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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 A Fan Of Fairytales

    | Dubbo, NSW, Australia | Bigotry, Bizarre

    (My store has regular dress up days, and today is St Patrick’s Day. I go all out with a green wig, fairy skirt, stockings, and makeup. A male customer in his 60s stops me.)

    Customer: “Why are you green?”

    Me: “I’m a leprechaun!”

    Customer: “You’ll die soon then.”

    Me: “Why?!”

    Customer: “Leprechauns die at the end of the day!”

    Me: “Oh, how about an Irish fairy? Will I last longer then?”

    Customer: “Nah, because I’ll shoot you.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “I don’t mean real fairies. I mean the gays!”

    Me: “Oh. Well, I’m both, then. Have a nice day!”

    Needs To Pour Oil Over Troubled Water

    | LA, USA | Bigotry, Extra Stupid, Technology, Transportation

    Customer: “I need to know where the motor oil is.”

    (I tell her, but she comes back to the counter with a bottle of transmission fluid.)

    Me: “Ma’am, that’s not oil. It’s transmission fluid.”

    Customer: “What do you know about it? You’re a girl. Just ring me up.”

    (I ring her up. She pays and goes outside, pops the hood of her car, and gets on the phone. Two minutes later, she’s back.)

    Customer: “I needed oil. You sold me the wrong thing. I need to exchange this.”

    Me: “Okay. Do you need some help? It’s slow. I can do this for you.”

    Customer: “What, do you think you know about cars? I’m on the phone with my husband and he knows more about it than you do. Just do the d*** exchange so I can get some oil.”

    (I do the exchange. She comes back up with oil.)

    Me: “Ma’am, that’s 50 weight. You don’t want that, you want 40 weight.”

    Customer: “This is what my husband said to get.”

    Me: “Oookay. Are you sure you wouldn’t like me to help?”

    Customer: “No. You’re a girl and you don’t know what you’re talking about. My husband works for [Company] and he knows way more about it than some clerk!”

    Me: “Well, maybe he does, Ma’am, but he’s not here.”

    Customer: “Just ring me up.”

    Me: “Okay, if you’re sure you don’t need help.”

    Customer: “I don’t need your help.”

    Me: “Yes, Ma’am. You have a nice day, now.”

    Customer: “Whatever.”

    (I watch through the front window as she went back to her SUV and smugly poured her oil… into her radiator. I wonder what her husband said when her engine blew up halfway across the causeway.)

    Soldiering Through Bad Customers

    | Westminster, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Military

    (I used to work full time at a large retail clothing store. I am now in the military and when I take leave, I come back and often work a few days during a week.  A man and wife come up to the register.)

    Me: “How’s your day going? Did anyone help you find everything?”

    (I always ask because I don’t really have a quota I need to meet.)

    Husband: “Oh, it’s going. No one helped, but we found everything easily.”

    Me: “Sorry about that. Glad you found everything, though.”

    Wife: “Do you make commission?”

    Me: “Nope! But most of the employees have sales quotas they have to meet.”

    Wife: “You don’t?”

    Me: “No, I’m part time. I actually have other goals in mind.”

    (The husband half laughs at this point and looks right at me.)

    Husband: “Oh, do you actually have high dreams for yourself?”

    (His wife chuckles, so I straighten up, stop scanning things, pull out my secondary wallet carrying my military ID, with ‘specialist’ listed as the rank and my military police badge and slam it on the table.)

    Me: “Actually, I’m in the Army. I am here on leave and I can’t stand to just sit around. My family is working, so a few days each time I’m back I come here to work. I have been on details I’m not allowed to discuss and you will never learn about from the news.”

    (The husband literally looks straight down and slinks a little.)

    Me: “Not to mention while I’m doing this, I’m about a year and half into my bachelors of science in criminology. But, hey…” *I go back to scanning his items and putting away my wallet* “…it must be extremely nice for someone like you to enjoy being here so casually thanks to people like me.”

    (During the rest of the time I scan the items, neither person says a word.)

    Me: “That will be [price]. We can do any credit card or cash.”

    (The husband says nothing and simply hands me his card politely.)

    Me: “All right, here you go! Continue to enjoy the rest of your day!”

    Husband: *in a hushed voice* “Thank you…”

    Me: “You’re WELCOME. For everything.”

    (I continue with the polite tone and smiling, and then call up the next customer.)

    Next Customer: “THANK YOU!”

    (The customer shakes my hand and we talk about his time in the Marines during Vietnam. I made sure to give him the 10% military discount.)

    Bigotry Comes In All Shapes And Sizes

    | USA | Bigotry, Health & Body

    (I work in a store that sells only plus-sized clothing. There are signs about it throughout the store, and the sizing system is clearly different from other stores. A pair of very skinny girls walk in.)

    Girl #1: “Whoa, look at all the fat people in here.”

    Girl #2: “Dude, shut up.”

