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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.

    Fixed With A Male-To-Female Adaptor

    | ON, Canada | Bigotry, Technology

    (I work tech support at an inbound call center for a fairly large ISP. A lot of customers get transferred by sales agents when they select the wrong option. I’m female.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can we help you?”

    Elderly Caller: “Oh, hello, dear. I’m just waiting for a tech support man.”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m tech support! How can I help?”

    Elderly Caller: “Oh no, no, honey. I’m sure there will be a tech support man along to help me shortly. I don’t mind waiting on hold.”

    (After a few minutes of attempting to get her information and assuring I can help, I finally resolve the issue and we say goodbye. A few hours later I get an email from a coworker who had spoken to the same woman. He transcribed a message she insisted get to me that read as follows:)

    Message: “Please tell [my Name] that she fixed all the problems I had and I didn’t mean to be rude. I didn’t even know women were allowed to work tech support so it’s not my fault!”

    Telltale Sign of A Good Teller

    | OH, USA | Bigotry, Money

    (I am only 19 when I start working for a large financial institution. After almost two years experience with the bank, at 21, I am still the youngest employee in the branch. I am working in the lobby with another teller who has just transferred into a branch after her position was eliminated in the back office, since she was within a year of retirement age.)

    Me: *to customer waiting in line* “Hi. How are you doing today? What can I help you with?”

    Customer: “I have a question about this transaction. I think I should probably wait for the other teller.”

    Me: “Are you sure? I would be more than happy to help you with your transaction.”

    Customer: “I think the other teller would be able to help with this. I don’t think you would know the answer. She’s been here longer so knows more than you do.”

    Me: “If you would prefer to wait for [coworker], you are more than welcome to.”

    (My coworker is still trying to get used to our DOS based system. I proceed to help the next four customers waiting in line. By the time the customer goes to my coworker’s window, I am just finishing up with the fifth and last customer in the line.)

    Customer: “I have a question about a transaction that was on my overdraft protection account. Can you look into what happened?”

    Coworker: “[My Name], how do I look that up?”

    Me: “Go into [system acronym] and type in the command [more acronyms]. The account summary will be the first screen and the history is on the next.”

    (The customer stares silently.)

    Me: “I guess I would have been able to help you after all, sir.”

    (At least he had the good sense to look a bit sheepish after that.)

    Having A Multiple Light-Bulb Moment

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Bigotry, Technology, Transportation

    (I am the manager at a very busy convenience store that also sells fuel. One particularly quiet afternoon, a customer pulls up and starts to remove every single light bulb from his car. I watch for a little while then go outside to see if I can be of any help.)

    Me: “G’day. A problem with your lights?”

    Customer: “Yeah, they all stopped working so I need new ones. You sell bulbs don’t you?”

    Me: “Yes, we do, but instead of removing them all may I make a suggestion?”

    Customer: “You? I doubt it, love. Girls don’t know anything about cars.”

    Me: *not the first time I have heard this* “No problem, I’ll be inside when you need the globes.”

    (The customer removes every light globe, indicator globe and even all the internal globes, puts them in a bag and comes inside to the counter.)

    Customer: “I’ll have one of each of these.”

    Me: “No problem.”

    (I proceed to get all of the globes he needed, including the not so cheap headlight globes. He pays for them, totaling approximately $45, and then goes back to his car and spends the next hour or so putting them in, with me watching from inside with a huge smile on my face. After he installs them all, he turns on the car, tries the lights, and none of them work. By this stage I have let it go far enough, so I grab a $0.45 blade fuse, go to his car, pop the bonnet, change the fuse, got him to try his lights, and wouldn’t you know it? They all now worked!)

    Customer: “…”

    Me: “Have a great day!*

    (Then I skipped back inside!)

    Not Central To Their Understanding

    | CO, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography

    (I am from Central America but have lived in Colorado all my life. People usually ask what part of Mexico I’m from and I just have to give them a smile and let them know I am in fact not from Mexico but a small Central American country. I am helping a customer check out.)

    Customer: “Wow you have no accent even though you’re Mexican!”

    Me: “I’ve lived in Colorado all my life but I’m actually from a small Central American country.”

    Customer: “Oh! Maria, my maid, is from Central America. Do you know Maria!?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, there are many Maria’s from Central America. Where is she from?”

    Customer: “Maria! You must know Maria!! My maid! MARIA!”

    Me: “Well, I’m from…”

    Customer: “Nooo. Maria! Maria. Maria! From Central America! You KNOW her! Mmaarriiiaa!”

    (This went on for a few minutes. Obviously we never figured out who she was talking about even though she kept saying the name Maria longer and louder.)

    Deaf To Reason, Part 3

    | OH, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m mute, but learned sign language as a way to communicate. Most people assume I’m deaf, and I usually don’t need to correct them. However, some people use this assumption to make comments. I’m at the mall.)

    Customer: “Miss, do you know where [Store] is?”

    Me: *signs that I only speak sign language*

    Customer: “Stupid deaf people. Shouldn’t be allowed the same place as us normal people! You ungrateful s*** had better stay the f*** away from me!”

    (I tear up a bit, but then the security officer, who understands sign language, comes over.)

    Security Officer: “Ma’am, please stop harassing her.”

    Customer: “What?! I did no such thing! I only asked her for directions! And, she’s deaf! How could she know?!”

    Security Officer: “She’s not deaf, ma’am. She heard every word. I’d like you to apologize to her.”

    Customer: “H***, no! She’s a little b**** who shouldn’t be out with the normal part of society!”

    Security Officer: “I’m going to ask you to leave now.”

    Customer: “Why?!”

    Security Officer: “You’re being disruptive and rude. You need to leave.”

    Customer: “She should leave! She’s wasting time and space!”

    Security Officer: “She isn’t screaming profanities, harassing others, or even being the least bit loud. I’m going to ask you one more time to leave the property.”

    (The customer refuses, and has to be dragged out by two other officers!)

    Related:
    Deaf To Reason, Part 2
    Deaf To Reason

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