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    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.

    A Blockhead’s Calling

    | OR, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Technology

    (I am working in a call center providing customer care support for a major wireless provider.)

    Me: “Thank you for being the best part of [Company]. My name is [Name]. With whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with this evening?”

    Caller: “[Caller's Name].”

    Me: “Alright, and I see that you’ve already verified through our automated system. Thank you very much for that. And what can I help you with tonight?”

    Caller: “I want to know how to block calls.”

    Me: “Alright, I can certainly help you out with that. I see here that you’re using an iPhone 4s; iOS 7 has the—

    Caller: “No, I just want to block calls. I keep getting texts from someone who apparently knew whoever had this number before me, and they won’t stop. I just want to block the messages.”

    Me: “I understand that, sir, and I was just trying to go over all your options for doing so. As I was saying, iOS 7 has the built-in ability to block calls. Alternatively, our block-call feature has the ability to block calls. That normally costs $4.99 a month, but there is a 90 day free trial for that.”

    Caller: “You mean you charge me nine-f********-ninety-nine to f****** block calls?!?”

    Me: “Well, sir, that was $4.99, but yes, that is a feature we do charge for.”

    Caller: “Is there a supervisor I can speak to?”

    Me: “I can certainly get you our next level of support, but I’ll need to place you on a brief hold while I get them on the line.”

    Caller: “You do that.”

    (Before I can place him on hold, he decides to make a comment to someone in the background, without moving the phone away.)

    Caller: “Stupid f****** hick must be real happy with his f****** call center job.”

    (I decide to respond in the most polite tone I can muster.)

    Me: “Well, sir, I wouldn’t say I enjoy it, but it does pay the bills. Let me put you on that hold, now, so I can get you our next level support.”

    (The caller hung up before I could get a manager on the line, and he didn’t answer when the manager tried to call him back. I can’t imagine why…)

    Giving You Hell(sinki)

    | London, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Language & Words, Money

    (I work in retail, but my shift is over and I am sitting at a café near my work place reading a newspaper. A regular customer of my store, who is always rude and demanding, approaches me. It should be very clear to anyone that I’m not working at the moment, but it doesn’t seem to bother her at all.)

    Customer: “I’ve been meaning to ask about your name. Why do you have such an unusual name?”

    Me: “It’s a Finnish name.”

    Customer: “What does that mean?”

    Me: “Finland, the country.”

    Customer: “Why would you have a Finnish name? Were your parents hippies or something? No wonder you can’t get ahead in life.”

    (I ignore the insult, since I’ve seen her throw tantrums from the smallest provocation.)

    Me: “My parents are Finns, as am I.”

    Customer: “You are not from Finland! You don’t have an accent and you don’t look foreign!”

    Me: “Well thank you, but I really am from Finland.”

    Customer: “I should have known! You’re here to leech off our welfare!”

    Me: “You’ve seen me working, right?”

    Customer: “So what? Why would you come here if not for the benefits?!”

    Me: “Not that it’s any of your business, but my whole family is living here for a year because of my father’s work. My father wanted that I and my brother come along, even though we haven’t lived with our parents for a few years now. He just wanted us to have the experience and to be near us. He pays for our rent and expenses, but my brother and I decided to get jobs because we know that he is really stretching his funds to make this happen.”

    Customer: “A simple question, how much do you get in government hand outs in a month?”

    Me: “I haven’t asked for or received a single penny from the British government. And furthermore, if I wanted to live on benefits I would have been better off staying in Finland.”

    Customer: “Liar! Finland is a third world communist country and you are all too lazy to do anything about it. You should be trying to better yourself in your homeland, to help it out of the hole it has gotten itself into, not run away to live on OUR money! That’s why you are here, I know it! I am the customer! I’m coming to call your shop tomorrow to make a complaint about you!”

    (I want to avoid her coming to the store to complain, because no one wants to deal with her rage fits.)

    Me: “Okay, you are right. I’m here to take your tax money and jobs as well. I’m sorry about that, but you know how things are in Finland. We would have starved over there, or we might have been put into prison for our anti-communist views.”

    Customer: “Well, I guess it’s understandable in some cases. At least you had the decency to learn our language!”

    (She suddenly cheered up and offered to buy me coffee. I declined because I couldn’t think of a more hellish situation than having coffee with her. After that, she always asked for the foreign boy, meaning me, when she came to the store. She was still the rudest and most demanding customer. Lucky me.)

    The Engendered Confusion, Part 2

    | St. Paul, MN, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m in my hometown, babysitting my three-month-old nephew while my brother gets some much-needed sleep. I live on campus nearby, but because I look much younger than I am people tend to assume I’m still in high school. I’m picking up some groceries with my nephew when an older woman grabs my arm.)

    Older Woman: “You ought be be ashamed of yourself! How dare you!”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Older Woman: “Parading your little b*****d around like it’s no big deal to get pregnant and drop out!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t drop out. I—”

    Older Woman: “Don’t you lie to me, you stupid b****! I’ll have you thrown out of the store!”

