October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Category: Bigotry

This category is dedicated to the bottom rung of humanity at its worst — racists, homophobes, and other bigots — and, occasionally, employees at their finest.

Faker Moaning About Faking

| Devon, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Criminal/Illegal, Health & Body

(I use a wheelchair. The shop has customer wheelchairs marked very clearly with the name of the centre the shop is in. I’m supposed to be working on tills, but due to being short staffed, I’m helping out with stacking the shelves.)

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “I was wondering if I could use that wheelchair?”

(I assume she meant a wheelchair, rather than the one I’m currently sitting in.)

Me: “Of course. If you head over to the door, the security guy there can get one for you.”

Customer: “You want me to walk over?”

Me: “I’ll go and ask him. Feel free to take a seat, if it’s more comfortable for you.”

Customer: “No, it’s fine, thanks. I guess I’ll go ask myself. I mean, if I have to use one of those ugly things.”

Me: “Yeah, they’re not the best are they? But it’s really no trouble for me to go over there, if you want me to.”

(The customer shakes her head, and sits on one of the stacking stools, Maybe ten minutes later, she’s still sitting there, and all I’ve got left to shelve are things that are usually way above my head. Since I’m having a pretty good day, I figure what the hell, and start standing for short periods of time so shelve the lighter stuff, something I’m more than capable of doing.)

Customer: “How dare you!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “How dare you sit around in that chair all day, and then start standing up with boxes just like anyone else? People like you make my life so much harder, you know that?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what—”

Customer: “I have an invisible disability. People like you who go around faking for sympathy and making everyone think I’m a faker too.”

Me: “I have an invisible disability. Hence the chair.”

Customer: “Well, then you shouldn’t be standing up, should you?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but… you walked into the shop.”

Customer: “I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”

Me: “You don’t?”

Customer: “I want to speak to your manager.”

(I radioed my manager over. She took a while to get there, so I carried on shelving. While I’m standing up, and my back is turned, the customer took my wheelchair and vanished off into the shop. At a loss for what to do, I took the stool she vacated and waited for my manager to show up, while the security guy at the door – visible from my aisle – took off after the woman. I sat there for almost an hour until security finally tracked the woman down in another shop in the centre. They tried for a while to get her to give my chair back, all while she accused them of discrimination, saying they think she’s an idiot who can’t tell the difference between a centre chair and mine because she’s disabled. Eventually, once security had radioed police, she gave it back. She was still sitting on the floor, yelling about fakers ruining her life, when the police arrived.)

His Place In The World Is An Asylum

| Edmonton, AB, Canada | Bigotry, Bizarre

(I’m making a call over the intercom requesting that a customer remove their car from a no parking zone. My coworkers like to make fun of me, since it’s become my personal mission to make sure nobody parks there. My coworker is serving a seemingly normal gentleman at the time.)

Customer: “You know, you ladies should be changing the world!”

Coworker: “Yeah, [My Name], and it starts with you getting that vehicle to move!”

(We both laugh, but the customer goes on.)

Customer: “I’m serious! We all have our place in the world. You know, us white people, we’re supposed to protect the water.”

(At this point, we realize he’s completely serious.)

Customer: “And the Africans? They protect the animals. And the brown people? You know, like the Aboriginals and the, uh, Middle Eastern people? Well, they’re always fighting over land, so I think they’re supposed to protect the land!”

(My coworker and I are speechless. The customer continues.)

Customer: “And the yellow people! You know, the Asians? Well they’re supposed to feed us all!”

(The customer continues on his rant, saying things I can’t quite catch, and then leaves.)

Coworker: *to me* “Why do we only get the weird ones when we work together?”

A Pen-chant For Homophobia

| UK | Bigotry

(A dapper looking gentleman enters the shop. He’s wearing a tweed jacket and has a posh, English accent.)

Me: “Hello, sir, can I help at all today?”

Customer: “Ah, yes, hello. I’m looking for a [Brand] pen. You know, the refillable sort.”

Me: “Certainly, sir, we only have one pen in that brand but—”

Customer: *pulling a pen out of his pocket, it’s gold and slim* “You see, my wife bought me this one, but I don’t like it much. It’s too thin, you see? And I don’t care for it in gold. It must be for gays or something.”

(I’m taken aback but compose myself quickly.)

Me: “Ah, I see… Well, we have this one. Maybe that will suit you better?”

(I show him the pen we stock. It’s dark grey and has a chunky barrel.)

Customer: “Ah! Much better! Thank you ever so. I’ll take it! I suppose I’ll give the other one to the wife.”

(I sold him the pen and he left, safe in the knowledge that he was now in possession of a pen which was not intended for gays. Or women.)

The Color Of Stupid

| LA, USA | Bigotry, Extra Stupid

(I work at a popular shoe store chain. It’s a busy Friday afternoon and I’m in the middle of the floor prepping shoes to go out when a customer and her daughter come in. Both are on the phone. We’re all black.)

Me: “Hi! Welcome to [Store].”

(The customers don’t acknowledge me and I don’t think much of it and just continue to greet other people.)

Customer: *walks up to me a few minutes later* “I just want to give you some advice as a young woman.”

Me: “Okay?”

Customer: “I’ve been in this store for five minutes and you haven’t said a word to me but I’ve watched you say hello to all the white customers.”

Me: “Actually, I did greet you when you walked in but I guess you didn’t hear me.”

Customer: “No. No, you didn’t. My daughter was right there and she didn’t hear you say a thing. That’s very sad that young black people feel that the white customers are more important than the black ones. My money is just as green as theirs and it spends the same.”

Customer’s Daughter: “Self hate is what they call it.”

Me: “Again, I did greet you and your daughter when you walked in. However, you were both on the phone, so that’s probably why you missed it. Sorry about that.”

Customer: “Don’t try to lie about it now. We both know the truth. But don’t worry. I’m not offended, but the next person might be. And now that I know how I’ll be treated I wont be shopping here again.”

(The customer throws the items she had on the floor and storms out.)

Other Customer: “I’m so sorry you have to deal with stupid people, hun.”

Not Very Manly Behavior

| ON, Canada | Bigotry, Crazy Requests

(I am in my 20s. I am a moderately tall and sturdily-built woman. An older man, perhaps in his 70s, buys a 50 pound bag of dog food. My coworker on cash asks if he would like someone to carry the heavy bag out to his car, and he says yes. Since I’m working the front, I go to do that.)

Old Man: “No, I want your boss to do it.”

(My boss is a small man, shorter and slimmer than me, and is helping another customer.)

Me: “He’s busy at the moment. I’m perfectly—”

Old Man: “No, you can’t. I want him to do it.”

Me: “Really, I’m quite strong…”

Old Man: “No, no, you can’t do it. Just put it down!”

Boss: *having overheard, comes over and gestures to me to give him the bag* “It’s okay.”

Me: “But I’m bigger than you…”

Boss: *taking the bag* “Yeah, don’t worry about it.”

(When my boss came back, he told me that the older customer just didn’t want a woman doing something he could not.)

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