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So today, I had my first grumpy customer to deal with. Another Explainer (who I'm going to nickname Pinga on here because she likes penguins) and I were doing Object Handling, where people get to look at old TVs and stuff. I was just finishing up talking to a nice family when Pinga started telling a pretty old man about the TVs, and Super Hi-Vision.

He was rude. There, I said it. He basically called us offensive for just DARING to assume he might want to know more about these TVs, saying that we'd just assumed he was ignorant when HE HAD LIVED THIS STUFF, that he was in a completely different world to us that we couldn't understand, that we were lost and couldn't know about things like he knew.

Basically, he was assuming we were dumb and clueless. I tried to say that we hadn't assumed that, we weren't meaning to cause offence, but he went on and on about how we should have been trying to teach the kids, so they weren't as 'lost' as us. He started declaiming what an education he had, that he used to be a lecturer in Paris, and basically said we were mindless ignorant fools who had no idea what we were doing in life.

Pinga had had enough and walked away, but I had had enough in a different way. God knows I'm blonde and I'm special sometimes, but goddammit, I was NOT going to let someone call me ignorant.

So I stood up to him. I told him, actually, sir, I have a Masters degree, in Classics, from Durham, and I know three ancient languages. INCLUDING AKKADIAN, BITCH.

My god, this changed his tune completely. Suddenly he clearly saw me as a kindred spirit, and started telling me about his days in Paris, and was treating me almost like a co-conspirator in his 'all kids today are STUPID' rants. I just kept smiling, nodding, and trying to will him with my eyes "GO. THE FUCK. AWAY."

Like, I could understand his bitterness. He probably did get some patronising sometimes, being foreign and old. But he was just as bad as what he was accusing us of being. He was assuming we were dumb, and wasn't even trying to hear us try to explain, and he basically equating intelligence with education, rather than common sense or street smarts. I wanted to explain this to him, but he was stuck complaining in French about ignorant youth.

My Akkadian learnings have finally proven useful.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
furtle
Oct. 25th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
How sad. But go you!

Did you come across LW King when you were studying Akkadian?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_William_King
He was my great-grandfather!

Also: do you find many old men pretty? :)
hobbit_eyes
Oct. 25th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
You caught me, it's a secret fetish.

I didn't come across LW King, but I wish I had, I bet his book on translating cuneiform was better than the one we had to use!
count_libido
Oct. 25th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
An arrogant Frenchman? Wow, what are the odds?
la_jellybean
Oct. 27th, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
I KNOW AKKADIAN BITCH

Greatest. Comeback. EVAH.

reldyju
Nov. 2nd, 2011 11:26 am (UTC)
I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case.

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )