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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.

    Hung Up On Gender

    | Elk Grove, CA, USA | Bigotry, Top

    (I am one of the several female employees that work at my video game store. On this particular day, all the employees at work are female.)

    Coworker #1: “Thank you for calling [game store]. This is [name]. How can I help you?”

    (After a few seconds, my coworker hangs up the phone. I don’t think too much of it until the next phone call a few minutes later.)

    Coworker #1: “Thank you for calling [game store]—”

    (Again, my coworker hangs up.)

    Me: “Why’d you hang up? Wrong number?”

    Coworker #1: “No, I can hear the click when they hung up. They’ve been calling all day and hanging up without asking anything. You try next time.”

    (As expected, the phone rings again and I answer.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [game store]—” *to my coworker* “Ah, they hung up!”

    (This goes on for the rest of the day until later that night when I’m working with another female coworker. The phone rings, and she answers.)

    Coworker #2:: “Thank you for calling [game store]. This is [name]. How can I help you?” *turns to me* “Huh, that’s odd. I think they hung up on me.”

    Me: “Oh, yeah…that’s been happening all day. I wonder why…”

    (After deliberating for awhile, we guess that the callers have been hanging up because we’re girls, and they want to talk to a male employee. I decide to test our theory the next time the phone rings.)

    Me: *in a deep voice* “Thank you for calling [game store]. How may I help you?”

    Make Caller: “Yeah, I was wondering if you had a game in stock.”

    Me: “Okay, what game are you…”*unable to maintain my deep voice, I squeak the next words in my normal pitch* “…looking for?”

    Male Caller: *instantly hangs up*

    (Later that evening, one of our male coworkers comes in to purchase a game. Upon witnessing one of the phone calls, he asks what is going on and we explain it to him. The next time the phone rings, he answers the phone.)

    Male Coworker: “Thank you for calling [game store]. How can I help you?”

    (The caller tells my coworker what game he needs, but my coworker explains he can’t help him since he’s not on the clock. My male coworker hands the phone back to me.)

    Me: *to the caller* “Okay, so you were looking for [game] and—” *to my male coworker* “He hung up again.”

    Male Coworker: *laughing* “Seriously?! From what you’ve told me, he’s been calling to ask about one game for eight hours and he can’t stay on the line long enough to listen to you because you’re a girl!”

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    Don’t Mess With The Lez

    | Boston, MA, USA | Bigotry, Top

    (I have a small nose stud. As I’m taking an old man’s tickets, he reaches out and pokes my nose ring.)

    Customer: *in a rude, judgmental tone* “So, what’s this for?”

    Me: “It’s a signal to the other lesbians.”

    Customer: *makes a horrified face and scurries away*

    Lighten My Load, Moisten My Road

    | Brisbane, Australia | Bigotry, Wild & Unruly

    (Our photo developing machine requires regular water refills, which we get by filling a 20 liter jug in the staff room and carrying it across the large sales floor back to the machine. Most of the staff fill it halfway or use a trolley, but it’s much quicker to just fill it all the way and carry it, which is what I do.)

    Me: “Excuse me, ma’am. I just need to squeeze past you for a moment.”

    Customer: *sees me carrying the 20 liter jug* “Oh my God! Do they make you carry that? That’s too heavy for a little girl like you!”

    Me: “It’s fine, ma’am. It’s only 20 kilos, and I’m only carrying it across the store. If you could just move to one side of the aisle, I’ll be able to put it down soon, too.”

    Customer: “But one of the boys should be doing that! A girl can’t carry all that! And you’re so tiny!”

    Me: “Well, I actually do this pretty regularly, so I guess it doesn’t really matter if I’m a girl or—”

    Customer: “Here!”

    (Without warning, she slams both her hands into the bottom of the jug so it hits me in the face. The jug sloshes water all over me, the aisle, and the jug, making it very slippery, and leaves me both bruised and uncomfortable.)

    Customer: “There! Now at least it’s a bit lighter.”

    Me: *speechless*

    Customer: “You’re welcome!”

    Ready, Aim, Equality

    | Texas, USA | Bigotry, Top

    (Note: I work in the firearms department and am female.)

    Me: “Hi! Thank you for call—”

    Male Caller: “I told them to get me firearms, d*** it!”

    Me: “This is the firearms department. How may I—”

    Male Caller: “FIREARMS. FI-URRR-A-HARMS! Ain’t no women in guns. Mens the
    only ones who can know anything ’bout my situation!”

    (Unfortunately, I have become used to this and hand the phone to a nearby male coworker.)

    Coworker: “Yes, sir…uh huh…well, sir for that situation you would have to talk to our ATF compliance associate. Okay…I won’t put you on hold…they are standing right here.”

    (My coworker hands the phone back to me.)

    Me: “Hi, ATF Compliance!”

    Male Caller: *click*

    Judge Me By The Content Of My Crustaceans

    | New Hampshire, USA | Bigotry, Food & Drink

    (The customer approaching the seafood counter is an older male with a VFW hat and an American flag patch on his coat.)

    Me: “Hello, sir, how can I help you today?”

    Customer: “I want some white shrimp.”

    Me: “Raw or cooked?”

    Customer: “Raw.”

    (I lead the customer over to our raw case and continue talking as he starts reading the tags. It’s dead winter, so all our white shrimp are from warm South East Asian countries.)

    Me: “We keep our raw shrimp over here. What size would you—”

    Customer: “White shrimp! I want WHITE shrimp! Not from any of these raggedy-a** countries.”

    Me: *speechless*


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