Tuesday, July 28, 2009

helpful hints for bookstore customers, part 5

If you see a girl standing at the register, please know that this is not an invitation for you to approach her with conversation that insults both the event that the store is hosting and the girl herself.

Please do not imagine that you should say things like:

"These women, they are telling lies. Lies. I am a perceptive kind of guy, real perceptive, you know? And I can tell you that these women are lying. I can tell when people are the sincere sort and when they're liars. You're too young to know this sort of thing. You just don't know. How old are you? Huh. When I was your age, I was travelling India. You should travel. You don't know anything about the world, you just got your eye closed and they need to be opened. You may think you've got them open, but you can't see anything."

And then, when the girl, rather tight-lipped, says that, actually, she has travelled, please don't say:

"Well, you're only talking the western world. That's not going to help. Your eyes are still closed. You don't know anything still. You don't know anything about Asia."

And then, when the girl points out the (rather obvious) fact that she is, in fact, Asian don't then say:

"Well, it's not like you know anything about it. There's that culture and that history and that language, and you're just ignorant of it all. You need to learn something about the world."

And then, when the girl tells you that she really can't stay there and talk to you any longer, and that you might have your opinions, but she really doesn't agree with them or want to hear them anymore, please do not say:

"God bless you. You'll learn."

So much rage. Also, disbelief.

Many thanks.


Charles said...

Sounds awful. Surprised how you manage to keep your temper.

Had a similar experience while working for a manga shop. Customer told me I had to travel to China, learn the language, etc, and then proceeded to disparage the country I was living in.

-J said...

Wow! Sounds to me like a person who was so blown away by traveling that he closed his eye to exotic wonders that can come from experiences close to home... for example, my living room is full of untold wonders.

Megan Kurashige said...

I actually didn't manage to keep my temper. In fact, I walked away from him and said I didn't want to be a part of his conversation. I don't think it sunk in though. He still looked as happy as a clam.

J, obviously your living room is full of wonders. It is, after all, the grotto of manatees and tape decks...

Stefani Nellen said...

It's sad that a mind like yours has to put up with this kind of obnoxiousness. To borrow from Terry Pratchett, the guy deserves to be slowly whipped to death with shoe laces.

Megan Kurashige said...

HAHA! Whipped to death with shoelaces. Oh, that Mr. Pratchett, such a loveable guy.