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.

On The Straight And Narrow (Minded), Part 4

| OR, USA | Bigotry, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

(I am female. I work at a pool as a lifeguard/swimming instructor/supervisor for a few summers. The town is extremely conservative, and I am dating another woman.)

Me: *picks up phone* “Hello, this is [Pool]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’ve heard there’s a [lesbian slur] working at your pool. How can you let her around the children?”

Me: “Ma’am, our employees personal lives are not our business.”

Customer: “Well, I want her fired. It’s inappropriate.”

Me: “You do realize it’s illegal to fire someone based on their sexuality in this state, right?”

Customer: “I don’t f****** care. I don’t want her around my daughter! She’ll fill her head with horrible ideas and make her a sinner!”

(By now, my boss has noticed that I’m about to cry, so she picks the phone up and tells me to hang up. I only hear my boss talking. Note: My boss is a 50-year-old mother of two that comes off as quiet, and I’ve never heard her curse before.)

Boss: “Ma’am, that’s not how we operate here.” *pause* “Well, f*** you, too. All of our employees are valuable members of the team, and I’d rather lose you as a customer than her as a family member. You are no longer welcome here.”


On The Straight And Narrow (Minded), Part 3

On The Straight And Narrow (Minded), Part 2

On The Straight And Narrow (Minded)


Unable To Swim Through His Bigotry

| OR, USA | Bigotry, Bizarre

(I work at a pool where all the supervisors and managers are female. The only male employees teach swimming lessons or life guard. It’s a small pool, so there’s normally only two or three of us on duty. I was supervising a very quiet open swim with a male coworker. I’m 24 and he’s 16.)

Customer: “I need to speak to your manager.”

Me: “I am the manager, sir. How can I help you?”

Customer: “No, you’re not. I need to talk to the maaaaaanageeeeeeeer.”

Me: “I AM the manager. What do you need?”

Customer: “No, you can’t help me. I need the man out on deck right now.”

Me: “Sir, the guard on deck has been working here for less than two weeks. I’ve been here for over six years. What do you need?”

Customer: “Never mind. I’ll just ask him when he’s off.”

(I switch with my coworker a few minutes later. Not even a minute after, he comes out on deck to ask me to help the man who had been bothering me earlier.)

Me: “Are you willing to let me help you now?”

Customer: “YOU can’t help me. I want to speak to your boss.”

Me: *seeing where this is going* “My boss is also a woman. So is about 75% of this staff, which is fairly common in an aquatic environment. Now can I help you or not?”

Customer: “Fine. I need change for a dollar.”

Acting Not So Pretty In Pink

| CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

(I work at the zoo in the gift shop, where we sell all sorts of zoo- and animal-themed things. On this particular day, a customer and his young son are inside looking at the merchandise. I overhear the dad tell his son he can pick anything he wants and shortly after the son walks over to his father and asks.)

Son: *as he hold up a stuffed animal* “Dad can I have this one?”

(The dad looks annoyed and scolds his son:)

Dad: “No, you can’t! It’s pink! Pink is for girls!”

(The son begins to cry so the dad sighs and turns to me holding a stuffed animal and says:)

Dad: “Hey, you. I want this bird in a boy color like blue.”

Me: “Sir, that toy only comes in pink. It doesn’t come in blue.”

Dad: “Well, why the h*** not!?”

Me: “”Sir, that’s a flamingo.”

How To Drive In The Tips

| Kirkland, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Rude & Risque

(It is Halloween and I am working the overnight shift at my store. As the manager, I am required to do drive-thru since we are unusually busy as well as short staffed on Halloween night. I have just finished trick-or-treating with my godson and am still in my costume, which I am allowed to wear in place of my usual uniform. It is just after two am, and all the bars are closed, when I have a taxi pull to my window with three drunk men in the back. The cabbie is clearly frustrated and although I have no issues while taking their order, I grow concerned.)

Me: “You’re total is [total].”

(The men in the back start searching their pockets for money and after a minute passes, I start to get frustrated myself. We are slammed and I still have to help my coworker make the food, since it’s only the two of us. The man in the far right seat, furthest from me, finds his wallet and sticks out a bill. I lean out the window, almost climbing into the cab, and take the cash, all while the men are staring down my shirt in a none-too-discreet manner. As I’m cashing out the order, I count out the eighty some dollars in change while listening to them talk about what they’d love to do to me.)

Me: “Here’s your receipt and change. Would you like any ketchup?”

Drunk #1: “No, but I’ll take your number and you can keep the change.”

(I look down at the money and back at him.)

Drunk #2: “Only if you share her.”

(At this point, I’m clearly disgusted with them and I glance at the cabbie, who’s in the worse position of driving them home. Feeling bad, I grab a pen and write the store number on the back of the receipt with a fake name attached.)

Drunk #1: “Thanks, cutie. I’ll call you later.”

(I grab their food and bag an extra medium fry for the cabbie. I grab the money from my pocket and split it in half, shoving one half into the medium fry bag. I hand out their order and make sure the cabbie gets his food. He smiles and thanks me. Thinking nothing more of it, I go back to work. A few hours later, the cabbie comes back through.)

Me: “Hi, your total—” *seeing the cabbie* “Oh, hi! I hope you enjoyed the tip! I didn’t think they were likely to give you anything. They were real jerks.”

Cabbie: “I appreciated the gesture. I really just wanted to come back to give you this.”

(He hands me $150.)

Me: “Are you serious? You really don’t have to do that!”

Cabbie: “And they didn’t have to say the things they said. I just wanted to make sure you received a tip from someone who honestly appreciated your service. Thank you, and have a good rest of your day.”

Giving You A Tip Right Back

| Novi, MI, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Food & Drink

(It is shortly after nine on a Monday night. I have not had a single table since seven so the cook, who is the owner’s son and my age, and I decide to close up shop early. On a regular Monday we close at ten so we are only closing 45 minutes early. Then all of a sudden the phone rings while I am closing up the cash register. Seeing as we are the only two in the restaurant I answer on speaker phone so I can still use my hands to count the drawer.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Restaurant]. How can I help you?”

Customer: *irate* “Yeah why the f*** are your doors closed?”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, sir. The owners have chosen to close a bit early tonight. So sorry for the inconvenience.”

Customer: *growing more irate by the word* “Well, you know WHAT?! I can’t believe this s***! I am a regular customer who spends a good amount of money here and am here multiple times a week.”

Me: “Again, I apologize, sir. I would love to have something made for you, but all the grills are shut off and it would take quite a while for them to heat back up. I don’t make the rules; I abide by them.”

Customer: “Yeah? Well some of us don’t have a f****** wife or girlfriend at home to cook dinner for us and we work late! I was just in there the other day and I left the waitress a very good tip, and I didn’t have to do that!”

(Mind you I was the SERVER he referenced, and indeed he is a regular customer. Where he went wrong was the comment about the great tip he left, and the onslaught of curse words.)

Me: *firmly but politely* “Well, sir, again I am very sorry for the inconvenience regarding this evening. But may I add that I was the server that you tipped the other night and while yes, I appreciate your tip, 10 percent is hardly a ‘very good tip.’ Oh, and another thing, with a piss-poor mouth like that no wonder you can’t find a lady to want to stay home and cook for you when you get home. Now I have to go. You’ve wasted a sufficient amount of my time.” *click*

(He came in later that week and apologized to me.)

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