Not A Very A-Peeling Attitude

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 31, 2018

(My group of college friends has one fellow who is from a wealthy family in Panama. One day in the cafeteria he gets an orange with his lunch. When it comes time to eat it, he can’t figure out how to get it open. Baffled, we ask:)

Me: “Have you ever peeled one before?”

Friend: “No! That’s women’s work!”

Magic: The Embarrassing

, , , , , | Friendly | January 30, 2018

(I am a girl who has grown up as a nerd from a young age, enjoying comics, card games, etc. I go to a comic book store where I’m a regular, to play Magic: The Gathering. Since I’m a girl, a lot of guys tend to think I’m a ditz and that I have no idea how to play the game. We have just finished “drafting” and creating our decks, and I am extremely confident in my deck. I am assigned to play with a guy I’ve never seen before.)

Guy: “Hi, I’m [Guy]. You’re [My Name]?”  

Me: “Hi, [Guy]. Yes, nice to meet you.”

Guy: “Okay, so, I’m guessing you’re new to the game. I’m willing to go easy on you so you can at least have the first round.”

(All the guys who know me just kind of chuckle under their breath, knowing that he has just signed a death warrant.)

Me: *in my best ditz voice* “Oh, thank you. I was so worried; I’ve never, like, played this game. I just came along with my dad.”

(I gesture to one of the guys close by.)

Guy: “Oh, that’s sweet. Dad-daughter time.”

Me: “Yeah.”

(We begin to play. As he promised, he goes easy on me, and I win. But he also lets me see a lot of his good cards, whereas I haven’t played mine, because I want him to believe I am bad. We continue to the next game, and he’s no longer going easy on me. He realizes over this round that I am now putting out heavy hitters and excellent combos. As I’m about to win, he stands up.)


Me: “How?”

Guy: “You had your dad build your deck! You’re supposed to make your own!”

Me: “Actually, [Guy I pointed out earlier] isn’t my dad. He’s someone who knows me because I constantly come here and win. I have done so for at least six months, now.”

Guy: “You aren’t new, then! Why didn’t you tell me?”

Me: “Maybe you shouldn’t assume that, because I have boobs, I don’t know how to play something. It’s extremely sexist. Now. Are you going to let me finish the game, or are you going to run out the door with your tail between your legs?”

(At this point he is looking around for support, and the owner says:)

Owner: “Maybe you shouldn’t be a sexist d**k!”

Guy: *looks at me* “You b****! *stands up and huffs out*

Owner: *yells to customer as he leaves* “I hope you learned your lesson!”

(He tried to come the next week. He opened the door, only to see me sitting there, facing the door, smiling. He automatically turned around and left, and he didn’t come back again. It’s always nice to put those type of guys in their place.)

You Can’t Be Vilnius!

, , , , , | Right | January 30, 2018

(I work in the home department. A lady in her forties approaches me on the till.)

Customer: “I want to return this blender.”

(The receipt says it was bought a year ago and it has clearly been used.)

Me: “What’s wrong with the item?”

Customer: “Nothing. I just don’t use it anymore.”

Me: “I can’t process a refund for you because it’s been used and you’ve had it for a year now.”

Customer: “But the guarantee is for two years!”

Me: “The guarantee is for faulty or damaged items only. I am afraid I can’t do anything for you.”

(The customer looks confused, so I explain to her how a guarantee works. She looks a bit suspicious.)

Customer: “Where is your accent from?

Me: “I am from Lithuania, part of the Baltic States, neighbours with Latvia, Poland, and Belarus.”

(A lot of people have never heard of Lithuania, so I am used to it. But this lady is a real gem.)

Customer: “All right. One of my colleagues is Polish. You guys all speak the same language, don’t you?”

Me: “No, we have our own language.”

Customer: “Oh, I am sure you do.”

Me: “I assure you that we have different languages and different cultures.”

Customer: “Could you ask someone else about the blender, dear? I am concerned you might be wrong about the guarantee if you don’t know what language you guys speak.”

(I try to figure out if I have heard her correctly. After few moments of silence I assure her that I really know the how the guarantee works, but after few blank stares I just phone my manager. She confirms what I have said is correct. Unfortunately, the customer looks even more suspicious.)

Customer: “Are you here legally?”

Me: *even more shocked* “Yes, I definitely am!”

Customer: “Can I see your visa?”

(I am trying to hold myself back, and instead of saying this is not her d*** business, I just politely explain:)

Me: “I don’t have one, because I am from the EU, so I don’t need one.”

Customer: “I am sure you do!”

