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Saw Through His Sexism

, , , , , | Right | March 5, 2013

(I am a female woodworking student, shopping for a specific kind of saw in a hardware store. There’s only one on the shelf, so I grab it and start to move towards the register.)

Customer: “You can’t have this saw.”

Me: “And why not?”

Customer: “Because I need it!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry about that, but I picked it up first when you weren’t even near it. They’ll probably order some soon.”

Customer: “Give it to me. I really need it.”

Me: “As much as I do. I’m sorry, sir, but it’s mine.”

Customer: “I clearly need it more than you; you’re a woman! You can’t have any use for a saw!”

Me: “I’m doing woodworking and I need this saw for an order a client placed with me. I am not going to give it to you and delay my client’s order.”

Customer: *sheepishly* “Oh, I’m sorry, I couldn’t know… If I knew you were a woodworker, I wouldn’t have said that.”

Me: “You shouldn’t make sexist comments like that, regardless of what field I work. Every woman is allowed to buy a saw… not only woodworkers.”

Bigot Bait

, , , | Working | August 13, 2012

(My ethnic heritage is a bit of a mish-mash. On one side, I am of recent European immigrants, while on the other I am native and English. This occurs on the first day of my first job as I am sitting with coworkers and my supervisor in the lunch room. My coworker is getting increasingly vocal about his disdain for native Americans due to recent news items including a blockade of key roads in the Montreal area. The conversation takes place in French.)

Coworker: “Natives are s***! They don’t pay taxes. They’re into smuggling and criminal gangs, and they all drink themselves into prison. I hate them!”

Me: “Um, I’m part Mohawk.”

Coworker: *embarrassed* “Uh, I have to go and compile that program…”

(My coworker leaves. My supervisor, who has overheard everything, approaches me.)

Supervisor: “Well, that ended wrong, didn’t it? I guess every generation has its problem with one group or another. In my day, it was the f***ing DPs. You know what a DP is? Displaced Person. God, they flooded the city after the war. Useless, and I bet most of them were Nazi sympathizers. They were filthy and they brought disease. They took jobs away from good Quebecers!”

Me: “Um, my mom was a DP. I’m part German.”

Supervisor: *laughs* “I put my foot in it that time didn’t I? Well, at least you’re not English.”

Me: “Um…”

(I quit very shortly thereafter.)

This story is part of our Native-American roundup.

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Believing In a Fare God

, , , , | Right | April 14, 2011

(I often help out with going up and down the aisles with the collection basket. A patron puts a twenty in the basket and then stops me.)

Me: “I have to get this up to the front, ma’am.”

Customer: “Yes, yes. Just one moment.”

(She is rooting around in the collection basket while I stand there.)

Me: “Sorry, what are you doing?”

Customer: “I need change for the bus.”

No Need To Be Shirty

, , , , | Right | March 31, 2011

Me: “Can I help you with something?”

Customer: “Yeah. I have a guy painting a room in my house, but I told him I don’t like it.”

Me: “If you’d like another color, I can help you pick a new one.”

Customer: “That’d be great. I have to cover up this color. It’s the most horrible, disgusting color I’ve ever seen. It looks like… it looks like…”

(The customer looks up at me, and points.)

Customer: “It looks like your shirt.”

(I am speechless.)

Customer: “Yeah, ugly like your shirt. Oh, sorry! It’s a nice shirt, I guess.”

This story is part of the Home Improvement roundup!

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Jingling, It Would Seem, Is Not The Key

, , , , | Right | January 8, 2011

(I’m working in the cheese section of the deli, with my back turned to the meat slicer. Suddenly, I hear jingling. I check the floor to see if I dropped something, then continue working. The jingling resumes. I turn around and notice a customer at the meat slicer counter, jingling his keys at me. He then starts making noises one would use to call a pet.)

Me: “Sir, we have bell.”

Customer: *looks at bell*

Customer: *pauses*

Customer: *jingles keys*

This story is part of our customer treating staff less-than-human roundup!

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