Rule One: Any Joke Ever Will Offend Someone

, , , , , , | Learning | January 29, 2020

In college, I was friends with someone who did articles for our campus newsletter, and at one point, they asked me if I wanted to try and do a piece. I made one entitled “The Gay Agenda,” which was basically listing of the different lists and “agendas” that I dealt with in my day-to-day life, from a shopping list, to a club meeting schedule, to my New Year’s resolutions. It was intended as a humorous piece to highlight the similarities between straight and gay students.

It was rather sad just how many people got completely furious over it; many of them obviously never read past the title. Some people accused me of trying to “trick” them into thinking they were gay, and others called me homophobic for daring to imply that homosexual people — such as myself — had an agenda. The backlash ended up getting the post removed from the newsletter’s website, but I’d still see people ranting about it or referencing it from time to time before I graduated.

So, it seems like it did unite people, just not the way I’d hoped.

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Mansplaining Over Tea

, , , , , | Friendly | January 28, 2020

I’m female. I’m selling a tea set on a post-n-sell website. Since it’s a fairly common pattern and some people might want replacement parts, I list each piece individually (i.e. the teapot by itself, the tea cups as a set, etc.), before taking group shots to sell as one big set. Either way, I make money.

Just as I finish, I see a message notification. I’m excited that someone wants one of my listings so quickly. I click on it and see it’s from a guy, posted about five minutes ago. He writes, “Top tip for you: sell it as a set.” As I’m processing this, another message pops up from him: “Glad to see you took my advice.”

Nice to know Internet Guy doesn’t give in to his masculine insecurities so he can mansplain how to sell a tea set online.

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Sadly, A World Free Of Bigotry Is Just Fan Fiction

, , , | Friendly | January 26, 2020

(I’ve been chatting to someone on a fanfiction site.)

Woman: “This pairing is disgusting. I can’t believe people write that.”

Me: “I absolutely agree. It’s incest and also abusive.”

Woman: “Well, that, too.”

Me: “What do you mean, ‘That, too.’?”

Woman: “They’re men! Sick homo f***s!”

Me: “I’m not sick.”

Woman: “I didn’t say that.”

Me: “Yes, you did.”

Woman: “You’re a homo?”

Me: “I’m bi. And trans.”

Woman: “F*** you, girl.”

Me: “I’m a guy. And I’m no longer talking to a transphobic and homophobic person. Bye.” *block*

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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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