Third Time Afortunado

, , , , , , , | Working | June 12, 2018

(I am working in a department store around the holidays. In the days leading to Christmas, we are slammed with customers every day. Although my name is uncommon, I somehow end up working with two other girls who have the same name. I work registers, one works stock in the back, and another is a shift manager, and we all look very different from each other. I’m checking out customers when my coworker tugs my shoulder.)

Coworker: “Hey, can you help me with something?”

Me: “Sure, what’s up?”

Coworker: *gestures towards customers in front of her* “Can you explain the return policy to them?”

Me: “Why? You’ve been here longer than me.”

Coworker: “But I don’t speak Spanish.”

(I’m Native American, so it’s a pet peeve of mine when people assume I’m Mexican because it leads to other insults. So, naturally, I get offended.)

Me: “And what? Because I have dark skin, I must speak Spanish?”

Coworker: “What? No!” [Store Manager]—” *who is not working that day* “—told me you spoke Spanish.”

Me: “No. I don’t. Are you sure you have the right [My Name]?”

Coworker: “Hmm.” *speaks into walkie* “Hey, [Assistant Manager], which [My Name] speaks Spanish?”

Assistant Manager: “Uh… Honestly, I don’t know. Page [My Name #2] up. She’s on the floor right now.”

(We page [My Name #2] to come to the register.)

My Name #2: “What’s up?”

Coworker: “Do you speak Spanish?”

My Name #2: “No. Why? Who told you that?”

(It turns out that the store manager told the other managers that [My Name] could speak Spanish, but failed to mention which of the three could. Of course, it ended up being the one who worked stock in the back and didn’t have a walkie.)

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