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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.

    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.”

    A Wee Bit Foreign, Part 2

    | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I am Scottish, and working the registers.)

    Me: “Hi, how are you today, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Pardon?”

    Me: “Uh, was just asking how you were going today.”

    Customer: “Wow, that’s a strong accent you have there. Are you working whilst backpacking or something?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I have lived here for the last 10 years now. Moved over here with my parents.”

    (I continue scanning and packing the customer’s items, while she just stares at me blankly.)

    Customer: “So, if you’ve been here so long, how come you still can’t talk properly?”

    Me: “Uh… I’m sorry, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Oh, it’s alright. Not your fault you’re a bit slow.”

    (After finishing the transaction in stunned silence, she thanks me and leaves with her items. I look over at my supervisor who heard the exchange.)

    Supervisor: “You always get the interesting ones, don’t you?”

    Related:
    A Wee Bit Foreign

    Straight-Talking Money

    | Spokane, WA, USA | Bigotry, Crazy Requests, Money

    (I am working the queue for a regional bank, when an absolutely furious customer calls in.)

    Caller: “I want to cancel my account RIGHT NOW!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. Can I get some information from you to pull up your account?”

    Caller: “Let me tell you WHY I am canceling my account. I went down to my branch today and do you know who you have working for you? A god-d*** [homophobic slur]. I refuse to do business with a bank who hires such immoral abominations against God! If you want to keep my business, you’ll have that flaming f** fired ASAP!”

    Me: “Ma’am, the federal law states we cannot discriminate against a person’s sexual preference. So, no, we will not fire him simply because he is a homosexual. Secondly, in order to close your account, you’ll need to go down to your local branch. There are some documents the law requires you to sign.”

    Caller: “This is bull-s***! Who do I talk to at the branch?”

    Me: “You’d speak to the manager… the gay manager. He’s the only one who can close your account.”

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