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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.

    Small Minded People

    | Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids

    (I am a dwarf, and need a stool to be seen clearly. From the till, I can pass as an average-height person. A customer and her small child approach.)

    Customer: “Do you have any woollen gloves?”

    Me: “Sure, we keep more stuff in the back. I’ll go and check for you.”

    (I step down from my stool, and come out from behind the counter. The customer is surprised, and takes a step back, taking her child’s hand. Despite being hurt by her reaction, I make myself smile. I head to the back room, where I can hear her son.)

    Child: “What was that, mum?”

    Customer: “Shush! Don’t stare. He’s just a midget; he won’t hurt you. He didn’t eat his greens, that’s all.”

    (I come back through with a box of gloves.)

    Me: “Sorry, I couldn’t help overhearing. Midget isn’t the most ‘PC’ term to use. Personally, I prefer dwarf; it’s different for everyone. Midget is definitely offensive for most though.”

    (The customer looks at me wide-eyed, saying nothing. I gesture to the box for her to look through.)

    Me: “You’ll probably find something in there. We have quite a lot of—”

    Customer: “Is it okay if you go back behind the counter? You know, for my son?”

    (Quite speechless, I go back behind the counter, and on to the stool. My manager decides to intervene.)

    Manager: “Is there a problem here? Do you think [my name] here is going to taint your kid’s innocence or something?”

    Customer: “I just don’t want him scaring my son. Is that too much to ask?”

    Manager: “Well, I’m not going to have you insult my staff. Either treat him like a human being, or leave this shop.”

    Customer: “Well, I don’t know why you hired someone like him to work on the till!”

    Manager: “Okay, that’s it. Get out.”

    (The customer and her child leave.)

    Me: “Thank you!”

    Manager: “Shush, just stay there. I’m going to the bakery to get you an apple turnover. You deserve something after dealing with her!”

    A Directionless Conversation

    | Canada | Bigotry, Transportation

    (I am 16. I work in a car dealership’s customer service department on weekends.)

    Me: “Service department, [name] speaking, how may I help you?”

    (An elderly customer answers.)

    Customer: “I’m having a hard time finding your dealership. Can someone give me directions?”

    Me: “Sure, can you tell me where you are now?”

    (I begin giving her directions when she interrupts me.)

    Customer: “No, I need someone else to give me directions.”

    Me: “I know exactly where you are, and it’s very easy to get here. All you have to do is—”

    Customer: “No. No, I need a man to give me directions.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “I need a man to give me directions.”

    Me: “Okay, just give me a moment.”

    (I page my male co-worker, but he is busy with another customer.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but he’s busy. Can I give you directions now?”

    Customer: “No, I need to speak to a man. I’ll wait.”

    (I go talk to another co-worker and explain the situation. He answers the phone and gives her directions. Twenty minutes later, she arrives.)

    Me: “Good afternoon.”

    Customer: “Ugh, I had the hardest time getting here.”

    Me: “Oh, really? Which way did you go?”

    (She explains.)

    Me: “If I were you I would have gone this way…”

    (I once again explain the exact same directions I gave to her on the phone.)

    Customer: “Well, that would have been so much easier! I wish I had gotten you on the phone!”

    Me: “Actually, you did. Please help yourself to a complimentary beverage.”

    (The lady blushes and then hurries to our waiting room.)

    Bigotry Unleashed

    | Yonkers, NY, USA | Awesome Workers, Bigotry, Top

    (A gay couple has just met up in the restaurant and kissed each other upon arrival. Another customer has seen this and is obviously angry.)

    Angry Customer: “Damn f**s.”

    Gay Man: “Excuse me?”

    Angry Customer: “You heard me, you little s***. Let’s not make this into some little pride protest, okay? I have to accept that you’re going to live your lifestyle, and you have to accept that I’ve got freedom of speech.”

    Gay Man: *quietly* “Is it too much to ask for a little human decency?”

    Angry Customer: “Human? Listen up, what you’re doing is not human. I think I have the right to determine what I think is human.”

    (The manager shows up. He’s a quiet Italian man who I assume is conservative due to the Christian imagery and portrait of Reagan he keeps around the restaurant.)

    Angry Customer: *to the owner* “Hey, can you move either them or us to another table?”

    (Instead of responding to the angry customer, the owner instead speaks to his wife.)

    Owner: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we have a strict ‘no pets’ policy in my restaurant.”

