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She Also Speaks Ironic

, , , , , | Right | August 5, 2013

(I manage a fast food restaurant. I’m currently serving a customer who is from East Asia. She is clearly new to the country, as she is having significant trouble with the transaction, and I’m finding it difficult to communicate. My coworker steps in.)

Coworker: “Excuse me, where are you from?”

Asian Customer: “I am from Korea.”

(Suddenly, the next customer in line speaks up.)

Customer: “Racist! You’re a racist!”

Coworker: “Excuse me, ma’am?”

Customer: “I said you’re a racist! It doesn’t matter where this young lady comes from; she should be welcome in your store. You should feel ashamed!”

(The shouting customer turns to me.)

Customer: “You! Do something about her!”

Me: “I absolutely agree. You see, my coworker here is studying for a master’s degree in Asian studies. She was just asking because she could process this transaction in Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, or Indonesian, and didn’t want to look like an idiot by making an assumption about someone she didn’t know.”


This story is part of our “Where are you from?” roundup!

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In Line And Out Of Line

, , , | Right | August 5, 2013

(I’m in line to pay. [Customer #1] in front of me is about in his 40s, and very well-dressed in a suit and tie. [Customer #2] in front of him seems to be a single mother with her child. I’m 25, and pretty shabbily dressed; wearing only faded jeans, an old, novelty Star Wars shirt, and have my long hair almost covering my eyes.)

Customer #1: “Lady, can you hurry up! Some people are important and actually have places to be!”

([Customer #2] is fumbling with her money. In her cart she only has basic groceries and what appears to be a birthday cake for her child. She mumbles something about not having enough money, and decides to leave the cake behind.)

Customer #1: “Don’t waste everyone’s time if you can’t even pay for your s***! Or maybe you need another government handout that comes from my taxes?!”

(At this point, I feel like I’ve got to step in.)

Me: “Hey, man, that’s enough!”

Customer #1: “Who do you think you are? I’ll have you know I’m the [High Profile Position] at [Large Shipping Company], and no one ever talks to me like that.”

(Suddenly, I become much more respectful.)

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. I had no idea you were so important. Would you mind if I asked you for your business card?”

(Customer #1 smugly hands me his card. I see he is, indeed, who he says he is.)

Me: “And here’s my business card.”

Customer #1: “Why the h*** would I want your—”

(Customer #1 suddenly goes pale, as he notices that I am co-owner of [Large Shipping Company].)

Me: “Now that I know your name, I’ll be sure to phone your supervisor to ensure you’re put on probation. One more act like this and you’re fired.”

(Customer #1 stammered for a bit, before practically running from the store. I ended up paying for the mother’s cake, and even gave them a bit extra to buy the kid any toy from the store.)

Stereotypes Are A Bigot’s Best Friend

, , , | Right | July 31, 2013

(Born and raised in Donegal, Ireland, I moved to Canada in my late teens. I still carry an extremely thick accent. I am working my first day at a call center and pick up the phone.)

Me: “Hello, my name is Danny; how can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m sorry; what did you say? Your name is Darry?”

Me: “My name is Danny, sir. Short form of Daniel.”

Customer: “Wait, are you a Scotsman?”

Me: “Irishman, sir.”

Customer: “Oh, f***’s sake! Put me on the phone with someone who can help me.”

Me: “Well, sir, I am new to this profession, but I assure you that I’ll—”

Customer: “No, just shut up and get me an American! You can go get drunk off an a**-load of whiskey that you pale f***s live for.”

Me: “Sir, with all due respect, I work in a Canadian call center, and therefore most of the workers here are Canadian, not American.”

Customer: “I can’t understand you! You’re slurring because of how f****** drunk you always are! Go get me your boss, ya f****** leprechaun!”

(I proceed to put my boss on the phone, who happens to be an African-American.)

Customer: “Sir, my call was just answered by an Irishman.”

(My boss raises an eyebrow at me, and I shrug.)

Boss: “Yes, and?”

Customer: “And I want to make that next time I call, I don’t end up with a n****** on the other end. Real people should be doing this kind of work. I’m sure you’re a respectable man who will think about this.”

Boss: “Actually, sir, I happen to be black.”

Customer: “Oh, s***!” *hangs up*


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About To Adopt An Apologetic Attitude

, , , | Learning | July 20, 2013

(I overhear a discussion at the next table during a parent-teacher conference.)

