No Amount Of Chlorine Can Wash Away That Kind Of Hate

, , , | Right | February 18, 2019

(I work at a beautiful, open-air pool and spa complex, often frequented by a visiting international A-Grade sports team. We currently have one unwinding in one of our public, open-air spas. Another customer approaches me.)

Me: “Good afternoon, and welcome to [Pool]. How many children and adults will you be paying for today?”

Customer: “Just me, my child, and my friend here.” *motions to her friend*

Me: “All right, then. That’ll be [price]. The changing rooms are immediately left for women and right for men.”

(She pays, changes, stores her things in one of the lockers, and walks out, towel in hand. I should have called for help as I saw her on her way back. I stupidly didn’t.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but there’s a problem with your pools! They’re filthy and filled with s***!”

(Panicked, I look at the team leader, who hears this. She shakes her head no and continues on her path watching the rest of the pools.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but our lifeguards would have immediately noticed if there was that issue and closed the pool down. There isn’t any way this could have been missed.”

Customer: *immediately starts screaming at the top of her lungs* “NO! I MEAN THEY’RE FULL OF FILTH! YOU NEED TO GET THEM OUT OF THE POOLS AND CLEAN THEM IMMEDIATELY.”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Customer: *with her friend in the back with a s***-eating smirk on her face* “THOSE FILTHY F****** [RACIAL SLURS] IN THE SPAS UP THERE!” *referring to international sports team* “I REFUSE TO HAVE A SPA IN THOSE POOLS; THEY’RE FILTHY AND THEY NEED TO LEAVE SO I CAN HAVE MY SPA! THEY’RE DISGUSTING. FILTH. SCUM. THEY SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED IN PUBLIC SPACES! THEY’RE MAKING THE WATER FILTHY! GET THEM OUT! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!”

(I am completely stunned, but wary of her getting physical, I call up to the personal trainers in the attached gym for security and manpower:)

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t do refunds, and we are not making anyone leave. This is a public pool for the public and they have just as much right to be here as you do, and if you don’t accept that, then you can leave.”

(Two fairly bulky PTs have turned up by now, along with the complex manager.)

Customer: “I WANT MY MONEY BACK! CAN’T YOU MAKE THOSE FILTHY [SLURS] LEAVE?”

Me: “I’m sorry, no. We don’t do refunds, and I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Now. Your behaviour is not acceptable for this establishment, and you will be trespassing if you try to come back in.” *looks at the complex manager for approval, she nods and motions to the PTs to remove her*

(The customer screamed and bellowed horrific abuse and racist insults all the way out the door. We wound up giving the sports team free access to all parts of the complex and a voucher for dinner at the attached restaurant. They seemed to think it was hilarious and were incredibly kind and good-natured about it all, much to my relief.)

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