Not What Is Meant By Giving A Voice To Minorities

, , , , , | Right | April 3, 2020

(I am a white male working at a well-known fast food franchise in a predominately-black area. I am working the drive-thru order and payment window. A car pulls up to the speaker box and I talk into my headset.)

Me: “Welcome to [Store]. Can I take your order?”

Customer: “I’ll take a [order].”

Me: “That will be [price]. First window, please.”

(So far, it seems like a standard order. The customer drives around. The customer is a black woman. Before I can even repeat the price, she looks up with a shocked expression.)

Customer: “YOU’RE NOT BLACK!”

(I am speechless.)

Customer: “You sound black on the box! WHY DO YOU SOUND BLACK?!”

(I do not know what else to say except:)

Me: “That will be [price].”

(The customer pays and then drives off to pick up her food. Then, she starts talking to herself.)

Customer: “Shouldn’t be making himself sound black like that. He’s not black.”

(My coworkers at the food window told me later that she told them to tell me to stop pretending to be black.)

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New King Of The “Jerk” Tag

, , , , , , , | Related | April 2, 2020

This happened in my early teens. My house phone was being called dozens of times at every hour for a fortnight. The caller was some poor old lady who spoke only Chinese and was trying to get a hold of her son. She didn’t stop calling, pleading day and night to speak to her son.

My mother tried to explain to her that she had the wrong number, and that she had dementia and needed help, but she could never remember the conversation and would be back to calling and pleading five minutes later. We really wanted to help her, we really did. My mom was slowly piecing together details about her and was going to call for help once she learned who that lady was.

Unfortunately, my dad had other ideas. From the start, he dismissed this poor old lady as some sort of scammer and warned us never to talk to her. After a fortnight, he lost his patience with the whole affair and decided to fix it. He had learned from my mom that the old lady was in her nineties, and thus had probably survived World War Two.

So, one day, after she called yet again, my dad picked up the phone and went to me. He told me to yell a bunch of Japanese swear words into the phone, to someone he assured me was a friend of his and was interested in me learning a third language.

I was self-teaching myself Japanese — mostly from anime, which my dad hates and calls a waste of time — so I was very pleased that he wanted me to demonstrate my skills. I proudly yelled a couple of insults in Japanese into the phone, got a pat on the head and an extra hour of leisure time to watch more anime, and never thought about it for almost a decade.

It was only way later that I found it suspicious that the old lady stopped calling after that. My mom eventually told me what my dad had done, which he quite proudly told her after three days without a call. I’m not saying that it led to their divorce later in the year, but in the immediate aftermath, my mom did start sleeping in a different bedroom. I’m not completely sure he even thinks he did anything wrong, even now. He never understood why my mom cared for a stranger and why she was angry at him.

I really can’t forgive myself for doing that now. I really hope that I did not rekindle that poor old lady’s trauma from the war.

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I Set Up The Payments And I Will Now Set The Phone Down

, , , , , | Working | March 27, 2020

(I’m married. While I love my husband very much, he’s not great with the administrative work of running a household. Because of this, I’m the one filling out forms, paying bills, lodging maintenance requests, etc. I work full-time; he is looking for work. Both our names are on the lease but my phone number is the primary contact. Our property manager has just changed, and the new guy is pretty old-fashioned. I get a call.)

Me: “[My Name] speaking.”

Property Manager: “Hello. Can I talk to the head of the household?”

Me: “This is she.”

Property Manager: “I mean [Husband].”

Me: *passing the phone to him* “It’s for you.”

(He listens to the phone for a few seconds, growing increasingly confused.)

Husband: “Uh… I don’t know about that. You should speak to my wife. She’s the one who set up those payments.”

(I get the phone back. It turns out that the property manager wants to know why we are paying by direct deposit instead of a rent card. I tell him I don’t want to pay a $2 fee every week just to pay my own rent, and I’m not interested in changing it. His last comment is a kicker.)

Property Manager: “I don’t get why [Husband] couldn’t tell me this. The head of the household should know what’s going on under their roof!”

Me: “She does, though.”

Property Manager: *click*

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Someone Is Really Cheesed Off

, , , , , | Right | March 25, 2020

(I work at a customer service center for a large food chain. A female customer placed an order online earlier in the day and calls to inform me that there was apparently a mistake.)

Customer: “Hi, I just wanted to give you some feedback on an order I received and my local store told me to call you because they said they can’t help me.”

Me: “I’m sorry for the inconvenience. What would be the issue?”

Customer: “Okay, so I ordered online like I usually do and the store didn’t make my food correctly.”

Me: “What was incorrect about the order?”

Customer: “They gave me two meat pizzas and two plain cheese pizzas when I ordered four meat pizzas!”

Me: “Well, I did pull up your order here and it does show that you placed two meat pizzas and two cheese pizzas on your order…”

Customer: “I didn’t do that. Your website must have done that!”

Me: “Well, if you would like, I can ask my supervisor to check on our website sessions to see your exact steps taken on the website.”

Customer: “Do that, because I know for a fact that I did not order this!”

(My supervisor, not surprisingly, tells me that she did order two cheese pizzas among her other pizzas. So, I once again inform her that she did order what she received.)

Customer: “I did not! I did not! I did not!”

Me: “I sincerely apologize that you did not receive what you intended to order. Unfortunately, our hands are tied here since the store already told you that they would not compensate you, but we can forward your comments to the upper management of that store to inform them that you are not satisfied.”

Customer: “Why would I order two cheese pizzas? I was ordering for a group of men who are working on my house. Men do not eat cheese pizzas!”

Me: *stunned silence*

Customer: “Your website should know that cheese pizzas are not for men! I will never order from your company again!”

Me: “I… apologize?”

Customer: *click*

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You Mexican’t Say That

, , , | Right | March 25, 2020

(I work as a cashier at a Mexican restaurant.)

Me: *hands a customer his change*

Customer: “You know, this is a Mexican restaurant.”

Me: “It is indeed!”

Customer: “Okay, but how did you get hired?”

Me: “Um… I applied, and they thought I was good for the job?”

Customer: “But you’re not Mexican.”

Me: “No, sir, I’m not.”

Customer: “So, you don’t speak Spanish or anything.”

Me: “Actually, I’m taking Spanish as my second language in school. I actually speak it quite well.”

Customer: “But you’re white. I just don’t understand how you got hired.”

Me: “Okay, sir, your food will be ready in ten minutes. Have a great day.”

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