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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.)

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His Bigotry Is Self-Server-ing

| USA | Bigotry, Technology

(I work tech support configuring whitebox systems (computers built from parts bought separately). A customer wants a server built that will support a discontinued Microsoft operating system. I’m female and so is the caller.)

Me: “I designed the server for you but the manufacturer won’t certify that these parts will work with the operating system you want to use.”

Customer: “Well, I spent a lot of money on this software years ago and I don’t want it to go to waste.”

Me: “Unfortunately, no one wants to spend time or money supporting a discontinued OS. You can purchase the server and try to install it, but you may not be successful getting it to work.”

Customer: “Who can tell me that it will work?”

Me: “That would be me. And I can’t tell you it will work because no one writes drivers for the software you’ve got.”

Customer: “I want to talk to someone qualified to tell me that it will work.”

Me: “I’m qualified. I’ve been doing this for over 10 years. I assure you that no one will certify it.”

Customer: “Let me talk to someone who isn’t like you.”

Me: “I’m not sure what you mean.”

Customer: “You know, a girl. I want to talk to a man.”

Me: “…Let me transfer you.”

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Their Assumption Has Expired

| ME, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular

(I am the only cashier in front. A customer approaches me.)

Customer: “I think one of the other customers is stealing.”

Me: “Can you describe the person?”

Customer: *immediately shouts* “Obviously it’s the only black guy in the store. You can’t miss him!”

(She goes on to say that he is putting things in his cart and going out back, then all the stuff from the cart is miraculously gone. He works here, getting rid of expired merchandise. The customer screams at my manager when she won’t fire him for stealing from the company.)

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