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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.

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You’re Speaking To Miss. Ogyny

, | Dallas, TX, USA | Bigotry

(I worked as a supervisor in the repair department of a large electronics retail store. I was also the only girl in my department. A customer called in one day…)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I’d like to speak to a supervisor.”

Me: “I’m the supervisor on duty right now. How can I help you?”

Customer: “A supervisor is supposed to be a man…”

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Miss. Ogyny Strikes!

| Norway | Bigotry

(I work in a beauty and make-up store. Yesterday evening a man came in, probably in his fifties, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. Upon seeing me, a 21-year-old girl, he gets this arrogant look on his face.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m looking for a little gift for my lady, just to show her some affection. But I know just as little about make-up as you do cars.”

(He obviously thought he was being extremely funny. I did not. I swallowed my original comment, put on my “professional” face, and smiled sweetly at him.)

Me: “We have these lovely single eye-shadows right here. You can choose whatever color you like, and then your girlfriend can mix them together herself.”

Customer: *still going on about cars and women* “I’m guessing the only thing you know is where to find the steering wheel.”

Me: “Okay, now, why don’t you choose this orange one and this light blue one? They mix lovely together.”

(Actually, they don’t. If his poor girlfriend uses them together, it is going to look like he beat her up.)

Customer: “So, could you wrap this for me?”

Me: “Well, I would, but we don’t have any tape, and seeing as I’m a woman I couldn’t possibly know where one would go to buy tape.”

(The customer gave an angry grunt, paid, and left without a word. I wish I could have seen the look on his girlfriend’s face when she saw the colors.)

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Hard To Love Religion When It’s Full Of Hate

| FL, USA | Bigotry, Popular, Religion

(I’m Jewish and wear a Star of David pendant on a necklace everyday of my life. I have just finished ringing up a customer’s groceries.)

Customer: “What is that around your neck?”

Me: “It’s a Shield of David.”

Customer: “You should be ashamed of yourself, wearing that like it’s a real religion.”

Me: “I assure you, ma’am, we are a real religion and still strong numbers wise.”

Customer: “God wiped out all the heathens and gays so stop your lying. You must be mixed. Only mixed hate God.”

Me: “Thank you for shopping with us. Also, Jesus was a Middle Eastern Jew. Please don’t come again.”

(Thankfully, I’m a manager and my supervisor thought it was hilarious.)

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Give A Dog A Bad Name

Portland, ME, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry

(I work in a small department store that also sells cigarettes. A regular customer comes in with his dog. We’re generally pet-friendly and just assume any dog brought in is a service dog. The man comes to the register with a couple of items and asks for a pack of cigarettes. While he is standing at my register, a black woman comes in. The dog goes crazy, barking at her, and she dashes behind my register and hides behind me.)

Me: “Sir, we’re a pet friendly establishment, but if your dog is going to bark at customers, I’m going to have to ask you not to bring him in anymore.”

(The man is beet-red in the face and looks livid, but he doesn’t say a word as he takes his stuff and leaves. Less than twenty minutes later he comes back.)

Customer: “I want the items you stole!”

Me: “Sir, I didn’t take anything.”

Customer: *brandishing his receipt* “I bought candles, and they weren’t in my bag; I want them now. And another thing, my dog is a service dog. I’m a d*** vet and I fought overseas so that [racial slur] can f***ing live here and go [makes rude sounds mimicking ululating] all over the place.”

Me: “Sir, please calm down.”

Customer: “You f***ing n*****-lover! That was a service dog; I can bring him anywhere I f***ing want!”

Me: “Sir, service dogs are allowed in any public place, but if they cause a disturbance, we are well within our legal right to refuse them entrance.”

(At this point he’s come around the counter at me and is leering over me. My coworker, a young black man, has to come step in between the man and me.)

Coworker: “I’m going to have to ask you to leave or I’m going to call the police.”

Customer: *string of profanities and racial slurs*

(Finally we get him to leave with further threats of calling the police. Not twenty minutes later however he comes back in demanding the candles I supposedly stole.)

Me: “Wait right here by the door. I’ll get them.”

(While I go to grab the candles, he proceeds to yell at all the patrons in the store to watch their bags and check their receipts because we are “dishonest n*****-lovers who steal.” I hand him his candles.)

Customer: “F*** you, b****; enjoy your African store!”

Coworker: “We will; thank you.”

(He left. However, my manager refused to allow us to ban him from the store, and I had to deal with him twice more before I resigned.)

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He’s From A Different Time(piece)

| Charlotte, NC, USA | Bigotry, Popular

(I work in a fairly high-end jewelry store. My specialty department is usually luxury timepieces, but on this day the manager asks me to fill in for one of the diamond sales associates who is running late. Part of store policy is that all employees take turns greeting customers, unless a customer is here to see a specific person, then we “hand them over.” I’m next to greet someone and a middle-aged man in business-casual attire walks in. I am a female in my mid-20s and have had training in all of the store’s departments.)

Me: “Good morning! Welcome to [Jewelry Store].” *starts to give the store welcome spiel*

Man: *without even looking at me, walks on into the store, leaving me standing at the door*

Me: “Oh…” *thinking, maybe he’s hard of hearing? I catch up with him and smile* “I’m sorry, sir, we must have passed right by each other. Welcome to [Store].”

Man: *gives me the barest nods of recognition*

Me: *still smiling like a loon* “May I help you with anything special today?”

Man: “No.” *walks away to a different section*

(I decide to let him go, thinking maybe he was here to see a certain associate, and let my manager know. Note: my manager is a man in his early 40s.)

Manager: *takes me aside after talking to the man* “Hey, [My Name], I’ve sent [Male Coworker] over to help that customer, and I just wanted to let you know you don’t need to worry about greeting him if he comes back.”

Me: “Really? But we’re supposed to greet everyone.”

Manager: “Yes, well…” *he glances at the man across the store, who is now talking freely with my coworker* “This particular gentleman apparently thinks he can only buy jewelry from a man.”

Me: “So, you’re saying he thinks a woman can’t help him pick out jewelry for his wife, or whoever?”

Manager: “Unfortunately. We get a few people like that over the years.”

Me: “I honestly don’t know what to say to that.”

Manager: “Don’t worry about it; it’s his own prejudice. [Male Coworker] just clocked in, so you can go back to timepieces whenever you’re ready.”

Me: “Okay, thank you, [Manager].”

(About 15 minutes later, my coworker who was helping the man came up to my counter.)

Coworker: “Um… [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes?”

Coworker: “That customer wants to look at a [REALLY Expensive Brand] timepiece.”

Me: “Okay, and?”

Coworker: “You’re the only sales associate who’s had the training on them.”

Me: “Oh, boy.”

(I ended up standing at the opposite end of the counter, and my coworker walking over to me with every question the guy had, all because he didn’t want a woman to sell him any jewelry!)

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