What Is French For Bigot?

| USA | Working | March 26, 2014

(My wife and I are shopping for a gift for her best friend’s baby shower, in an area where French is commonly spoken. She is mixed race, but looks South Asian like her mother. We both have large, visible tattoos and a lot of piercings. My wife approaches one of the employees, who is chatting with another employee in French.)

Wife: “Excuse me. Where would I find [Brand]?”

Employee #1: *irritated, in English* “In aisle [number].”

Wife: “Thank you.”

(The aisle isn’t very far from where the employees are standing, so we can hear everything they’re saying. I don’t speak French, but my wife’s father is from France and therefore she speaks it fluently. She relays their conversation to me after we leave.)

Employee #1: *in French, to Employee #2* “Ugh, what’s a whore like her doing in here! They shouldn’t even be allowed to have kids.”

Employee #2: *in French* “A white man with an [ethnic slur] like her. It’s a disgrace.”

Employee #1: *in French* “We should charge them double for everything. That’ll teach them.”

(My wife finds the product she is looking for and takes it up to the counter. Employee #1 starts to ring her up.)

Employee #1: *in English* “Did you find everything alright?”

Wife: *in French* “I did, thank you. [Brand] is my favorite. I hope my best friend will get as much use out of this as I got out of mine.”

Employee #1: *stunned, speechless*

Wife: *in French* “Now, make sure you get the proper price on that. Oh, and I’ll be calling your manager.”

(She did call the manager later, and it turned out that that wasn’t the first time the employees had done something like that. They were fired, and my wife was given a coupon for future visits.)

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