Wassup My Nina

, , , , , , | Right | January 15, 2019

(It’s 2001. I’m a Hispanic woman in her twenties. Because I have naturally blond hair, people often mistake me for a tanned white lady. I get a phone call from a customer wanting to know if we have a certain item in stock. I put her on hold and call my coworker, Nina, since she knows more about the inventory than I do. She’s a bit hard of hearing, so I have to raise the volume of my voice a little.)

Me: “Hey, Nina!”

Nina: *meekly* “Yeah?”

Me: “Do we have any [popular item] left?”

Nina: “Let me check.”

(She checks the back. While I’m waiting, two African American twin ladies who appear to be in their late teens approach.)

Me: “How can I help you, ladies?”

Teen #1: “Cut the BS, you b****! How dare you say that word?!”

Me: *confused but keeping it together* “What word? If I accidentally said something that offended you, I apologize.”

Teen #2: “Cut the s***, already! You can’t say that thing accidentally!”

Me: I have to warn you that your continued use of profanity will force security to escort you out.”

Teen #1: “You can’t force us to do anything, you d*** racist!”

Teen #2: “We demand a discount and your a** fired!”

(One of my managers overhears and intervenes.)

Manager: “I’m sure we can solve this in a civilized manner.”

(The two customers keep saying that I used racial slurs and raised my voice. I try telling my side of the story but they keep interrupting me and calling me a white b****.)

Manager: “I really doubt [My Name] would do such a thing, and she’s actually—“

Teen #1: “An entitled, white b****!”

(I’m surprised I haven’t lunged at them by now, since I’m known to have a temper. While they are still shouting, I see an elderly African American man walking toward us with a nice suit. He doesn’t seem very happy.)

Man: “What in the name of the merciful Lord is going on here?!”

Teen #2: “This gold-digging tramp used the N-word out loud!”

Man: *to me* “Is that so, young lady?”

Me: No! I was just calling for my coworker who is hard of hearing and is named Nina!

(At this point Nina exits the back room. She is clearly Korean.)

Manager: “That’s her.”

Man: “I see.” *to the teens* “I didn’t spend my youth during the Civil Rights movement so you could act like a pair of entitled brats! Now, apologize to this nice lady and kiss your birthday money goodbye. You clearly don’t deserve it. If it were up to me I would send you job options. Good Heavens, your parents spoiled you rotten!”

Me: “By the way girls, I’m Hispanic. My advice to you is to stay in school and clean your ears.”

(The girls apologized. The grandfather laughed and dragged the girls out by their ears, after he bought a nice suit for church. After Nina told me we had the item, I resumed the call from earlier.)

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