Ebonically Inclined

, , , , | Right | April 11, 2020

(My husband and I are having dinner at a local restaurant. Our server is a young black woman who is also serving the table beside us, which has an older — though not elderly — white woman. 

Everything seems fine until the woman pays her bill in cash. As the server is walking back to get change, she stops to see if my husband and I need drink refills. She is with us maybe five seconds, which is apparently suspicious.)

Customer: *sharply and loudly* “Don’t go ‘forgetting’ my change, honey, because I promise you I haven’t.”

Server: *in glacial polite tones, with a smile* “I am on my way to get your 37 cents just as soon as I check in on my other tables, ma’am, although if you need it right away I can spare it myself for you.”

(The woman seems to realize she’s drawn attention and looks flustered, and she is overly sweet when the server returns. I think maybe she’s realized she was being rude and presumptuous and is trying to make up for it, when she drops this gem as she stands up to leave.)

Customer: “Thank you, honey. Oh, and for next time, I speak ebonics, you know!”

(She left looking extremely proud of herself. How clueless can you be? I didn’t know what, if anything, I could say to our server, though I left her a bigger tip. Hopefully, she used it to buy herself something strong or indulgent after her shift because she deserves it if that’s the type of customer she has to deal with. Yet another reason why I could never be a server. Beaming positive vibes and good tips to all of you who are.)

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