Mama Diaries

Monday, January 9, 2017

Quick Thinking

My twelve-year-old son and I were at the grocery store the other day. As we stood in line at the checkout, we noticed that there seemed to be a problem. An old Asian man was trying to buy a carton of cigarettes, and the cashier was asking him for his date of birth. Here in the United States, you have to be at least eighteen to buy cigarettes. The cashier needed his date of birth in order to allow the sale to be entered into the cash register.

Well, Mr. Asian Dude didn't speak a word of English. He couldn't understand what the cashier was saying. The line continued to grow as the cashier, other workers, and customers tried to ask him for some kind of identification.

Finally, my boy came up with a brilliant idea. "Mama, do you have your cell phone?"

"Sure. Why?"

"I have an idea."  He took my phone and looked up Google Translate. He guestimated that Mr. Asian Dude was Korean, and proceeded to type a message: "What is your birthday? She needs identification so you can buy the cigarettes," which was immediately translated into Korean.

He showed Mister Asian Dude the phone.  Viola! Mr. Asian Dude nodded and pulled out a paper from his wallet. A Visa.

The cashier looked at it, got the information she needed, and Mister Asian Dude got his cigarettes. Problem solved!  

27 comments:

  1. Smart thinking! Google is the answer to everything.

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  2. Hi, Sherry!

    Two things strike me about this story. If the Asian man was "old" why did the clerk need to check his I.D. to sell him cigarettes? Second, the man would be better off if he had been turned away and not allowed to buy cigs because they are harmful to his health.

    Have a great week, dear friend Sherry!

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    1. Yes, it was perfectly obvious that the man was over 18, but the cashier needed an exact date to input into the computer. If it was me, I would have made up a date. And probably would have gotten fired. ;)

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  3. pffft, any he didn't give any of those cigarettes to Bubba as thanks?

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    1. No way. Mama wouldn't have let Bubba accept it, even if he had!

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  4. Your son has initative and brains, but couldn't the cashier see Mr. Asian was over eighteen?
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yes. We could all see it. But a birth date was necessary to enter into the computer to allow the sale to occur. As I told Shady, if I was the cashier, I probably would have just made up a date.

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  5. Smart kid! Using his devices for a practical result is indeed being quick on his feet. Maybe those adults learned a thing or two, eh?

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  6. Smart kid indeed. All else fails go to Google.

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  7. Wow, Bubba to the rescue. Very good thinking indeed.

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  8. Aha! He was quick! I've seen people use Google translation even talking to other people from different places.

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  9. Just proves--you can find almost anything on the internet today!! :) :)

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  10. Brilliant! If I'd been in line behind the Asian dude, I'd have kissed your son. Much to him embarrassment, I'm sure.

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  11. Gosh your son is so smart and quick thinking Sherry, I use Google translate to talk to my in-laws who live in Russia... otherwise my daughter would not be able to have contact... it is a great tool xox

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  12. Brilliant answer. And brilliant for him for coming up with it.

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  13. Your son is amazing!! He's gonna go far. Great story. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!!

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  14. Thank you so very much for giving permission. You can see your linked header under All, Daily Lifel Literary and the United States. If you could say something (preferably good) about SiteHoundSniffs.com here and there, we would greatly appreciate it.

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  15. Bubba is not only a smart guy, he's extremely thoughtful. Most kids would have been upset and not thought about helping the man.

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  16. Smart boy! Although, it seems ridiculous to me to ID someone who is clearly older than 18. I am glad that the problem was solved and the man was helped. :)

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  17. That was smart thinking! I've tried studying Korean, but it's really hard. However, Japanese is much easier for me (even though my speaking skills have become quite rusty over the years, lol)

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  18. Good job! I used to use that ALL the time when I was in customer service. I had the app preloaded on my phone with favorites set particularly for Vietnamese and Mandarin (since I picked up Spanish just through Osmosis and didn't need it after a while)

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  19. Way to go your son. What quick thinking.

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  20. Go Bubba! That was some quick thinking, for sure. Everyone there was grateful, I bet!

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  21. Way to think quickly! Glad he was able to help a stranger at the store. Google Translate is amazing. We need to remember it more. :)
    ~Jess

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  22. What a smart young man you have there. Way to go, Bubba!

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