Monday, January 14, 2008

A WTF moment to share

I was at Costco purchacing the months supply of beef, chicken, scorched rice and a few sundry other items totalling about 120,000. I gleefully placed my items on the checkout counter and after the woman checked them out I gave her my credit card and said (in Korean),
"12 months, please."
"12 months!!!" she replied looking at me like I must have lost my mind.
"Is that strange to you?" again I repied in polite Korean.
"Yes. There will be a lot of interest." she said, still holding my card at the top of the swiper gadget and now having attracted the attention of most of the other 100 or so people in the adjacent checkout lines. As if, I didn't know this.
"That's what the customer wants, just do it." This response was NOT in the polite form. She swiped it, gave me the card and the slip with a smirk that thouroughly deserved to be smacked to the back of her head. I signed, took my card and grumbled off to take my 20 minute escalator ride to the roof parking lot.
Granted that it may not be the best decision to put groceries on 12 months payments; that was not exactly my decision either (wife's); but who was SHE to question it.


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seoulsmithy said...

Sounds like she was just trying to help you out and making sure that's what you really wanted to do. I don't see what all fuss is about.

Also, who said, "That's what the customer wants, just do it"? The way you wrote it sounds like someone else said it TO her, and therefore they wouldn't have had to use the polite form of Korean (depending on their relationship of course).

Anyway, I'm not trying to troll. She could have been a totally rude bitch. In which case, that sucks. I've had it happen before. But with the way you explained the situation, it really didn't sound that bad to me.

Fencerider said...

Thanks for the comment. I guess it does read like someone else said it because of the translation. I'm sure you know, though someone else might not, it is common to use the thrird person when referring to yourself as one would in this situation. I said something like (though my korean is not perfect) "손님 원하면...그냥해라!"
The point I was trying to make was not that she was trying to be rude...I'm sure that in her mind she WAS just trying to confirm that's what I wanted...a Korean probably would not put 120,000 on 12 months payments so she likely would never have the opportunity, but if one did, I'm pretty sure that she would NOT ask the same question to a Korean man. It was not 'rude' so much as it was inappropriate and inconsiderate of her to ask in that manner. Particularly since I was speaking in clear Korean when i told her how many months and could not have been misunderstood or not heard.
I have experiences like this all the time...and most of the's NOT an attempt to be rude...Koreans are very rarely overtly rude as Americans can frequently be.