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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.

Lost In Stupid Translation

| RTX, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words

(My husband and I have been fighting for the past few days, so when I come in for my shift, I’m not in the best of moods. There is a customer there, that is known for being difficult, harassing my coworker who is Hispanic and has a slight accent, but speaks perfect English.)

Customer: *speaking loud and slow* “I said I want to use my coupon for 10% off this item.”

Coworker: “Yes, ma’am, but I need to see the coupon. It has a code I need to type in.”

Customer: *still doing the loud and slow bit* “Coupon! Do you know what that is? Habla English?” *turns to her husband* “I have no idea why they even hire these illegals.”

Coworker: *angry and in tears* “I cannot give you the 10% without a coupon.”

Me: *doing the slow and loud bit to the customer* “She said you need the coupon here.” *makes a hand gesture of pointing to my hand* “She can’t do magic and make up a code that is on the piece of paper you call a coupon. Do you understand?”

Customer: *angrily* “Why are you talking to me like that? Yes, I understand.”

Me: “Are you sure? I was worried you didn’t understand what with talking the way you were.”

Customer: “I can’t understand her f****** language! She needs to learn to speak like us.”

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t speak stupid here. It’s hard enough dealing with it.” *mimicking coworker while handing them their bags* “Thank you and have a nice day.”

(I expected to get written up, but the customer’s husband was laughing so hard she stalked out and left him there.)

An Inuidiot

| Anchorage, AK, USA | Bigotry

(I help man several booths in downtown Anchorage during the summer that sell various jewelry, wood carvings, and ulu knives, all handmade by native Alaskans. Today I’m with one of the jewelry makers who is explaining the history behind each stone she uses while demonstrating how she crafts each piece.)

Customer: “So all of this is made by you? Made by a native Alaskan?”

Jewelry Lady: “Yep, every one.”

Customer: “So you’re, like, an actual Eskimo?”

Jewelry Lady: *laughs* “I’m Inupiat actually but otherwise yes, I’m as native as you can get around here.”

(The customer cocks his head as if confused.)

Customer: “Man, you talk really eloquently for a druggie! I mean aren’t you all supposed to be stoned out of your heads all the time?”

(I stare at the man incredulously. My jewelry lady gets a very smug smile on her face.)

Jewelry Lady: “Oh, give me time. The idea sounds better and better with every customer I get like yourself.”

You Mexi-Can’t Say Things Like That

| FL, USA | Bigotry, Tourists/Travel

(I work for a third-party passport expediting company. A customer calls me PANICKING because she has a trip coming up the very next day to go to Mexico, and she just now realized she needs a passport. As we discuss her options, it becomes apparent that she does not have the documentation necessary to even obtain a passport.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but without the necessary documentation you cannot get a passport. And you must have a passport to travel internationally.”

Caller: “But… come on! Is anyone really going to ID me? I’m white.”