A Very Revealing Name

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Working | October 30, 2014

(My first name is a bit unusual and more commonly a last name. While we are talking to the agent it comes out that the other passenger’s last name is the same as my first name. We comment on the coincidence and then had no further interaction. I am male, in my 30s at the time, and dressed very casually. She is at least 20 years older, dressed extremely elegantly and is sitting several seats away. We are also different races. In short, there is nothing to indicate we are connected in any way. When the shuttle driver shows up he has a paper with our names on it. He announces himself and leads us out to the van. From the time he appears he acts distant and cold, almost hostile. It doesn’t make sense until we are seated and he gets on the radio to request our luggage.)

Driver: “I need the luggage for [My First Name].”

(I waited a moment.)

Me: “You need to get my luggage on, too.”

Driver: “Wait, you aren’t together?”

Me: “If you look, you’ll see that’s her last name and my first.”

(He was embarrassed, but made the additional request. Although he said nothing after that I believe his attitude was based on a bigoted reaction to thinking we were a mixed race couple after being too lazy to read his information properly.)

Disabling His Assumption

| AZ, USA | Friendly | October 13, 2014

(My friend was hit by a drunk driver a few years ago and is now disabled and walks with a cane that folds up when she’s not using it. She gets on a streetcar one day and sits in one of the disabled seats. An old man runs into the streetcar after she has sat down and folded her cane.)

Old Man: “Excuse me, young lady. You there.”

Friend: “Yes? Can I help you?”

Old Man: “That sign over there, what does it say?”

Friend: “It says ‘please reserve these seats for the elderly and disabled.'”

Old Man: “What about that other sign?”

Friend: “It says the same thing.”

Old Man: “Then why are you sitting there? Don’t you see it says it’s for the elderly and disabled?”

Friend: *not wanting to start trouble* “Mmm-hmmm. I see what it says.”

Old Man: “Then why did you not give me the seat? Can you not read?”

(By now, the other passengers are staring open mouthed.)

Friend: “Yessir, I can read.”

Old Man: “Then what the h*** is your problem? I should’ve had that seat.”

(My friend is at her stop by now, and she gets up and unfolds her cane and begins limping off the streetcar. As she’s about to exit, she turns around.)

Friend: “My problem is judgmental old codgers like you. Being disabled is hard enough without getting s*** from ignorant people.”

(She exited to applause from the other passengers and a very embarrassed and angry old man, who hopefully learned a lesson that day.)

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Humanity Is Going Down The Tubes

| London, England, UK | Friendly | February 21, 2014

(I am an American student studying abroad in London. I wake up late one morning and rush out the door without eating breakfast. As it’s rush hour, the train is jam-packed and I have to stand. On the way to class, I start to feel woozy and start swaying.)

Stranger #1: “Are you all right?”

Me: “I- I don’t know. I feel dizzy.”

Stranger #2: *gets up* “Oh God, love. Here, have my seat.”

Stranger #3: “Maybe low blood sugar. Here, I have some orange juice.”

Stranger #1: “Where are you heading?”

Me: “Gloucester Road.”

Stranger #1: “Okay. You’ve a few stops yet.”

(These strangers took care of me the rest of the ride and made sure I got off at the right stop. The common belief is that the English are a cold, aloof people, but I will never forget their kindness!)

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This Bus Is Going Dune Town

| Seattle, WA, USA | Right | February 9, 2014

(I am on my way home from a video game convention. I am dressed up like Link from Legend of Zelda. It’s about 11:30 at night.)

Bus Driver: “That woman is a ‘Bene Gesserit’ witch. You’ve read Dune, right?”

Passenger #1: “No.”

Me: “I am the ‘Kwisatz Haderach!'”

Passenger #2: “Who said that?”

Me: “I did. Link said that.”

Passenger #2: *pause* “That’s fair.”

Pet-ty Differences

| France | Working | September 19, 2013

(I’m selling train tickets, and we have a new hire for the summer. As I am on my break, the new hire calls me. There’s a small fee if you travel with a pet, and if you don’t have anything to carry this pet with you, we offer to sell a cage.)

New Hire: “Hey, there’s a traveler who wants a discount for his kid. Can I sell them the pet formula and the cage?”

Me: “Er… who is it for, an animal?”

New Hire: “Nope, it’s for the child. He’s 10 years old.”

Me: “Of course not! He’s a child, so he has to get the child fare, and that’s it.”

New Hire: “Oh, okay. I thought it’d work.”

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