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.


Has An Asian Dissuasion, Part 2

| Seattle, WA, USA | Bigotry

(I’m speaking to an older Southern woman and we’re just getting to the end of the call. I’m in Seattle and I don’t have an accent of any kind.)

Customer: “Well, thank you for helping me! Where are you from?”

Me: “I’m from—”

Customer: “—Oh, you’re probably from China or something. But at least you talk normal!”

Has An Asian Dissuasion


London, Paris, Berlin, All Have Seoul

| MI, USA | Bigotry, Musical Mayhem, Popular

(I recently began working customer service at a large music store. A lot of our clientele are affluent, Asian men and women whose children take lessons at the store. Mind you, I am half-Asian but I have lighter hair and eyes. On slow days, sometimes I play my ukulele to pass the time, and this day is no exception. A customer and her son, who looks to be about my age, enters.)

Me: “Hi! Welcome to [Store]. Anything I can help you find today?”

(The customer looks at me briefly and appears annoyed but says nothing. After a few minutes I pick up my ukulele and continue playing. Eventually the woman slams several pieces of piano repertoire on the counter.)

Me: “Is this all?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “This is rather difficult music. Is it for you or your son?”

Customer: “No questions. I don’t like you.”

Me: “Uh, excuse me?”

Customer: “See? So offended, just like every other white girl. No shame. They shouldn’t hire white people here; this is not a white people store.”

Me: “Ma’am, everyone is free to come into our store, regardless of what they look like.”

Customer: “Stupid white girl. I want an Asian worker.”

Me: “Actually, I’m half Korean.”

Customer: “Shut up. You white people never know when to shut up. Always wasting time. Like with this.”

(She picks my ukulele up from where I had set it on the counter and holds it in front of my face. I try to pull it from her but she holds on.)

Me: “If you don’t put that down right now, I will call security. You are being racist and now you are handling my personal property without my permission.”

Customer: “Don’t talk to me. I want an Asian worker.”

Me: “Ma’am, I actually AM Asian, though—”

Customer: “I want an Asian worker! You’re too white! You are bad!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but—”


(Later on I’m relaying the events to the manager, who is laughing his a** off.)

Manager: “So where in Europe is Korea located, again?”


Good Parenting Is Trans-parent

| MN, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Popular

(I am a female-to-male trans man. I haven’t been on my hormone meds for very long, but most people can’t tell that I was ever female-bodied. I am currently working the register with my unisex name tag on.)

Customer: *glances at my name tag* “That’s not usually a girl’s name.”

Me: “Well, I’m not a girl. That’s [total due], please.”

Customer: *pauses and then begins talking to me very condescendingly* “Listen, sweetheart. I know your type. You act like a tomboy all your life and you think you should play pretend and try to become a boy! Well, you’ll always be a woman, even if you’re a man-ish looking b****. Grow up.”

(I am in tears at this point and silently carry on with the transaction. A little boy who was in line next to her steps away from his mom.)

Boy: “Hey! That’s not very nice. He’s obviously a boy and you should respect that! You can’t be mean to someone just because they’re not like you. You should say you’re sorry.”

(The customer turns red, and the boy’s mom speaks up as well.)

Boy’s Mom: “Hmm, isn’t it sad when a six-year-old is better behaved than a forty-year-old?”

(The customer mumbled an apology and rushed out of the store, leaving her purchases on the counter. I offered the kind little boy and mother a discount on their books, but they declined and offered to buy me a scone from the coffee shop in our store, which I also declined. They stop in frequently now and always say hi!)


The ‘Race’ To Finish The Sandwich

| Kent, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Food & Drink, Popular

(I work in a sandwich shop that makes sandwiches fresh-to-order in front of the customer. It looks great and customers can choose what they want fresh, but when it gets busy some orders can be chaotic. A customer walks in while the shop is quiet and orders four sandwiches, which I make and put into the toaster for her. While this is going on, a queue begins to form behind her, but she has yet to finish ordering before her first sandwiches are out of the toaster.)

Customer: *moves to the salad bar before she has finished her order*

Me: *finishes the sandwich she had just asked for* “Would you like anything else?”

Customer: “I’ll come back in a minute. I want to do the salad for these first. Just take the next person’s order.”

Me: “I’m afraid I won’t be able to let you jump back into the queue if I start another order.”

(The queue is now reaching the door in our small shop, and I don’t want someone to end up with the wrong sandwich by disrupting the production line.)

Customer: “No, no. Take his order and I will come back and finish mine in a second.”

(I try to explain again, but she is ignoring me. I motion to the manager, who is on the till and has heard the exchange, and he flags someone who was out the back of the shop to follow the woman and finish her order. Thankful, I start the next person’s order.)

Customer: *finishes with her salads, and interrupts the man I am serving* “I need three more sandwiches.”

Coworker: *who was flagged by boss* “Hey, what can I get for you?”

Customer: “No, this lady was doing my order. I want a chicken sandwich.”

Me: *I smile* “I’m afraid I’ve started another order but don’t worry, [Coworker] is going to finish your order for you.”

Customer: *doesn’t say another word to me but finishes order with my coworker*

(As soon as she’s left the shop I get called around the back by my manager. Apparently the woman lodged a complaint against me for racist behaviour [she was black, I’m white] because I had someone else complete her order. He attempted to explain the queue system to her as well, but she seemed unable to grasp what he was saying. Thankfully, my boss laughed it off and just teased me about being racist for a few days afterwards.)


Racism = Stupidity

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular

(My husband and I are in line to order behind this older redneck-type man with a sour attitude. For the most part, I’m paying no attention, because I’m sharing a work-related conversation with hubby, though it’s easy to see that the conversation is tense. Suddenly, the older guy explodes on the young, Hispanic cashier.)

Customer: “D*** it! I just want to order a d*** burger. Is that so f***ing hard to do?”

Cashier: “Sir, I just want to know if you want curly fries or regular fries.”

Customer: “I don’t speak wetback, boy! You need to learn American.”

Cashier: *visibly upset now* “I asked if you want curly fries or regular fries.”

Customer: “Can’t understand a f***ing thing. Need to fire all of your a**es and hire some d*** Americans.”

Me: “Wait, what seems to be the problem here?”

Customer: “I can’t understand the d*** wetback behind the counter. He’s got a f***ing thick accent.”

(This is a complete lie; the kid has no accent at all. We’ve understood every word that he has said clearly.)

Me: “Well, maybe I can help. I know a little Spanish.” *I turn to the cashier, and in perfect English, ask:* “What was the order number and what comes with it?”

Cashier: “He ordered a number eight. It comes with mayo, mustard, and ketchup. I wanted to know if he wanted curly fries or regular with it.”

Me: *turns to the older customer and as loud and slow as I can* “HE WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU WANT CURLY FRIES OR REGULAR FRIES!”

Customer: “What the f***?! Why are you f***ing yelling at me?!”

Me: “Oh, I thought you were deaf. So, is it a stupidity problem, then? Or just racism?”

(He got red in the face and stormed out, still muttering about how Mexicans were taking over Texas. The cashier and his fellow workers were laughing the whole way. I got a free small shake out of it, but I’d have done it with or without the shake.)

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