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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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A Night Of Obamadrama

| HI, USA | Bigotry, Politics

Customer #1: “Oh, these are cute little plates. I’ve been looking for something like this.”

Me: “Yes, they’re from our Fourth of July sale, and right now they’re only 99 cents!”

Customer #1: “I need a fork.”

Me: “Oh, well, we don’t sell silverware individually, but we have these sets of about 20 or more.” *I show her where they are on the wall*

Customer #1: “Oh, here’s one.”

(She rips a fork out of the twining holding it to the set, and under my shocked eyes, lays the plate down and then sets the fork on top of it.)

Customer #1: *after staring at the fork on the plate for a few seconds* “Okay.”

(She picks up the fork and drops in back in the box, and then takes the plate to the register to be rung up. I tape the fork back into the box, while noticing silverware in several other boxes have received the same treatment. Later, I get Customer #2. She is buying a mattress pad, and it is one with two handles built into the plastic case. The handles are cotton, round, and thick; comfy and easy to hold.)

Customer #2: *after I finish ringing her up and tying a small bag to the handles to mark her purchase* “Oh, don’t you have a bag?”

Me: *I look at the handles, and then back to the customer* “Um… sure, let me get you one.”

(I bag it, and Customer #2 walks out holding cheap plastic handles that stretch and dig into your hand. 45 minutes before closing, and I get Customer #3. She sidles up to me, giving me a strange sort of smile, and I smile back and say hello.)

Customer #3: “Want to know what they did to me now?”

Me: “Uh… sure?”

Customer #3: “I was over at [next-door Nail Shop], because I was treating myself to a pedicure for my birthday. And those non-English speaking workers gave me an infection. I had to have all ten of my toe nails removed.”

Me: “Oh…”

Customer #3: “I sued them, for all of what the State of Hawaii will allow you to: $285. My only other choice was to go to their main office in LA, and I would have to get an attorney for California for that. I came here today because the girl at [Cosmetics Cart downstairs] offered me a free facial a week ago. I got a terrible rash, and when I went to see the doctor I went into anaphylactic shock. Here, I have pictures—”

(By the time she starts digging out her smartphone, I suddenly remember that two years ago she came into the store with a cast on, and I had sympathetically pointed it out. That led to a 20-minute rant on the child who ran a shopping cart into her at [Other Store], and how much she hates kids and parents who don’t watch their kids, and going shopping, and living here, and Hawaii in general, and her husband’s job forcing them to live here, etc. All with wide, intense eyes and jerky hand gestures, without waiting for any response, she starts up a brand new rant today while I’m forced to look at pictures of her facial rash, and her rant about things she hates.)

Customer #3: “—and we can’t go home until my husband retires, and that won’t be for a few years yet. He refuses to retire while Obama is in office, because he doesn’t want to have Obama’s signature on his retirement papers.”

(A coworker walks past, glancing at us, and I try to give him a look that says “Save me!”)

Customer #3: “And I am SO ASHAMED at living where Obama SUPPOSEDLY grew up. My husband blames Obama for everything, but I only blame him for about half of everything.”

(My brain melts while the customer continues her scary-eyed rant for another twenty-five minutes.)

Customer #3: “…and I hate shopping. I only come in here because it’s air-conditioned and the weather is horrible outside, but at least I feel that [my Department Store] has quality merchandise, and they know how to treat their customers. Bye, now.”

(She wanders away, now that it’s ten minutes to closing. The same coworker comes back over.)

Coworker: “I wasn’t sure. Should I have saved—”

Me: “YES.”

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A Dark Assumption

| NV, USA | Bigotry, Popular

(Our retail store hires a young African-American student to work on our sales floor. He’s funny, intelligent, and so sweet, he’s practically made of sugar. In short, he’s the least intimidating person in our staff. A middle-aged female customer comes up to me, looking a bit nervous.)

Customer: “Excuse me.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “I need to ask you a question. Do you have a black man working here?”

Me: “Yes… that’s [New Hire]. He’s been here for about two weeks.”

