A diary entry about working in a boutique


  1. Learning English through Communication

You work in a boutique in Causeway Bay. Today there was a misunderstanding between you and an English-speaking customer. Write a diary entry about what happened and include how you could have handled the situation better.



Dear Diary,


Today’s a good day. Today’s a bad day. Good news and bad news, which do you prefer? OK, good news first! I’ve just finished my one-month PROBATION Period today! I’m officially a salesperson at the boutique! Isn’t it great news? This good news came along with a bad and really embarrassing one…


Everything went smoothly as usual in the morning and in the afternoon. I, as usual, greeted patrons, introduced them the latest fashion, took them brand new sets of outfits and packed the clothes neatly for my dear customers. It’s an exceptionally busy day as my boss wasn’t in the boutique with me. As a not-so experienced salesperson I was indeed quite nervous to serve patrons myself…


Located at Causeway Bay, a place of hustle and bustle every moment, there’re especially many office ladies visiting our boutique after the office hour and before dinner time. Today wasn’t an exception. There’re about 6-7 ladies in the boutique selecting and trying on outfits. There was a Western lady with blonde hair and blue eyes who caught my attention. Not being able to speak fluent English, I got butterflies in my stomach. In case I couldn’t understand her or I couldn’t respond to her questions accurately …what should I do?


While I was serving another female patron, this English-speaking lady approached me and handed me a piece of jacket. She said,’…don’t get enough cash…don’t need it now…’ (That’s all I’d understand!) I guessed she did not need the jacket anymore as she did not bring along with her sufficient amount of cash. With a sign of relief, I put the jacket back to the shelf. Soon after, an ordinary office lady came and loved the jacket much. Without hesitation, she bought it in a few minutes. RIGHT AFTER the lady’s leaving; the blonde- hair native girl came again and approached me! She asked for her jacket! OH MY GOD! Did she mean she wanted the jacket be kept for her and she’ll get some cash? I made a mistake! I totally misunderstood what she meant…With no alternatives, I could only apologize and recommend her other chic jackets. It’s lucky that the foreign lady didn’t mind at all and chose another outfit. If she had made a complaint to my boss, I might not have completed my probation smoothly! If she had made a complaint, I wouldn’t have said that today is a good day…


This was a lesson for me to be more prudent when dealing with customers’ requests. I need to make everything clear without the slightest misunderstanding. More importantly, I’ve to attend more workplace English-speaking courses to enhance my English level. Diary, wish me good luck and never let any misunderstanding take place!