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.

Birthright Is Wrong

| Australia | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Language & Words

Customer: “Oh! What an interesting accent! Which country are you from?”

Me: “Thank you. I was born here, but my dad is Northumbrian, so I have a bit of his accent.”

Customer: “So when did you arrive in Australia?”

Me: “I never left. I was born here.”

Customer: “No, that’s impossible. I don’t think you were. In fact, I KNOW you weren’t.”

Me: “So, it’s impossible for my mother to have me in Australia with my dad, who migrated from the UK and has a strong accent that I picked up?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I was born here in Australia, ma’am.”

Customer: “Oh, you keep thinking that.” *winks and leaves the store*

Please Be Civil To Partnerships

| Bury St. Edmunds, England, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Top

(I’m male. I’m chatting away to Customer #1 whilst scanning her items. We are talking about cakes.)

Customer #1: “My husband doesn’t like the walnut one.”

Me: *laughing* “Nor does my boyfriend. It means I can eat as much as I want in front of him and not have to sha—”

Customer #1: “Your boyfriend? That’s disgusting. I didn’t realise [Company] hired your type!”

(At this point, Customer #2, a sweet little old lady who has been waiting in the queue, speaks up.)

Customer #2: “You leave him alone! He’s been nothing but helpful and you were happy to chat to him when you thought he was straight. Besides, I’ve seen him and his boyfriend in town, and he’s bloody gorgeous!”

Customer #1: “Well! I never!”

(She pays and flounces away.)

Customer #2: *to me* “You tell that boyfriend of yours that I think you two look very happy together and may you be together a long time.”

Me: “Thank you! I will!”

(Months later, when my boyfriend and I decided to get a civil partnership, Customer #2 screamed with joy when I told her!)

Not Skirting Around The Issue

| Lake George, NY, USA | Awesome Workers, Bigotry, Spouses & Partners

(An older customer, maybe in his 50s, walks in to my female clothing store.)

Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

Customer: “Don’t worry. I’m not a cross-dresser or anything. I’m just looking for my wife”

(He says the first half in a very derogatory tone of voice.)

Me: *smiles sweetly* “Well, if it’s any consolation, I think you’d look great in a skirt!”

(The customer glares at me and leaves!)

Fixed With A Male-To-Female Adaptor

| ON, Canada | Bigotry, Technology

(I work tech support at an inbound call center for a fairly large ISP. A lot of customers get transferred by sales agents when they select the wrong option. I’m female.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can we help you?”

Elderly Caller: “Oh, hello, dear. I’m just waiting for a tech support man.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m tech support! How can I help?”

Elderly Caller: “Oh no, no, honey. I’m sure there will be a tech support man along to help me shortly. I don’t mind waiting on hold.”

(After a few minutes of attempting to get her information and assuring I can help, I finally resolve the issue and we say goodbye. A few hours later I get an email from a coworker who had spoken to the same woman. He transcribed a message she insisted get to me that read as follows:)

Message: “Please tell [my Name] that she fixed all the problems I had and I didn’t mean to be rude. I didn’t even know women were allowed to work tech support so it’s not my fault!”

Telltale Sign of A Good Teller

| OH, USA | Bigotry, Money

(I am only 19 when I start working for a large financial institution. After almost two years experience with the bank, at 21, I am still the youngest employee in the branch. I am working in the lobby with another teller who has just transferred into a branch after her position was eliminated in the back office, since she was within a year of retirement age.)

Me: *to customer waiting in line* “Hi. How are you doing today? What can I help you with?”

Customer: “I have a question about this transaction. I think I should probably wait for the other teller.”

Me: “Are you sure? I would be more than happy to help you with your transaction.”

Customer: “I think the other teller would be able to help with this. I don’t think you would know the answer. She’s been here longer so knows more than you do.”

Me: “If you would prefer to wait for [coworker], you are more than welcome to.”

(My coworker is still trying to get used to our DOS based system. I proceed to help the next four customers waiting in line. By the time the customer goes to my coworker’s window, I am just finishing up with the fifth and last customer in the line.)

Customer: “I have a question about a transaction that was on my overdraft protection account. Can you look into what happened?”

Coworker: “[My Name], how do I look that up?”

Me: “Go into [system acronym] and type in the command [more acronyms]. The account summary will be the first screen and the history is on the next.”

(The customer stares silently.)

Me: “I guess I would have been able to help you after all, sir.”

(At least he had the good sense to look a bit sheepish after that.)

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