Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Korean, a Behemoth and an Italian Girl at the Checkout Counter...

People are such inconsiderate, irritable, self-absorbed moronic idiots lately, I swear. It’s like, you try to give most people the benefit of the doubt and they seem to just vomit ugliness everywhere. And no, I’m no angel to begin with…and therein lies my dilemma...

Picture it. New York, 2008. Tuesday, late afternoon standing in line at a local Korean market buying fresh salmon for dinner…say 4ish or so… I had just gotten back from the big supermarket buying staple groceries, fighting the mass crowds of people who were pushing, shoving and wrestling one another for the very last can of habichuelas, because there was a snowstorm brewing outside. God forbid we go without a smoked ham and apple crumb cake for a day or so. A little woman standing outside of the supermarket while it was snowing asked if I could give her a ride down the road, however, her cart was full of groceries and my bus of an SUV had tons of wood piled up in it, plus the bulk of groceries I had going on myself…and of course, the thought, “She’s can be a serial killer! Hell no!” (Which is the reason why most New Yorkers don’t stop when they see someone sick on the street or someone hurt – they think it’s some kind of scam. We’ve been traumatized to all you Midwesterners who are reading this.) Highly unlikely, however there are cabs everywhere. I’m sure she was okay. I’m sure. I hope.

Anyway, back to standing in line at the Korean market… There were two women standing in front of me. One was checking out her produce. She was a large, say 6 foot tall and big all around, and the other woman behind her was about 4’11, skinny and fragile looking. I see this behemoth-looking woman fumbling in her purse for her wallet. She pulls out an American Express card.

“Ah, no, we don’t accept that here.”
“Well you used to!”
the behemoth blurts out. Now mind you I’ve been coming to this market since it opened and they never once took American Express. They’ve had the same machine there for years.
“So you don’t take American Express anymore?”
The cute little Korean guy looks down, frustrated that his words weren’t understood, possibly taking too long, when the woman starts growing angrier.
“Huuuuuuuuullllllllllooooooooooooooo?” she says, as though he was some idiot.

Deb’s temper rises. I was fuming over the way she made this cute little man feel like a pile of shit.

“I’m not sure if you heard him or not, but he doesn’t take American Express, never has, and not once since this place opened have they taken a card that is hardly accepted anywhere.” I said…hoping I wouldn’t be eaten.
“Well they should have a damn sign that says that!”


*blink*

*blink*


“Maybe if you opened your eyes ma'am, you’ll see the bright yellow sign that tells you what they do accept. They also don’t accept Monopoly money, however, they didn’t list that as things they ‘don’t’ accept.” I replied.

I’m still waiting for this woman to take a bite of my left shoulder at this point. She throws some fresh cash on the counter that looks like it’s just been spit out of an ATM machine and grumbles a few obscenities at the Korean guy and me and then waddles out of the store furiously.

When my turn came, I plopped my 2lbs of salmon on the counter and said, “Tough crowd tonight, huh?”

He just looked at me in fear.

Now, I never, ever get myself involved with outside arguments or things that have nothing to do with me, but this woman was so mean to this guy and so stupid that it made my blood boil. It was then, when I walked out of the store to see her piling into a minivan full of bratty screaming kids and saw the parking sticker for a hospital that she works for. Can you imagine the day she had?

Now I feel bad.

37 comments:

Warrior said...

Let me tell you something. I don't care how shitty her day was. You first instinct is always right. She had the cash, he didn't accept cards. She has now right to treat anyone like a piece of dirt. You actually said the monopoly money thing... I am laughing.... WEll done. Next time ask Mr Korean how things are. I live in a foreign country and get this attitude all the time

~Deb said...

It really upset me, Warrior, because I usually keep to myself when things like this happen... but this man is so sweet and so ready to help ANYONE who needs anything - that it was sad to see him treated this way. I always talk to him when I'm there and ask how is day is. You're right though, it's too bad that some people feel the need to take their personal problems out on innocent bystanders. I was ready to slap her with my salmon! (But she wasn't worth the $18 per lb!)

TK Kerouac said...

Sometimes when I'm feeling angry like this, I try and imagine what their day has been like, the way you did when you saw her screaming kids.

But yesterday, I didn't let the woman in the beamer behind me get away with her ignorance.
There was a transport truck blocking the way in front of my vision, so I couldn't see if a car was coming towards me while I turned.
She kept ignorantly beeping, beep, beep, beep, to get me going.
I started to go and almost got clipped.
I finally turned in and slowly waited for her to see how dangerous that turn was for her to make. It also took her some time.

But I patiently waited. I stopped 20 feet from the stop sign and didn't move. She seemed to be in rush. When I had her attention, I gave her a hand gesture.
You can imagine which one it was.

~Deb said...

