November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

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.

Gives New Meaning To The Pink Dollar

| ACT, Australia | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Money

(At the store I work at, we sell gift cards for a certain popular online music store, with pre-set values of $20, $30, and $50. To help tell the difference between the cards, they are colour-coded, with $20 being pink, $30 being blue, and $50 being green. One day, an old lady comes up to my register with a $20 card.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but do you have these $20 cards in blue?”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, the $20 [Music Store] gift cards only come in pink.”

Customer: “Are you sure? I really would like a blue $20 [Music Store] card.”

Me: “All the $20 cards are pink, I’m afraid. Why were you after a blue card in particular?”

Customer: “Well, I want to buy this card for my grandson’s birthday, but I can’t get him a PINK card. That’s a girl’s colour! He’s a boy; he needs a BLUE card!”

(The customer is a bit grumpy at this point, and I am a bit put off by her gender stereotyping, but I try to remain polite and helpful.)

Me: “Oh. Well, as I said, we unfortunately do not have blue $20 [Music Store] cards.”

Customer: *disappointed* “I see.” *pause* “Are you sure you don’t have any blue ones out the back?”

Me: “Positive, ma’am. The $30 [Music Store] cards are blue. You could spend and extra $10 and get one of those.”

Customer: *outraged* “$30?! I love my grandson, but not that much!”

He’s Never Finn-ished

| Helsinki, Finland | Bad Behavior, Bigotry

(A customer is buying a few items. Due to a misunderstanding that isn’t in any way my fault he almost ends up buying the wrong model of a popular phone. I apologize nonetheless and the matter is resolved. Since the misunderstanding he’s had a chip on his shoulder. He is watching me very closely and trying to catch me making a mistake. To his disgruntlement everything goes smoothly.)

Me: “…and there you go. Have a pleasant day.”

Customer: “Hmph… Boy, let me ask you a question. Where are you from?”

Me: “Helsinki.”

Customer: “No, no, no… I mean originally?”

Me: “Helsinki.”

Customer: “Stop being a smart a**! What country are you or your parents originally from?!”

(I’m a bit baffled by this question since I’m blond, have blue eyes, and a light skin. I look pretty much your stereotypical Finn.)

Me: “Finland… Um, what are you trying to ask exactly.”

Customer: “Look here, brat, stop playing this game with me! I know you immigrants like to think of yourselves as Finns, but you are not and never will be. Stop dodging my question and answer me! Where is your family from?!”

Me: “Sir, please calm yourself. I am not playing games. As far as I know my family has always lived in Finland. What makes you doubt—”

Customer: “Impossible! That just can’t be true.”

Me: “Well, sure if you are talking about the dawn of humanity; then everyone is from Africa, I guess. But my grandfather was actually a genealogy enthusiast, and he found out that our family has been living in Finland at least since the 17th century. That is pretty much as early as is possible to find any written records from Finland.”

Customer: “No, you are lying!”

Me: “Okay, look at me then. Where do you think I am from?”

Customer: “That is not for me to know but for you to tell me! I am a customer!”

(A coworker is standing at another counter with his back to us. He is of Chinese descent but was born in Finland. Only the back of his head is visible to us and he has dyed his hair blonde. He hasn´t heard my conversation with the customer.)

Customer: *shouting to my coworker* “Hey! You! Clerk over there!”

(My coworker turns to us a little surprised because of the shouting. The customer frowns as he sees my coworkers face.)

Customer: *mumbling to himself* “… Oh, god, another one.”

Coworker: “Yes, sir, can I help you?”

Customer: *pointing at me* “What country is this boy from?”

Coworker: “Umm… Finland.”

Customer: “NO! You lying son of a… Where are YOU from?!”

Coworker: “Born and raised in Helsinki.”

(The customer screams incoherently and slams his hand on the counter.)

Customer: “You are all liars, thieves, and tax dodging lazy immigrants who should never have been let into this country! I am reporting you to the consumer authority and immigration officials! This will not stand, mark my words!”

(He storms off.)

Coworker: “What was that about?”

Me: “I have absolutely no idea. A hidden camera show or an episode of The Twilight Zone are the only explanations I can think of.”

(Luckily we never heard from him again.)

Worse Than An Animal

| Dublin, Ireland | Bad Behavior, Bigotry

(I used work at a restaurant in a small town. It is the evening shift and a woman eating alone keeps giving me trouble.)

Woman: “This order is not right.”

Me: “All right, I’ll just take this and bring you out the correct one.”

Woman: “No, I demand I get this meal and the correct one for free!”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

(She begins complaining to me every chance she got for the rest of the night. She then starts complaining about the black family eating at the table next to her.)

Woman: “I refuse to eat next to those… animals. Their smell is appalling. They probably came to the restaurant to rob it!”

(The racist remarks go on for a few minutes until two boys about 12 years old stand up from their table.)

Boy#1: “Why don’t you stop being a racist cow!”

Boy#2: “Yeah, at least those ‘animals’ know how to behave in a restaurant!”

(The woman threw her plate on the ground stormed out of the restaurant. Everyone started applauding. The black family paid for the boys’ meal and I brought them out free ice cream.)

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.)

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.”