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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.

    Our Great DiscrimiNation, Part 2

    | UK | Bigotry, Top

    (I’m in the library, queueing at the front desk to take out two books. I’m standing with my arms wrapped around the books. Patron #1 is talking to a librarian at the counter, while Patron #2 is waiting further down the counter.)

    Patron #1: “Do you have any Islamic books?”

    Librarian: “Well—”

    Patron #2: *patronizing* “No, dear, because this isn’t a Muslim country. It’s a Christian country.”

    (Patron #2 looks around at me and the librarian as though she expects us to agree. We are both white.)

    Librarian: “Actually, we have a collection Islamic books in both Urdu and English. They’re just over here.”

    (The librarian shows Patron #1 to the books.)

    Patron #2: *to me* “Can you believe that? Why do we need Paki books in our libraries? This is what’s wrong with this country. Maybe instead of speaking Paki, they should learn English and try to fit in!”

    (I remove my books from my arms and lay them out clearly where she can see them. I have a sociological study of the Philippines and a history of India, as my two closest friends were born there).

    Me: “Maybe what we need are more books that teach people to stop being bigoted and start respecting and understanding other people.”

    Patron #2: *scoffs at me and leaves*

    Related:
    Our Great DiscrimiNation (Not Always Working)

    Defiance Is The Best Teacher

    | Vancouver, Canada | Bigotry, School, Top

    (My friend, a former coworker, comes in on a Saturday to say hello. She is standing by the counter chatting with me when a regular customer comes in. I immediately go to serve her.)

    Customer: “I’ll have a latte.” *looks at my friend* “You’re wearing that to work?!”

    (My friend is wearing ripped jeans, a local band shirt, and boots you could kick through a wall with, as well as her nose stud and four rings in each ear.)

    My Friend: “I don’t work here any more.”

    Customer: “Well, no wonder if you started showing up like a hooligan! Young people have no sense of professionalism these days! If I met you in the street, I’d think you were going to mug me!”

    My Friend: “Actually, I quit because I started a new job.”

    Customer: “Doing what, exactly? Scaring children?”

    My Friend: “Sort of. I’m a kindergarten teacher.”

    Customer: *gasps, grabs her latte, and runs out the door*

    Cool, Cream, And Corrected

    | Maine, USA | Bigotry, Food & Drink, Top

    (At the coffee shop where I work, my coworker, Coworker #1, is from South America. He has a very thick accent, but his English comprehension and speech is otherwise perfect. A customer comes through drive-thru and orders two extra large coffees with a whopping eight servings of cold cream. A few moments later, he comes back to complain.)

    Customer: “I have a problem!”

    Coworker #1: “What’s the issue, sir?”

    Customer: “My coffee is stone cold!”

    Coworker #1: “Okay, I’ll remake that for you. It was eight creams, right?”

    Customer: “Yes, and I’d like them to be actually warm this time.”

    Coworker #1: *remakes both coffees* “Here you are. Have a good day!”

    (The man leaves, but comes back a few minutes later. He’s still fuming. Another coworker of mine helps him.)

    Customer: “This is unacceptable!”

    Coworker #2: “Hi, how can I help you?”

    Customer: “You can remake my coffee again, and this time I’d like it to not be so godd*** cold!”

    Coworker #2: “Okay…” *turns to my South American coworker* “Could you remake this again? I need to finish cleaning the flavor shot station.”

    Coworker #1: “Of course!”

    Customer: “NO! No, he’s not touching them!”

    (At this point, the manager hears the noise and comes out.)

    Manager: “Okay, what’s the problem?”

    Customer: “I’m so sick of your employees!”

    Manager: “What’s the problem?”

    Customer: “That f***ing foreigner of yours keeps f***ing up my coffees! You either need to make him learn f***ing English or send him back to wherever the f*** he came from! I want hot coffee, NOT hot coffee that’s STONE COLD!”

    Manager: “Okay, firstly don’t swear at me. Secondly, he speaks and understands English perfectly so don’t say he can’t understand you. I will remake your coffees this time if it humors you. What was in them?”

    Customer: “Eight creams!”

    Manager: *pauses for a moment* “Seriously?”

    Customer: “YES!”

    Manager: “You do realize that adding EIGHT cold creams to a coffee will cool them off, right?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Manager: “If you add that much cream—which is chilled—to a coffee, it will cool it off. It’s not my employees’ fault. Now, have a nice day and please leave my store!”

    Raceless Accusations, Part 2

    | Texas, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry

    (On a very slow night, I’m helping our only customer with a coworker. I notice another customer enter the store, glance around, and disappear into the aisles. Once the other customer leaves, she approaches us carrying some items.)

    Customer: “I can’t believe you didn’t help me when I came in.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, we were helping the gentleman who just left.”

    Customer: “Well, I just would like you to quit being racist and check me out.”

    (My coworker and I are taken aback at the accusation, but I remain courteous.)

    Me: “Um, sure.”

    (At that moment, the customer sees a different coworker at a register.)

    Customer: “Nevermind, I’ll just ask her.”

    (The customer returns moments later, as it turns out my coworker’s register is closed. I hadn’t known the other one was closed, or else I would have warned her.)

    Customer: “I can’t believe you’re all so racist here that you can’t even help me. I’ll call the NAACP on you, and they’ll crack down on this store!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, ma’am. Would you like me to call the manager on duty to address your concern?”

    Customer: “Yes, please do.”

    (I radio in our manager on duty, who comes quickly to the register. He is one of two black men with management positions in the store, and we only have four managers.)

    Me: “This is our manager for tonight. [Manager on duty], this woman has a concern she would like to address.”

    Manager: *smiling* “How may I help you, ma’am?”

    Customer: *deflates instantly and leaves in a huff*

    Related:
    Raceless Accusations

    Some People Just Need To Stay Silent

    | Phoenix, AZ, USA | Bigotry, Top

    (I am participating in the Day Of Silence and my boss, being understanding because her brother is gay and was assaulted for it a year ago, has let me wear my DOS pin while on my shift. He’s put me on restock and check-in duty so I don’t have to handle customers. A few customers have noticed my pin and were understanding and even supportive, but not this next customer…)

    Customer: *walks over to me, passing up three other employees*” Excuse me, I have a question.”

    (I shrug in apology and show her my pin.)

    Coworker: “Ma’am, she’s not on register duty today for personal reasons, but I can help you.”

    Customer: “No! I asked her to help me, so she has to do what I say!” *to me* “Why the h*** aren’t you doing your job? Sitting back here all day, twiddling your thumbs while your coworkers do all the work… you’re a lazy b****! You should be fired!”

    Me: *completely shocked*

    Boss: “Excuse ME, ma’am, but she is doing her job. You’re going to stop harassing my employees now or I will have to ask you to leave.”

    Customer: “But she’s not even answering questions! She’s just sitting there not helping anyone!”

    Boss: “I have her on non-interactive duty today because she’s taking part in the Day of Silence in support of the LGBT community.”

    Customer: *aghast* “You let your employees support f*****s?! What the h*** is wrong with you?! People like that are evil sinners that should be shot in the street! They don’t even have rights anyway!”

    Boss: “And that’s what the Day of Silence commemorates: gays that have been bullied and killed by hateful and ignorant people like you. You can leave my store now and don’t come back.”

    Customer: “Oh my God! You’re all soulless queers! I’m getting out of here before I catch your gay curse and burn in H***!” *practically runs out of the store*

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