    Girl #1: “What? I can outrun them if I have to.”

    (I approach them before Girl #1 causes any trouble.)

    Me: “Hello, ladies. Is there anything in particular I can help you find? Looking for a gift for someone?”

    Girl #1: “Yah, where are your leggings?”

    Me: “They’re right over here on this rack.”

    Girl #1: “What’s this? 1X? 2X?”

    Me: “That’s the plus size sizing system.”

    Girl #1: “Do I LOOK like I’m OBESE?!”

    Me: “I assumed you were in here buying for someone else.”

    Girl #2: “[Girl #1], I told you this is a plus-size store.”

    Girl #1: “So you don’t have a size two?”

    Me: “No. Like your friend said, we only sell plus-sized clothing.”

    Girl #1: “This is discrimination against people who actually CARE about their bodies! You should carry NORMAL clothes too!”

    (Another customer overhears her little outburst.)

    Customer: “You really don’t have to shop here, kid.”

    Girl #1: “Well, maybe I wante—”

    Customer: “I’m sick of hearing that sort of attitude. I go to any other clothing store, and I can’t find anything that’s my size because I’m too big. There are dozens of stores at this mall that sell your size, but only one the sells mine. Guess what, kiddo? I didn’t CHOOSE to be fat! I have a genetic disorder that causes me to gain weight no matter how much I work out.”

    Girl #2: “Come on, let’s just go elsewhere. I’m so sorry for my idiot friend’s behavior.”

    Girl #1: “Why are you standing up for them?”

    Girl #2: “You know I used to weigh twice what I do now. I worked my a** off to lose over 100 pounds. I don’t see why the f*** we even came in here! I told you we wouldn’t find anything! So cut it with the fat discrimination and let’s go elsewhere, you idiot!”

    (Girl #2 came back later to apologize again.)

    Making A Mute Point

    | IL, USA | Bigotry, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I am at visiting a game store that I go to quite often, to the point that most of the employees consider me a “regular”. Due to a throat injury I received when I was younger, I am mute. I’m there to see if they have a copy of a game that had, at the time, just come out. There are only two employees working at the time; both are behind the counter as I walk in. Any ‘dialog’ of mine for this story is actually just me scribbling into a notepad and showing it to whoever I am speaking to, as it’s my main method of communicating.)

    Employee #2: “Hey, [My Name], are you looking for something?”

    Me: “Yeah. I was hoping you had a copy of [Game], since I wasn’t able to reserve a copy.”

    Employee #1: “Yeah, we have a few. I’ll show you where they are.”

    (He shows me to where they are, and leaves me to do some extra browsing. He returns to the register, where his coworker is, when another customer approaches them. He appears to be in his late-teens/early 20s.)

    Customer: “Hey, you really shouldn’t encourage her like that.”

    (The customer gestures to me, and isn’t even being subtle about it.)

    Employee #2: “I’m sorry, sir, but I have no clue what you mean.”

    Customer: “That girl over there! If you treat her like a normal person, she might get the wrong idea!”

    Employee #1: “With all due respect, what are you even talking about?”

    Customer: “Don’t play dumb! She’s clearly retarded! Won’t it look bad for business if you let a [slur] wander around? And besides, she’s a girl! She probably doesn’t even play video games!”

    (Unfortunately, people assuming I am either deaf or mentally handicapped because of my inability to speak is a common occurrence. I’ve gotten used to it, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying. Still, I do my best to ignore it. The assumption that I don’t play video games because I’m a girl isn’t as common, but it does come up once in a while.)

    Employee #2: “Please forgive me, sir, but I’m going to have to ask that you not speak about her that way. Not only is she a regular customer, but she’s definitely NOT mentally handicapped. She just can’t speak because of—”

    Customer: “Right! Because she’s retarded! I don’t think it’s safe to let her wander around the store. What if she ends up making someone else retarded?!”

    (All three of us are completely dumbfounded. As mentioned before, I’m used to these sorts of assumptions, but this was a new one.)

    Customer: “So are you going to kick her out or not? People like her don’t deserve to be in here!”

    Employee #1: *visibly angry, and doing his best to keep his cool* “No, we’re not. However, if you don’t stop insulting out customers, we are going to have to ask YOU to leave!”

    Customer: “What the h***, man?! I’m just looking out for your best interest! If you wanna treat that [slur] like she’s a person, that’s your business, but don’t come running to me if it hurts your business!”

    Employee #1: “Okay, that’s it. We tried being civil. Please leave and don’t come back.”

    (The customer is clearly pissed off, but before he can say or do anything, I walk over and slip a note into his hands. He instinctively reads the note.)

    Me: “By the way, you can call me retarded all you want, but at least I’m not the one with their fly unzipped.”

    (He looked down and confirmed that his fly was, indeed, unzipped. His face turned a shade of red, and he then stormed off in what I could only assume was a combination of rage and embarrassment. We still laugh about it to this day!)

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