Tales of An RSO
Working at a machine gun range that is design as a tourist attraction we tend to have larger volume of International customers. I have had customers from all around the world to come and shoot at Battlefield. You could name any country you want. I’m 90% sure I’ve had a customer from there. Vast majority of our international customers have only seen a firearm in movies, television and video games. This is their first time most of our customers have seen a firearm in person. Let alone held a firearm. Here at Battlefield, we are there first introduction to firearms. Our goal is to make the experience safe and enjoyable.
With International customers language is the main barrier prohibiting me from providing good firearms instruction. You don’t know how many times I wish I spoke Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, or Russian. Or the many other languages I run into on a weekly bases. The struggle is real especially when you are dealing with a potentially dangerous instrument as a firearm. As, RSO’s we do our best to provide adequate instruction to provide a safe shooting experience. I’m not gonna lie it’s a challenge.
We do everything in our power to make sure they understand the safety brief and range rules. At, Battlefield for our safety brief we have poor Google Translate versions for our international customers. A lot of the time it turns into us as RSO’s pantomiming instructions and weapons handling for the customer. This is a reality when you are dealing with international customers.
RSO Commentary: Hey, Google! Google! Your translations are broken. When we ask customers if it’s good or bad. They usually inform us it’s sucks. Step your game up Google.
After, the safety brief we are off into the wild. On the range it’s a lot of pantomiming instructions for the customer. A lot of the time it is no impact, no idea. We end up shifting customers into the right positions to shoot in. There has been times I wish I spoke 5 languages or more, so I can provide better instruction for the customer and overall experience.
RSO Commentary: It is funny and frustrating as an RSO when you say, “Hello” or “Good afternoon” to a person, and they look at you like you have a giant dick on your forehead. In your mind you immediately say, “This is going to be interesting.” And it is usually.
The reason I bring all this up is because of a Chinese couple who was visiting from Hong Kong who came to shoot. At, Battlefield we have tons of Chinese customers whose English varies from perfect to the no impact, no idea variety. Why does this couple stand out in my memory you ask? It’s because of the slap that occurred on the range. A slap that echoed through time and space. For a moment it felt like time stood frozen. A slap that was heard around the world.
Now, people are reading this thinking I’ve slapped a customer. No, people, I haven’t physical assaulted a customer. If I did I wouldn’t currently be employed and possibly did some jail time. So, there goes that scenario. None of that happened, so relax.
RSO Commentary: I will admit customers have made some poor decisions and done dangerous things with firearms that I have wanted to Spartan kick the living shit out of them for! Oh, God! have I! So, I won’t say I haven’t wanted to do harm because I have. You have to show a level of restraint and patience to survive in this job.
As, I stated before I had this couple visiting from Hong Kong. The husband was shooting a SWAT package. A SWAT package includes a Remington 700, Glock 17 Gen 4 or 5, 2 mags on an MP-5, and a pump action shotgun. I grab the ammo and the Glock 17 and I call up my customers.
Next, I see a couple walk up to the counter with a buzzer and the wife hands it to me.
The first thing the wife says to me in a perfect English with a mild accent. ”Hello, sir my husband doesn’t speak any English. I will translate for him on the range. If you have any questions or if he has any questions. I will translate.”
In the back of my head I’m thinking, ”Perfect! Language isn’t going to be a barrier as I thought it was going to be. Thank God!”
RSO Commentary: Language can be a major hurdle as an RSO as I mentioned before. It’s only so much you can convey using your hands and body. You ended up looking like the wacky waving inflatable tube man from family guy.
I tell his wife, ”Thank you that is great. I’ll just tell you everything and I’ll give you a moment to translate it to him.”
Now, a high stake game of international telephone has begun. Let’s see how this game plays out. As, we all know from our second grade class telephone never goes well. Lookout for the impending disaster in this tale.
I give my safety brief and range rules. Grab ear and eye protection and escort them on to the range. Setup my target and from there grab the first firearm.
I grab the Remington 700 first. I have the couple come up. I explain and demonstrate. As, I am showing him how to hold, aim, and shoot his wife is translating. All is good so far. He was able to properly handled and shoot the 700. Boom! 700 complete and safely ran with no problems. To my surprise he puts together a solid shot grouping in the center of the target. I will admit I was impressed. I put the 700 away and next is the Glock 17.
Next up is the Glock. This is where the story starts getting interesting. I did the exact same thing I did last time. I call them up together and I give the rundown on how to properly hold, aim, and shoot the pistol.
RSO Commentary: I want to mention this. Teaching a complete novice how to hold a handgun is one of the most challenge things you can do as an instructor. People have so many misconceptions on proper handgun manipulation it is truly mind-blowing. A lot of it comes from TV and movies. To be blunt a lot of what you see is those movies or TV shows is FUCKING WRONG! I can’t stress that enough people. Doesn’t matter how you want to slice it. It’s FUCKING WRONG! That’s my small firearms PSA. Back to the story.
I confirm with the wife that he understands I load the pistol and prepare to hand off the handgun to the customer. I hold the handgun out. From there I show him where to place his right hand and left hand for the proper grip of the handgun.
Once, I put his hands in the right place. I believe he thinks he doesn’t have a firm grip of the Glock, and he crosses his thumbs behind the slide. It turns into a Danger Will Robinson situation. That slide will eat up his thumbs and leave him bloody and pissed. I see this and shift his thumbs back to the left side of the handgun.
He shoots a couple of rounds and is trying to adjust to recoil. His instinct is to do the same thing as before and cross his thumbs behind the slide. So, I correct his hand position again. My personal rule is three strikes and you out. I will make the correction three times if you don’t listen after that we need a little pain incentive to learn.
