Poorly Perceived

, , , , , , | Right | December 12, 2013

(I work at a restaurant in a very rich town, in which I also live. I am getting my hair done at a ‘posh’ salon when I see one of my regulars from the restaurant sitting in the first chair.)

Me: “Hello Mrs. [Customer]. Good to see you.”

Customer: “Oh, hel— Aren’t you my waitress from the place down the road?”

Me: “Yes, I am. How are you doing today?”

Customer: “I didn’t know people like you were allowed in a place like this.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

(At this point my stylist comes over to bring me to her station.)

Customer: *to stylist* “Honey, did you know this girl is a waitress? Are you sure she has enough money to pay? You may want to check before you start serving her.”

Stylist: “Ma’am, [My Name] has been a client here for two years. She’s very reliable.”

Customer: “Oh, my. What a waste of money. Poor girls like you should not be wasting their money on things like this. Don’t you have a child to care for or something of the like?”

(At this point everyone in the salon is quite uncomfortable and is staring at the three of us.)

Me: “I’m so sorry, Mrs. [Customer]. I actually only work at the restaurant because I don’t like to spend my time being unproductive. You see, I am a college student at [Very Prestigious College]. I am currently studying to be a biomedical engineer, which I’ll have you know is the second top-grossing career currently. And since it seems to matter to you so much, I’m quite financially comfortable! And even if I were a poor waitress, as you so kindly suggested, people are free to do whatever they like with the money they work so hard for! Your husband comes in twice a week to get coffee and sit at our counter and complain about you! So really, Mrs. [Customer], I’m very, very sorry for you.”

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