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    A Directionless Conversation

    | Canada | Bigotry, Transportation

    (I am 16. I work in a car dealership’s customer service department on weekends.)

    Me: “Service department, [name] speaking, how may I help you?”

    (An elderly customer answers.)

    Customer: “I’m having a hard time finding your dealership. Can someone give me directions?”

    Me: “Sure, can you tell me where you are now?”

    (I begin giving her directions when she interrupts me.)

    Customer: “No, I need someone else to give me directions.”

    Me: “I know exactly where you are, and it’s very easy to get here. All you have to do is—”

    Customer: “No. No, I need a man to give me directions.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “I need a man to give me directions.”

    Me: “Okay, just give me a moment.”

    (I page my male co-worker, but he is busy with another customer.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but he’s busy. Can I give you directions now?”

    Customer: “No, I need to speak to a man. I’ll wait.”

    (I go talk to another co-worker and explain the situation. He answers the phone and gives her directions. Twenty minutes later, she arrives.)

    Me: “Good afternoon.”

    Customer: “Ugh, I had the hardest time getting here.”

    Me: “Oh, really? Which way did you go?”

    (She explains.)

    Me: “If I were you I would have gone this way…”

    (I once again explain the exact same directions I gave to her on the phone.)

    Customer: “Well, that would have been so much easier! I wish I had gotten you on the phone!”

    Me: “Actually, you did. Please help yourself to a complimentary beverage.”

    (The lady blushes and then hurries to our waiting room.)