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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.

Pot Calling The Kettle Everything

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bigotry, Food & Drink, Language & Words

(I work in a South American restaurant that tends to get a lot of Asian customers. Since I’m fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Khmer [Cambodian], and Tagalog [Philippines], I’m often called on to serve customers who don’t speak English. A group of seven customers come in.)

Customer #1: *obviously struggling* “Can… I… has this?”

Me: *taking a guess* *Mandarin* “Would you be more comfortable in Mandarin?”

Customer #2: *Korean* “Stupid Mexicans. Can’t even tell the difference between a Korean and a Chinese man.”

Me: *Korean* “I apologize, ma’am. I guessed based on [Customer #1]’s accent and it seems I was wrong. Can I take your order now?”

Customer #3: *English* “No. I want to talk to your manager.”

(I go back to get the manager, who is Peruvian.)

Manager: “Can I help you?

Customer #3: “Yes. I want to complain about your Mexican waiter’s horribly racist demeanor.”

Manager: “How was he being racist? He’s usually very culturally sensitive.”

Customer #4: “You Mexicans are all the same, never bothering to think that maybe there are more types of Asians than just Chinese people.”

Manager: “First of all, your waiter is from Puerto Rico. I’m from Peru. So maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to complain about being unable to differentiate ethnicity.”

Customer #3: “I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”

(Sighing, my manager assigns a Chinese-American waiter to them. He can only speak English and ends up having to have customers 3 and 4 translate for the rest of their table in order to get their order. Amazingly, they never complained about the difficulty in ordering.)

Extra Small Minded

| Calgary, AB, Canada | Bigotry, Extra Stupid

(I work for a very well-known clothing store that caters to plus sized women. The smallest size is 14W. A very skinny woman walks into the store.)

Me: “Hi, there! How can I help you today? Are you shopping for a gift?”

Customer: “No. I am shopping for myself today.”

Me: “Alright. Just so you know, we are a size 14+ store. We do have some nice accessories. May I help you find anything?”

Customer: “No. I just want to look around.”

(The customer wanders off. I start puttering around, cleaning some things, as we are slow. A few minutes later I notice her holding a top and wandering around looking a bit confused.)

Me: “Hey. Is there anything I can help you find?”

Customer: “Where are your smaller sizes?”

Me: “I’m sorry. As I mentioned earlier the smallest size we carry is 14 wide, or extra large.”

Customer: “But where are the SMALLER sizes?”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry. We do not carry small sizes.”

Customer: “Yes, yes. But where do you keep the smaller sizes?”

Me: “Miss, I’m sorry. I don’t know how else to explain this to you. [Store] is plus-sized retail chain. We make clothes for women who look like me.”

(I gesture to my size 24 figure. All of a sudden a look of realization comes into the woman’s eyes. She looks around as if seeing the other employees, customers, and myself for the first time.)

Customer: “Wait. This is a store for FATTIES?”

(The customer drops the shirt she’d been holding as if it’s going to burn her and storms out. I just stand there, totally stunned. A few customers shoot the skinny woman dirty looks.)

Too Rich For Jesus’ Blood

| Gulf Shores, AL, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(It is late November, after Thanksgiving. I am working at the register closest to the Christmas stuff. Nearly everyone comes through with something for the holidays. A customer comes to my counter with a can of bug spray.)

Me: “Hello. Is this everything?”

Customer: “Yeah. I couldn’t find any d*** patio furniture because you moved all the f****** Christmas crap in! It’s getting earlier every year!”

(I decide not to point out that it’s almost December and instead try a different approach.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, I think they try to do that so the regular, working person can have a good Christmas. I mean, it costs a lot of money to buy the tree, the lights, and presents all at once. But if we get the stuff out early, people can buy a bit each week and have a pretty good spread by Christmas.”

Customer: “Ugh! If they can’t afford everything at once, they just shouldn’t celebrate! Poor people don’t deserve Christmas!”

(I am stunned as the customer grabs her item off the counter and stomps away. The next customer behind her dumps an entire pile of wrapping paper and bows on the counter.)

Next Customer: *loudly* “Yeah! Didn’t you know Jesus, the Savior of mankind, was born in a five-star hotel?”