Addressed The Race Issue

| Edmonton, AB, Canada | Bigotry, Technology, Theme Of The Month, Top

(I work at a technical service call centre. A call is taken by an African-Canadian tech.)

Tech: “Thank you for calling [name of company]. My name is [name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Oh, thank God they gave me somebody white! The last time I called they expected me to talk to some stupid n*****.”

(The tech is perfectly calm.)

Tech: “Sorry about that, sir. How can I help you?”

(The call proceeds as normal. The tech troubleshoots with the caller, and decides new software is needed. He offers to ship the software.)

Tech: “Just to make sure, can I reconfirm your address?”

Caller: “Oh, sure. It’s [full street address].”

Tech: “Thank you. Oh, and before you go, you ought to know that I’m the biggest, blackest mother-f***** you’ll ever meet in your life, and I know where you live. Good day.”

Stared To Death

| Tolna, Hungary | Bizarre, Books & Reading

(I’m a regular at a small bookstore that a kindly old lady opened some years ago. We’ve been friends for as long as I’ve known her, and chat when there are no customers around. I walk up to the counter and see her talking to a woman in her late fifties. I’m an Emo, though uncharacteristically cheerful at the moment. I wear black, causal clothes most of the time.)

Me: “Good day, how’s it going?”

(She notices me, smiles, but motions me to move. Realizing I butted into their conversation, I sheepishly back away so they can continue. The customer is staring at me with her mouth wide open.)

Me: “Umm…”

(My friend and I exchange looks. I don’t believe she understands what’s going on either.)

Me: “I’m sorry; is something wrong?”

(The customer doesn’t answer or react in any way, and just keeps staring for what feels like minutes.)

Me: “…is there something on me?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Lady?”

Customer: “…”

(My friend seems worried as she observes our rather one-sided conversation. I’m starting to get annoyed, and a little scared.)

Me: “It’s impolite to stare at others, you know.”

Customer: “…”

(At this point it occurs to me she could have issues with my hairstyle. I pull my bang aside, but nothing changes.)

Me: “Okay, what?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “What is it?!”

My Friend: “Ah, I know! It’s because you’re wearing black! She thinks you’re attending a funeral, and since you were so happy—”

(The customer immediately snaps out of it and confirms this. She actually thinks I am happy because someone died. After five years, we still talk about the woman whom my fashion statement sent into catatonia, and my friend, the store owner, who’s apparently psychic.)

In Need Of A Sanity Check

| Federal Way, WA, USA | Bizarre, Money, Tourists/Travel

(I work at a retail financial institution that cashes all types of payroll checks. The customer that walks up to my window is a regular that comes in once a month to cash her government check that has an image of the Statue of Liberty on it. We are almost finished with the transaction.)

Me: “Did you need anything else today, like money order or stamps?”

Customer: “No, but I had a question about my check.”

Me: “Ask away! I’ll do my best to answer!”

Customer: “That picture of the Statue of Liberty on the check, does that mean I get to fly to New York and see the Statue of Liberty for free?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Does that mean I get to fly to New York and see the Statue of Liberty for free?”

Me: “Uh, no. It does not let you fly to New York for free.”

(I hand the check to her to sign, as I start to get cash from her transaction.)

Customer: “You’re a liar! It does mean I get to go to New York and see the Statue for free! You’re just trying to keep the ticket for yourself!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the picture on the check is just a symbol representing America. It is not a plane ticket.”

Customer: “LIAR! You’re a LIAR!”

(At this point, she snatches the check from the tray under the glass separating us, and runs off screaming about me being a liar.)

Coworker: “What was that?”

Me: “I seriously don’t know.”