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    A War Unwon

    | Sacramento, CA, USA | Bigotry, Military, Top

    (I am on leave and meeting an old friend in a restaurant inside a mall. Since I don’t know the area, I get there early and decide to window-shop beforehand. An old guy in his 80s approaches me.)

    Customer: “I remember the good days when I didn’t have to see many of you orientals. Now, you’re everywhere stealing our jobs. All you do is get in the way and take from my great country.”

    Me: “Sir, I’m a Marine. I’ve been in Afghanistan on multiple tours for the last three years. I serve OUR great country.”

    Customer: “Oh! That’s good. Better you than losing some American boys.”

    (I think about how the Marines trained me to survive everything an enemy can throw at us, but not how to listen to an old racist white man.)

    A Dogged Sense Of Humor

    | Cochrane, Alberta, Canada | At The Checkout

    (A customer comes to me with two giant bags of dog food. I ring them through.)

    Customer: “You must think I have a bunch of dogs huh?”

    Me: “Um, yeah. Sure.”

    Customer: “Nope! The in-laws are in town!”

    Takes One To Jim Crow One

    | San Jose, CA, USA | Bigotry, Top

    (I work at a movie rental store. Sometimes we have deaf customers. I know some conversational ASL and can usually communicate with the deaf community just fine. A woman and her daughter walk up with a note and place it on the counter and point to it repeatedly.)

    Note: “We’re looking for two movies that came out last Tuesday.”

    Me: *in ASL* “Hello, yes, what movies?”

    Customer, to daughter: “Why does he think I’m deaf?”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry! Usually our deaf customers write notes to us.”

    Customer: “That’s ridiculous! How dare you just assume I’m disabled! It’s ridiculous!”

    Me: “I’m terribly sorry. May I ask why you gave me a note instead of asking me verbally?”

    Customer: “You’re Asian! How was I supposed to know you knew my language?!”

    Fahrenheit 2011

    | New York, USA | Bigotry, Books & Reading, Top

    Customer: “That boy is sitting at the corner over there reading your book!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Is he bothering you in any way?”

    Customer: “No, but he is reading a book that he has not paid for yet. He’s like, almost halfway done!”

    Me: “That’s okay, ma’am. We allow our customers to come and read our books here.”

    Customer: “Why the h*** do you let people do that?”

    Me: “Well, sometimes people want to see if they like how the book is written before spending money on it.”

    Customer: “Yeah? Well, poor people shouldn’t be allowed to read!”

    What Possessed You To Do That

    | North Shore, MA, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Religion, Top

    (This happens while I am working at a Christian book store that also sells other “Christian” items. This particular incident involves a customer’s dissatisfaction with a child’s toy called the “Armor of God”, which includes a sword, a shield, and armor.)

    Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [store]. How may I help you today?”

    Caller: “Hello, I would like a refund for a toy I bought my son last week called the ‘Armor of God’.”

    Me: “I can help you with that. Can I please have the order number?”

    Caller: “Yes, the order number is ########.”

    Me: “Now, was the item defective or damaged in any way, or are you simply dissatisfied with the product?”

    Caller: “The toy is possessed.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Caller: “The moment my son put on the armor he started screaming and running around attacking everything with the sword. The toy is possessed and I want a full refund. Frankly I’m shocked that a store advertising Christian products would sell something like this!”

    Me: “Okay, well, if you box up the items, I can send you a return shipping label. When the toy arrives at our warehouse you will receive a full refund.”

    Caller: “You want it back?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. I can’t give you a refund unless the item is returned.”

    Caller: “I’m afraid that’s impossible.”

    Me: “Has the toy been damaged in some way?”

    Caller: “No, I buried it.”

    Me: “What?”

    Caller: “It was possessed by a demon, so I buried it.”

    Me: “Well, I’m sorry, ma’am, but if that’s the case, I’m afraid I cannot give you a refund.”

    Caller: “Why not?”

    Me: “Well, you buried the toy in the ground. You’re refusing to return it and the toy is ruined anyway. Per company policy, I cannot give you a refund.”

    Caller: “Are you serious? First, you sell me a possessed toy, putting my family in danger, and now you refuse to give me my money back? I demand to speak to your manager!”

    Me: “Certainly, ma’am, but first have you considered that possibly the toy isn’t possessed and that your son was just play fighting?”

    Caller: “How dare you! Do you think I don’t know the difference? Do you think I’m lying? My son has never acted this way before. The toy is possessed and I am owed a refund. I demand to speak to your manager! I have never been so insulted!”

    Me: “Let me place you on hold while I transfer you to my supervisor…”


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