Talking Down To Toxic Males On A Level They Understand

, , , , , | Right | June 14, 2021

In the late 1990s, I work in a popular body care shop during and after college. As a guy, I start off working back stock but eventually move onto the sales floor for more hours. My girlfriend works at the store joined to mine. I usually enjoy being the only guy on the payroll, and I think most of the customers enjoy that, too. MOST of them.

A group of high-school girls enters with boyfriends in tow.

Me: “Hi, everyone, welcome to [Store]. I’m filling shelves back here, but please let me know if you need anything.”

The girls shop for a while, asking questions from time to time. The boys leave to sit outside, clearly bored, but they come back in as I finish ringing out the girlfriends. One boy speaks to his girlfriend as they leave.

Boy: “Glad you’re done. I couldn’t stand watching that [slur] help you.”

Me: *Knowing my manager has my back* “I just got paid for twenty minutes of hanging out with your girlfriend while you sat outside, and now I’ll head back to the stockroom where my own girlfriend is taking her break. I think I came out ahead on this one.”

He did not seem to appreciate the comment, as his friends laughed him out the door.

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Not Ovary-acting To This One

, , , , | Working | June 11, 2021

I am a female apprentice in a very male-dominated field. None of my coworkers or bosses have ever had an issue with that; in fact, they are all very supportive.

One day, we have an outside company come in to do some work we don’t do, so they come around about once a week. There is a new employee with them. I am tasked with bringing them some things they need.

New Employee: “Uh, what are you doing here?”

Me: “I am doing an apprenticeship.”

New Employee: “Right, but when you’re finished, you’ll work in accounting?”

Me: “Uh, no, I’ll be in the workshop.”

New Employee: “No, really, you should be doing a desk job.”

I think he might be joking, so I laugh, but I realize he’s serious.

Me: “I love my job, so I’m not going anywhere else.”

New Employee: “But it’s not, you know… a job for you.”

I was so flabbergasted that I just walked away, but I vented to my coworkers about it. They all took my side, and I am still astounded by an outside company coming in and thinking they can tell me what job I should be doing.

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A Proper Bollywood Ending

, , , , | Right | June 9, 2021

I own my own little corner shop. A grumpy old customer comes in to buy cigarettes, and when it’s time to pay, he flings his coins at me instead of handing them to me. I am forced to pick some coins up off the floor.

Customer: “That’s it, [South Asian slur]. On the ground where you belong.”

Me: “Don’t worry, sir. Considering how many of these you’re smoking and how terribly old you look, you’ll be in the ground while I’ll be on it for a long while yet. I’ll even do a little Bollywood dance on your grave.”

Customer: “How dare you!”

Me: “Goodbye, die soon!”

He stormed out as I turned up the Indian music on my radio.

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Here Comes Trouble[maker]

, , , | Working | June 9, 2021

I am the assistant manager at an Indian cuisine restaurant, and due to staffing shenanigans unrelated to this story, I’m left with three newbies, two coworkers, and some kitchen staff.

One of the newbies I shall dub [Troublemaker]. [Troublemaker], [Newbie #1], [Coworker #1], and I are on the schedule one night.

[Newbie #1] has a look in her eye that I don’t like, and I ask her what’s wrong. She takes me aside for a few moments as we are setting up the bar and tells me some unsettling things about [Troublemaker].

[Newbie #2] is apparently a sweet girl, hadn’t worked much in a restaurant before, and is learning quickly. It was her second night and [Troublemaker]’s first. She was following [Newbie #1] around, helping her with tables, when [Troublemaker] manifested in front of her and screamed at her.


[Newbie #1] and [Newbie #2] were stunned, and [Newbie 2] was quiet for the rest of the night. I had the day off, unfortunately; otherwise, I would have taken care of that pretty quickly. [Newbie #1] felt that if [Newbie #2] came back, it would be a freaking miracle.

Newbie #1: “[Troublemaker] has been rude to me personally and to our customers, and I know for a fact that he is going to be rude to you.”

Me: “Thanks for the heads-up. If he’s rude, I’ll handle it.”

Forewarned, I don my metaphorical brass knuckles and prepare for war. Dinner shift is when the brown stuff meets the fan.

It is slow at first, and we have a reservation for eight at 6:00 pm. I casually ask [Troublemaker] if he would like to take them, since [Newbie #1] and I already have a table.

