They’re Black-Listed

| Bothell, WA, USA | Working | August 5, 2017

(My coworker at a video rental store is half African-American but often mistaken for being Filipino, which he expresses comical exasperation about each time it happens — it becomes a bit of a joke. One night he gets into an altercation with a customer over renting a video game. The conversation has built up to a boiling point:)

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, I cannot let you rent a video game unless you have a valid credit card on file.”

Customer: “That’s b***-s***! Do you not understand how currency works? I want to pay CASH!”

Coworker: “I understand that, sir, but the system won’t let me process this transaction unless I can scan your card.”

(The customer is holding a placement box that doesn’t contain the actual game disc. He abruptly storms off with it in hand, but pauses at the door and slams the box on the counter.)

Customer: “Here’s your empty box back, you [very offensive term for an African-American]!”

Coworker: *turns to me with an amazed expression* “He actually knew I’m black!”

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