Go learn English!


A quick note on customer service and language barriers in London.

I was travelling from St. Pancras station in London to Paris using the Eurostar. While waiting for my train I decided to use my remaining British pounds to purchase a flat white, my drink of choice. I waited in the rather substantial line full of business people and tourists alike and finally got to the front register where I ordered my drink from the haggard, albeit efficient Russian woman at the register.

“One flat white please” I said.

“Ok that will be 3 pounds”

Transaction finished, I stepped aside to wait for my drink and busied myself with my phone seeing as how there was free wifi in the station. A few minutes passed and the woman called to me.

“You got a flat white?” she asked.

“Yes, I got a flat white” was my response.

Then I went back to staring at my phone and waiting. About 5 minutes went by and the Russian woman then yelled out. “What are you doing here!? Get out!”

I looked at her perplexed and said, “I’m waiting for my drink.”

Suddenly furious, the woman looked at me and yelled “You told me you got it!”

Totally bewildered now, I stared around at my fellow coffee drinkers. A kind woman in line then attempted to point out that by me saying I “got” a flat white, I meant I’d “ordered” one. This was unimpressive however to the Russian coffee demon who looked at me and said “You should learn to speak English.”

Ummmmmm what?