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    Category: Bigotry

    A Very Revealing Name

    | San Francisco, CA, USA | Bigotry, Employees, Transportation

    (My first name is a bit unusual and more commonly a last name. While we are talking to the agent it comes out that the other passenger’s last name is the same as my first name. We comment on the coincidence and then had no further interaction. I am male, in my 30s at the time, and dressed very casually. She is at least 20 years older, dressed extremely elegantly and is sitting several seats away. We are also different races. In short, there is nothing to indicate we are connected in any way. When the shuttle driver shows up he has a paper with our names on it. He announces himself and leads us out to the van. From the time he appears he acts distant and cold, almost hostile. It doesn’t make sense until we are seated and he gets on the radio to request our luggage.)

    Driver: “I need the luggage for [My First Name].”

    (I waited a moment.)

    Me: “You need to get my luggage on, too.”

    Driver: “Wait, you aren’t together?”

    Me: “If you look, you’ll see that’s her last name and my first.”

    (He was embarrassed, but made the additional request. Although he said nothing after that I believe his attitude was based on a bigoted reaction to thinking we were a mixed race couple after being too lazy to read his information properly.)

    Giving Girls The Cold Hard Shoulder

    | Newport Beach, CA, USA | Bigotry, Employees, Transportation

    (I’ve bought a used car and it runs out of gas a bit before the gauge is near empty. I run out of gas on the freeway and pull over the shoulder. I call my boyfriend to bring me fuel but as he shows up, so does the county-run tow truck designed to keep the freeways clear.)

    Boyfriend: “Did you call a tow truck, too?”

    Me: “No, he just showed up.” *turning to the driver* “Sorry, I think we’re okay actually.”

    Driver: *ignoring me, talking to my boyfriend* “Don’t worry. I’ll just add some gas to her tank. No charge.”

    Boyfriend: “Well, I already brought gas so we may as well use it.”

    Driver: “The females often forget to check if there car has enough gas.”

    Boyfriend: “Uh…”

    Me: “It’s not my fault. The car gauge showed that it still had gas.”

    Driver: “The females always forget to pull their cars to the shoulder, so we have to drive around to keep the roads clear during rush hour.”

    Boyfriend: “Uh…”

    Me: *annoyed* “But I did pull to the shoulder!”

    Boyfriend: “Uh…”

    Me: “Jeez, can I get some backup?!”

    Listening To The Voice Of Reason

    | England, UK | Bigotry, Employees, Money

    (I’m trans*, and identify as male. For various reasons, I still sound female. My bank knows this and left a note on my account details, with my permission, explaining this should I ever have to turn up. This guy, however, took the cake. I’d had a couple of transactions show up oddly on the account, so I’ve been in touch with the fraud department to try and work out where they came from. We get the transactions sorted, and then this exchange happens:)

    Fraud Guy: “So, [My Name], there’s still a few more issues with this account I’m not happy with. I’d like you to go into [Branch] with ID tomorrow to get it sorted out, if you can.”

    Me: “Right. Why? I’m pretty sure I can explain everything else on the account. It was just those three charges.”

    Fraud Guy: “I’m just not happy with these other charges, and I’d like you to go into [Branch] with ID to sort this out.”

    Me: “Which ones, exactly?”

    (He rattles off a bunch of standard transactions and at this point, I’m suspicious. But still, I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt.)

    Me: “So, again, why do I need to go into [Branch], with ID, to sort this out? The branch knows who I am. H***, they’ve had to deal with me every time I needed to use the account when I didn’t have a card for it for a month. What’s the actual issue here?”

    Fraud Guy: “Nothing. We just need you to go into branch with ID and—”

    Me: “Because I sound female, right?”

    Fraud Guy: “Well…”

    Me: “If it’s because I sound female you might as well admit it, and get it over and done with.”

    Fraud Guy: “Yes. It’s because you sound female. I’m not happy about…”

    (This goes back and forth for another couple of minutes, until eventually he says he wants to speak to his supervisor. This is cool by me, as long as I can speak to the supervisor as well. He leaves and is gone no more than two minutes.)

    Fraud Guy: “So, I’ve spoken to my supervisor, and they’ve seen a notice where your name’s been changed and I can see now where the issue was.”

    Me: “Mmhmm.”

    Fraud Guy: “And to prevent this ever happening again I’m going to leave a note on the account explaining all this…”

    Me: “Like… the note that was already there, huh?”

    Fraud Guy: “Well, it wasn’t very clear, so I’m just going to put another one in, and hopefully this will never happen again.”

    (That notice was so hard to find that he went to speak to his supervisor, and the supervisor looked it up, showed him, spoke to him, and then he managed to come back to explain this all to me… within two minutes. There’s fraud prevention… and then there’s just ignoring everything you have sitting in front of you because the guy’s voice sounds a little strange!)

    Next Time Order Him Pink

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Bigotry, Bizarre/Silly, Coworkers

    (I’m responsible for buying equipment and try to buy different colours of gloves so they’re easy to tell apart.)

    Assistant: “Hey, I still need new safety gloves.”

    Me: “Yeah, you’ve mentioned that a couple times in the last month and a half. There’s a replacement pair in the cupboard.”

    Assistant: “I know, but I don’t want those gloves. They’re gay.”

    Me: “Wait. What?”

    Assistant: “Look at them. They’re mint green. They’re gay.”

    Me: “Take [Other Coworker]‘s gloves, then. They’re brown and he’s only worn them once.”

    Assistant: “Okay, I’ll do that.”

    (I guess brown gloves are heterosexual?)

    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.)


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