Giving Customer Service A Bad Name, Part 4

, | Working | November 20, 2012

(I am not Arabic, but my name, Khadijah, is. On my way home from school, I stop for a bite at a fast food place. I’ve forgotten to take off my school ID, which has my name printed in rather big letters.)

Cashier: “That’ll be [price].”

(I pay her. As she takes the money, I notice her squint her eyes at my school ID.)

Cashier: “What the heck? What does that say?”

Me: “What?”

Cashier: “Your school ID? That’s your name?”

Me: “Oh! Yes, I guess I forgot to take it off. My name is Khadijah.”

(She tries to repeat my name, but says it wrong. She then scoffs as if she’s annoyed.)

Cashier: “You black people are all the same. Why can’t you have normal names instead of made up s***?”

Me: “Excuse me? My name is not made up! It’s of Arabic origin.”

Cashier: “Then you need to get a name that’s American if you’re gonna live here. But really, ‘Khadijah’ sounds like something from the ghetto. I feel sorry for you with that name. People will think you’re some kind of trash w***e or something.”

Me: “Well, it’s not, and I like my name very much, thank you! And, FYI, I was born in this country and have lived here my whole life. May I please just have my food?”

Cashier: *shuts up and gives me my food*

(Thankfully when I went there a few weeks later, I learned she’d been fired for her comments to me.)


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