Troublemaker: *Snapping* “I already have a section!”

He waves at his section, which is completely empty. He has been basically doing next to nothing around for about an hour, other than straightening things and giving people malevolent looks.

Me: “Well, then, since you clearly have nothing to do, kindly roll some silverware, as we’ve run out.”

Troublemaker: *Loud and angry* “YOU DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!”

Me: *Calmly* “Oh, but I do. I’m the assistant manager, and you have been here for two days. I give the orders here. You don’t. Roll the silverware.”

I walk away. He is absolutely fuming, and of course, he doesn’t do as I asked. That is just the beginning.

As soon as we start getting busy, I send customers into [Troublemaker]’s section. Things eventually slow down again. I notice that [Troublemaker] hasn’t been bussing tables, so his section looks awful.

Me: “[Troublemaker], bus your tables.”

Troublemaker: *Screaming* “You don’t tell me what to do!”

That’s it. I’ve had it.


[Troublemaker] looks amazed but still wants to argue.

Troublemaker: “You don’t tell—”


Troublemaker: “You’re just a woman!”

I narrow my eyes dangerously at him.


I then go for a cigarette. When I come back, he has pulled [Coworker #1] and one of the kitchen staff aside and is talking at them in Hindi while pointing at me.

I am not about to put up with him hiding behind his language. I approach them and stand squarely in front of them.

Me: “Hi.”

[Troublemaker] switches to English.

Troublemaker: “She needs to be fired!”

Unfortunately for [Troublemaker], he doesn’t know the history of our restaurant. I’ve stuck through thick and thin with the restaurant and was basically the reason why the restaurant lifted out of a slump that would have destroyed the business. If the General Manager fired me, the restaurant would crash and burn, and he knows it. Plus, he is the rare manager who really values employees for more than just the warm bodies filling a spot.

Coworker #1: “She’s not going to be fired. Do what she tells you, or you’ll be the one who gets fired.”

Me: “[Troublemaker], I don’t know what you’re used to, but here, you take orders from me.”

[Troublemaker] tries to interrupt a few times but I cut him off.

Me: “No. You take orders from me. NO, [Troublemaker]. Be quiet. I am talking. This is not negotiable. If you can’t handle taking orders from anyone, or worse, can’t take orders from a woman, we can let you go to find a new job. Your choice.”

Troublemaker: “You need to learn your place. You have no business giving orders to a man!”

I smiled at him like a shark, and at the end of the shift, I typed up a long, detailed email to the General Manager.

[Troublemaker] was gone before he had even worked a full week, and apparently, the loss of his job was also a loss of his ability to even stay in the country.

I made a phone call to [Newbie #2], letting her know [Troublemaker] was gone and she would never have to deal with him again. She thanked me, and after some gentle encouragement on my part, she agreed to continue working with us. 

Staffing this place is going to be a challenge.

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Unfortunately, Familial Support Seems To Be Fluid, Too

, , , , | Related | CREDIT: DazedMissile | June 9, 2021

I recently accepted myself as genderfluid. I haven’t come out to basically anyone yet except for my best friend and a small part of my family.

A few months ago, my grandma, who is on a walker and cannot move too much on her own, asked the family to visit. The health crisis was particularly bad in our area at the time, so most of us said no. A few days ago, we went finally to visit since the cases were going down, although I insisted on always wearing my mask, tried to approach people as little as possible, and did not touch other people’s stuff. And I got to see my cousins again.

I stepped out for a moment to talk to my best friend on the phone.

Me: “I’m a bit uncomfortable with what I’m wearing; I’m dressed a little more boyish today. I still look ‘normal,’ but my aunt’s kind of conservative, and she keeps saying stuff like, ‘You have such a nice body; such a shame you decide to act like a boy and not like the nice girl you are.’” *Sigh* “I wonder if one day she’ll understand that I’m no longer a girl.”

It turns out that my six-year-old cousin thought I was playing hide-and-seek, so he came looking for me and heard my last sentence.

I ended my call and walked back inside.


Me: “What?!”

Aunt: “You said you were no longer a girl! What are you then? A [potentially offensive word for trans people]?”

Me: “Well, not, exactly I—”


My uncle tried to calm her down; all her yelling must have been heard from the streets. He failed.

So, with no way to reason with her, I just walked away and texted my other aunt, who I live with, to pick me up and take me home. I haven’t spoken to anybody else on that side of the family yet.

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