Featured Story:
  • Always Time For A Rhyme
    (2,183 thumbs up)
  • 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.

    French Disconnection

    | Quebec City, QC, Canada | Bigotry, Geography, History, Language & Words, Top

    (I’m a customer in a very small boutique that specializes in selling Quebec-made items. It is a slow day and I am alone with the shop owner who helps me choose a gift. A man storms in and goes straight to the owner with a really angry face. The owner sees him and welcomes him in French.)

    Owner: “Bonjour, Monsieur. Comment puis-je vous aider?” *Hi, sir. How can I help you?*

    Customer: *loud and angrily* “ENGLISH! Do you even speak it?”

    Owner: “Of course, sir! How are you today and how can I help you?”

    Customer: “Finally! Someone who’s speaking English! I don’t know what the h*** is going on but everyone in this f***** town is speaking some kind of weird gibberish!”

    Owner: “Actually, they are speaking French, sir, as do most people in the province of Quebec.”

    Customer: “What the h***?! We are not in f***** France! This is America and people speaks god d*** American! I don’t understand what the fuss is about! Is this some kind of a weird hipster thing? Young people trying to be cool or whatever?!”

    Owner: “I’m sorry, sir. Is there anything I can do to help you today?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I’m looking for a poutine recipe book. Do you have any?”

    Owner: “Of course! Right this way, sir.”

    Customer: “Why do people want to speak French anyway? It is a dead language like Latin or Greek. We are in America and America is for American speakers! We don’t need no foreigners to come here and bring their weird language. And you shouldn’t encourage them by greeting American customers, in America, with any other language than American!”

    Owner: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can no longer pretend that what you are saying is not wrong. Just so you know, people are speaking in French because Quebec was colonized by France more than 400 years ago. Quebec City is actually the oldest city in North America and has always been French. That is why everything from the street names to the billboards are in French! The Canadian dollar you’re holding is in both languages. Even the name poutine is French! Did you do any research before coming here?”

    Customer: *hesitating* “Well, yeah! But the brochure was in English! How was I supposed to know that poutine was a French word. We have that in New York!”

    Owner: “First of all, you can find pretzels in New York and those are German, or gelato which is Italian! It just proves that languages get mixed and influenced with time. That is also why there are cities in the United States that have French names, such as Baton Rouge or Des Moines! Those are all proofs that the French were present in North America hundreds of years ago! H***! Even the term ‘brochure’ is French!”

    Customer: “That is irrelevant! You are all just lazy for not learning American! You live in the past, holding to some old bull-s*** language!”

    Owner: “Well, I AM speaking English! And, by the way, it is ‘English’ and not ‘American’ because that language originated from England and not America. But I am also speaking French. How many languages do you speak?”

    Customer: “I speak English and English only! I don’t need to know any other language!”

    Owner: “Who’s being lazy, then?”

    A Bad Hair Day

    | FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Health & Body, Top

    (It is Christmas Eve. I have just finished a very difficult 13-hour shift, with a 2-hour commute to the small town I live just outside of. I am picking up milk. My hair is cropped short, and though I am very skinny, my uniform is shapeless except for the back brace I am wearing. As I get in line, a very drunk customer behind me turns to another customer.)

    Drunk Customer: “Can you believe this [lesbian slur]? Look at her! She can at least clean herself up before coming into our town! What a fat useless c***! She’s wearing a d*** girdle! Ha! That fat will melt right off when she goes to Hell!”

    (The drunk customer continues berating the way I look, and throwing insults over his shoulder. Finally I have had enough. I set my milk on the conveyor belt and spin around to face the man.)

    Me: “Let’s get a few things straight! First, this is a back brace, not a girdle! I wear it because I was born with a deformed pelvis and spine, and I can very easily paralyze myself with improper body mechanics. Secondly, I have been with my MALE fiancé for five years. But at least you are right about one thing. I would look a h*** of a lot better with my hair long. I used to have long, beautiful, full curls. So beautiful, in fact, my six-year-old niece would cry every time I visited her because she lost all of her hair when she started chemo for her leukemia. So for Christmas, I cut off all of my long feminine curls and have had them made into a wig so she doesn’t have to feel ugly when she goes to school. I just thank God she lives two towns over, because after what you’ve said about me, I can’t imagine what you and the rest of the people here like you would say to a sad, sick little girl!”

