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  • Category: Wild & Unruly

    Acting Like The Hair Apparent

    | VA, USA | Bizarre, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a black woman, and I have natural hair, meaning there are no chemicals in it to make it straight. The customer in this story is a white woman, and she is the only one in the lobby.)

    Me: “Welcome to [movie theater]. Will that be all for you today?”

    Customer: *looks at me disdainfully*

    Me: “Ma’am, is there something I can help you with?”

    Customer: “Is all of that under your cap your hair?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Why do you have so much?”

    Me: “I’m Haitian. We typically have very thick hair.”

    Customer: “Do you wash it?”

    Me: “…Of course. I actually washed it last night.”

    Customer: “It looks dirty. Why isn’t it straight? It looks unprofessional like that.”

    Me: “My hair is naturally kinky. I’d have to get a relaxer for it to be—”

    (Without warning, the customer reaches out, knocks my hat off, and shoves her hands all through my hair.)

    Me: *swats her hands away* “EXCUSE YOU!”

    Customer: “What? I wanted to see what it felt like.”

    Me: “And you felt no need to ask me if it was okay to enter my body space?”

    Customer: “Not really. I figured it was okay. I mean, it’s just hair. It’s not like it’s your boob or a body part or anything.”

    Me: “It is, and I don’t care to be touched. Please don’t.”

    Customer: “I was just curious!”

    Me: “But you could have asked. I’m still a person.”

    Customer: “No you’re not! You work here, and that means I get to do whatever I want to you because I’m paying you!”

    Me: “Actually, [manager] pays me, and I will call him to escort you out if you don’t finish your transaction and return to your theater.”

    Customer: “Well, I don’t want to buy anything now because you don’t want me to touch your hair!”

    Me: *voids transaction* “Please leave your items on the counter and enjoy your show!”

    (She walks off to a manager, calls me uppity, and demands I be reprimanded for refusing to let her touch me. The manager kicked her out without refund.)

    A Bona-Fido Idiot

    | NC, USA | Pets & Animals, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a dog walker. I’ve focused on an apartment complex near me, and get to know everyone’s dogs very well. The one I have the most trouble with is an Airedale Terrier. He is a biter, and the owner does not allow a muzzle on her dog. Unfortunately, not everyone would heed my warnings about not touching the dog.)

    Man: “Hey, that’s a cute terrier. Can I pet your dog?”

    (In anticipation, I wind the terrier’s leash tighter while keeping an eye on the second dog, which is a mastiff.)

    Me: “Well, sir, he’s not my dog, and I wouldn’t advise petting him as he bites.”

    Man: *stretches his arm towards the dog* “Nonsense, young lady. Terriers are the sweetest things, not like that pit you have there. You really shouldn’t own pits, you know. Crazy dangerous they are.”

    Me: *pulls the dog back* “Sir, that’s a mastiff and neither of these are my dogs. I’m just their walker. Please do not touch the Airedale. He bites.”

    Man: *still tries to pet the dog* “He’s so cute! Look at those little ears and that tail just wagging away!”

    Me: “Sir, for the third time, please do not put your hand near the dog.”

    Man: “Let’s give you a little pat eh-YRROUCH! He bit me!”

    Me: *exasperated* “Yes, sir. He did. Did he break the skin?”

    Man: “Your dog is crazy! You should be arrested for bring a dangerous animal in public!”

    Me: “Sir, I did warn you and for the last time it is not my dog.”

    Man: “What if I was a child?!”

    Me: “You certainly have the logic of one.”

    She Has A Real Problem

    | FL, USA | Bigotry, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I am at my regular grocery store at the checkout. The bagger is a sweet man with a mental disability, who is carefully bagging my items.)

    Bagger: “You want this one?”

    (He holds up one of my canvas bags, which I see has a hole in it.)

    Me: “No, use another. Thanks.”

    Woman behind me: “God! Hurry it up!”

    Me: “I just finished paying. He’s fine.”

    Woman behind me: “Oh, so you’re slow like him too? God all you special people need to stop interfering with normal people.”

    Bagger: *looks offended* “Ma’am, she’s not not-smart. She goes to [University].” *points to my university logo on my sweatpants* “She’s real smart.”

