Dark Skin Means Having To Be Thick-Skinned

, , , , | Right | January 17, 2020

(It’s my very first day on the job at a big office supply store. I am trailing the team leader of my department around, watching him assist customers. It’s relevant to this story that he has very dark skin, but speaks with the standard accent of this city; it would be safe to bet he was born and raised here. A customer approaches and addresses me.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Could you please help me find [product]?”

Coworker: “Certainly, sir, I’ll help you with that! Please follow me.”

(The customer gives me a confused look.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, first-day training, just learning the ropes! [Coworker] will be able to assist you.”

(My coworker leads us to the product, and then spends a good few minutes answering questions about the product, helping the customer decide which is the right one to buy, and generally being an excellent help with exceptional product knowledge. The customer picks his product off the shelf, and then, as he is about to walk away, he turns to me.)

Customer: “I’m very impressed. He did a very good job for his first day; you must be an excellent trainer!” *turns to my coworker, and in a slow voice someone would use to address someone who can’t speak English* “Gooood jobbb! You did VE-RY WELL! Good luck at NEW JOB!”

(The customer walked away happily, leaving my coworker and I speechless and shaking our heads in disbelief, especially since he had just carried on an intelligent, lengthy conversation with the customer.)

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