Unfiltered Story #28411

Los Angeles | Unfiltered | May 10, 2017

(This happened when I was 14. My mother and I were out and before heading to the theaters there, we decided to shop around first. At some point we part ways within the store and I end up in an aisle that’s somewhat disorganized. I decide to reorganize some of the display for myself and to help the workers out.)

Woman: “Excuse me?”

(Turning around I see almost a somewhat hippie-ish looking woman)

Woman: “Hi. Sorry, I… could you tell me where [item] is?”

Me: *surprised* “Oh, uh, I don’t work-”

Woman: “Oh- GAH! OH MY GOD! I am SO sorry! I’ll just-” *scurries away*

(I wouldn’t have thought that this interaction was odd, given that I was reorganizing a small section of an aisle. However, I was wearing nothing that looked similar to the employee’s outfits, going through a “goth” phase and wearing all black while the workers wore red with khakis. On top of that, I’ve always been told I looked much younger for my age, people clocking me around 10 at this time, which made it a little weird to be mistaken as a worker. However, I assumed it to be a simple misunderstanding and let it go. I meet up with my mom again and we go watch a movie together. When we get out, we turn the corner and come face-to-face with the same woman again holding hands with a man.)

Mom: “Oh!”

Woman: “Oh!”

Man: *to woman* “Oh hey, is that-”

(The woman takes a hold of his arm and yanks him as she runs away, red faced, while we stand there in shock. I was about to tell my mom that I ran into her before until…)

Mom: “I saw her before!”

Me: “Really?”

Mom: “She thought I worked at [shop]! She was pretty freakin’ rude about it.”

Me: *confused* “How? Were you doing anything?”

Mom: “No! That was the thing; I was just looking at a rack!”

(My mom told me her half of the story. She was actually talking to a worker about a minute before the woman approached her. The woman had completely ignored the worker that was still standing a foot away from them in favor of asking my mom, specifically. She was apparently more stubborn with my mom — who was pointing out her clothes didn’t match the store and was trying to direct her attention to an actual worker — stating that my mom *had* to work there, even though she didn’t have the same clothing, and implied my mom was just being lazy. When she realized she was talking to another customer, she sputtered and ran off. My mom had assumed more than I did, thinking that it was because she was Latina that the woman thought she “had” to work there but gave her the benefit of the doubt. When I told her my side, I convinced her again that it was probably because of our race. I didn’t like thinking it was, since she and the guy looked to be the free-spirited, no-hate type of people, but it definitely was a bit bizarre, racist or not.)

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