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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.

    Not Skirting Around The Issue

    | Lake George, NY, USA | Awesome Workers, Bigotry, Spouses & Partners

    (An older customer, maybe in his 50s, walks in to my female clothing store.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

    Customer: “Don’t worry. I’m not a cross-dresser or anything. I’m just looking for my wife”

    (He says the first half in a very derogatory tone of voice.)

    Me: *smiles sweetly* “Well, if it’s any consolation, I think you’d look great in a skirt!”

    (The customer glares at me and leaves!)

    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.)

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