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.

A Colorful Outburst

| Newport, KY, USA | Bigotry, Movies & TV

(At the box office, cashiers are required to repeat the name of the movie to the customer. This policy is now defunct because of the following exchange:)

Customer: “I want two for For Colored Girls.”

Me: *ringing it in* “All right, that’s two for For Colored Girls.”

(The customer then exploded into a twenty-minute tirade about how I, a white man, used the word ‘colored’ in front of her.)

Trying To Explain In Black And White

| Fairfax, VA, USA | Bigotry, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(I’m the hostess at an upscale restaurant where all the tables are pre-set with silverware rolled up in black linen napkins. If a customer with white pants come in, we trade out their silverware with one rolled in white linen. This prevents any black lint or string that might’ve been on the napkin from being highly visible. I’m currently working a busy Saturday and the restaurant is about 3/4 full. I’ve just sat a group of four ladies at a booth. Three of them are black and are wearing black pants or jeans. The fourth lady is white and wearing white pants. I switch out her silverware.)


Me: “Pardon?”


Me: “Oh, no, ma’am. We do this for everyone who—”


(I was too shocked about being yelled at in front of the full restaurant that I just sulked away quickly and got my manager. I could feel everyone staring. After spending 10 minutes at the table explaining to them the real reason I exchanged the silverware and also pointing out that practically every other white person in the restaurant had black linen silverware, the manager agreed to run out a couple free appetizers on the house. We stopped giving out the white linen after that night.)

The Umpire Strikes Back

| St. Louis, MO, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, School

(I am umpiring a fourth grade boys baseball game. Before the game starts, I walk down to the field with the other umpire with our gear. I am going to be behind the plate. The fact that I am a girl with a ponytail immediately catches the eyes of the boys on one of the teams.)

Boys: “Are you the umpire?”

Me: “Yes”

Boys: “You’re a girl! A girl umpire!”

Me: “Have you guys had a girl umpire before?”

Boys: “No”

One Boy: “My dad said girls can’t be umpires because they are ignorant when it comes to sports.”

Me: *laughs*

(The coach quickly came by and made all the boys go warm up all while apologizing to me. A few minutes later, the coach called me over. I went over and he made the boy’s dad apologize for the comment before the boy was allowed to play.)

Thou Shalt Not Pick And Choose

| London, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Food & Drink, Religion

(I and my girlfriend work at the same restaurant, I’m the head chef and she’s the manager. We’re both women and although we don’t hide our relationship, we don’t flaunt it either. My girlfriend has finished for the day and the owner has come in to cover her. She comes into the kitchen to say goodbye to everyone and kisses me (a very brief kiss on the lips) then leaves. Five minutes later the owner comes in to me to say a complaint has been made by a customer regarding a ‘lesbionic’ relationship.)

Owner: “This woman’s being a right b**** about it, saying she won’t pay for her meal, it ruined her night, it’s blasphemous, and everyone’s going to Hell.”

Me: “She’s one of those. I’ll go deal with her.”

(I go to the customer and introduce myself as the head chef. She’s about 30, expensively dressed (her dress looks silk but the belt, collar, & cuffs are sequined), lots of jewellery, and a tattoo on her ankle of rosary beads. She’s with a man a little older that her, clean shaven, short back and sides hair cut.)

Customer: “The food was delicious. Are you in charge? Do you know you have lesbians in your kitchen? Maybe you should tell them not everyone wants to see that sort of thing. It’s terribly upsetting and offensive to my religious beliefs.”

(I have done my fair share of reading on the subject of homosexuality and the Bible, so I have an answer well prepared for people like her.)

Me: “Have you read the Bible? Timothy 2:9 says ‘I want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not adorning themselves with gold or pearls or expensive clothes.’ That’s some nice jewellery you’re wearing. It also says, Leviticus 19:19 ‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.’ Your silk dress is beautiful, as are the collar and cuffs. In a different material. It also says Leviticus 19:28 ‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves.’ I like your rosary tattoo. It also says Leviticus 19:27 ‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.’ Your husband looks very smart tonight. It also says Leviticus 11:8 ‘You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.’ And Leviticus 11:10 ‘And all that have not fins and scales in the seas and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you.” I believe they refer to pork and shellfish. How was your ‘surf & turf?’ We only use the best pork sausages and finest lobster.”

(The man sits there with his head bowed but the woman stares at me with pure hatred.)

Me: “Now, I don’t know about you but it seems silly that you are willing to overlook all those sins about yourself and focus on one thing that isn’t even mentioned in the Bible. If I was as judgemental as you I would say you only kicked up a fuss to get out of paying for you meal. But that’s like stealing. I’ll send a waitress over with your bill.”

(I went back to cooking. I could hear a couple of other customers laughing at the woman. The husband paid, leaving a big tip. I could see them outside having what looked like a pretty good argument!)

Pretty In Pink-Orange

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Bigotry, Bizarre, Holidays

(Last year I dyed my hair bright red, and by October it was starting to fade out to a pink-orange. I was used to getting a lot of comments about my hair and most were positive so I was taken by surprise when I was ringing up an older customer a few days before Halloween.)

Husband: “Is that your real hair?”

Me: “Yes. it is.”

Husband: “Well. I like it. It’s nice. You look very pretty.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(His wife looks at him with a face that says she doesn’t appreciate him complimenting me.)

Husband: *to his wife* “Well, she’s Halloween pretty, anyway.”

Me: “…here’s your receipt. Have a nice night…”

(My manager and I still haven’t figured out if I should take that as a compliment or insult, yet.)