One Scoop Of Bigotry, With Screams On Top

| Working | July 22, 2013

(I am working with a coworker who has been with us for almost two months. Two customers wearing hijabs—headscarves for Muslim women—enter the shop.)

Me: “Hi! What can I get you ladies today?”

Coworker: *whispering to me* “We can’t serve them!”

Me: “What? Why?”

Coworker: “They’re with those terrorist people!”

Me: “You’re kidding me right? Please tell me you’re kidding.”

(Before I can do anything, my coworker starts yelling at the women.)

Coworker: “You need to leave! We don’t serve sand-n****** here! Go on! Leave!”

(The customers and I are in shock.)

Me: “What are you doing?! Shut up!”

(Our shift manager, after hearing the yelling, comes out to the front counter.)

Shift Manager: “What’s going on?!”

Coworker: *points to the women* “Them! They won’t leave!”

Shift Manager: “What?”

Coworker: “They won’t leave! We have the right to refuse service!”

Shift Manager: “Calm down [coworker]. Now, why are we refusing them service?”

Coworker: “They’re terrorists!”

(Everyone is too shocked to reply.)

Coworker: “THEY! ARE! TERRORISTS! What’s so difficult to understand? We have the right to refuse them service! We don’t need sand-n****** here! They—”

Shift Manager: “STOP RIGHT THERE! Don’t you DARE say another word! In my office, NOW!”

(My coworker hurries to the back. The manager turns to the customers.)

Shift Manager: “I am so sorry ladies. You do not have to leave. Please stay and order whatever you want. It’s on the house.”

(I proceed to take the customers’ order, and apologize for my coworker’s behavior. I reassure them that not everyone thinks like him. They are very nice and forgiving, and even thank me when they leave. As for the coworker, he is fired the next day for discrimination. The sad part is he still doesn’t understand what he did wrong.)

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