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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.

    Not So Sweet On Sugar Or Honey

    | IL, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I was born and raised in the country, and my area uses terms such as ‘honey’, ‘sweetie,’ and ‘dear’ to speak to everyone, including strangers. It’s just how I talk. I am taking care of a customer in the coffee shop.)

    Me: “Hey, sugar, how can I help you today?”

    Customer: “I don’t want sugar.”

    Me: *chuckling* “Sorry, honey, I didn’t mean that. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Excuse me?”

    Me: “Umm… how can I help you?”

    (The customer places her order, but seems very agitated. I turn on my sweetest smile and small talk.)

    Customer: “Look, can I just get my d*** coffee, please?”

    Me: “Sure, coming right up, babe!”

    Customer: “Are you a lesbian?”

    Me: “Um… no?”

    Customer: “Then why were you just hitting on me?”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “Why did you just call me babe and try to ask me out?”

    Me: *chuckling* “Oh, I’m sorry, that’s just how I talk. I don’t mean anything by it; I was raised in a family that uses terms of endearment in everyday conversation.”

    Customer: “Oh, so you’re a hillbilly?”

    Me: “Um, kind of, yeah… I’m from the country.”

    Customer: “Well, that explains so much!”

    Me: *a little hurt, but still smiling* “I’m sorry if you took offense; I didn’t mean anything by it. Just trying to be friendly.”

    Customer: “I don’t need you to be friendly, I am certainly not your friend, thank you very much. I need you to do your d*** job. Don’t call people ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’. Only idiots do that, and it’s really f***ing rude.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. I didn’t realize that it was. No one has ever said that to me before.”

    Customer: “Ugh, don’t call me ‘ma’am,’ either. What do I look like, some old lady?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, miss, I didn’t mean anything by it.”

    Customer: “Oh my god, did you go to some idiot academy or something? Do you not see the ring on my finger?” *proceeds to flash her ring*

    Me: “Well, what do you want me to call you?”

    Customer: “My d*** name! Is that so f***ing hard?”

    Me: “How would I know your name? I’ve never met you before, and you never told me.”

    Customer: “Well, you should’ve asked! So rude and dumb! There’s just no respect for people anymore!” *stalks away*

    (She leaves me standing there, dumbfounded and upset. Later, I asked my boss if I’d get in trouble. Thankfully, my boss told me she’d have a few choice names to call that lady the next time she came in!)

    Fighting Hate Is Everyone’s Job

    | Halifax, NS, Canada | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Top

    (There are three customers outside on the patio: three men, one with long hair. The other two customers are friends and start volleying increasingly homophobic insults at him. I, as the hostess am closest and move to intervene.)

    Me: “Gentlemen, please return to your meal. Abuse of the other patrons will not be tolerated and I do not want to have you thrown out.”

    Customer #1: “What the h*** are you talking about, are you dumb? That guy’s a fucking f**. Look at his f***ing hair!”

    Me: “You cannot discern another person’s sexuality from a hairstyle, sir, and I’m going to have to ask you to leave. I already told you that I cannot allow you to insult the other patrons. I do not want to retrieve security.”

    Customer #2: “Screw that, b****! We’re not going anywhere. I’m in the middle of eating.”

    (Surprisingly, a police man still in uniform walks up to us.)

    Customer #1: “Hey, police man! This dumb f***ing c*** wants to throw us out instead of that d*** gay over there. Can you f***ing believe that?”

    Policeman: “What I believe is that I should be very grateful to have a wonderful boyfriend who waited for me even though I was late and two idiots were heckling him. I believe that this young lady is quite commendable for standing up to those two idiots. I also believe you two want to pay for you lunches and leave.”

    (There’s a bit of a stand off before the two get up and simply leave two twenty dollar bills. I turn to the remaining customer.)

    Me: “I’m very, very sorry, sir. I’ll tell your waiter that lunch for you and your partner is free.”

    Customer #3: “No need, miss.”

    (He pulls a ten dollar bill out of his wallet.)

    Customer #3: “Hostesses don’t get tipped, do they?”

    Me: “That’s really not necessary, sir. It’s all just part of my job. I was happy to help.”

    Policeman: “And for that miss, I think it is necessary.”

    (He sits down across from his boyfriend and also hands me a ten. One of the men returned to complain to my manager ten minutes later and was summarily banned from the restaurant when the policeman and his partner explained what happened. I went to their wedding eight months later.)

    Arabian Plights

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Top

    (I have a rather unusual name that leads people into thinking I’m from overseas. Not helping matters is that I have a slight accent because my mother is from New Zealand.)

    Me: “Hi, how are you today?”

    Customer: “Fine, thanks.”

