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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.

    How The Cookie Crumbles, Part 2

    | Welches, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids

    (I am in line to get cookies for my second grade class that I teach for the last day of the semester. I am rather thin, have blonde hair that’s very long and dyed, and I have high heels. I am speaking to the clerk.)

    Me: “Hey, can I get these for my class?”

    (I’m pointing to a selection of pink writing icing. The customer behind me suddenly speaks up.)

    Customer: “Stupid blonde w****!”

    (The clerk and I look at him.)

    Clerk: “Please don’t use that language in here, sir.”

    Customer: “What? She is! Oh, little miss b****, what’ve you got there?”

    (The customer points to my grocery bag.)

    Customer: “Oh, let me guess! Lipstick and eye makeup, and daft things to go in your sissy blonde hair! Skinny underwear, and big bras, tampons and oh—let me guess, a massive box of condoms!”

    Me: “Listen to me. Firstly, this is not my real hair. I’m actually a ginger, but to avoid confusion with another person at work, I dyed it blonde. Secondly, I’m buying cookies for my second graders. Thirdly, I am a virgin and have a Bachelor’s Degree. Fourth, although I am about to marry someone, I am, like I said, a virgin.”

    (The customer walks out without buying anything. By the way, my class enjoyed the cookies!)

    Related:
    How The Cookie Crumbles

    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 9

    | Orange County, CA, USA | Bigotry

    (I’m super early for a job interview, so I decide to waste time in a nearby retail store. I’m in the electronic section playing on one of the video game displays. This place’s employees wear very distinct outfits. I’m wearing a black suit with a blue and black tie, and a blue dress shirt. A customer walks up to me holding a pair of headphones.)

    Customer: “Excuse me. Can you tell me the price of these?”

    (I ignore the customer, thinking he is talking to someone else.)

    Customer: “EXCUSE ME! CAN YOU TELL ME THE PRICE OF THESE!?”

    Me: “What makes you think I work here?”

    Customer: “Because you look like you work here.”

    (I see two white women walking by, wearing the company’s uniform. I point at them.)

    Me: “Why don’t you go ask them for help? They work here.”

    Customer: “They don’t work here. They look too well off to work here. Only black people would work here. This job is perfect for them! Now help me, d*** it!”

    (Me being black, the two employees come over and intervene before I lose my cool. I decide to just leave the store. The customer is still shouting at me.)

    Customer: “You work here and you know it!”

    Related:
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 8
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 7
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 6
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 5

    Chose A Bad Example For A Bad Example

    | AL, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Top

    (Customer #1 is a young woman, with two children under the age of three. Customer #2 has a daughter around age 12. Customer #1 is checking out.)

    Customer #2: “How can you live with yourself? Having two children at your age? You’re a disgrace! I bet my tax dollars are paying for those groceries! People like you shouldn’t be allowed to shop here. You’re a bad example for my daughter!”

    Customer #1: “Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m 27. I went to a private college with a scholarship, graduated, and then became a kindergarten teacher. After teaching for two years I got married, then had kids, and my husband makes enough saving lives as a firefighter and a paramedic that I am able to stay at home with our kids. Now if that’s being a bad example for your daughter, I would love to see what you consider a good example!”

    Customer #2: “Uh, well you didn’t look old enough to… um…”

    Customer #1: “I’m going to take that as compliment that living right has kept me looking young.”

    Body Language Lost In Translation

    | OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Liars & Scammers, Top

    (One of our new employees is dealing with a customer who is clearly angry, and is being physically aggressive and threatening. We are on the verge of calling security, but we can see that our new employee is still very calm. We hit the button when we see the customer lunge at her, despite the fact that she doesn’t react at all, and just stares at him. I run over to see what’s wrong.)

    Me: “Hi there, I’m the manager. Is there a problem I can help with?”

    Customer: “This white b**** won’t give me the sale price!”

    (The customer waves a sale leaflet from one of our competitors in my face.)

    New Employee: *still very calm* “I tried to tell him that isn’t our flyer, and we don’t even have that item, but he doesn’t seem interested in hearing that.”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me, you b****! You just don’t want me to get this great price!”

    New Employee: “Sir, I have two things to say. Firstly, that flyer is from last year—”

    Customer: “How the f*** do you know?!”

    New Employee: “Because, it’s for a summer sale, and it is currently February. Second, if we had that item at a great price and you wanted it but could not find it, I would do my best to track it down in-store for you. If we didn’t have it here, I would call other stores for you. The simple truth is that we don’t carry that particular item.”

    Customer: “How the f*** do you know?”

    New Employee: “Because, sir, it’s an adult novelty, and this is a children’s clothing store.”

    (Security arrives and escorts the customer out of the store.)

    Me: “I don’t know how you were able to stay so calm! You almost sounded bored! I don’t think your expression changed the entire time!”

    New Employee: “Oh, I have a lot of trouble with body language. I figured out a long time ago that when I get confused, it’s better not to respond at all, because usually I laugh and it makes them angry.”

    (She’s now one of our area supervisors, and is actually better at handling the rare aggressive customer we get than our security team. This is because, apparently, a person who can’t be intimidated makes people uncomfortable.)

    Ironic That She Wants A RACE Car

    | Barrie, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Top

    (I work at a fast food establishment that gives out toys with their kids meals. This particular month, we have dolls, or toy cars. There are four dolls in the set; two are white, one is Asian, and one is black. On this day, we only have the black doll in stock.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, I’d like a different doll, please.”

    Me: “Sorry, those are the only dolls we have available right now.”

    Customer: “Are you sure? I can see one right there.”

    (The customer points to the toy display case.)

    Me: “Those are for display only, sorry.”

    Customer: “Open your f****** case, and get me another doll! I don’t want my daughter playing with some n***** doll!”

    Me: “I’m sorry; we really don’t have any other doll. If you like, hang on to it, and come back next week when we get our new toys. You can switch it then.”

    Customer: “Not good enough; I want a manager!”

    (I go into the back, and explain to a black staffer—who happens to be built like a tank—what is happening. I ask him to go up front and pretend to be the manager.)

    Coworker: “My employee explained the situation. What would you like me to do about it?”

    Customer: *turns red and looks completely terrified* “I’d like to switch this for a car, please?”

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