Bigotry Doesn’t Have A Nice Ring To It

, , , , , , , | Working | November 16, 2017

(We are a gay couple. My husband gave me a ring for my birthday. It apparently cost a lot, but after only a day of wearing it I notice my skin going green, a classic sign that the metal is cheap. My husband can’t explain it, but gives me the receipt to exchange it. I am seen by the store owner.)

Me: “Yes, I’d like to return this ring. My husband was told it was pure metal, but my finger tells me otherwise.”

(The owner takes the receipt and inspects the ring. I can tell there’s something wrong by his expression.)

Owner: “This ring doesn’t match the description. Are you sure he got it from here?”

Me: “I’m 100% certain. Your store name is embossed on the rim.”

Owner: “Yes, I can see. Give me a moment, please.”

(He disappears for about quarter of an hour and returns with a ledger.)

Owner: “Yes, your husband’s name is here with the same description on the receipt. I’ve checked the footage for the time and he was indeed sold this ring. However, this ring is worth a significant fraction of the price.”

Me: “What can you do, then?”

Owner: “Give me another moment, please. I want to be certain this is straightened out. [Worker] is in today; she served your husband.”

(The owner calls her over.)

Owner: “[Worker], did you sell this ring in exchange of [expensive ring] to a gentleman two weeks ago?”

Worker: “I don’t know. I’ve never see him before though.” *nods to me*

Me: “He has shoulder length black hair and a nose ring.”

Worker: “Oh, the [homophobic slur]. Yes, I did.”

(Both the owner and I wince at the word.)

Owner: “[Worker]! Why would you do such a thing?”

Worker: “Because marriage is between a man and a woman. Their [slur] marriage is fake and cheap, so that’s all they deserve!”

(I’m actually stunned at how blunt the woman is. The owner addresses me.)

Owner: “I am so sorry for this. My store does not discriminate under any circumstances, and I assure you this matter will be dealt with, with extreme severity.” *to the worker* “Go to my office. We’ll talk later.” *back to me* “The original cost your husband paid was [amount], but given the circumstances, I would like to offer you a choice of anything in store, as compensation.”

Me: “Well… No, thank you. I’ll be more than happy with a ring at equivalent price.”

Owner: “Then, perhaps a paired ring to go with whatever you choose?”

(I picked out two rings and headed home with them. My husband was more than a little shocked with what happened, but we were both happy with the compromise. The woman was fired from the jewellery store, but she now works in a cafĂ© across town. We don’t go in.)

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