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awkward, kind of sucky situation
Old 08-27-2019, 04:32 PM
KellyHabersham KellyHabersham is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,397
Default awkward, kind of sucky situation

*Trying to describe this without getting into details that would be more appropriate for Fratching, will do my best!*

For some minor background info - in my library branch, we have several computers in the children's room. Children are not required to use their library card to log into them, instead, staff signs them up at the desk using their first name as the username and password.

Last week, I had a customer(I'll call her "Mrs. Udo") come into the library with her two kids. The son went into the children's room, and I didn't interact with him. But she came up to the desk with her daughter.......first to ask about getting her kids signed onto the children's computers, then said she needed to get the replacement library cards.

All of which was fine, except that "Mrs. Udo" wasn't exactly fluent in English, neither was her daughter, and while i do understand three other languages, their native language is not one of them. So it was REALLY tough trying to explain what info I needed from "Mrs. Udo", and it was VERY awkward to keep getting blank stares. (I do my best to give good customer service to everyone, but I honestly did not know what to do in this situation)

Finally, I passed them onto my fellow circulation staff person, and she was able to do a little better at communicating.(I think she's worked as a teacher before)
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:47 PM
Pixelated Pixelated is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Bookholm
Posts: 1,825

I work in retail and I've had that problem ... AND I'm fluent in only one language, which just adds to the problem!

You did the best you could. I had a woman come through my line a few weeks ago, asking for something that she couldn't name and I couldn't guess at. I finally called over a supervisor and hey presto! It turned out she was speaking French ... and he is fluent in French!

I told him he is NOT allowed to return to school in September.
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~ Mr Hero
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:07 AM
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TheWolfEmperor TheWolfEmperor is offline
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I've had that problem with people who speak clear English. Someone wanted me to open a box do they could look at the contents and they stared at me blankly as I told them about ten times that I wasn't allowed to do that.
Don't waste time trying to convince someone that the sky is blue.
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:54 PM
Jetfire Jetfire is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,027

I personally have a horrible ear for languages and accents.

I can do most english variants and a number of french variants (living in New Brunswick, you tend to have an ear for Acadian and Franglais naturally); but beyond that, I'll have to be listening hard and often I'll still need numerous repetitions.

Luckily I don't work in a job that involves interacting (by voice) with many people so it's not an issue most of the time. But if you have a heavy accent and approach me randomly, you will usually catch me off guard enough that it will take me a few times to have a gist of what you are asking for.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:45 PM
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Nunavut Pants Nunavut Pants is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2015
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I find myself, over the years, having more trouble with accents that I didn't grow up with. This is an issue as I work in a very multi-national and multi-cultural company, so we have a lot of accents that aren't "Midwestern/West Coast US".
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