Ugh, geez! You know, yesterday, the same day that this crapola transpired, I was trying to get out of the messy parking lot, when some woman was backing out and not stopping - nearly hitting my truck. I beeped and beeped and she kept backing up into me, until I quickly jumped my truck in reverse and nearly slammed into the compact car behind me that was sliding on the ice. If it weren't for the icy glazed over windshield of mine, my Christianity would have been slapped right outa' me and she woulda' had a certain hand gesture herself.

My evening ended off with 3 martinis. I was feeling numb last night! I feel your pain.

グラント said...

You can atone for your sins by giving the other woman a ride, or by capturing an Asian hottie from the market and sending her to me.

BTW, I have seen people get rude with some Asian shopowners, but I usually stay out of it. It might make me feel good to start a silly shouting match, but it only further discomforts the others involved and I try to place their feelings ahead of mine. I say be patient with those douchebags unless they get physical, at which point you should kill them immediately.

~Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Deb said...

Is it only Japanese women or is it an all encompassing array of Asians that you fancy? After yesterday, I'll be shutting my mouth up...unless of course I can't keep my Italian temper in check.

Hmm.

Margie said...

Gosh, what an encounter, Deb!
**Monopoly money** haha!

It's very hard to take when someone is so very rude!

There was no excuse for her rudeness, but i just bet she must have had a horrible day!

Hey, you gave me a great ide for dinner tonight...I'm going to get some salmon....my hubby loves it!

Take care, dear!

Margie
xxxx

~Deb said...

Ooooooooh - the salmon I got last night was fresh Atlantic - and it was the best I ever made it! (Not to brag), but our market here has the freshest around! I refuse to get it from the supermarkets anymore.

Tai said...

One person's bad day does not give them excuse to make another person feel bad or stupid.
Good for you for speaking up, I do all the time. And so far no one has bit me.
But then, I suspect they'd be afraid I'd bite back. And they'd be right.

グラント said...

I wouldn't reject anyone due to their ethnicity, I just find the standard Asian genes to be very appealing - skin tone, glossy black hair, almond eyes, and tiny. I tend to focus on Japanese more because, in my experience, they tend to be the tiniest and I have more interest in / experience with their culture. With a Japanese girlfriend I could actually practice my Japanese. So, go find me one. My birthday is in May.

Michelle (artscapes) said...

I applaude you for standing up to her! Everyone has a bad day, you just reminded her that it is never right to take it out on someone else!You get what you give!

I also admire you for your compassion in spite of her behaviour.

I wouldn't worry or feel guilty - think about how you might have felt if you did nothing? Sleep well! :)

~Deb said...

Tai: You little vicious thing you! I wish I had the balls to do that more often, but this time, I had to say something because that sweet little man couldn’t defend himself really.

Grant: Your incredible interest with “tiny” might as well include those ‘tiny atomic chickens’, or were they gigantic? So you like your atomic chickens gigantic and women tiny? You can practice your Japanese online and even download some great Japanese videos on there for your viewing pleasure, if the virtual world does the trick, however, I’m not sure if the waitress at the sushi bar I go to is married or not… What ever happened to the married sushi bar lady you had your eye on?

Michelle: I would have slept better if I slapped her with my salmon… Thanks, Michelle!

Art said...

Yeah, she probably had a bad day but it's no excuse. You did good, Deb.

グラント said...

The female sushi chef is still unmarried, but she only likes Japanese people. She has no interest in any fecking round-eyes, not even as friends. The watiress I recently met is married, but I consider us casual friends. We talk a lot when I eat there and she's not busy. She's one of the few Japanese who encourage me to practice speaking Japanese. Since her husband works two jobs and they can never go out to meet people, I got the Japan group I joined to have their monthly meal there last night so she got to meet local Japanese people, including some women close to her age. Hopefully she made some friends.

Leesa said...

Classic line: "Maybe if you opened your eyes ma'am, you’ll see the bright yellow sign that tells you what they do accept. They also don’t accept Monopoly money, however, they didn’t list that as things they ‘don’t’ accept."

Your story reminds of something Covey wrote about. Guy with screaming kids on the subway, everyone getting upset because he can't control his kids. Covey says something, and his response: "We just came from the hospital where their mother died. Not sure they know what to do now." I am paraphrasing, but you get my drift.

Samantha said...

I got upset the other day whilst I was out, I have been really sick for a while and was diagnosed with depression today. A few days ago I was stuck behind a guy who obviously was not disabled but was dragging crutches along, in an attempt to look so (I recognise this behaviour from where I used to work). I just wanted to scream at him, and tbh, I regret not doing so. Different folks, different strokes eh?

Todd HellsKitchen said...

Davey and Goliath... The female version!

~Deb said...

Art: ~flexes muscles fer ya~

Grant: That’s always interesting – learning a different culture and language. My ex-fiancé (yes a man), was Japanese as well and spoke it fluently. We both love sushi and the Japanese culture in itself, and he taught me how important it was to learn the language of the culture that you admire. I tried…that language is hard! They say that English is one of the hardest languages though. I hope you have fun at this new Japanese group you’ve joined. Be good!