    Me: “And he’s the best bagger here! He’s very careful, ma’am, which is a good thing with groceries.”

    (My bags are done. Since he knows I walk back to my dorm, the bagger just hands them to me and helps me shoulder them.)

    Woman behind me: “God, he won’t even help you take them to your car? What a delinquent. I want to see a manager about this!”

    Me: “I walk, lady. You want to call a manager over something I have intentionally asked him to do many times?”

    Bagger: *to me* “Have a nice day!”

    Woman behind me: “Retard.”

    (The cashier, who hasn’t said a word through the whole thing, looks at the woman calmly.)

    Cashier: “Refusal of service for massive discrimination towards a valued employee, as well as a regular customer. You may leave your items here; we’ll shelve them later. Please leave.”

    (She instead decides to cause a massive disturbance, eventually breaking a shelf, and needing to be physically restrained while the bagger leads me and another customer behind the cigarette counter for our safety. We have to wait for a cop to come.)

    Bagger: “Still… coming next week?” *he looks worried*

    Me: “Yep.”

    (His smile made me really happy for the rest of the day.)

    Not The Sharpest Bigot

    | AZ, USA | Bigotry, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m walking around the store seeing if any shoppers need help.)

    Me: “Excuse me, sir, are you finding everything all right today?”

    Customer: *turning* “Oh, what the f*** is this?”

    Me: “Um… what is what?”

    Customer: “I haven’t been helped by a single American since I got here. Are you people even hiring whites?”

    (Our town has a regrettably accurate reputation for being somewhat racist. Customers often ignore non-white employees or refuse their aid. I’m of Indian descent, but was born and raised a few miles away in Phoenix.)

    Me: “Sir, all our employees are American citizens. If you don’t need help, though, I’ll just go.”

    Customer: “Hang on, where’s your manager’s office?”

    (I point.)

    Customer: “Good!”

    (Without warning, he grabs my arm and drags me forcefully to the office. He pushes it open without knocking.)

    Customer: “You need to arrest this man! He’s an illegal!”

    (My manager turns in her chair. She’s got light brown skin, and is often mistaken for Hispanic.)

    Manager: “Sir, I know for a fact [my name] is a citizen. And you need to take your hands off him right now.”

    Customer: *not letting go* “Oh my God! They’ve got a Mexican in charge. No wonder you don’t hire whites!”

    Manager: “Sir, more than half of my employees are white. Now let [my name] go or I will call the police.”

    Customer: “Are you threatening me? I’m a real American, you can’t threaten me!”

    (At this he pulls out a Swiss Army knife and points it at her.)

    Manager: “No, I’m not. Would you like me to?”

    (Without warning, she draws a knife of her own from nowhere and slams it point-first into the desk.)

    Manager: “That’s one. I’m carrying nine. Let him go.”

    (The customer goes pale and releases both my arm and the knife.)

    Manager: “Thank you.”

    (Instead of letting him go, my manager locked him in the office and called the police, who came and arrested him for assault and threatening with a weapon. As they were leading him out, my manager stopped him for a moment.)

    Manager: “And by the way, I’m not Hispanic, I’m Romani. If you’re going to be a racist, at least learn the difference.”

    Belly Rubbed And Snubbed

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Wild & Unruly

    (I work at a department store as a cashier. I also have a medical condition where I must take a heavy amount of steroids, and a side effect of this is that I’m a bit chunky. I’m ringing up a customer.)

    Me: “Hi, did you find everything okay?”

    Customer: “Oh, my dear, how can they force a woman in your condition to stand at a cash register all day? Your ankles must be so swollen! When are you due?”

    (Suddenly, she reaches across the counter and rubs my belly, totally invading my personal space.)

    Me: “In about five years, after I finish college, get married, and get a job that pays above minimum wage. I’m fat, not pregnant, lady. And I do not remember giving you permission to put your hands on my body.”

    (The customer turns beet red, mumbles something, and abruptly leaves all her merchandise on the counter. I get a round of applause from the rest of the customers in line.)

    Next Customer in line: “I would have hit her if I were you.”

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