    (The next time I went back to pick up a few things, the manager approached me. It turned out the entire staff had donated to my niece’s cancer treatment!)

    That’s Racism In Black And White

    | SD, USA | Bigotry

    (The company hires in groups and trains people in a class like settings. After a month of training we’re finally let out on the phones.)

    Coworker: “Hello. Thank you for calling [Company Name] Customer Care. This is [Name]. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “Oh my gosh! I’m so happy to finally be talking to a white person!”

    (My coworker is Native American and Indian!)

    Pot Calling The Kettle Everything

    | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bigotry, Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (I work in a South American restaurant that tends to get a lot of Asian customers. Since I’m fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Khmer [Cambodian], and Tagalog [Philippines], I’m often called on to serve customers who don’t speak English. A group of seven customers come in.)

    Customer #1: *obviously struggling* “Can… I… has this?”

    Me: *taking a guess* *Mandarin* “Would you be more comfortable in Mandarin?”

    Customer #2: *Korean* “Stupid Mexicans. Can’t even tell the difference between a Korean and a Chinese man.”

    Me: *Korean* “I apologize, ma’am. I guessed based on [Customer #1]‘s accent and it seems I was wrong. Can I take your order now?”

    Customer #3: *English* “No. I want to talk to your manager.”

    (I go back to get the manager, who is Peruvian.)

    Manager: “Can I help you?

    Customer #3: “Yes. I want to complain about your Mexican waiter’s horribly racist demeanor.”

    Manager: “How was he being racist? He’s usually very culturally sensitive.”

    Customer #4: “You Mexicans are all the same, never bothering to think that maybe there are more types of Asians than just Chinese people.”

    Manager: “First of all, your waiter is from Puerto Rico. I’m from Peru. So maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to complain about being unable to differentiate ethnicity.”

    Customer #3: “I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”

    (Sighing, my manager assigns a Chinese-American waiter to them. He can only speak English and ends up having to have customers 3 and 4 translate for the rest of their table in order to get their order. Amazingly, they never complained about the difficulty in ordering.)

    Extra Small Minded

    | Calgary, AB, Canada | Bigotry, Extra Stupid

    (I work for a very well-known clothing store that caters to plus sized women. The smallest size is 14W. A very skinny woman walks into the store.)

    Me: “Hi, there! How can I help you today? Are you shopping for a gift?”

    Customer: “No. I am shopping for myself today.”

    Me: “Alright. Just so you know, we are a size 14+ store. We do have some nice accessories. May I help you find anything?”

    Customer: “No. I just want to look around.”

    (The customer wanders off. I start puttering around, cleaning some things, as we are slow. A few minutes later I notice her holding a top and wandering around looking a bit confused.)

    Me: “Hey. Is there anything I can help you find?”

    Customer: “Where are your smaller sizes?”

    Me: “I’m sorry. As I mentioned earlier the smallest size we carry is 14 wide, or extra large.”

    Customer: “But where are the SMALLER sizes?”

    Me: “Again, I’m sorry. We do not carry small sizes.”

    Customer: “Yes, yes. But where do you keep the smaller sizes?”

    Me: “Miss, I’m sorry. I don’t know how else to explain this to you. [Store] is plus-sized retail chain. We make clothes for women who look like me.”

    (I gesture to my size 24 figure. All of a sudden a look of realization comes into the woman’s eyes. She looks around as if seeing the other employees, customers, and myself for the first time.)

    Customer: “Wait. This is a store for FATTIES?”

    (The customer drops the shirt she’d been holding as if it’s going to burn her and storms out. I just stand there, totally stunned. A few customers shoot the skinny woman dirty looks.)

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