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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.

    Ready To Bust His Pipes

    | Omaha, NE, USA | Bigotry, Home Improvement, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m a fairly petite, young looking woman, who grew up with three brothers, and a single father. I’m one of the better employees for plumbing help, because my dad made me learn.)

    Me: “Welcome to [store]; what’s the project today?”

    Customer: “My toilet leaks; I need one of your guys to help.”

    Me: “Let’s head to plumbing. Where is the leak from?”

    Customer: “I want one of the guys, and not some idiot girl.”

    Me: “Okay, I’ll radio one of them.”

    (A coworker responds, and I turn the customer over and go back to restocking. A few minutes later, the customer storms up.)

    Customer: “This is the stupidest hardware store! Where’s your manager?”

    Me: “Sir, I’m sorry; what’s the problem?”

    Customer: “I want your manager!”

    Me: “They’ll be in tomorrow morning.”

    (The customer stomps out. The next day, I’m in plumbing. I am helping one of our regular contractors, when yesterday’s cranky customer returns.)

    Customer: “I want your manager!”

    (The cashier radio calls them, and the owner actually responds first.)

    Owner: “What’s the problem?”

    Customer: “You have idiots working here! They can’t help in plumbing!”

    (The owner gestures to me.)

    Owner: “Sir, she is one of our plumbing experts, and was on last night.”

    Customer: “I know that no idiot girl can help!”

    (The contractor walks up.)

    Contractor: “Watch your mouth! She is the best help you can get without calling a professional!”

    Customer: “NO! Girls should be cashiers, and flirt with customers!”

    Owner: “Sir, you’ll have to leave.”

    Customer: “You can’t make me!”

    Me: “Sir. I have two police officer brothers, a correctional officer father, a jujitsu trainer brother, and my martial arts training. You are leaving. By your choice or by force.”

    (For a few moments, the customer contemplates if it’s worth the fight, but ultimately decides against it.)

    Contractor: “Man, you ruin all my fun by giving him a choice!”

    Owner: “Don’t encourage her. She isn’t in the gym, so she can’t go dislocating elbows here.”

    Contractor: “Now both of you are ruining my fun!” *leaves*

    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.)

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