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.

Bigotry Is Not On The Menu

| New Orleans, LA, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Food & Drink, Top

(A few years ago I was working as a hostess in a restaurant. One night, two men come in and ask for a table. I lead them to an available one.)

Older Man: “We can’t sit at this table.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Is there something wrong?”

Older Man: “We just can’t sit here; move us somewhere else.”

(I’m confused, as the table I was seating them at was actually our most popular one. I start walking toward a manager to ask where I should move them, when the two young, clean, nicely-dressed men at the next table happen to get up to leave.)

Older Man: “It’s okay! We can sit here now!”

(I realize this guy assumed the two young men were gay, and could apparently not eat in their vicinity. I relate what happened to my (gay) manager and the (straight) server.)

Manager: “[Server], you’re only allowed to talk to these guys as if you’re the gayest person on this planet.”

(I will never forget the look of horror on the men’s faces when the server, a huge, beefy black man, started telling them the specials while sounding like a drag queen.)

Should Draw A Line In The Sanding Machines

| The Netherlands | Bigotry, Home Improvement

(I am a female employee at a hardware store. An older male customer comes to the service desk.)

Me: “Good afternoon, sir. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I just looked at the sanding machines.”

Me: “All right, so what would you like to know?”

Customer: “I just looked at the sanding machines.”

Me: “Yes, and what is your question exactly?”

(The guy just looks at me and repeats himself once more.)

Me: “Do you need any help?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “With what, exactly?”

Customer: “The sanding machines.”

Me: “What part about sanding machines exactly do you need help with?”

(The customer doesn’t answer my question and says, yet again:)

Customer: “I was just looking at the sanding machines.” *after a short pause, he says* “Is there anyone here who can help me find the right one?”

Me: “Oh, well, I can’t leave the register, as there is nobody else here to take care of that, but if you ask my colleague over there, he’ll be happy to help you.”

Customer: “Yes, he does look like he knows a little something about that.”

(My male colleague was just standing there, the only visible difference between me and him being that he’s a man. The customer also greatly emphasized the ‘he.’ The customer walked up to my colleague and right off the bat started telling him exactly what he was looking for.)

Racing To Prevent Theft

| CT, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Criminal/Illegal

(I work at a well-known ‘tween’ girl’s clothing store. I am half black, though I am very light-skinned, so most people just assume I’m white or Hispanic. During training, we’re taught about some of the common ways people shoplift, such as lining empty shopping bags with tinfoil. On this particular day, two black women come into my store carrying a number of shopping bags, at least two of which are empty and I can see tinfoil poking out of one. We are trained to be extra friendly and helpful to people we suspect of trying to shoplift. Since I am up front, I greet them.)

Me: “Good afternoon. Thanks for shopping at [Store]. May I help you find anything today?”

Customer: *brusquely* “I’m all set! Leave me alone!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, but please let me know if I can help you with anything.”

(I go back to folding jeans, but keep a close eye on the customers. I notice them getting abnormally close to the jeans display, as though they might try to knock them into the empty bag.)

Me: “Just so you know, we’re having a special on these jeans right now. If you buy two pairs, you get $10 to spend on a future purchase.”

Customer: “I told you I didn’t need any help! Why are you following me?!” *I haven’t moved at all throughout this interaction*

Me: “I was just trying to tell you about the sale we’re having.”

Customer: “You’re racist! I don’t see you following anyone else in the store. You think I’m shoplifting! Racist!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you I’m not racist.”

(At this point a coworker of mine, who is also black, but noticeably so, has come over, as has one of my managers.)

Manager: “Is there something I can help you with today?”

Customer: *storms out of the store in a huff*

Won’t Find Modern Software In Modern Society

| London, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry

Customer: “Hi, yeah, I’m interested in buying some of your software but I got to know one thing.”

Me: “Sure, we’ll try and help in any way we can.”

Customer: “F***, I’m glad to hear that. Now listen; you got any of them f*gs or tree-huggers working for you? I can’t buy from you if you have.”

Me: “Okay, sir, the religion or preferences of our staff is not up for discussion as it isn’t relevant to our software.”

Customer: “I f**king KNEW it! You’re the eighth firm I’ve called today!”

A Colorful Outburst

| Newport, KY, USA | Bigotry, Movies & TV

(At the box office, cashiers are required to repeat the name of the movie to the customer. This policy is now defunct because of the following exchange:)

Customer: “I want two for For Colored Girls.”

Me: *ringing it in* “All right, that’s two for For Colored Girls.”

(The customer then exploded into a twenty-minute tirade about how I, a white man, used the word ‘colored’ in front of her.)

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