More Speaking Up Is Required, In Fiction And Real Life  

, , , | Right | November 28, 2019

(I am a short girl with scoliosis, meaning my spine is bent. I am given permission to use a stool occasionally by management. My coworker, who is black, is talking to me about a book we’ve both read.)

Coworker: “I’m just saying, the main character was kind of dumb. She could have spoken up.”

Me: “One of the biggest problems with the book was a lack of communication between the characters. That’s why everything went to h***.”

Customer: “Young lady, can you help me?”

Coworker: “I will.”

Customer: “I’d prefer it if she did.” 

Me: “What do you need?”

Customer: “I need you to reach something for me on the top shelf.”

Me: “Sorry, but I’m not allowed to climb ladders. I have a bad back. My coworker can help you, though.”

Customer: “I overheard you talking about [Book], and I absolutely agree with you. The main character was as dumb as a rock and it was a waste of my time. Now, are you going to help me or not?”

Coworker: “She can’t climb ladders, but I can. What is it you need?”

Customer: “Is there a white person who can help me?”

(This catches the attention of everyone in the vicinity, including our supervisor.)

Coworker: “Sorry, you’ll have to deal with me. What did you need?”

Customer: “I need one of those ceramic pumpkins. Are you sure she can’t help me?”

Me: “As I told you before, I have a bad back. My coworker can help you, however.”

Customer: “No, I’ll find a white person to help.”

(The customer went to our supervisor, who told her that my coworker could help. She threw up her hands and left the store. My supervisor later commended the two of us for keeping a level head and not losing our tempers.)

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