Cinco De Nono

, , , , , , , | Right | November 24, 2017

(I’m a cashier at a local chain store, currently running the self-checkout. We have various songs sung in Spanish playing. Part way through my shift, I’m approached by a customer who’s finished her transaction.)

Customer: *coming very close to me* “When did you sell your store to Mexicans?”

Me: *blinks* “We… didn’t, ma’am.”

Customer: “Then what’s with this music? I can’t understand a word of it!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s Cinco de Mayo.”

Customer: “Oh!”

(The sad part is, we’ve been playing holiday-appropriate music for years. Is it really that hard to think that we’d play music in Spanish for Cinco de Mayo?)

Thankful For Gender Stereotypes

, , , , , , | Right | November 22, 2017

(It’s just before Thanksgiving and I stop by to pick up my pre-ordered 12-pound turkey. This brand comes in a box, with handles on each side. The guy behind the counter looks up my order, then looks over the counter.)

Cashier: “Where’s your cart?”

Me: “This is all I’m buying, so I don’t need a cart.”

(He looks dubiously at my 5’4″, 125-pound frame.)

Cashier: “Are you sure? It’s pretty heavy.”

Me: “Since I regularly lift more than this in the gym, yes, I’m sure I can carry it.”

Cashier: “I really think you should get a cart!”

(Quashing my frustration, I assured him that it would be fine. He shook his head and finally brought out my turkey. It just burns me that no one would have thought twice about me carrying a 15- to 20-pound toddler, but a mere 12-pound turkey is “too much.”)

Love Your Neighbor, But Only If They’re White

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 21, 2017

(I have gone shopping after work one evening. The store is crowded and the checkout lines are long. It has been a long day. I am slumped against my cart, sighing in frustration at how long the cashier is taking, merely because I’m tired and irritable. An older woman has gotten in line behind me and has apparently taken notice of my irritation.)

Woman: *softly* “I know how you feel. If they would just go back where they belong, it wouldn’t take so long to get through the line.”

(I look around to realize we are the only white folks in line.)

Me: “Are you a Christian?”

Woman: “Yes, I am.”

Me: “Are you sure about that?”

(I turned back around to ignore her. She made some muttering noises as she got out of line to join another.)

Because All Arabs Are Terrorists, Apparently

, , , , , , | Working | November 21, 2017

(I work overnight at a call center that is locked a few hours before my shift starts. We aren’t given keys, so we have to knock and wait for a coworker to open the door. This particular night it gets cold rather suddenly, and I wrap my scarf around my head because I haven’t brought my hat with me, but my face is clearly visible. I knock on the door and one of my coworkers comes around the corner. Her eyes go wide and she runs away as if terrified. I’m perplexed by this, and I knock again and get no response. I get my phone out and call the office number.)

Coworker: “Hello, th-thank you for calling [Company]. How can I h-help you?”

Me: “[Coworker], I’m waiting at the door. Could you come unlock it? I’m extremely cold.”

Coworker: “Oh, my God. That was you?

Me: “Of course it’s me. Who did you think?”

Coworker: “You look like a terrorist! Don’t scare me like that! Why do you have that terrible thing on your head?”

Me: “Are you serious? It’s cold. I’m wearing a scarf. You think a scarf makes someone a terrorist?”

Coworker: “Yes! You look like one of those Arabs!”

Me: *counting silently to ten* “[Coworker], even if I had darker skin and wore a proper hijab, I wouldn’t be a terrorist. But how you saw my pasty white face and plaid fleece scarf as Arabic is beyond me. Now open the d*** door.”

Terror Is Color-Blind

, , , , , | Related | November 21, 2017

(My mother, while being an incredibly kind woman in all other walks of life, is alarming when it comes to racial stereotypes and is very vocal about them at home, particularly when watching the news. This particular incident is in relation to the recent shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the night of the attack, when there is very little knowledge of the attacker released by media, we have this discussion:)

Dad: “Is it another terror attack?”

Me: “Yeah, in Las Vegas this time.”

Dad: “What, by a Muslim man?”

Mum: “Of course it’s another Muslim! Who else causes terror attacks these days?”

Me: “They haven’t said anything about the guy’s race, not that it even matters, and you know that anyone can cause a terror attack, right? It’s not just Muslims.”

Mum: “But who else would?”

(My sister and I both roll our eyes, not wanting to start an argument, and just let it go. The next afternoon, the name of the attacker is released.)

Mum: “Oh, look; he’s black.”

Me: “What?”

Mum: “Oh, half-black. Half-black!”

(A photo appears on the TV, showing that the attacker is clearly of Caucasian descent.)

Mum: “Wait… He’s white?”


(To top it off, we are all of Southeast Asian decent, and my mother is a strong supporter of Pauline Hanson, a Senator who could be described as the Australian Donald Trump, and still supports her even after my sister and I told her she’s attempted to get Asians kicked out of Australia. Thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the shooting.)

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