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    Category: Bigotry

    Go Native Or Go Home

    | Oklahoma City, OK, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, History, Language & Words, Top

    (I’m in line at a popular discount retail store, with two people ahead of me. The women at the head of the line is clearly new to English, and while she has a thick accent and struggles, she does her best to speak to the cashier in English, even though he rolls his eyes and makes her repeat everything several times. Finally, she is able to leave. As soon as she’s out of earshot:)

    Cashier: “Ugh, they shouldn’t be allowed in our stores until they learn our language.”

    (The man ahead of me says several things in another language.)

    Cashier: “Oh, man, not another one. This is America. Learn the language.”

    Customer: “Oh, I’m sorry. I just assumed you’d learned Cherokee, since you’re so big on people learning the local language. My mistake.”

    (The cashier turned bright red and didn’t say another word through the transaction.)

    Bigotry Is A Bitter Pill To Swallow

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Bigotry, Employees, Health & Body

    (I am at a health clinic trying to get some care. I am a transgender man, so this sometimes proves aggravating.)

    Nurse: “So, what are you here for again?”

    Me: “I need to be on the pill or get an IUD.”

    Nurse: *after giving me the side-eye* “Um, no.”

    Me: “I get that I don’t look like a woman, but I assure you I can still get pregnant.”

    Nurse: “Yeah, I’m going to have to go ask the doctor what to do here.”

    Me: “Really?”

    (I sit for the next 20 minutes as they ‘sort it out.’)

    Nurse: “I talked to the doctor, and he’s not comfortable treating you at all.”

    (Turned out they didn’t want to give me contraception at all. I ended up going to the local Planned Parenthood who were more than happy to serve a transgender man, and had cheaper, more abundant, options anyway. I still had to pay for that crap doctor’s appointment, too.)

    Colorful Language

    | USA | Bigotry, Coworkers, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I’m a shift leader at a chain fabric store. Many of my coworkers are from Mexico and Central America. While I am white, I have been exposed to Spanish since childhood and can speak it fluently. Two of my team members are at the cutting tables serving customers. One is Guatemalan.)

    Coworker #1: “Hey, [My Name]. I have something to tell you when I finish these cuts.”

    Me: “Sure thing, [Coworker #1].”

    (A few minutes pass and Coworker #1 is finished cutting.)

    Me: “So what did you want to talk me about?”

    Coworker #1: “Shh! Not yet! Later! Later.”

    Me: “Uh. Okay.”

    (A little while later, she approaches me while I’m tidying up.)

    Coworker #1: “Okay, now I can tell you.”

    Me: “Okay. So, what’s up?”

    Coworker #1: “You know that couple I was cutting for?”

    Me: “Yeah, the blond lady and her husband?”

    Coworker #1: “Yeah, yeah! Well, he was all over her. Had his hands in her jeans pockets and kept smacking her on the rump. In public! White men. Tch.”

    Me: “Haha. I noticed that! Why couldn’t you tell me about this before?”

    Coworker #1: “Oh, because [Coworker #2] was standing there. She’s white, so she might have gotten offended.”

    Me: Uh. [Coworker #1]. You realize I’m just as white as [Coworker #2], right?”

    Coworker #1: *giggling* “Oh, [My Name]. You are not white. You speak Spanish!”

    Brit Brat

    , | Germany | Bigotry, Coworkers

    (We have a bus full of Brits come in.)

    Coworker: “Nope. Not gonna serve them if they don’t speak German.”

    Me: “What! Why?”

    Coworker: “I don’t speak English. They’re in Germany. They can f****** speak German.”

    Me: *out loud to all customers* “Would everyone who doesn’t speak German please come into my line? Thank you!”

    Coworker: *looks at me as if I have killed someone* “That’s so rude of you!”

    Me: “Not worse than denying them service. Go and take care of the other customers, please. The ones who speak German.”

    (I spend the next half hour serving only Brits while she was done after only five minutes.)

    Me: “Can you at least help me prepare all the food?”

    Coworker: “No. I’m gonna go for a smoke.”

    (Apparently, some of the guests do understand German because as soon as my coworker is gone they start moaning about her. I am left speechless while this group of people start telling me how nice I am, how great my English is, and that I should keep my chin up and not despair.)

    Me: “Thank you, but it’s okay. Really.”

    (After all the customers are done and served, the oldest of them comes up to me and hands me €10!)

    Oldest Customer: “Here you go. I know you don’t usually get tips, so this is from us to you because you’re awesome. Treat yourself.”

    (I tried to decline but then just thanked him. That’s when my coworker came back; she took a 20-minute smoking break while I worked. I was thinking about complaining to our supervisor for a while but then just thought it was not worth the hassle. The kitchen crew had noticed the whole thing. An hour later our supervisor came and asked me what had happened (my coworker was smoking again) and I told him the truth. She got a very strict warning from him – apparently not her first!)

    Assumptions Are Off Color

    | MA, USA | Bigotry, Coworkers, Health & Body, Top

    (I work in a store where, in lieu of uniforms, employees have color-coded name tags designating their sections; blue for kitchen, green for household, etc. I am explaining to a new coworker that I have prosopagnosia, a condition wherein I can’t recognize faces.)

    Coworker #1: “That’s so bizarre! How do you recognize people?”

    Me: “Well, everyone’s faces look the same, so I look for an identifying characteristic, like that you have a purple mohawk, or that coworker has a jacket with [cartoon character] on it that he wears every day.”

    Coworker #1: “So, something that’s really hard to miss and is instantly noticeable? That must make retail interesting!”

    Me: “Oh yeah! Last week—”

    (I am interrupted by another coworker, who has overheard us and come over, interrupting our conversation.)

    Coworker #2: “So what’s my identifying feature?”

    Me: “Oh, that’s easy! It’s because you’re—”

    Coworker #2: “It’s because I’m [race], isn’t it? Everyone’s face is the same except mine, because you just can’t see anything other than a [race] coworker.”

    Me: “Well, you—”

    Coworker #2: “I think it’s disgusting that I’m the only one you can ‘see’ because of my color. You can just ‘see’ me magically.”

    (She continues on for a couple more minutes about racial stereotyping in the workplace. Finally, when she pauses to take a breath…)

    Me: “Actually, it’s because of your name tag. It’s red. You’re the only person with a red name tag, because you’re the manager.”

    Coworker #2: *is quiet for about a minute* “Don’t let it happen again.” *storms off*


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