Dark Skin Means Having To Be Thick-Skinned

, , , , | Right | January 17, 2020

(It’s my very first day on the job at a big office supply store. I am trailing the team leader of my department around, watching him assist customers. It’s relevant to this story that he has very dark skin, but speaks with the standard accent of this city; it would be safe to bet he was born and raised here. A customer approaches and addresses me.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Could you please help me find [product]?”

Coworker: “Certainly, sir, I’ll help you with that! Please follow me.”

(The customer gives me a confused look.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, first-day training, just learning the ropes! [Coworker] will be able to assist you.”

(My coworker leads us to the product, and then spends a good few minutes answering questions about the product, helping the customer decide which is the right one to buy, and generally being an excellent help with exceptional product knowledge. The customer picks his product off the shelf, and then, as he is about to walk away, he turns to me.)

Customer: “I’m very impressed. He did a very good job for his first day; you must be an excellent trainer!” *turns to my coworker, and in a slow voice someone would use to address someone who can’t speak English* “Gooood jobbb! You did VE-RY WELL! Good luck at NEW JOB!”

(The customer walked away happily, leaving my coworker and I speechless and shaking our heads in disbelief, especially since he had just carried on an intelligent, lengthy conversation with the customer.)

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It’s A Shame Being Nice Is A Special Behavior

, , , | Right | January 16, 2020

(In high school, I work evening shifts as a cashier at a popular fast food chain. When there are no customers in the lobby, I also do custodial work. On this particular evening, business is very slow, so I decide to sweep behind the counter. There is a catchy song playing on the speakers, and I become so deeply absorbed in my sweeping and humming that I don’t notice a young couple entering the lobby.)

Customer: “EXCUSE ME!”

(I get startled and drop my broom. I would be the first to admit that I probably looked pretty silly.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry; I didn’t see you come in! Just a second.”

(I pick up the broom and lean it against the counter, but it immediately slides down and hits the ground with a loud clattering sound. I wince and decide to let it go for now.)

Me: “Sorry about that! Welcome to [Fast Food Chain]; may I take your order?”

(The woman has been staring at me this whole time. Now she smiles in an odd way I can’t quite interpret.)

Customer: “It’s okay, honey, don’t worry!” 

(She gives her order in an exaggeratedly loud, slow voice, and then steps back from the counter to give the young man a turn. Before he orders, she says to him in a loud stage whisper:)

Customer: “Be nice to her; I think she’s ‘special’!”

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Drink Some Covfefe And Call It A Day

, , , , , , | Right | January 15, 2020

(I work for a popular Canadian coffee chain.)

Customer: “Do you take American? Hundreds?”

Me: “Sorry, we don’t take AmEx or bills larger than 50s.”

Customer: “What? You don’t take American money at all?”

Me: “What? I… Oh, I’m sorry, usually American means American Express credit cards here. Yes, we take American money; we just don’t take any bills larger than 50.”

Customer: “You don’t take American money?” *passes me a Canadian toonie*

Me: “Yes, we do, we just don’t take—”

Customer: “You should. You’d better. Best country in the world. Best money in the world.” *walks off calmly*

Regular Customer: *in line behind him, doing a fake Trump voice* “Best money ever. The very best. There has never been any better money before our money.”

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Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 3

, , | Right | January 15, 2020

(I work for a central answering point for a municipality. We answer for almost every department in the city. I am female and sit beside a male; we both have the exact same job description, but he is about twenty years older than I am. I wish I could say this doesn’t happen very often but sadly it does, even with female callers.)

Me: *answers phone with standard greeting*

Caller: “I need to talk to an engineer!”

(This usually means they want to talk to a man.)

Me: “Okay, what is it regarding?”

Caller: *sighs and asks a standard question we are trained to answer*

Me: *gives proper response*

Caller: “No, that can’t be right! Let me talk to an engineer!”

Me: “Okay, please hold.” *transfers to my male coworker less than three feet away*

Coworker: *listens and gives the exact same answer as I did*

Caller: “Oh, okay. Thank you.”

Coworker & Me: *rolling our eyes*

Related:
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 2
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries

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These Explanations Are Just Not Working

, , , , , | Friendly | January 15, 2020

(I don’t work. In this day and age, it’s a controversial choice. I’ve yet to find a non-awkward way to answer. Here are a few attempts:)

Them: “So, what do you do?”

Me: “Mostly cooking and cleaning.”

Them: “No, for a job.”

Me: “I don’t have one.”

Them: *awkward silence*

(Another time:)

Them: “So, what type of job do you have?”

Me: “None.”

Them: “Why not?”

Me: “I’m disabled.”

Them: *starts giving medical advice or alternatives to traditional work*

Me: *grins and bears it*

(Another time, with my partner:)

Them: “[Partner], you work so hard! [My Name], what do you do?”

Me: “Make sure she has a nice meal to come home to.”

Them: “You don’t work?! That’s very selfish of you!” *starts ranting*

Partner: *interrupts* “The last time she overdid it, she wound up in bed with a three-day fever. She doesn’t work. That’s fine. I make enough for both of us.”

(Unfortunately, this leads to us never talking to them again, because my partner hates them and they treat me like a leech. I really don’t know how to handle the job question.)

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