“It’s Their Culture” Is No Longer Valid Currency

, , , , | Right | November 4, 2018

(I work at a gift shop directly on a cruise terminal, and it’s not unusual for people to come in looking to either break up big bills or trade smaller bills for the larger ones. My coworker and I are both female and in our early twenties, as are most of my other coworkers. There are seventeen females to every three males so it’s common not to have a male present. A gentleman of East Indian descent comes into the store, looks at the people in it, looks at my coworker and me behind the counter, looks at the other people again, and reluctantly turns back to us.)

Coworker: “Hello, sir! Do you have a question?”

Customer: *looks around again, still looking a bit puzzled* “Is it just you two girls working?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir. Do you need any help?”

Customer: “So, there’s no one else? Not your grandfather?”

(It should be noted that while it is a family business, neither of us recognize the man, and she has been working there for seven years and me for three; we don’t know how he knows to ask for her grandfather.)

Coworker: “No, sir, but my father, the manager, is right outside.”

Customer: “Okay.” *leaves without a backward glance*

(Both my coworker and I are thinking that there’s a problem with the washroom or something else that he would be uncomfortable talking about to a woman. He later comes in with our manager to get rid of small bills. That is all he does. Both my coworker and I are a little peeved, to say the least. It’s not just that he thought we couldn’t do it, but he didn’t even ask because we’re women. After he leaves, my manager can see we’re a little upset.)

Manager: “It’s just his culture.”

Me: *softly to my coworker* “Yes, I understand. Because we have uteruses, we absolutely cannot do simple addition!”

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