    (My nephew begins to cry.)

    Older Woman: “See, look at what an incompetent mother you are! You’re just letting him cry without—”

    Me: “Listen, lady: I don’t know what your problem is, but making my nephew cry because you’re screaming at me is not okay. Even if he was my kid, do you really think it’s okay to yell at a stranger because they may or may not have made a choice you disagree with?”

    (As I say this, I can see the store manager, a close family friend, approach to see what the fuss is about.)

    Older Woman: “I can’t believe you! I’m going to get the manager and he’s going to teach you about respecting your elders, and maybe he’ll teach you to keep your legs closed!”

    Manager: “Don’t bother. You…” *points at her* “…get out of my store, NOW.”

    Older Woman: “I am a paying customer! You cannot—”

    Manager: “I can and I will, and unless you want the police to get involved, you’ll leave now.”

    Older Woman: “This little b****—”

    Manager: “—first of all, is a GUY, and second of all, is on the honor roll at [University], and third, is my son’s best friend and grandson’s babysitter.”

    (At this, the older woman turns red and leaves without buying anything. My nephew stops crying almost immediately.)

    Me: “Thanks, Mr. [Name].”

    Manager: “No problem, kiddo.” *grins* “It was kinda fun getting to yell at her. I’ve just got one question.”

    Me: “Yeah?”

    Manager: “Did she seriously think you were a teenage mother?”

    Me: *shrugs* “Some people…”

    Related:
    The Engendered Confusion

    A Sunny Disposition Vs. Unyielding Opposition

    | BC, Canada | Bigotry, Extra Stupid, Technology

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Company], Mindy speaking. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Well, MINDY, why the f*** isn’t my TV working?”

    Me: “I have no idea. Let’s get a look at you account and see. Account number or phone number, please?”

    Caller: *gives info* “Took long enough to get through. I waited here for over and hour!”

    Me: “Thanks for the account info. Sorry about the long waits; we had some challenges earlier with certain equipment. Can you tell me what is happening on the screen of your TV when your PVR is on?”

    Caller: “Wait, are you qualified for this?”

    Me: “Yes, I am absolutely trained and ready to help out with your issue. It is actually a pretty easy fix, likely.”

    Caller: “Are you sure you don’t need to transfer me to Tech?”

    Me: “No, I am Tech.”

    Caller: “A chick tech? Well, okay, but I hate wasting my time with people like you. It’s frozen… some grey and blue boxes.”

    Me: “Thanks for the info. It is an easy fix like I suspected. Can you please disconnect the power cord from the PVR for about 15 seconds, and then plug it back in?”

    Caller: “I’ve already done that a couple times, you know, because I’m not an idiot!”

    Me: “Oh, okay. Well, let’s try it again. Let me know when it is unplugged and I’ll check some things on my end while it is unplugged.”

    Caller: “Seriously?” *sighs* “Okay. It’s unplugged.”

    (I check his connection, and notice he’s still online.)

    Me: “Oh, that’s weird. It seems like it is still online on my end. Are all of the lights off of the front of the box?”

    Caller: “No.”

    Me: “Oh, then it seems like you probably accidentally pulled the HDMI cord, not the power. Pull the power at the very right hand edge.”

    (At this, I see the box go off.)

    Me: “Awesome, thanks! Plug it back in now and let me know when the time shows.”

    Caller: “Okay, the time is showing.”

    Me: “Great! Let’s power it back on and see if everything is working. It all looks good on my end.”

    Caller: “Yeah, it seems to be working.”

    Me: “Awesome! Anything else I can help with tonight?”

    Caller: “God, I f***ing hate when you you people say that! There are lots of things in my life I need help with, you stupid b****!”

    Me: “Are any of those things issues with your Cable or Internet service?”

    Caller: “No.”

    Me: “Then I guess I’ve done my job! Thanks!” *click*

    Skating Past Bigotry Into Racism

    | London, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Crazy Requests

    (I work in a skateboard shop. I’m female and have been working on skateboards from the age of 15. A teenage black male customer approaches my coworker and me. My coworker is also black.)

    Customer: “Yo, can you get out here and put fresh tape on my board?”

    Me: “Oh I’ll be happy to do that for you! Did you want a design or logo cut out? I just did this one; it looks pretty good.”

    Customer: “I ain’t having a girl touch my board. I want somebody who knows what they’re actually doing, not a woman!”

    Coworker: “Actually, she’s probably the quickest and neatest taper here, and watch your attitude.”

    Customer: “Nah man, I’m not having some b**** wreck my board!”

    Coworker: “Right, that’s it. Get out of my shop.”

    Customer: “What?! No way. You can’t kick me out because I’m black.”

    Coworker: *gestures to self* “It’s hardly because you’re black, is it? It’s because you’re insulting staff. Get out.”

    Customer: “That’s discrimination! I’m going to sue you!”

    (The customer leaves, ranting all the way out the door about how girls shouldn’t work in skate shops and he’s going to sue us for discriminating on race.)

    Coworker: “Yeah, good luck with that, mate.”

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