Customer: *relieved* “Oh, thank goodness. I was worried there for a moment. I own the shop next door and I was attacked by a black man last week. I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t him.”

(I assure her that my coworker is, in fact, supposed to be here, and she happily walks away. I’m both startled and angry that the lady would assume that my sweet coworker would be her attacker simply because he is black. Frustrated, I head into the back room where the new hire and the manager are working. I relay the story to my manager while my coworker listens a few feet away.)

Manager: *jokingly* “[New Hire]! You haven’t been attacking anyone lately, have you?!”

New Hire: *also jokingly* “Not that I know of…”

(I’m glad he was such a good sport about it and laughed it off, but it still pissed me off that the lady would accuse my coworker of such a terrible thing based solely on his skin color.)

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No One Disables You Like Family

| TX, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Popular

(I work for a disability lawyer, and we hear some interesting reasons for why people believe they should get disability. One afternoon, an elderly woman comes in with her two grandsons.)

Grandma: “I need to, uh, talk with someone about disability.”

Me: “I can help you with that!” *pulls out information intake sheet* “What’s your name?”

Grandma: “It’s not for me, though.”

Me: “Oh! Okay, who is it for?”

Grandma: “It’s for my grandson. He’s gay.”

Me: “Okay…” *looks at the two guys with her, since both are clearly over 21 and considered a legal adult* “Which one…?”

Grandma: “Oh, he’s not here. He won’t come out of his room. He’s gay. He doesn’t want to talk to us or anything.”

Me: “I see. Well, being gay isn’t a disability. Aside from that, if he’s over 18, he would have to call us himself.”

Grandma: “But he’s gay!”

Me: “And that’s not a reason for disability.”

Grandma: “It is for me!”

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Cut-Price Husbands

| New Zealand | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular, Tourists/Travel

(We have a policy in which we will beat our competitor’s prices by a dollar if a customer pays on that day. We can make no further discounts or deductions on the reduced price if a customer asks for that service, as if we do, we risk running a debit with the airlines. We publicize this far and wide, so we get customers approach us on a daily basis.)

Customer: “I’ve found this price to the USA, but I want you to price beat it for me.”

(This can involve a few minutes of work, as we have to research the price, and confirm it is still valid. In this case everything is fine, and I can proceed.)

Me: “Okay, well, we will match this price, and better it by $1.”

Customer: “No. No, I want more off. You will give me another 10% off the price, and waive all the fees.”

Me:”I’m sorry, but that’s just something I can’t do. This is the lowest price you can get. It is already a sale price, and we’ve dropped the price again to beat our competitors. I can’t give you anything further. Dropping the fees will actually anger the airline, as that incorporates their fuel charges. ”

Customer: “No, you will. And I might buy more travel from you in the future.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t.”

Customer: “Give me a discount!”

(This goes on for more than 10 minutes with the customer insisting that I must give him a 10-20% discount.)

Me: “Sir, honestly, I have given you the best price in the country. I can get my manager to confirm this, if you would like?”

Customer: “No, I can tell your manager will just do what you say. This is because you aren’t married isn’t it?”

Me: “What?!”

Customer: “You’re not wearing any rings. You’re not married, as you obviously don’t know how to treat a man. If you give me this discount, it will prove that you are worthy for a husband!”

(Unbelievably I kept my cool. He went away after 30 minutes, telling me what a hard and difficult woman I was. He still booked, and even then harassed my colleague for asking about the entry visas!)

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Must Be A Trump Supporter

| Foley, AL, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry

(A customer approaches the customer service desk, while I’m on the phone. I smile apologetically, and he waves for me to continue and go ahead. When I’m finished, I hang up.)

Me: “Sorry, sir, but I didn’t want to leave the gentleman in Afghanistan hanging.”

Customer: “Well, I’d like to hang them all!”

Me: “I’m fairly sure that gentleman is in the armed forces, sir.”

Customer: “Oh, well, that’s different, then! What aisle are the light bulbs on?”

Me: “One, sir.”

Customer: “Thanks!”

Coworker: *whispering* “Can we hang him instead, for being the world’s most horrible person?”

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