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Probably Thinks Jesus Was White, Too

, , , , , , | Right | August 25, 2022

I work at a Chinese takeout. I was born in the USA but am ethnically Chinese, so I am conversing in Mandarin with a customer. Another customer makes a loud “Hmph!” sound.

Customer: “You should speak English only in here!”

Me: “But this is a Chinese restaurant.”

Customer: “This is America!

Me: “So we’re both not speaking the native language. I’m glad we agree.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Both English and Chinese are not the native language of this country.”

Customer: “This country was discovered by God-fearing Christians!”

Me: “So wrong on so many levels. Native American tribes were the first here. The first Europeans to ‘discover’ it — as you put it — were the Norse. Then the Spanish, then the Portuguese, then the French, and then the British. So, that’s like five European languages before English was even a thing here. Were you going to order, or did you want to keep arguing with a history student?”

The customer just “hmphs” even louder and walks out without ordering. The Chinese customer I was talking to before speaks to me in Mandarin again.

Customer #2: “The owners won’t like that! You just cost them a sale.”

Me: “Oh, don’t worry, Aunty. We don’t want someone who hates Chinese that much to eat our food.”

Not Exactly The Personal Growth We’d Hoped For

, , , , , , , | Related | July 27, 2022

My mom and I are watching a rerun of a crime show around the time that Black Lives Matter is a trending topic nationwide. My mom has very conservative views on the matter to the point of being blatantly racist at times, views I disagree with but keep quiet about to keep the peace at home.

This particular episode of this show talks about the Japanese internment camps of World War II and goes a little into the history of how Japanese-Americans were mistreated and incarcerated during and after the war. Mom speaks up during the episode.

Mom: “You know, we really treated the Japanese horribly during the war.”

I smile inwardly, thinking this is a small step forward for my mom. Then, she keeps talking.

Mom: “They deserve our sympathy a lot more than Black people do! They didn’t riot and protest and throw a fit over their treatment; they just smiled and moved on. Black people could learn a lesson from them.”

One step forward, five huge steps back. Thankfully, I don’t live with her anymore and don’t have to be exposed to her racist views.

Wasting Everyone’s Precious Pacific Time

, , , , , , , | Learning | July 11, 2022

When I was in high school, my family moved from Oregon to Washington. Oregonians are very proud of the history of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and Oregon itself. Therefore, I had been taught a lot about that history all throughout school. Much of it was regional since the whole area had once been the Oregon territory. I already knew a lot about Washington state history, as well. My new school still required me to take a Washington state history class, though.

My first frustration with the class happened on the first day when the teacher said that he preferred to teach the history of the entire Pacific Northwest. This entire class was basically a review for me, but I figured it would be an easy A.

The thing that broke me was when the teacher said he wasn’t from the Pacific Northwest, so he was pretty much learning right along with us. The following conversation took place about a week later.

Teacher: “We’re going to be going over the geography of the Pacific Northwest, but I have to warn you that I don’t know how to pronounce a lot of the words.”

He starts going over the rivers.

Teacher: “This one is the Willamette.”

He pronounced it “Will-uh-met-ee.”

Me: “That’s Will-AM-et.”

Teacher: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yep, I grew up near it. I’ve canoed and swam in it.”

Teacher: “Oh, okay. Thanks!”

Variations of that interaction happened frequently for the next couple of weeks. This happened after yet another correction on my part.

Teacher: “Why are you in this class? You obviously know all of this.”

Me: “I don’t know! They said I had to be here!”

Silence Is Golden

, , , , | Right | May 25, 2022

It’s Armistice Day, and like the rest of the country, our little charity is observing two minutes of silence in honour of the fallen. Several of us are working in the kitchen at the time and have stopped for the silence together. After roughly a minute, the quiet is broken by the sound of a bell ringing throughout the site, intended to alert to the phone ringing if no-one is in the office. I share a surprised look with one of the other volunteers but try to ignore it because the office on the other side of the site from us and I know our administrator is there today.

It just keeps ringing, all the way through the remaining minute of silence. A few seconds after the silence concludes, the ringing ends and we all get back to our duties.

During our lunch break, I head over to the office for a chat with the admin, the topic of the caller quickly comes up, and she tells me what happened. Sure enough, she had been there and remained observing the silence while the phone rang away. Our admin is a straight-talking, takes-no-crap-from-anybody kind of lady who lost several great-granduncles in World War I, so naturally, this didn’t go down well with her. Once it concluded, she picked up the phone to hear an older, huffy-sounding woman on the other end. Unfortunately for her, our admin also has a good temper and a sense of timekeeping.

Admin: “Good morning, [Charity] helpline.”

Caller: “Well, it’s about time. I thought I was going to go to an answering machine with how long you were taking!”

Admin: “I’m sorry for the delay in answering. I was observing the two minutes silence.”

Caller: “Oh… OH! I’m so sorry! I had completely lost track of time!”

The caller was much more polite after that, and the admin was able to help them with their concern. At least they managed to give us volunteers a decent story to share that day!

An Unnatural Use For Natural History

, , , , , , | Right | May 12, 2022

I’m working at a natural history museum. I see a little child running toward a model of one of our dinosaurs. They are eagerly admiring it and I can’t help telling them a few fun facts. Suddenly, their mother runs over and pulls them aside.

Mother: “No! Remember, I told you, no dinosaurs!”

The mother then narrows her eyes at me.

Mother: “And you! You should be ashamed of yourself, poisoning young minds into thinking dinosaurs were real!”

Me: “But ma’am, they were.”

Mother: “No! Dinosaur bones were put into the ground by the devil to confuse people and make them believe in evolution.”

Me: “I… Ma’am, if you believe that, then why are you at a natural history museum?”

Mother: “I wanted my child to see the volcano exhibit.”

Me: “Oh, that’s great. Just up these stairs.”

Mother: “Come with me, [Child]. You need to see what Hell will look and feel like in case you start straying again.”