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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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Disconnected From Humanity

| Australia | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular

(I work as a universal consumer specialist in a telco call center in Australia. I get to talk to a lot of people everyday who love to try to endear themselves to us by being racist a**-holes.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Telco]. My name is [My Name]. How can I assist with your enquiry today?”

Old Lady: “Are you Australian? It’s nice to talk to an Australian. I hate talking to all those Asians; they never listen.”

(Already this puts me offside as we’re a very multicultural company and our onshore call centers have people of many backgrounds.)

Me: “I see. Well, I can assure you that I am Australian. How can I help you today?”

Old Lady: “I want to cancel my phone.”

Me: “Okay, I can assist with that. To be able to help, I’ll need to ask you some questions and also need to access your account. Can I have your phone number and [ID questions].”

Old Lady: “My number is [number] and [ID question answers].”

Me: “Thanks for that. I’m pulling up your account now. While that is coming up, can I ask why you want to disconnect your mobile today?”

Old Lady: “My phone isn’t working.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that; have you spoken to our faults team?”

Old Lady: “Yes, they said I need a new phone.”

Me: “I see. Sometimes that is the case with an older handset. Unfortunately, technology doesn’t last forever. If you like, I can assist you with options for getting a new handset so you can use your mobile phone service again?”

Old Lady: “No, I just want to cancel it. I tried going into a store to get a new phone. It was full of Chinese. I took a number and waited three hours. They were only interested in serving young Chinese people in there.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. Could I confirm that location so I can send some feedback to the regional manager for you? If you would like, I can also assist with new handsets over the phone.”

Old Lady: “It was [Location #1, the same suburb that she lives in, an area that I know is a lower socio-economic area, mostly full of student accommodations] and no, I don’t do these things over the phone.”

Me: “Perhaps I could assist you with finding an alternative store, so you can get a new handset and keep enjoying the service?”

Old Lady: “All right.”

Me: “I have a store at [Location #2]?”

Old Lady: “No, that is full of Asians, too.”

Me: “Okaaaaaay, what about [Location #3]?”

Old Lady: “No, I don’t go there; it is low class.”

Me: “Okay, let’s get you disconnected then.”

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Playing The Racist Card Is Shady

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Bigotry, Health & Body, Popular

(I work in a cosmetics store and I see an African-American woman looking in the foundation section for a good five minutes, which is a long time to spend deciding between shades. I walk over to her.)

Me: “Hi, do you need any help today?”

Customer: “Yes. Which of these shades do you think is better for my skin tone?”

(Both shades are considerably lighter than her skin tone. I see that the skin tone of her face is noticeably lighter than the rest of her body, meaning that she has used lighter foundation before.)

Me: “Actually, I would recommend one of these instead.”

(Our foundation is displayed from lightest to darkest tones. I walk to the darker side of the display and pick up the two shades at the end, and hold them out for the woman.)

Customer: “Well, that’s a little racist.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “It’s because I’m black isn’t it?”

Me: “I’m sorry; I still don’t understand what you’re implying.”

Customer: I’m implying that you picked out those shades because I’m black. What if I want to be white?”

Me: “Yes, I picked out these shades because you’re black. You have beautiful dark skin, so beautiful in fact, that I don’t even think you need foundation, but I know people have different reasons for wanting to wear certain products and I have no room to assume why you’re buying something. Just like you have no room to assume I’m racist for suggesting a skin color that actually matches because that’s what you asked me to do.”

(The woman was completely shocked by what I said, put the bottles that she was holding back, and rushed out of the store. She came in a few days later, and this time the skin tone of her face was the same as the rest of her body!)

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Has No Reservations About His Comments

| Phoenix, AZ, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular

(In college, I am a bartender at one of those hole-in-the-wall places where men go to get drunk as quickly as possible. One night, our bouncer, who is Navajo, gets off while I still have hour on my shift, but he sits and drinks a Coke while he waits for me because my car is in the shop. The white guy sitting next to him strikes up a conversation. I missed the beginning, but it got louder.)

Customer: “You [expletive] Mexicans need to go home and find your own jobs. Stop taking our jobs. You took my job!”

Bouncer: “I already told you, buddy. I’m Navajo.”

Customer: “Oh. But they’re taking our jobs! I got fired and they gave my job to some Mexican!”

Bouncer: “I’m sorry to hear that.”

(The customer keeps ranting about immigrants stealing jobs and asking the bartender what he’s doing to stop them, and how he’s voting on a certain bill, as the bouncer gets more and more annoyed and finally snaps.)

Bouncer: “You know what, buddy? How about you shut up and just drink your beer there.”

Customer: “I bet you’re a liberal. I bet you’re a traitor. You’re probably glad they’re taking all the jobs so you can be a lazy [expletive] down on the rez, huh?”

Bouncer: “I have a job, sir, but I’m glad they’re taking yours. Seems to me your people stole this land, so I don’t feel at all sorry you’re getting it stolen from you, no.”

(It took the customer a minute to work that out, then he got up and tried to swing at the bouncer. He missed completely and nearly fell, and was escorted out of the bar.)