Leesa: Hmm, never heard of “Covey” before, but the story sounds interesting.

Samantha: I just commented on your blog re: the depression you were just diagnosed with. I hope you feel better. Sometimes there’s a reason why we don’t say something or speak out– either the Gods are just protecting us from a potential disastrous situation or maybe for many other reasons… Nice to see you again, Samantha!

Todd: Ha! I was just talking about that show. I used to watch that all the time when I was a kid. “DAVVVVVVVVVVVVVEYYYYYYYY” in that deep funky voice of his! Ah, childhood memories.

kathi said...

Girlie girl, we both ran into rude customers making clerks feel bad today!! People. I wrote about mine too, but it was a large old man in a motorized Wal-mart cart. I should've said more than I did, you're my hero.

Nichole said...

No matter what her day was like, it's still no excuse for her being rude and displacing her anger onto someone else.

I liked the comment about the Monopoly money. That would make for a fun sign to have in a window if I ever create a business!

Catch said...

bad day or not Deb....she had no business being rude to the guy....you did good!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

When I encounter someone who is, uh, "rude," my first thought is generally, "I am sure glad I ain't you."

Happy Valentine's Day, Deb.

DaBich said...

Ha Deb! I'd have reacted the same way you did, but I'm not quick with the "monopoly money" quips LOL I LOVE THAT! Gotta remember it ;)
Don't feel any remorse. If she had a bad day, she should have known better than to push it off on the Korean market owner. No excuses for rudeness like that!

pssst...kathi ~ remember this the next time you run into a rude person at Wal-mart LOL!

Pittchick said...

As an avid AmEx user, if someone tells me they don't accept the card, I simply get another one out and make a note of the places that don't take it. Even on a bad day, that wouldn't be a big deal. I try to be extra nice to people when I'm having a bad day, because it sometimes makes me feel better.
Maybe I'm just weird, though.

And $18/lb for salmon?!?!?! I hope it was good! Even the fresh off the plane stuff doesn't cost that much here!

~Deb said...

Kathi: Wow, I read your post and that was something. I told you about a conversation I had with a professor at a bar re: people who don’t try to learn other languages in the U.S. Sorry you had to encounter that.

Nichole: I was just so steamed up at the lady that anything coulda’ possibly came flying out of my mouth… I’m glad what I was thinking…didn’t…

Catch: Thanks!

Nick: It has to be literally draining to be that mean all the time to people and strangers.
Thanks, Nick!

Dabich: I usually shut my mouth in most cases, but she got me at a ripe moment in my life where I just didn’t care…

Pittchick: Well, he asked her if she had another card, and I saw in her wallet that she had quite a few dangling in those wallet pockets of hers…but I am SURE that they were all maxed out because she did not want to try any other card. She just threw cash his way and grumbled a few choice words. $18 per lb is better than the $8 per lb that you get in the supermarket near me, because their fish is just awful beyond words. There’s no amount of lemon to take that fishy taste away… The Korean market’s fish is so fresh, that they even tell you it’s good to eat raw, since they have a take out sushi bar as well. It’s totally worth it!

Scribble said...

Oh my god, you are my hero!
Thank you for what you did.
Bravo!

Åsa said...

Deb!
You did good! People shouldn’t be rude like that. Even if they have kids…
But since I’m an AmEx user as well (all my other cards are maxed out), I know how frustrating it is when stores don’t accept it. I usually just leave if I forgot to check that they accept it. Hip hooray for the Stockholm cabs: they accept AmEx!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

xxxoxx

Åsa said...

Deb!
You did good! People shouldn’t be rude like that. Even if they have kids…
But since I’m an AmEx user as well (all my other cards are maxed out), I know how frustrating it is when stores don’t accept it. I usually just leave if I forgot to check that they accept it. Hip hooray for the Stockholm cabs: they accept AmEx!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

xxxoxx

Åsa said...

Deb!
You did good! People shouldn’t be rude like that. Even if they have kids…
But since I’m an AmEx user as well (all my other cards are maxed out), I know how frustrating it is when stores don’t accept it. I usually just leave if I forgot to check that they accept it. Hip hooray for the Stockholm cabs: they accept AmEx!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

xxxoxx

Åsa said...

Deb!
You did good! People shouldn’t be rude like that. Even if they have kids…
But since I’m an AmEx user as well (all my other cards are maxed out), I know how frustrating it is when stores don’t accept it. I usually just leave if I forgot to check that they accept it. Hip hooray for the Stockholm cabs: they accept AmEx!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

xxxoxx

Åsa said...

ohps! sorry about the multi post...

TK Kerouac said...

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

green said...

I don't care what kind of day you've had. There's no excuse for being mean to anybody. Anytime.

green said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Comrade Kevin said...

Go Deb!

*shakes pom poms*

Nancy said...

LOL Monopoly money.

You kill me, you sweet girl, you. I'm cheering for you!