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  • This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 4
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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.

    The Race Card Is Double Sided

    | Mobile, AL, USA | Bigotry, Food & Drink, Top

    (My husband and I are new to the area. We are trying out a popular fried chicken restaurant that is on a side of town primarily occupied by black people. I am white, and my husband is Mexican.)

    Me: “This chicken is great!”

    Husband: “Yeah, but it’d be better with some hot sauce! I’ll go get some!”

    (I slide out of the booth we are in to let him out. As I step back I accidentally bump another patron who is walking back up front to refill his drink. He drops his cup.)

    Me: “Oops! I’m sorry!”

    Customer: *glaring at me* “What’s wrong with you? You in the wrong side of town. You think you can hit me just cuz I’m black?! Racist b****!”

    (My husband is about to intervene, but I speak up.)

    Me: “You think you can say that just because I’m white?”

    Customer: *long pause* “…say what?”

    Me: “You think you can claim I’m racist just because I’m white?”

    Customer: “I… you… what?”

    Me: “Seeing as how my husband is Mexican, I don’t think you can cry racism on this one, man. Nice try.”

    (I pick up his cup and get a whiff of what he was drinking.)

    Me: “What were you drinking? Sprite?”

    Customer: “…yeah.”

    (I go refill his drink for him and hand it back to him with a smile on my face.)

    Me: “There ya go.”

    Customer: “You pretty nice, for a cracker.”

    Me: “You’re pretty nice, for someone so ignorant. Racism works both ways, man. Don’t let it—”

    Customer: “—yeah. Okay. Sorry.”

    (Thankfully, my husband and I finish our meals without any more interruptions.)

    Poorly Perceived

    | NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Money, Top

    (I work at a restaurant in a very rich town, in which I also live. I am getting my hair done at a ‘posh’ salon when I see one of my regulars from the restaurant sitting in the first chair.)

    Me: “Hello Mrs. [Name]. Good to see you.”

    Customer: “Oh hel— aren’t you my waitress from the place down the road?”

    Me: “Yes, I am. How are you doing today?”

    Customer: “I didn’t know people like you were allowed in a place like this.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    (At this point my stylist comes over to bring me to her station.)

    Customer: *to stylist* “Honey, did you know this girl is a waitress? Are you sure she has enough money to pay? You may want to check before you start serving her.”

    Stylist: “Ma’am, [My Name] has been a client here for two years. She’s very reliable.”

    Customer: “Oh my. What a waste of money. Poor girls like you should not be wasting their money on things like this. Don’t you have a child to care for or something of the like?”

    (At this point everyone in the salon is quite uncomfortable and is staring at the three of us.)

    Me: “I’m so sorry Mrs. [Name]. I actually only work at the restaurant because I don’t like to spend my time being unproductive. You see, I am a college student at [very prestigious college]. I am currently studying to be a biomedical engineer, which I’ll have you know is the second top grossing career currently. And since it seems to matter to you so much, I’m quite financially comfortable! And even if I were a poor waitress, as you so kindly suggested, people are free to do whatever they like with the money they work so hard for! Your husband comes in twice a week to get coffee and sit at our counter and complain about you! So really, Mrs. [Name], I’m very, very sorry for you.”

    The Sausages Of Society

    | New York, NY, USA | Bigotry, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (I work in an Italian deli in Brooklyn that sells high quality cured meats. Because of its location, we have recently seen an upsurge in customers from Williamsburg’s gentrified neighborhoods. Two customers walk in.)

    Customer #1: “Yes. I wanted to know if you stocked any vegan sausages.”

    Me: *thinking they’re joking* “Sir, this is [deli]. Our specialty is aged and cured meats. We don’t sell vegan food.”

    Customer #2: *to his friend* “What did you expect from this place? Their vibes are totally off. It’s obvious this isn’t the right deli for us, man.” *turns to me* “Listen, you see?m like a pretty smart guy. You shouldn’t buy into the corporate lies they feed you. You know the sausages you sell are just pumped full of water and corn syrup right?”

    (I decide to have some fun with this.)

    Me: “Yeah. Right on, man. That must mean those giant storage lockers in the back where we hang the freshly grounded and mixed meat is just an illusion created by the corporate industrialists in order to fool the proletariat.”

    (Amazingly, they actually nod in agreement for a few second before realizing I’m making fun of them. Scowling, they finally leave.)

    Customer #2: “I’m going to tell my friends about all of the ‘negative vibes’ your deli gives off!”

    (To this day I’m not sure if they were serious or trying to prank us.)

    His Room Has Been (Tali)Banned

    | Wilmington, NC, USA | Bigotry, Hotels & Lodging, Top

    (I am a security guard at an upscale downtown hotel. I am a Caucasian male and the other employee at the desk is our concierge, a third generation American whose parents immigrated from Iraq. A drunk guest comes in and glares at her. He is also a Caucasian.)

    Guest: “Hey, security!”

    Me: “Yes, sir?”

    Guest: “There’s a d*** Muslim at the front desk. You’d better keep an eye on her or she’ll blow us all to h***!”

    Me: “Sir, that is our concierge. She’s not going to blow up her place of work. Now, I think it’s time you go to your room.”

    (The guest leaves only to return two more times ranting about our concierge. On the third time I inform him to go up or he’ll be kicked out. He does not take it well.)

    Guest: “You’re a d*** liberal aren’t you? H***, you’d probably help her plant the d*** bombs!”

    Me: *to the concierge* “Please call the police. We have a trespasser.”

    (The guest ends up getting into a fight with the police, is arrested, and barred from coming back. The concierge and I begin dating a few weeks later and now, three years later, are celebrating our first anniversary!)

    Related:
    Her Number Has Been (Tali)Banned

    A Blockhead’s Calling

    | OR, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Technology

    (I am working in a call center providing customer care support for a major wireless provider.)

    Me: “Thank you for being the best part of [Company]. My name is [Name]. With whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with this evening?”

    Caller: “[Caller's Name].”

    Me: “Alright, and I see that you’ve already verified through our automated system. Thank you very much for that. And what can I help you with tonight?”

    Caller: “I want to know how to block calls.”

    Me: “Alright, I can certainly help you out with that. I see here that you’re using an iPhone 4s; iOS 7 has the—

    Caller: “No, I just want to block calls. I keep getting texts from someone who apparently knew whoever had this number before me, and they won’t stop. I just want to block the messages.”

    Me: “I understand that, sir, and I was just trying to go over all your options for doing so. As I was saying, iOS 7 has the built-in ability to block calls. Alternatively, our block-call feature has the ability to block calls. That normally costs $4.99 a month, but there is a 90 day free trial for that.”

    Caller: “You mean you charge me nine-f********-ninety-nine to f****** block calls?!?”

    Me: “Well, sir, that was $4.99, but yes, that is a feature we do charge for.”

    Caller: “Is there a supervisor I can speak to?”

    Me: “I can certainly get you our next level of support, but I’ll need to place you on a brief hold while I get them on the line.”

    Caller: “You do that.”

    (Before I can place him on hold, he decides to make a comment to someone in the background, without moving the phone away.)

    Caller: “Stupid f****** hick must be real happy with his f****** call center job.”

    (I decide to respond in the most polite tone I can muster.)

    Me: “Well, sir, I wouldn’t say I enjoy it, but it does pay the bills. Let me put you on that hold, now, so I can get you our next level support.”

    (The caller hung up before I could get a manager on the line, and he didn’t answer when the manager tried to call him back. I can’t imagine why…)


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