Wednesday, Daniel gave me 2 simple tasks to accomplish by the time I started work at 3:30. I was a wee (also is “Yes” in France) bit nervous, but I thought “How hard can it possibly be? Right?”. So, I grabbed my metro pass and headed to La Defense (NOT pronounced: DEE FENZ).
The first task was to put another month on Daniel’s metro pass. He wrote down everything that I needed to say and I could even just hand it to the teller. I decided to be brave and tell her “Un mois”. She acted like she understood. Then, she asked me “Lines un, deux, trois?”. Now…ready for my response….”Si”. OMG! I just said yes in Spanish to a French woman. Great…now what? Instead of take it any further, we both just ignored the fact that I spoke a completely different language to her. She swiped my Visa, I said “Merci” and off I went. Mission #1 accomplished. Not great, but accomplished.
Now came task #2: Get a few things at Auchen (NOT pronounced OW CHEN as I like to say). We needed a spatula, alarm clock, forks, measuring cups, measuring spoons, sheets, pillows, scissors, lotion, radio, and a couple of other things. Quite frankly, it didn’t matter that I had a list because I came home with: spatula, forks, lotion, hook things, and a random bedspread. I couldn’t find any of the rest, so screw it!
I headed to check out. I started in one line, but the cashier yelled something at me and shooed me out of line. So, I went to another and decided that one was taking too long. Yes, I was kinda like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Then, onto the third line. This cashier yelled something at me “Madame” and I decided to just stay this time and act ignorant, which is not really acting. 30 minutes later, I finally got to the front of the line… Here is where things really started to go downhill.
First, she scanned the spatula–no problem. Then, the forks. Next, the bedspread. Awesome…no price or scanner bar on the bedspread. She then spoke to me. I began to sweat. My scarf and coat were strangling the life out of me! I managed (finally) to say “No Francois”. She says, and I kid you not, “Great! No French!”. Then, we page the manager over the loud-speaker. He speaks English (thank God). We agree on 10 euros and she says something rude under her breath. Then the lotion rang up great. And finally, the scissors. Now she spouts off my total (in French even though she knows I don’t speak it). I hand her my CapitalOne Visa. Of course it doesn’t swipe. She tries it no less than 7 times and looks at me like I am an absolute idiot. At this point, the whole process–from the time that I started in line until now–is at about 50 minutes. I start digging into my purse and round-up 30 euros. She says, “Oh, CASH”. The lady behind me now scoffs and glares at me. I am literally wiping sweat beads from my brow. I now have to get all of these lovely purchases rounded up and load up my own bag.
Finally, out the door as quick as I can with “Merci” under my breath. WHAT A B!!!!!!! That’s all I have to say about Cashier #3 at Auchen. So, needless to say, these items were worth a Kodak moment: