Closing The Door On Racist Attitudes

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | January 2, 2018

(We just hired a new girl to the office. She seems highly capable at her job as the new administrator and everyone generally likes her. About a week after she starts, I witness a strange interaction between her and one of our male coworkers. She is sitting in the common lounge area, having some lunch, when our male coworker sits next to her. They chat for a bit, but then after she says something, he gets a look of pure rage on his face and quickly gets up and walks away from her. Curious, I approach her and notice she is laughing quietly to herself. She notices me and waves hello.)

Me: “Hey, what was that? He looked mad.”

New Girl: “Oh… Oh, man, did I piss him off.”

Me: “Care to share?”

New Girl: “Well, he was complaining about how our doorman spoke Spanish, and how he should have learned English before he got here. Sounds familiar, right?”

Me: “Oh, that’s kind of horrible.”

New Girl: “Yeah. [Doorman] is super friendly, and he was that one who walked me up here and showed me where my interview was. He’s only been here for like five months on a work Visa! This is his second job on top of the first one!”

(At this point I feel a little ashamed that I never took the time to ever talk to the new doorman, or ask him about his life. I have been working at the company for five years and have never bothered getting to know any of the staff, and this girl who has been here a week has done that already!)

New Girl: “So, yeah, [Male Coworker] was going on and on, so I asked him if he ever took a foreign language class in high school or college. He said, ‘Yes. I took French for three years in high school!’ Then, I asked if he was fluent in French.”

Me: “Was he?”

New Girl: “No! He got all frazzled and was like, ‘Oh, that’s different. You know, it’s just an elective. I’m not fluent in French because I don’t have to be.’ And I told him, ‘Think about it: if you took French for three years and aren’t fluent or even partially knowledgeable in the language, how do you expect a man who has been in an English-speaking country for less than five months to be fluent in English?’ Besides, [Doorman] speaks English just fine; he just stutters.”

Me: *speechless*

New Girl: *laughs harder* “Was that too mean? He left after that. I thought he was going to yell at me!”

Me: “Can you please be my new best friend?”

(We fist-bumped, and I bought her coffee afterwards. I hope she sticks around because our coworker never says anything racist around her anymore. It’s been a few months now, and she runs the office better than people who have been around for years, even me!)

Redincarnation

, , , , | Friendly | January 2, 2018

(I’m walking into a small grocery store with my mother and two very red-headed sisters. As we head towards the entrance, a woman exits the store and stops to admire my sisters’ red hair.)

Woman: “Oh, your red hair is just gorgeous!”

Sister #1: “Oh, thanks!”

Me: “Heh, they get that a lot.”

Woman: “You know, I hope I can be reincarnated as a redhead. Yes… Maybe as a red-headed dolphin?”

(The woman then continued on her way. My sisters, my mother, and I exchanged puzzled glances before heading into the store. My sisters get compliments on their hair all the time, but usually the compliments end at the “your hair is gorgeous” line…)

Loco-Motive

, , , , | Friendly | January 2, 2018

(This is 20 years ago. I’m at a friend’s house and I’m to answer her phone while she’s out.)

Me: “Hello.”

Caller: “Hi, is [Friend] there?”

Me: “She’s out. Can I ask her to call you back?”

Caller: “Okay, sure. It’s ‘local’ calling.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Can I have—”

(Click.)

Me: “—your name, please?”

(I tell my friend, anyway.)

Friend: *laughs* “It’s my friend Loco. L-O-C-O.”

Me: *laughs* “He calls himself ‘Crazy’?”

Friend: “Well, he really likes trains.”

(I never met the guy. and then I heard they were out of touch, until recently.)

Friend: *texts picture of herself and a guy* “Met up with a really old friend today. It’s been 18 years!”

Me: “Good for you. Hey, any chance he’s Loco?”

Friend: “Yup! How’d you know?”

Me: “He’s a 40-year-old guy with a Thomas the Tank Engine shirt and a hat that says ‘Indian Railways.'”

There’s A Reason “Fan” Comes From Fanatic

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 1, 2018

(I’m filling up at a motorway petrol station. As I enter the kiosk, I recognise an actor who plays a rather notorious character on a popular soap opera making his way to the register.)

Actor: *to cashier* “Pump four, please, mate. And could I also get—”

Customer: “YOU!”

(A belligerent-looking customer storms up to the actor, inches away from his face.)

Customer: “How dare you! I know what you did to [Female Soap Character]! I’m calling the police!” *to cashier* “Detain this man! He’s a known thug and a thief, and—”

Actor: *adapting a more exaggerated London accent* “‘Ang about; did you say [Female Soap Character]?”

Customer: “Well, yes! Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about!”

Actor: “Nah, nah! You must be confusing me with my cousin is all.”

Customer: “Your cousin?”

Actor: “Yeah, [Notorious Soap Character]. You can tell us apart because ‘is skin looks ‘ealthier, and ‘e keeps ‘iself groomed a lot better.”

Customer: *squints* “My God, you’re right! You look nothing like him! I’m terribly sorry. Look, I don’t mean to pry, but you should stay away from your cousin; he’s a very bad man!”

(The customer turns to leave the station. When she disappears the actor shakes his head and turns to the cashier.)

Actor: “Twenty years of doing this, you learn how to deal with people like them.”

This Conversation Is Transcending Nowhere

, , , , , , , , , | Friendly | January 1, 2018

(I’m a trans guy. An underclassman has latched onto me as his mentor after I started dating his friend. I’ve assumed that he knows I’m trans, as it’s common knowledge among most people I talk to and he calls me “he.” We’re outside waiting for the bus when this happens.)

Friend: “So, what would you do if you got [Girlfriend] pregnant?”

Me: *surprised* “That would be quite a feat.”

Girlfriend: “Yeah.”

Me: “I guess if she was pregnant, I’d probably break up with her.”

Friend: “What? Why?!”

Girlfriend: “He can’t get me pregnant. It would mean I was cheating.”

(The subject soon changes, but as [Friend] and I get on our bus and my girlfriend gets on hers, he starts it up again.)

Friend: “So, if you got her pregnant, what would you name your kids?”

Me: “Again, I can’t get her pregnant.”

Friend: “What? Really?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Friend: “How does that work?”

(He’s very innocent, in some ways, and I kind of like that I pass as male around him. It’s nice having someone who doesn’t know I’m trans. He also tends to not have much tact, so I don’t necessarily want to get into the whole conversation right now. I don’t want to outright lie, though, so I weigh my words carefully.)

Me: “It’s a… medical thing.”

Friend: “Ah, did you get snip-snipped?” *makes scissor motion with fingers*

Me: “No, it’s complicated. I’ll tell you some other time.”

Friend: “Did you get kicked really hard? Because that’s the only reason I can think of.”

Me: “No!”

Friend: “So, your wick-wack doesn’t work like it used to?”

Me: “Kind of?”

Friend: “That’s weird.”

Me: *tired of this* “I got it fighting a dragon.”

Friend: “A dog?”

Me: “No, a dragon. A fire-breathing dragon.”

Friend: “Okaaay… Where did you find this fire-breathing dragon?”

Me: “In the land of None Of Your Business.”

Friend: “OOOH, that was good.”

(He thankfully changed the topic to Australia, scary animals, and dog breeds he’d eventually like to own. He ended up finding out I was trans later, unfortunately, and my girlfriend explained it to him. Sadly, it’s much less fun talking to him now, especially after he jokingly called me a girl right after he found out. He tried to reassure me by telling me I still “count as a ‘he,'” taking great pleasure in the fact that he knows my apparent “secret,” referencing my “non-existent [genitals],” and telling me that I “confuse him” because he “has to call me he” even though the school still makes me use female formal wear for concert attire. I’ll be distancing myself from him. Thankfully, my girlfriend is one of my fiercest supporters and corrects him whenever she can.)

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