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.

Discrimi(nation)

| Canada | Bigotry, History, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

(I work at a museum which features a large permanent exhibit of local First Nations artefacts, living spaces, and other historical paraphernalia. Because of this, we offer free admission to First Nations patrons. I have just finished printing tickets for two First Nations women. The next woman in line is Caucasian.)

Woman: “Did they just get in for free?”

Me: “Yes.”

Woman: “Why?”

Me: “They’re First Nations. We offer free admission to those with status cards.”

Woman: “But that’s outrageous! I have to play $15, and they get in free just because they’re lazy natives?”

Me: “Ma’am—”

Woman: “It’s not our fault they spend all their money on booze and can’t afford the museum! Why should they get in for free?”

Me: “Ma’am! This museum features artefacts that were at one time stolen from the local bands. They are now put on display in exhibits of cultural history, of which the museum now makes a profit. You think we should charge the members of the culture it was stolen from to come see it?”

Woman: “Yes!”

Racism Comes In Many Languages

| AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

(I am standing behind a woman at a supermarket. Of the two cashiers available, one is of Asian descent and speaking in what seems to be Chinese to some customers. The other appears to be of Middle Eastern descent, whose customer is speaking very loudly and slowly.)

Woman: “Do you understand what I’m saying? I want this in a separate bag.”

Cashier: “Certainly, ma’am. I can definitely speak—”

Woman: “—it’s like they don’t even cater for English speakers! Not a proper American in sight!”

(The woman then spots me, a white guy in my late 20s.)

Woman: “You’d know what I mean! Eh?”

Me: “I’m an Australian tourist here visiting friends, et Je crois que vous ‘tes conasse raciste.”

(“I think you’re a racist b****”, in French.)

Woman: “UGH!”

A Colorful Comeback

| Marietta, GA, USA | Bigotry, Theme Of The Month, Top

(I am getting ready to check out a customer. The only other customers present are a large African American family. My customer is a middle aged Caucasian woman. She leans forward, and motions to me as if she wants to tell me a secret.)

Customer: “There are black people behind you.”

Me: “Uh… yes, ma’am?”

Customer: “You have to watch out for them, you know.”

(I step back and stare, not knowing exactly how to respond to this. My quick thinking coworker walks by.)

Coworker: “Their money is the exact same color as your money.”

Customer: “What!… Well… I…”

(She leaves her merchandise on the counter and exits the store in a huff.)

Of All The Reasons For A Cause To Give You Pause

| Austin, TX, USA | Bigotry, Religion, Theme Of The Month

(I work at a call center for a cancer charity. I generally speak to donors and volunteers that are very supportive of our mission.)

Me: “Hello, my name is [name]. Thank you for calling—”

Caller: “Are you a Muslim organization?”

Me: “Uh, no we are not.”

Caller: “Are you some kind of terrorist?”

Me: “No, of course not.”

Caller: “Well, I saw the bumper-sticker for your event, and it uses that d*** Muslim symbol with the moon and star.”

Me: “Oh… I can see why you might misunderstand. There is some similarity between the Muslim star and crescent, and the logo we use for our fundraising events. See, the event is a relay that goes on for 24 hours. It has a sun, moon, and star to symbolize that the fight against cancer goes on, day and night.”

Caller: “Where’d you get the idea for that!?”

Me: “The… sky?”

Caller: “I bet you have Muslims in your organization!”

Me: “Well, we do not discriminate on the basis of creed or race, and we are quite a large organization. I assume we do have some Muslims.”

Caller: “Well… you shouldn’t use that d*** Muslim symbol! You’re confusing people!”

They Are Calorie Counting On Each Other

, | Eugene, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month, Top

(I am a customer. There’s a woman in line ahead of me, already at the register and ordering for herself and three kids, and a guy behind me. Another customer comes in. He looks to be in a rush, muttering under his breath about people not ordering until they know what they want. The young woman working the register has a slight but obvious German accent, but not thick enough to present any difficulty communicating at all. I get to the counter.)

Me: “Hi! I’d like a regular meal, but can I substitute the drink with a shake?”

(The cashier repeats it back to me, as one would logically do to make sure. The impatient customer barks at her.)

Impatient Customer: “If you spoke English right, you’d know that’s what he said the first time!”

Me: “I’ll bet her English is a h*** of a lot better than your German, dude.”

Impatient Customer: “I don’t have to know that s***, because we’re in America!”

Me: “And I can take my time giving her my order… because we’re in America.”

(I turn to the cashier.)

Me: “Do you still have any of the strawberry pies tonight?”

Cashier: “Yes, sir. Would you like one?”

Me: “I don’t know. Is the calorie amount listed for them on the menu right?”

(The cashier smiles as she catches on.)

Cashier: “I believe so, sir. If you’ll wait just a moment, I’ll bring the official list from the office to make sure.”

(As she starts to turn toward the office, a second cashier comes from the back and tells her that she’ll go get it for her. The impatient customer has had enough. He starts moaning to the customer in line behind me.)

Impatient Customer: “This is bull-s***!”

Customer Behind Me: “Those pies sound good. I want to know more about them.”

(The impatient customer turns to the cashier.)

Impatient Customer: “Get your manager!”

(The second cashier is just putting a key in the office door. She turns toward the impatient customer and smiles.)

Second Cashier: “I’m the manager, sir. I’ll be happy to help you as soon as I get the nutritional information for the gentleman who is being served right now. You’ll be served when your turn comes, or I can ring you up myself as soon as I get the list. I’m not sure where it is in there, though, so I may be a while.”

(The impatient customer is now red-faced, and turns to each of us as he enunciates each word, looking at me first.)

Impatient Customer: “F***. ALL. OF. YOU! I’m going to [other fast food chain]!”

(He storms out and we all start laughing. I look at my watch.)

Me: “[Other fast food chain] closed three minutes ago.”

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