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.

God Loves Little Boys Who Stand Up For Others

| Bath, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Top

(I and my seven-year-old son are shopping for a birthday present for a girl in his class. She’s asked for dressing up clothes or accessories so we get a wand, tiara, and jewellery. I also have our regular shopping in the trolley. We get to the tills and there’s at least a three person queue at each till. We join a queue and have waited a couple of minutes when my son puts the tiara on and waves the wand.)

Son: *in a “posh” voice* “I’m the Queen and I say this line should move faster!”

(I and a few others smile at his playfulness when a man in line at the next till yells at me.)

Man: “You can’t let your son do that. If he turns into a f****t it’ll be your fault.”

(Everyone stops and stares at him in horror whilst the cashiers call for a manager.)

Son: “What’s a f****t?”

Me: “It’s a nasty word that only nasty people use so you mustn’t say it.”

Man: “It means gay, kid.”

Son: “What’s gay?”

Man: “It means you’re bad and going to Hell for being evil.”

Me: “It’s when a man loves a man and a lady loves a lady.”

Son: “Oh, like Uncle James and Uncle Ian?”

Me: “Yep, just like Uncle James and Uncle Ian. They’re not bad, are they?”

(My brother is a paediatric oncologist and his partner is a paediatric nurse. We’ve tried to explain what cancer is and how my brother and his partner make children feel better when they’re poorly.)

Son: “My uncles make children better when they have poorly blood and poorly bones. If you make them go to Hell that means you want the children to be poorly.”

(The manager and a security guard turn up but my son looks this man in the eye and holds his stare.)

Son: “Do you want the children to be poorly? Do you want them to be sick and have to go to Heaven?”

(Everyone is now staring at my son. The man has gone red and is looking around.)

Manager: “Sir, I believe you’ve just been outwitted by a child. You should leave now and keep your disgusting views to yourself and out of my shop.”

(The manager offered to pay for our shopping but I declined. He did, however, offer my son a toy. He chose a dress for his friend’s present.)

Related:
God Loves Little Girls Who Stand Up For Others

Has An Asian Dissuasion

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words

(I work as an intern pharmacist at a pharmacy. Even though I’m still in school, I’m comfortable enough to consult patients on common prescriptions. A woman comes up to pick up some antibiotics and my supervising pharmacist asks me to consult with her on the medication. I am Asian, raised speaking Chinese, but born in Canada and moved to California when I was young, so I speak English and Chinese fluently.)

Woman: “Hi, I’m picking up for [Woman].”

(I find the prescription, and bring it to the counter.)

Me: “All right, I have it here. Have you ever taken this medication before?”

Woman: *screaming behind me at the pharmacist, who is white* “CAN I HAVE YOU HELP ME?”

Me: “Ma’am, I can help you.”

Woman: *still waving at the pharmacist*

(Giving up, I walk behind the counter, and tell my pharmacist what happened. She moves up to take care of the woman. I stay behind the counter, but I can still hear their conversation.)

Pharmacist: “How can I help you?”

Woman: “I’m just picking up my medication.”

(My pharmacist finishes the consultation as usual. When she finishes…)

Woman: *speaking at normal volume* “I don’t know why you have him back there. How do you know if he can even speak English?”

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, he speaks English fluently. He is a current pharmacy student.”

Woman: “But he’s Chinese. No one could understand his English.”

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, his English is fine. Just a good as mine.”

Woman: “I don’t think you should have him here…”

(She walks out like nothing happened. My pharmacist walks back behind the counter.)

Me: “What was she talking about?”

Pharmacist: “I don’t know. I guess she’s either new to the city or she never noticed how many Chinese people are in San Francisco.”

About To Get Charged With Battery, Part 5

| State College, PA, USA | Bigotry, Transportation

(I am the only female in the auto shop so I am used to people questioning my knowledge and judgment.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir. I need you to pull your car over to the parking spaces right over there. You can then come in and we will happy to wait on you.”

Customer: “No! I am not moving my car until you give me a free battery! You sold me a bad battery!”

Me: *thinking this could be quick* “I am so sorry to hear that, sir. I would be happy to test the battery. They are warranted for two to four years depending on the battery. If it is under warranty, a new one will be free. May I see your receipt, please?”

Customer: “I don’t have the d*** receipt! It was too long ago! I want a battery now!”

Me: “Well, I cannot do anything without a receipt. But I bet you do have it. There is a plastic pocket on the side of every battery we sell. We always put a duplicate receipt in that pocket. Let’s just take a look.”

(I look at the battery.)

Me: “Sir. This is not our battery. [Retail Store] has never sold this battery in any of its thousand chains across the United States. This is an economy battery that is sold at [Different Store]. We can do nothing for you except sell you a new battery.”

(The customer lets out a litany of swear words. I warn him about it so he agrees to look at batteries but refuses to move his car until I install it. We look at batteries and the cheapest one is $45. He goes nuts on this how we sell crap batteries that never last. I remind him we never sold him that battery. He also lets slip it is six years old.)

Me: “What I can do is charge up your battery for free. Now, that will only last a day to a week, depending. But that will give you time to gather money to get a new battery.”

Customer: “That would be so great! Thank you! Thank you! You are so nice!”

(It is policy that when we charge a battery, we check to see if it is good. The battery is good. It needs to be charged but it will hold a charge. So, I test the alternator. Sure enough, the alternator is bad.)

Me: “Sir. Good news is your battery is fine. Bad news is your alternator is bad.”

Customer: “What are you talking about? I just bought a new alternator! You guys sell crap junk! I don’t believe this! I want a new alternator. You do this just to rip people off.”

Me: “Well, sir. We don’t touch alternators except to test them, so we are not ripping anyone off. Go to any mechanic and they would charge for these tests I just did for free. My suggestion is, I will charge the battery but you need to get a new alternator.”

Customer: “No, I need to talk to a man who knows his business. You think because you have t**s you can rip people off. Get me a real mechanic. Alternators have nothing to do with batteries.”

Me: “Well, my t**s know more about alternators than you do. See the battery starts the car up but then it runs on the alternator. The battery is 12 volts and every time you start the car it drains it a little. A good alternator puts out 14 volts or more but you need at least 12 to keep the battery up. Yours is putting out 9 volts.”

Customer: “I just bought that alternator two years ago! I am getting ripped off!”

Me: “Sir, this car is possibly older than I am. So, you bought a reconditioned alternator. They usually only last two years if it was a cheap one.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I can’t afford… Wait a minute! I know! Let’s put some of those batteries from up in front of the store in it!”

Me: “What batteries?”

Customer: “You’re the expert, right? Well, you said if the battery was good and charged it would last for a little while. So I want to put those cheap batteries I saw up front when I came in.”

Me: “We don’t have any car batteries up front. They are too heavy to be constantly dragging back here. Can you show me what you mean?”

Me: *after following the customer up front* “Sir, which batteries? I don’t see any.”

Customer: “Right there!” *pointing*

Me: “Sir. These are 9-volt batteries meant for electronics.”

Customer: “Well, miss car expert, YOU said a car battery is 12 volts. So I want you to put two of those in my car and then it will be 18 volts and then maybe with the extra, it will charge my alternator up!”

Me: “I… I don’t even know how to respond to that.”

Related:
About To Get Charged With Battery, Part 4
About To Get Charged With Battery, Part 3
About To Get Charged With Battery, Part 2

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.)

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