Father: “Hi, Mr. [Teacher], we’re Mr. and Mrs. [Last Name], parents of [Student].”

Teacher: “You’re [Student]’s parents?”

Mother: “Yes. I understand you teach our daughter science.”

Teacher: “You’re not [Student]’s parents.”

Father: “What do you mean?”

Teacher: “Look. I’m a science teacher, and I also specialize in genetics. You look nothing like your daughter, neither one of you.”

Mother: “She’s adopted.”

Teacher: “Oh! Oh! I’m so sorry!”


This story is part of our Parent-Teacher-Conference Roundup!

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Out Of Cigarettes, Out Of Patience, Out Of Luck

, , , , | Right | July 5, 2013

(My uncle works as a manager at a local gas station. I have just stopped by to drop him off a plate of food. I am on a first name basis with nearly all of the employees. I’m just finishing up a conversation with one of the clerks, when two customers walk up.)

Clerk: “Welcome to [Gas Station]; what can I get for you today?”

Customer #1: “Can I get a pack of [ rand] cigarettes]?”

Clerk: “I’m sorry, but it seems like we have run out of that specific brand. Can I get you something else?”

Customer #1: “You always run out of the f***** cigarettes whenever I’m here!”

Customer #2: “I told you this store was f***** ghetto! Let’s go somewhere else!”

Customer #1: “This is bull-s***! Whenever I come to this f***** store, they always seem to be out of f***** cigarettes! Is it too much to ask that you guys actually keep cigarettes in stock!?”

Clerk: “I’m sorry, but its been a busy weekend, and we have simply just run out. I could probably recommend another one of our gas stations nearby—”

Customer #2: “We don’t need you to recommend s***! Get me your f**** manager right now!”

(My uncle, who was helping out another customer, has heard the entire conversation. He comes to investigate.)

Uncle: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer #1: “I’ll tell you what the problem is! Every time I come to this f***** store, you never have the brand of cigarettes I want! How hard is it to keep s*** stocked? This is why I don’t come to this ghetto-a** store!”

Uncle: “Well, as my employee previously stated, we are all out of that particular brand. We are more than willing to sell you something else, or we can recommend one of our other locations, which is about a 10-minute drive away.”

Customer #2: “We ain’t got no f***** time for this s***! Let’s get the f*** out of here. I hate this d*** store!”

(They promptly storm out of the store. I walk up to the register to purchase my items.)

Me: “Jeez, how hard is to take yourself to another store and buy your particular brand your looking for? I mean if it’s not here, then make things simple and move the h*** on! Don’t be a b**** about it!”

Clerk: “We get it all the time, but we’ve just learned to tune it out.”

Me: “It really isn’t necessary—”

(Customer #1 storms back in the store.)

Customer #1: “Which one of you said that? I heard what you said about me! Calling me a b****! I know it was you bad mouthing me!”

(The customer starts pointing at the clerk.)

Clerk: “I didn’t say anything about y—”

Customer #1: “I heard what you said! Do you think I’m a stupid b****?! Give me your employee number; I’m going to write a letter to your corporate offices about this. I KNOW YOU SAID IT! I AM GONNA GET YOUR A** FIRED!”

(I clear my throat, and tap the customer on the shoulder.)

Me: “Actually, I said it!”

(I’m pretty tall, at 6’2″.)

Customer #1: “What business is it of yours—”

(The customer’s question trails off, and she turns and looks up at my face; her face pales.)

Me: “I’ll tell you: it’s very much my business. You can find me in here almost every day, but it’s ignorant and stupid people like you that p*** me off! First off, it’s not this clerk’s fault that the cigarettes are out of stock. It’s not this store’s fault that they magically don’t have your particular brand of cigarettes every time you happen to come in. Furthermore, don’t you dare try and degrade this store. It treats all of its customers with respect, which is something in which you are OBVIOUSLY lacking. Another thing, if this store doesn’t have your cigarettes, “every time you come in,” then why don’t you just get a d*** clue and move on to the next store? No need for you to be raising all this h*** for nothing. As far as who said what, I made the comments about you being a b****, so if you wanna make something of it, then let’s step outside and I’ll be more than happy to kick your a**!”

(The customer stuttered and hurried out of the store. The clerk high-fived me and my uncle treated me out to a movie and dinner later on that week!)