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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.

His Place In The World Is An Asylum

| Edmonton, AB, Canada | Bigotry, Bizarre

(I’m making a call over the intercom requesting that a customer remove their car from a no parking zone. My coworkers like to make fun of me, since it’s become my personal mission to make sure nobody parks there. My coworker is serving a seemingly normal gentleman at the time.)

Customer: “You know, you ladies should be changing the world!”

Coworker: “Yeah, [My Name], and it starts with you getting that vehicle to move!”

(We both laugh, but the customer goes on.)

Customer: “I’m serious! We all have our place in the world. You know, us white people, we’re supposed to protect the water.”

(At this point, we realize he’s completely serious.)

Customer: “And the Africans? They protect the animals. And the brown people? You know, like the Aboriginals and the, uh, Middle Eastern people? Well, they’re always fighting over land, so I think they’re supposed to protect the land!”

(My coworker and I are speechless. The customer continues.)

Customer: “And the yellow people! You know, the Asians? Well they’re supposed to feed us all!”

(The customer continues on his rant, saying things I can’t quite catch, and then leaves.)

Coworker: *to me* “Why do we only get the weird ones when we work together?”

A Pen-chant For Homophobia

| UK | Bigotry

(A dapper looking gentleman enters the shop. He’s wearing a tweed jacket and has a posh, English accent.)

Me: “Hello, sir, can I help at all today?”

Customer: “Ah, yes, hello. I’m looking for a [Brand] pen. You know, the refillable sort.”

Me: “Certainly, sir, we only have one pen in that brand but—”

Customer: *pulling a pen out of his pocket, it’s gold and slim* “You see, my wife bought me this one, but I don’t like it much. It’s too thin, you see? And I don’t care for it in gold. It must be for gays or something.”

(I’m taken aback but compose myself quickly.)

Me: “Ah, I see… Well, we have this one. Maybe that will suit you better?”

(I show him the pen we stock. It’s dark grey and has a chunky barrel.)

Customer: “Ah! Much better! Thank you ever so. I’ll take it! I suppose I’ll give the other one to the wife.”

(I sold him the pen and he left, safe in the knowledge that he was now in possession of a pen which was not intended for gays. Or women.)

The Color Of Stupid

| LA, USA | Bigotry, Extra Stupid

(I work at a popular shoe store chain. It’s a busy Friday afternoon and I’m in the middle of the floor prepping shoes to go out when a customer and her daughter come in. Both are on the phone. We’re all black.)

Me: “Hi! Welcome to [Store].”

(The customers don’t acknowledge me and I don’t think much of it and just continue to greet other people.)

Customer: *walks up to me a few minutes later* “I just want to give you some advice as a young woman.”

Me: “Okay?”

Customer: “I’ve been in this store for five minutes and you haven’t said a word to me but I’ve watched you say hello to all the white customers.”

Me: “Actually, I did greet you when you walked in but I guess you didn’t hear me.”

Customer: “No. No, you didn’t. My daughter was right there and she didn’t hear you say a thing. That’s very sad that young black people feel that the white customers are more important than the black ones. My money is just as green as theirs and it spends the same.”

Customer’s Daughter: “Self hate is what they call it.”

Me: “Again, I did greet you and your daughter when you walked in. However, you were both on the phone, so that’s probably why you missed it. Sorry about that.”

Customer: “Don’t try to lie about it now. We both know the truth. But don’t worry. I’m not offended, but the next person might be. And now that I know how I’ll be treated I won’t be shopping here again.”

(The customer throws the items she had on the floor and storms out.)

Other Customer: “I’m so sorry you have to deal with stupid people, hun.”