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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.

How To Make Grandma Nun Too Happy

| Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Love/Romance, Top

(I am Asian. I work as a cashier at a supermarket. Today I get one of my great-aunts in line. We chat as I am checking out her groceries.)

Aunt: “So have you found anyone yet, [Name]?”

Me: “Not yet, Auntie.”

Aunt: “Well, [My Grandma] is getting anxious, you know. She wants great-grandchildren.”

Me: “She already has great-grandchildren, Auntie. My cousins have kids, remember?”

Aunt: “Then, your parents! They want to see you married and settled with grandchildren!”

(My parents have never made any such demands of me, nor made any indication of such being expected. I remain calm and polite, as I am still at work and my great-aunt is a paying customer.)

Me: *changing the subject slightly* “I think my sister would have something to say about that!”

(My sister is both older than me and already married.)

Aunt: “Oh, yes, that’s right! She did the right thing, you know; marrying properly.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Aunt: “She married that nice [regional Chinese] boy. Not just [other Chinese], but [regional Chinese], like us. Proper. Your grandma said so.”

(I am appalled, all the more so because she’s utterly sincere.)

Me: “…I thought she was joking?”

Aunt: “Oh no! Very serious. She was quite upset when [My Cousin] married that Vietnamese boy. And all these others, gwailo (white people) and…”

(She goes on a tirade about not marrying outside the group. I am speechless.)

Me: “Your total is [amount], Auntie.”

Aunt: “Oh, I bought too much again! Ah, the boys will eat it. See you soon, [My Name]!”

(I automatically wave goodbye, still dumbfounded. Finally, she’s bagged her things and gone.)

Me: *thinking out loud* “Screw this. I might as well join a convent.”

Next Customer: “I don’t think that’d work for a bright young girl like you, sweetheart.”

(It is at this point I realize both my new customers are wearing habits and veils.)

Me: “Oh, crap! Sorry, Sisters.”

Nun #1: “Don’t be!”

Nun #2: “We heard what she said. You love who want, when you want, in your own good time.”

Nun #1: “Besides, running off to a convent doesn’t work like that these days. You need a vocation.”

(She leans forward to take my hand.)

Nun #1: “And convent life isn’t all that cracked up to be! You’re a good girl, and a lovely person. We always look for you when we stop by, you know. Take your time to figure out your path.”

Nun #2: “And if it does lead to us, at least you’ll be prepared! Either way, have faith. Bless you, dear!”

(I finish ringing them up, and they go on their way. My supervisor walks over.)

Supervisor: “You all right?”

(I shrug, dazed.)

Supervisor: “Go take your break. You’re due for one, anyway.”

(One of the weirdest and most heartwarming shifts I ever had!)

The Race Card Is Double Sided

| Mobile, AL, USA | Bigotry, Food & Drink, Top

(My husband and I are new to the area. We are trying out a popular fried chicken restaurant that is on a side of town primarily occupied by black people. I am white, and my husband is Mexican.)

Me: “This chicken is great!”

Husband: “Yeah, but it’d be better with some hot sauce! I’ll go get some!”

(I slide out of the booth we are in to let him out. As I step back I accidentally bump another patron who is walking back up front to refill his drink. He drops his cup.)

Me: “Oops! I’m sorry!”

Customer: *glaring at me* “What’s wrong with you? You in the wrong side of town. You think you can hit me just cuz I’m black?! Racist b****!”

(My husband is about to intervene, but I speak up.)

Me: “You think you can say that just because I’m white?”

Customer: *long pause* “…say what?”

Me: “You think you can claim I’m racist just because I’m white?”

Customer: “I… you… what?”

Me: “Seeing as how my husband is Mexican, I don’t think you can cry racism on this one, man. Nice try.”

(I pick up his cup and get a whiff of what he was drinking.)

Me: “What were you drinking? Sprite?”

Customer: “…yeah.”

(I go refill his drink for him and hand it back to him with a smile on my face.)

Me: “There ya go.”

Customer: “You pretty nice, for a cracker.”

Me: “You’re pretty nice, for someone so ignorant. Racism works both ways, man. Don’t let it—”

Customer: “—yeah. Okay. Sorry.”

(Thankfully, my husband and I finish our meals without any more interruptions.)

Poorly Perceived

| NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Money, Top

(I work at a restaurant in a very rich town, in which I also live. I am getting my hair done at a ‘posh’ salon when I see one of my regulars from the restaurant sitting in the first chair.)

Me: “Hello Mrs. [Name]. Good to see you.”

Customer: “Oh hel— aren’t you my waitress from the place down the road?”

Me: “Yes, I am. How are you doing today?”

Customer: “I didn’t know people like you were allowed in a place like this.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

(At this point my stylist comes over to bring me to her station.)

Customer: *to stylist* “Honey, did you know this girl is a waitress? Are you sure she has enough money to pay? You may want to check before you start serving her.”

Stylist: “Ma’am, [My Name] has been a client here for two years. She’s very reliable.”

Customer: “Oh my. What a waste of money. Poor girls like you should not be wasting their money on things like this. Don’t you have a child to care for or something of the like?”

(At this point everyone in the salon is quite uncomfortable and is staring at the three of us.)

Me: “I’m so sorry Mrs. [Name]. I actually only work at the restaurant because I don’t like to spend my time being unproductive. You see, I am a college student at [very prestigious college]. I am currently studying to be a biomedical engineer, which I’ll have you know is the second top grossing career currently. And since it seems to matter to you so much, I’m quite financially comfortable! And even if I were a poor waitress, as you so kindly suggested, people are free to do whatever they like with the money they work so hard for! Your husband comes in twice a week to get coffee and sit at our counter and complain about you! So really, Mrs. [Name], I’m very, very sorry for you.”