm sure they'll be out of business before you know it! Karma really is a bitch.

NC Tony

It would have been even funnier if River had told you (out of earshot of the assholes of course) what they were saying so you could talk to each other in direct response to what they were saying.

For example, they say:
“These women are so rude, they act like they’ve got somewhere to go.”

You say to River:
"When everybody asks me why I'm so late, I'll just tell them I was held up by people who obviously can't tell time."

On the bright side, maybe they'll never come back again. Because like TLA said, don't assume that everyone around you can't understand what you're saying in a foreign language. ESPECIALLY the people you're insulting.

many bells down

I understand a lot more Spanish than I speak, but I can get by - and I'm glow-in-the-dark white. I was in a laundromat and had just grabbed the last open dryer. Well there were two guys whose washer had stopped right about when mine did, but they were outside and wandered back in as I was loading and started making rude comments in Spanish about me taking that dryer.

Finally, I'd rather had enough, so I shut the dryer, turned to them, and said "Lo siento, senores, pero yo hablo espanol." They were aghast, but it shut them up.

Class Clown

@TLA: That quote is gold!

That's really nice that you would offer to bring the slaves staying late coffee or other goodies if you were in those d-bags' shoes. If I ever have an emergency situation where I have to beg someone(s) to stay late, I'm definitely going to do that.

Just Jess

My cousin was working at my aunts restaurant one day when three people came in after closing. They asked if they were closed and she said yes but let them stay because they looked upset. Well turns out their family member was on their deathbed and this was the first time they had eaten in like 2 days. They were so appreciative about my cousin letting them in and brin so understanding that they left a $50 tip (on like a $20 bill).


@ Many Bells Down: Awesome! I've always wanted to be able to do that, however I'm terrible at learning languages. Honestly the biggest encouragement for me to learn is the hope of getting to do that someday...xD

@ NeverGoingBack: Thank you for the compliment! =) I'm glad my posts are enjoyable to read.


@Just Jess: That's one of the sweetest things I've ever heard. Some faith in humanity has been restored.

@BookAce: You're quite welcome! I have to confess it took a while to figure out how to phrase it without sounding like a stalker or something. Sometimes I think I worry too much about what others think of what I say, and that is why I can't have nice things. xP

Book Baby

I speak fluent Spanish. I have overheard more stuff than you can imagine!


The one thing I don't understand about this post is this: Why didn't your closing manager tell these douchenozzles that you guys were closing and refuse them service when they insisted? He or she has that right. I know you guys had already previously agreed to help them over the phone, but still, they showed up late, and closing time is closing time. They should have been offered the chance to come in first thing the next morning (if it really had been an emergency and your store is the type that is open seven days a week) and a foot should have been put down. If I were a manager, I'd have no problem refusing service to people immediately at closing (we've actually done that, too, my place of employment being McDonald's and all).
Now, before I get jumped on, I know the potential ramifications of refusing service (getting cussed out, shouted at, or threatened, etc.), but honestly, if things even looked like they were going to get physical, the police could have been called before it came to that (or at least threaten the guys with calling the cops). I mean, what's the worst that could happen? They decide to spend their money elsewhere and never come back?


That's a good point, Mollywobbles. I would have declined to run the prints, and told them (not asked them) to come back tomorrow.

That said, I like what one boss used to do: when someone would come in close to closing time, he would tell them that we're shutting down the register, and they had to pay for their food right now.

That meant they paid before they got their food, so we didn't have to deal with them eating then deciding they wanted a discount.


What was it they used to tell us about drugs? "Just Say No..."


Love this post, reminds me of my black friend who speaks fluent Mandarin.


I'm another whitebread kid that speaks fluent Spanish...and since I'm a female with her own Personal Flotation Devices (read: Really Big Rack), I get more than my share of snarky comments. I recently started working again (YAY) as a security officer for a chicken processing plant in Arkansas (two guesses who it is, and the first one doesn't count) where most of the employees whose IDs I have to check and cars/purses/lunchboxes I have to search, both coming in and going out, speak either Spanish or Marshallese, and not much else. I can't even begin to count the number of people, men particularly (sorry guys!), who've decided they want to talk to either themselves or their buddies in Spanish about me, good or bad...the jaws tend to drop when I start joining in on the conversation...in Spanish.


@ Mollywobbles: (Sorry, this is a super late reply) We're actually not allowed to refuse a customer or tell them to leave. (We're not even really allowed to say "We're closed." We're just supposed to follow the customer around and ask if they need help a lot until they leave on their own. Not to say we always follow that rule. ;) But it's an easy one to get away with.) As long as they came in before we locked the doors, the big bosses say we're obligated to help them, and if they wrote in a complaint (and these guys were douchey enough to) my manager would have been in huge trouble and could have been fired if the corporate drones were in a shitty enough mood the day the complaint hit their desks. Believe me, she's not the type to take bullshit and if she'd even thought she could get away with telling them no way, she would have. In this case, we really weren't allowed to say no if we liked getting a paycheck.

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