Silence, Oppressor!

, , , , , | | Working | May 23, 2018

I am black, living in Germany as the daughter of a mixed couple. My dad is the one with black skin, and my mum is German. I look more black than mixed, as I took more to my dad’s side of genes, I guess.

I have been asked where I am from on countless occasions, and in varying levels of rudeness. I grew up in Germany. German is my mother language. I speak English rather well because my mom is an English teacher.

Don’t get me wrong; there are tons and tons of wonderful people around me, and in my hometown it rarely happens anymore. But when I am travelling, I just get so many looks and questions in tones that grate on my peace of mind.

One day, a cashier at a store speaks to me like I am mentally disabled — slowly and in easy words, complimenting them with gestures and miming stuff out — despite me speaking German without an accent.

In the end she seriously asks, in the sweetest tone, “Where are you from in Africa? Are you here looking for a German boyfriend?”

I just look her dead in the eye and say, “I’m the queen of Wakanda, here to steal your men to make them my slaves, so you’d better get ready.“

Chocolate Drives All Of Us

, , , , | | Hopeless | May 22, 2018

I have had a very long, emotionally draining, trying day. I’ve also just stopped off at the supermarket and found some limited-edition and hard-to-get chocolate that I am excited to find. On my way home, I decide to stop at a famous chicken takeaway with a drive-thru, which I don’t normally stop at, but I want a pick me up.

The drive-thru line is long, but I’m happy to wait. When I finally arrive at the window, the drive-thru girl is very patient and wishes me apologies for the wait. I tell her it is of no worry and give her my best smile, because as a worker of retail I know the struggle. I ask for my order, with some extra seasoning on the fries if they are able.

Next thing I know, she has handed me extra items for my patience and understanding. She is highly sweet and thoroughly lovely throughout the transaction. When I arrive at the collection window, I’m still such in shock at the extra items she has given me, that I try to give the two limited chocolates to her and the other workers in thanks for her amazing attitude. They are so short-staffed, it’s the same girl!

She has even given me an entire packet of extra seasoning for my fries, more than requested.

She tells me there is no way she will accept the chocolate. I basically hand it to her and drive off, telling her there is no way I could not give it over as a “thank you.” She accepted it so humbly.

Easily the best drive-thru experience I ever had.

I made sure to leave an online review for her. True customer service exists and should be respected at all time!

Since then, I always recommend this worker at the drive-thru.

Hiring With No Great Agency

, , , , | | Working | May 22, 2018

I applied for a job online. The description said it was a language school, and everything else seemed legit: what I would be doing, working time, who I would report to, etc.

As they called me in for an interview at a specific time, I asked them to change it because I was currently working and needed to ask for a day off first. The caller was so surprised she actually was speechless for a moment and rambled incoherently, “Um… Oh, well…” Note: this was a senior position. She quickly got over it and we settled a date.

She also told me they were actually an agency, currently working on a project for that language school and another project for a financial company. If I joined, I would be working on both projects and have to work at two places; for example, Monday I’d go to the school at [Street #1], and then Tuesday I’d go to the financial company at [Street #2]. Both destinations had almost the same commute time from my house, so that didn’t sound like that big of a deal.

When I arrived at the office of the “agency,” it turned out that it was the office of the financial company. As I talked to the “director’s assistant,” the one I previously spoke with on the phone, she told me they own both the financial company and the school, not that those were their client.

There was nothing special about the interview, except they seemed to be looking for a person who could be a designer, a cameraman, a makeup artist, a video editor, and a sound editor at the same time, of course with the salary of only one position.

Needless to say, I never worked at that company, but I still wonder what exactly that company was. A school? An agency? Something else?

Pay It Forward To America

, , , , , , | | Hopeless | May 21, 2018

Several years ago, when I was studying abroad in South Africa, two of my friends and I decided to do a road trip along the Garden Route. Our first stop was in Addo, where there is an elephant reserve. I booked all the accommodations and scheduled the whole trip.

We were already renting an 1970s Mercedes Benz and, despite warnings, we took it with us. We underestimated the time it would take to get to Addo from Cape Town and ended up arriving very late to our first hostel. Much to our dismay, the owners weren’t there. A family staying said the owners were out of town but to call a number, get the information, and leave our money. We tried the number several times and got no answer. Since we had seen signs for other hostels on our way in, we decided to take our chances and find another place.

We ended up driving to several with no luck. Despite the car being an automatic, it stalled out like crazy. While I was driving us around trying to find a new hostel, it stalled out again. While I was trying to restart it, someone knocked on our window. All three of us screamed at the top of our lungs. We were in an extremely rural area, late at night, surrounded by almost nothing. After composing myself, I slowly rolled down the window. The older man asked us if we were okay. We explained our situation. He pointed to the only hotel in the area, a high-end place surrounded by a giant wall. We said it was too expensive for us. He said it was late and we should give it a shot, then told us good luck and went on his way.

After driving to more than five other hostels, we gave up and decided to try the hotel. If it was really expensive, we’d ask our parents to wire us more money. The woman who checked us in was quite kind and later, after we’d settled in, she and her husband sat with us while we had dinner in their dining room. They gave us great advice for the rest of our trip.

The next morning, after sleeping in one of the nicest little cottages I’ve ever seen, we went to check out. The woman at the desk was older than woman from the night before. She insisted we have breakfast, even though we’d already had the cereal we brought with us. She was so insistent, we ended up eating at their massive buffet.

And that’s when it happened. As we were eating, she came by and told us that not only was our breakfast free, she was comping our meals from the night before and giving us a discount on our room. We were shocked. It turns out that the woman from the night before was her daughter. It was a family-run joint. She said she knew we came in late and were slightly desperate for a place to stay, and she couldn’t make us pay full price in that condition.

But there’s more. While we were still processing this woman’s kindness, the older man from the night before walked into the dining room. When he saw us, he came over and said, “She give you a good discount?” It was her husband. He’d been out for a nightly walk when he came upon us, sitting in a stalled car, looking terrified. He told his wife to go easy on us if we showed up.

We thanked him profusely for his kindness. He said, “My son went to live in the States. I’m only doing what I hope one of your fellow Americans would do for him if he got in trouble.”

It’s been ten years, and it remains one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me. Believe me, we reviewed that place on every site we could after our trip was over.

Ew-Reader

, , , , | Right | May 16, 2018

I work at a computer repair shop. We also fix cracked phone, tablet, and even e-reader screens.

This woman comes in with a e-reader that has a cracked screen. I take it out of the case to get the model number off the back, and I notice it’s got some crusty, nasty food stuck on the corner. The whole corner is covered in who knows what. I am disgusted, but little do I know, this is about to go to a whole other level of disgusting.

As soon as I get the model number and set the e-reader down to type it in to our computer, the lady picks up the e-reader, says, “Oh, I must have spilled something or other on it,” and licks it off! She then hands me back the e-reader, covered in food and her spit.

I nearly throw up right there!

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