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Frankie And The Angry Russian

I've been working in the customer service industry since I was eighteen.

There was a brief time I worked midnights at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit; sitting at a computer terminal typing in what reports should be printed when, then I would deliver the reports to various offices throughout the complex.

If I remember correctly, that was my only non customer service related job.

So, I've got about twenty years of dealing with the public under my belt. I know how to handle the pleasant, cheerful, irate, and the occasional imbecile.

But for the life of me I can't figure out The Angry Russian.

I see this young woman about once (rarely twice) a day, roughly six days a week. Things got sour the day she asked me if I was lazy.

Lazy. Me. The man who worked three jobs for six months when he first moved here just to get back into a bit of a comfort zone. Lazy. I repeat the word because of the shock it has on me upon hearing it directed to me.

I keep hoping it was a mistake on her part; a language issue. She does speak broken English, and with a bit of a struggle.

When she walks through the door, I get a glare. She gets one as well, but not from me. Her poor wardrobe choices cause anyone within her immediate vicinity to cringe. Her foul language causes customers within earshot to complain.

Today I smiled and completed the transaction praying The Angry Russian wasn't in the mood for small talk. I've been lucky lately.

The Angry Russian slurred her words and dropped a few F-bombs. I called her on it with a simple yet firm, "Language!"

"Language!" must translate to "Set your inner lioness free," because she began to growl and purr at me.

If she so much as winks at me tomorrow, it's on.

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