Thursday, December 13, 2007

Welcome to America now learn the language

It's been a busy buyback week and no one really managed to piss me off. That's pretty good for this time of year really. Most people come in demanding 100 percent of their purchase price back for books, or they want double what they paid because the books now have highlighting and that makes them more valuable. Seriously, if I hear that one again I might explode. You'll see it on the news. "College student in hospital with books and highlighter permanently lodged in ass. Bookstore owner suspect." Anyway, we have a mix of cultures here as I'm sure most places do. Plenty of people from all walks of life...and that's fine. My problem - and this might make me a white supremacist, I don't know - is that if you're here working, or attending school, you need to learn to communicate. If I moved to Spain I'd know how to communicate in Spanish because I'm on someone elses turf. Right? Simple enough. I had an Indian/Persian/Towel Headed woman come in the store today to sell a book back. It wasn't one that we were buying so I watched her walk to the counter, greeted her, and she presented me with the book. Then started yelling in Arabic or something. Whatever Habib-speak it was I couldn't make any of it out. So I politely said "Unfortunately ma'am, we're not buying that one. It won't be used again until the summer. You can bring it back then and we'll be happy to buy it." She pretended not to have heard what I said, and started yelling in her language again. Then - and this is the part that almost made me have to choke a bitch - she starts laughing and says "Hahahaha! You don't understand do you?? Hahahahah! YOU BUY BOOK NOW!!!!" So I looked at her again, and very calmly said "No, we're still not buying that one. I'm sorry." Same exact response in Habib-speak. Except now, I know she can speak English, she's just refusing to. So I said "If you want to sell anything at this buyback counter, you have to do it in English. Speak English, or go home." She stared at me puzzled and said "What is problem? You buy book NOW!!!" So I pushed the book back to her and said "NO! I'm not buying the fucking book lady!!" Again...silence. "What is problem?" she says. I didn't say another word. I just stared. She left.

Does this make me a bad person? I don't think it's too much to ask that someone be able to communicate in your language if they're in your country. I mean, how would she take it if I went to her native country and refused to speak the language? Not very well I would imagine. Well, that's all of my racist hate-speak today. Buyback week went really well and we're gearing up for Spring Semester like no ones business. Good Lord willing I'll be able to say we made it through Spring Semester without anyone pissing me off. Wouldn't that be something?


I have to agree with you on this one. If we travel to europe or somewhere that English isn't spoken we are going to make a good effort to learn some words in that language so we aren't totally inept!
posted by Blogger Chris D. at 11:05 AM  
Hahaha! You are too funny sometimes! This is a good example of why I'd suck at your job.
posted by Blogger Chas at 2:44 PM  

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