Me: “Well, if you are sure…”

(I end up explaining to her that travelling inside the EU doesn’t require a visa, and it works in both ways. When she’s traveling somewhere in the EU, she doesn’t need a visa, either.)

Customer: “Yes, I understand that, but England is not in the EU; it’s in the United Kingdom!”

(I can’t believe this, but I actually end up explaining that the UK is a part of the EU.)

Customer: “Dear, would you say America is a part of the EU?”

Me: “No, that is part of the USA.”

Customer: “You see? And England is a part of the UK! You really need to learn your geography, dear.” *smiles and leaves*

(My colleague is standing at the next till.)

Colleague: “All right! I always though Lithuania was a part of Russia!”

Me: “Yeah, sure. Why not?”

Totally Uwabaki-Wacky

, , , , | Right | January 26, 2018

(This weirdness happens after the customer before this woman has purchased a large number of flip-flops.)

Customer: *leans conspiratorially toward me and whispers* “What do you think she was buying all those shoes for?”

Me: “Well, when I was in Japan for college, I know it was a practice to offer ‘house-shoes’ to guests so they could remove their ‘outside-shoes’ and keep from tracking dirt on the carpets. Maybe she wants to do something like that. I do it, too, as a matter of fact.”

Customer: “Oh! I see! That’s a good idea!”

(I’m happy I might have introduced her to a bit of new cultural knowledge, until…)

Customer: “Yes, that’s a very Oriental thing to do. It sounds like something they’d do in California. You know, I heard it’s illegal for the Orientals to wear shoes inside out there, to protect the hardwood floors!”

(I answered that I wasn’t aware of any such laws either in California or in Japan, and rushed her out of my till. I’m still trying to decide if she had dementia or was just trying to sound smarter than she obviously was. Seriously… “Orientals?”)

Has Mixed Feelings About HR

, , , , , , , | Working | January 22, 2018

(I am of mixed race — my mom is black and my dad is white — but I have predominantly Caucasian features. I get called into HR after a verbal fight I had with another mixed coworker. She is accusing me of being racist towards her. I have a generic first and last name, so unless I choose to disclose my parentage, I can easily pass for white.)

Human Resources: “Hello, [My Name]. Thanks for coming. This is a safe space to share our feelings in, so no one feels attacked here.”

(My coworker sniffles and glares at me as I sit down.)

Me: “Okay.”

Human Resources: “So, let’s discuss what happened on Thursday, and how we can move forward. [Coworker] feels like you’re singling her out for being mixed and are purposely giving her easy work and putting her down in front of the boss due to her race.”

Me: “Now—”

Coworker: “I just feel so unsafe at work.”

Human Resources: “Don’t worry, [Coworker]; we are here to change that.”

Me: “Can I say something?”

Coworker: “You’ve said enough. It’s clear how you feel about black people.”

Human Resources: “Now, now, let’s stay calm. It’s a safe space. Now, [My Name], since is the first altercation, you won’t be fired.” *Yes, this is literally how she started the conversation* “But—”

Me: “Uh, excuse me? Aren’t you going to ask my side of the story?”

Human Resources: “Uh, well, sure, but—”

Me: “I hope you aren’t just taking her side because she’s more black than I am.”


Me: “NEWSFLASH! I’m mixed, too!”

Coworker: “What?”

Me: “I look white, but my mom is black. So, let’s go back you accusing me of being racist towards you for being mixed. Now that it’s clear I’m mixed, too, please explain to me how I’ve been demeaning to you because of your lineage. I’m sure my parents want to know where they went wrong with me.”

Coworker: *rushed* “Maybe I overreacted.”

Human Resources: “Okay, due to this turn of events, maybe we can settle it.”

Me: “Yeah, thanks to you finding out I’m mixed, all of a sudden I’m not the bad guy, huh? What if I hadn’t been mixed? You weren’t even going to hear my side of the story! You would’ve just taken her at her word, and I might’ve been out of that supervisor promotion I applied for. You could’ve ruined my future at this company all because I ‘look white.’”

(I stormed out of the office and found the nearest office with the words supervisor on it. I was led to the supervisor of the HR rep, and he listened to me rant for at least an hour before, calmly, helping me find a solution. Neither the HR rep or my coworker were fired, but the HR rep was unofficially demoted and my coworker was moved to a different floor. I haven’t had any trouble since, and although I got passed over for supervisor, my current boss practically told me I have her position when she goes on maternity leave. After this altercation, my mom half-jokingly told me to leave a picture of all of us on my desk in case of future misunderstandings of my race.)

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