RSO Commentary: I have already corrected him twice on the situation. Sometimes you feel like this customer is destined to not listen. In his case, his destiny was pushing him towards bloody thumbs. I wish that evil on no one Ricky Bobby. If a customer is not going to listen to my instruction I will let Darwinism play its role.
I allow him take his next shot then I stop him immediately after. I grab the Glock and unload it. From there I bring up his wife and have her translate why I want his thumbs on the left side of the gun instead of crossing them. She advises me he understands, and he’s ready to shoot again. From there I reload the Glock and hand if off again. He shoots a few more rounds.
Now, I have told him three times. Technically now he is on his own. What happens from here is on you player, go forth and prosper. But, deep down I’m like we have a language barrier and maybe something is lost in translation. Understanding that fact I give him one more correction before I throw him to the firearm gods.
RSO Commentary: I understand I work in a customer service business. I deal with 100’s of people a week, and I am there to ensure they have a fun and safe shooting experience. But, our tolerance for bullshit is low. We deal with firearms and in the hands of a person lacking experience. It creates a potentially dangerous environment. Not only to them but to us the RSO. Homie don’t play that shit.
Now, this is where this situation comes to a head and its explosive conclusion. Yet, again he crosses his thumbs on the frame of the handgun. I go to correct him and put his thumbs in the proper place. What he does next throws me into a flurry of anger.
As, I am trying to adjust his hands. What he does next seems like it’s happening in slow motion from my perspective. I feel like Keanu in the Matrix. He puts down the gun. Looks into the windows of my soul. Slaps my hands and says, ”No!” To me it felt like a slap that echoed around the world. I just felt like everyone turned and looked with shock and awe.
I remember saying to myself, ”What the fuck just happened!?”
It was like he was admonishing me for correcting him. As if, I was his child grabbing something I wasn’t supposed to touch. Nah, player. I ain’t about that life.
Immediately after he slapped my hand all I saw was red. I was like the Hulk. I was ready to Hulk smash! From there I proceed to curse this man the fuck out.
I remember saying, “Who in the fuck do you think you are! Are you fucking serious slapping my fucking hand. Like I’m your fucking child!? You have me fucked up sir! I’m over her trying like a motherfucker to make sure you don’t hurt yourself and you have the fucking nerve to slap my hand! Fuck that! I am not your child nor am I you’re fucking dog!”
RSO Commentary: During this whole time I didn’t care if spoke English or not. I knew my demeanor and hostility would explain my displeasure.
The wife see how I am ripping her husband a new asshole. He is standing there looking at me and his demeanor changes cause he understands because my anger is seeping from my soul. Next, his wife jumps into the booth between us.
She asks me, “What is wrong, sir?”
In my head, “I’m like really woman? You didn’t see your husband slap the shit out of my hand like I’m a child? I know you are back there watching him shoot. I know your watching cause your filming for him. I know you seen that!”
I responded, “I am yelling at your husband cause he slapped my hand like I’m a child, and I am not his child. I have been trying to correct him, so he doesn’t hurt himself. My first job is his and our safety. Next is to make sure he has fun. Let him know that.”
So, she translates to him what I said.
He looks at me and says, “Sorry.” That ladies and gentleman is the only English that flowed out of his mouth the entire time, well and besides saying, “no”. I was thankful for the apology. I apologized to him also for losing my temper. You can’t come at me like that when i’m trying to help from hurting yourself. That ain’t cool G.
After our little disagreement was finished I composed myself and I allowed him to continue to shoot. He finished his mag on the handgun flawlessly. From there he shot the MP-5, and shotgun with no problems.
RSO Commentary: After I cursed him out and my anger monsters started to cool off. I had one of those what have you done moments. When you take a moment to stop and address the situation that happened.
The moment after I cursed out this customer I was like the wife is probably going to talk to management. I will freely and readily admit I was out of line with that customer. I was ready to be suspended from work for up to a week. I was ready for the lost of pay that my anger had caused me. Only thing I don’t like to do is cost myself money. In this situation I thought I did.
After, we finish shooting I escort them off the range. The wife apologized for her husband actions and rudeness. I apologize for blowing up him as I did. I advised them where they can get a ride back to their hotel or back to any location on The Strip.
Immediately after that I go and talk to one my managers and give him the whole rundown of what happened. I told him to be on the lookout for phone call or a very negative review. He advised me if they did call or give a review he would let the general manager know what was going on, so he was aware.
About 20 minutes later he came and told me watched the video, and he seen what I did.
He looks at me and says, ”Yeah, you definitely cussed him out but you didn’t touch him or step into his personal space. It was horrible customer service and you let your emotions get the best of you. Next time definitely don’t do that.”
Yeah, that was the end of it. I never heard anything from it. No, call or negative review. It is never my plan or want to be rude to a customer or go to that extreme. But, I am human like everyone else and anger gets the best of us sometimes. Working in an entertainment/customer service industry is hard. Also, dealing with language barriers just compounds that. So, we have to do our best to remain professional even in the midst of the fire.
Alright everyone that is another installment from the Tales of An RSO. I introduced you to the slap heard around the world. Time and space stop and said, ”Fuck!” Even, though my job is highly dangerous and frustrating I enjoy what I do. I have the ability to introduce people to firearms. Here in America we have the freedom to own and protect ourselves with these firearms. We are blessed that our Founding Fathers understood the right to bear arms and protect ourselves against the ills of an ever changing world. I enjoy extending that love and passion for firearms internationally.
Thanks for Reading
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