So. I got cussed out by an elderly Chinese woman at work today. That was...um...interesting.
And get this. It was because I called her ma'am instead of miss. The woman was like 75!
I knew it was going to be a "fun" time when she started cussing because she had to get out her store card before I could scan a coupon she had (even though it clearly had "good with coupon AND card" in bold on the coupon).
But then I said "your change is [whatever it was, I don't remember], ma'am" and she glared at me and hissed, "For future reference, it would be nice if you called people miss instead of ma'am." (And I'm thinking, come on lady, "miss" wore out for you a long time ago!)
I just tried to keep a straight face as she looked at me and said, "You're going to get old one day, too, so don't look at me like that, you bitch."
I knew I couldn't say anything back to her because I'd get in trouble with my boss, so I handed her her bag and said "Have a nice day," with no salutation at all, and she snatched the bag from my hand. You know what her parting words were?
"Listen, you little twat, you need to cut the bullshit."
All because I called her ma'am.
Just for fun, I asked the next few women that came through, all of different ages, if they would be offended if someone called them ma'am. Even the ones who were close to my age were baffled by the idea that someone would be offended by that.
I told my boss about it after the lady left, and she laughed and said, "You did everything right. Someone people are just crazy."