    (She looks at me and reads my name tag.)

    Customer: *slowly, while giving me the thumbs up* “I am very good, a-okay.”

    Me: *confused* “Well, okay then.”

    Customer: “Where are you from?”

    Me: “I live in [nearby neighbourhood].”

    Customer: “Where. Were. You. Born?”

    Me: “I was born in Australia, ma’am. I’ve lived here my whole life.”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me! That is not an Australian name; that’s a foreigner name!”

    Me: “It is a bit unusual, isn’t it? My parents found it in a baby book. Customers have told me it means ‘brunette’ in Arabic.”

    Customer: “Ah hah! That’s where you’re from. That’s why you have that ridiculous voice! First you blow up our soldiers, and now you’re working in our stores!”

    (She suddenly snatches a bag of biscuits from the counter and throws it at me. I’m too surprised to do anything, but thankfully my manager sees the whole thing and comes over.)

    Manager: *to me* “Go take a nice, long break, and let me finish up here.”

    Customer: “Yeah, get lost girlie! This nice Australian man is going to help me.”

    Manager: *smiles* “Ma’am, I was born in Iran and immigrated to Australia when I was three.”

    (The customer proceeds to scream in anger and throws something at my manager. She was thrown out of the store!)

    Enough To Put You Off The Men-u

    | Houston, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Top

    (I work in a fine dining steak house. A group of middle-aged men have had a bad experience, so the manager asks me to deliver port and cigars on the house to them on the patio.)

    Me: “Hello, gentlemen; we’d like to offer these to you on the house. I understand your experience wasn’t what you expected of us and we sincerely apologize.” *begins handing out the items*

    Customer #1: “Well, look at you. How about you give us a little spin around?”

    Me: “Umm… no. I’m all right, thanks.”

    Customer #2: *laughs* “Oh, are you ‘one of those?’”

    Me: “Sir, if you’re suggesting I’m a lesbian, no. However, I’m not exactly sure what my personal preferences have to do with you.”

    Customer #1: “No need to get uppity, honey! So, what’s it gonna take for you to come hang out with us when you get off?”

    Me: “I beg your pardon? Are you asking how much I am? If so, you can’t afford it.”

    Customer #1: “Oh, I’m pretty well off, darlin’.”

    Me: “There’s not enough money in the world, sir.”

    (The group laughs.)

    Customer #1: “Fine. Well, where’s a good gentleman’s club around here? Maybe you can meet us there later and see where this goes.”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t frequent those establishments personally. You may find one on your own time. Secondly, you have chosen to be misogynistic and sexually abusive to the only feminist in this entire building. Think about that. Third, I have never known any true gentlemen who visit strip clubs regularly, which you seem to do. Have a good evening.”

    (My manager’s response? ‘They’re only playing around!’ Needless to say, I quit shortly after that!)

    Doing Customer Service A Disservice

    | Australia | Awesome Workers, Bigotry

    (I am called up to do a price check on an item from my department. There is a long line of customers, but several serving staff. One of them is a lovely young girl wearing a Muslim headscarf who is trying to help a cranky looking old woman. My coworker is visibly upset.)

    Me: *to my coworker* “Hi! What do you need a price che—”

    Customer: “That [racial slur] is trying to rip me off! This [very expensive crystal decanter set] was meant to be $30. There’s a sign over there!”

    Me: “Okay, look, you’re going to need to use appropriate language in this store if you want any of us to continue serving you. Now, I know for a fact that this set should be around the $200 mark. See, it has the original price here of $299? There is no way it would be $30.”

    (The customer argues with me a bit until I ask her to show me the sign. She grumbles all the way about me being unable to do my job and making a poor old woman walk to the back of the store. We get to the crystal section, and she points triumphantly to a large sign on top of the stand.)

    Me: “That says 30% off the marked price of all crystal-ware.”

    Customer: “Exactly! You’d better give it to me for free because it scanned wrong. I’ve been dreadfully inconvenienced by you. What terrible customer service!”

    (She continues in this manner all the way back to the register, where she again begins making loud racial comments about my Muslim coworker, who I see walking away from the registers. The other customers in line are clearly uncomfortable. I agree to call my manager down, but for different reasons than what she thinks.)

    Customer: *spots the manager* “A-ha! I’ve been waiting for you! I want you—”

    Manager: “Get out.”

    Customer:Excuse me?”

    Manager: “[Coworker] just came out to me in tears because you were making disgusting comments about her. We don’t tolerate your type in this store. Now get out before I call security.”

    Customer: “Well, I never—”

    (The other customers in line begin clapping or adding their own comments. She eventually storms out, but we had to have her removed from the store twice later that day!)

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