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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.

That’s Racism In Black And White

| SD, USA | Bigotry

(The company hires in groups and trains people in a class like settings. After a month of training we’re finally let out on the phones.)

Coworker: “Hello. Thank you for calling [Company Name] Customer Care. This is [Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Oh my gosh! I’m so happy to finally be talking to a white person!”

(My coworker is Native American and Indian!)

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.)