November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

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.

Lost In Stupid Translation

| RTX, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words

(My husband and I have been fighting for the past few days, so when I come in for my shift, I’m not in the best of moods. There is a customer there, that is known for being difficult, harassing my coworker who is Hispanic and has a slight accent, but speaks perfect English.)

Customer: *speaking loud and slow* “I said I want to use my coupon for 10% off this item.”

Coworker: “Yes, ma’am, but I need to see the coupon. It has a code I need to type in.”

Customer: *still doing the loud and slow bit* “Coupon! Do you know what that is? Habla English?” *turns to her husband* “I have no idea why they even hire these illegals.”

Coworker: *angry and in tears* “I cannot give you the 10% without a coupon.”

Me: *doing the slow and loud bit to the customer* “She said you need the coupon here.” *makes a hand gesture of pointing to my hand* “She can’t do magic and make up a code that is on the piece of paper you call a coupon. Do you understand?”

Customer: *angrily* “Why are you talking to me like that? Yes, I understand.”

Me: “Are you sure? I was worried you didn’t understand what with talking the way you were.”

Customer: “I can’t understand her f****** language! She needs to learn to speak like us.”

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t speak stupid here. It’s hard enough dealing with it.” *mimicking coworker while handing them their bags* “Thank you and have a nice day.”

(I expected to get written up, but the customer’s husband was laughing so hard she stalked out and left him there.)

An Inuidiot

| Anchorage, AK, USA | Bigotry

(I help man several booths in downtown Anchorage during the summer that sell various jewelry, wood carvings, and ulu knives, all handmade by native Alaskans. Today I’m with one of the jewelry makers who is explaining the history behind each stone she uses while demonstrating how she crafts each piece.)

Customer: “So all of this is made by you? Made by a native Alaskan?”

Jewelry Lady: “Yep, every one.”

Customer: “So you’re, like, an actual Eskimo?”

Jewelry Lady: *laughs* “I’m Inupiat actually but otherwise yes, I’m as native as you can get around here.”

(The customer cocks his head as if confused.)

Customer: “Man, you talk really eloquently for a druggie! I mean aren’t you all supposed to be stoned out of your heads all the time?”

(I stare at the man incredulously. My jewelry lady gets a very smug smile on her face.)

Jewelry Lady: “Oh, give me time. The idea sounds better and better with every customer I get like yourself.”

You Mexi-Can’t Say Things Like That

| FL, USA | Bigotry, Tourists/Travel

(I work for a third-party passport expediting company. A customer calls me PANICKING because she has a trip coming up the very next day to go to Mexico, and she just now realized she needs a passport. As we discuss her options, it becomes apparent that she does not have the documentation necessary to even obtain a passport.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but without the necessary documentation you cannot get a passport. And you must have a passport to travel internationally.”

Caller: “But… come on! Is anyone really going to ID me? I’m white.”

Faker Moaning About Faking

| Devon, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Criminal/Illegal, Health & Body

(I use a wheelchair. The shop has customer wheelchairs marked very clearly with the name of the centre the shop is in. I’m supposed to be working on tills, but due to being short staffed, I’m helping out with stacking the shelves.)

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “I was wondering if I could use that wheelchair?”

(I assume she meant a wheelchair, rather than the one I’m currently sitting in.)

Me: “Of course. If you head over to the door, the security guy there can get one for you.”

Customer: “You want me to walk over?”

Me: “I’ll go and ask him. Feel free to take a seat, if it’s more comfortable for you.”

Customer: “No, it’s fine, thanks. I guess I’ll go ask myself. I mean, if I have to use one of those ugly things.”

Me: “Yeah, they’re not the best are they? But it’s really no trouble for me to go over there, if you want me to.”

(The customer shakes her head, and sits on one of the stacking stools, Maybe ten minutes later, she’s still sitting there, and all I’ve got left to shelve are things that are usually way above my head. Since I’m having a pretty good day, I figure what the hell, and start standing for short periods of time so shelve the lighter stuff, something I’m more than capable of doing.)

Customer: “How dare you!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “How dare you sit around in that chair all day, and then start standing up with boxes just like anyone else? People like you make my life so much harder, you know that?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what—”

Customer: “I have an invisible disability. People like you who go around faking for sympathy and making everyone think I’m a faker too.”

Me: “I have an invisible disability. Hence the chair.”

Customer: “Well, then you shouldn’t be standing up, should you?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but… you walked into the shop.”

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

Me: “You don’t?”

Customer: “I want to speak to your manager.”

(I radioed my manager over. She took a while to get there, so I carried on shelving. While I’m standing up, and my back is turned, the customer took my wheelchair and vanished off into the shop. At a loss for what to do, I took the stool she vacated and waited for my manager to show up, while the security guy at the door – visible from my aisle – took off after the woman. I sat there for almost an hour until security finally tracked the woman down in another shop in the centre. They tried for a while to get her to give my chair back, all while she accused them of discrimination, saying they think she’s an idiot who can’t tell the difference between a centre chair and mine because she’s disabled. Eventually, once security had radioed police, she gave it back. She was still sitting on the floor, yelling about fakers ruining her life, when the police arrived.)

His Place In The World Is An Asylum

| Edmonton, AB, Canada | Bigotry, Bizarre

(I’m making a call over the intercom requesting that a customer remove their car from a no parking zone. My coworkers like to make fun of me, since it’s become my personal mission to make sure nobody parks there. My coworker is serving a seemingly normal gentleman at the time.)

Customer: “You know, you ladies should be changing the world!”

Coworker: “Yeah, [My Name], and it starts with you getting that vehicle to move!”

(We both laugh, but the customer goes on.)

Customer: “I’m serious! We all have our place in the world. You know, us white people, we’re supposed to protect the water.”

(At this point, we realize he’s completely serious.)

Customer: “And the Africans? They protect the animals. And the brown people? You know, like the Aboriginals and the, uh, Middle Eastern people? Well, they’re always fighting over land, so I think they’re supposed to protect the land!”

(My coworker and I are speechless. The customer continues.)

Customer: “And the yellow people! You know, the Asians? Well they’re supposed to feed us all!”

(The customer continues on his rant, saying things I can’t quite catch, and then leaves.)

Coworker: *to me* “Why do we only get the weird ones when we work together?”