    Wife: “Uh, I, uh, what? I don’t have a—”

    Owner: “Well, according to your talking monkey over here, I can determine who’s a human and who’s not. You bring an animal into my restaurant? I gotta assume it’s your pet.”

    (The angry customer stormed out. When I left, the owner was giving his description, and copies of security camera footage, to the biggest crowd of police I’ve seen. Apparently it’s a bad idea to not pay your bill at a restaurant that gives free coffee to cops.)

    Caring About The Carers

    | Derbyshire, England, UK | Bigotry, Top

    (A regular customer with a mental disability is currently in the restaurant with his carer. The man comes in every week and is one of the nicest customers we have.)

    Carer: “Hey! Can I have a word please? Do you guys mind that we come in here to eat?”

    Me: “Of course we don’t mind! You’re more than welcome here; don’t be silly! Why do you ask such a thing?”

    Carer: “Oh, thanks! It’s just that that couple over there said that they’d spoken to you, and that you were thinking of the best thing to say to kick us out!”

    Me: “They really said that?! Right, stay here for a moment, please. I’ll be right back.”

    (Although I’m furious, I sweetly approach the couple in question.)

    Me: “Hey guys, I understand you’re having a bit of a problem today. Anything I can do to help?”

    Customer:Finally! Yes, you certainly can help! I want those people over there gone! It’s plain rude that they’d dare be here!”

    Me: “May I enquire as to why you wish for them to be removed from the store?”

    Customer: “People like that shouldn’t be allowed in normal restaurants! I shouldn’t have to put up with it!”

    Me: “Oh, you’re absolutely right, sir! You shouldn’t have to put up with it at all!”

    Customer: “I knew you’d understand!”

    Me: “Yes, completely! That’s why I’m giving you a total of 30 seconds to remove yourself from my store before I ban you completely! And if you dare to say such a disgustingly prejudiced thing about one of my most valued customers again, you’ll have more than just some harsh words to deal with!”

    Customer: “You can’t talk to me like that! How dare you?!”

    Me: “Well, it looks like I just did. Don’t ever bother my customers again. Get out.”

    Customer: “Why should I get out? I have every right to be here!”

    Me: “As does everyone, regardless of how different they may be. You, however, no longer have a right to be here. If I have to ask you to leave again, I will have the police come to remove you.”

    (The couple left, cursing my name and threatening to call to have me fired. When they did ring, I’d already received a pay rise for what I did following a call from my regulars!)

    Not Low Key About The Hokey

    | San Jose, CA, USA | Bigotry, Bizarre, Religion

    (I’m a Muslim female barista. Two young women in headscarves come in. They get in line. Most people are surprised to learn of my faith, as I am mixed race and look white, and don’t wear a headscarf by personal choice.. A man whispers to his wife, and then comes up to me while I’m handing out drinks to customers.)

    Man: “Excuse me, could you please remove those two from the shop?”

    Me: “Who?”

    Man: “Those two in the scarves.”

    Me: “Uh, why?”

    Man: “They’re offending me.”

    Me: “How?”

    Man: *raising voice* “How dare they throw their satanic religion in our good Christian faces?!”

    (He is wearing a rather large cross around his neck.)

    Man: *raises his voice to a yell* “Be gone from his earth, devil spawn!”

    Me: “Dude, look, quit harassing them.”

    Man: “Harassing them?! They’re harassing me!”

    (Fed up, I come out from behind the counter to speak to the man.)

    Me: “Look, dude, be quiet or leave now.”

    Man: “Why should I, son of the great lord, be forced to tolerate their hokey religion?!”

    Me: “That’s my ‘hokey religion’ you’re messing with, and I’m not going to take your crap. Out. Now.

    Man: “You’re devil spawn too?!” *crosses himself* “SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD, THROW DOWN YOUR COFFEE! A SINNER HAS TOUCHED IT!”

    (The shop is literally silent, and everyone is staring at him. My manager walks up behind him. He is Sikh, and is wearing a turban. He taps the man on the shoulder and speaks in a deadpan voice.)

    Manager: *deadpans, taps man on the shoulder* “Now what seems to be the problem here?”

    (As soon as he sees my manager, the customer literally screams and runs out. His wife runs after him, stopping at the door to cross herself. I go back behind the counter. The two Muslim women approach me.)

    Muslim Woman #1: “Thanks for that.”

    Me: “Absolutely no problem. I’ve had that done to me too, when I’m wearing the scarf.”

    Muslim Woman #2: “Do you get lunatics in here like that often?”

    Me: “You have no idea.”

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