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    Category: Bigotry

    Needs To Call Out Racism On The Carpet

    | USA | Bigotry, Coworkers

    (I work for a carpet store/warehouse. The store has six salesmen who take customers on a ’round robin’ basis, meaning when a customer comes in, the next salesman ‘up’ handles them, unless he is busy. One salesman in particular is extremely racist and often skips his turn when minorities come in.)

    Salesman #1: *seeing an African-American family enter* “You take my turn.”

    Salesman #2: “Are you sure?”

    Salesman #1: “Yeah. These [racial slurs] never have any money and want everything at a discount.”

    Salesman #2: “Are you absolutely sure? Okay, then.”

    (Salesman #2 proceeds to spend nearly 45 minutes with the man and his family. After they leave, he returns to his desk to do paperwork.)

    Salesman #1: “That looked like fun. The [racial slur] give you the runaround?”

    Salesman #2: “You didn’t recognize him?”

    Salesman #1: *laughing* “No, why? Was he on America’s Most Wanted?”

    Salesman #2: “That was [First Name]—”

    Salesman #1: “All [racial slur]s are named ‘[First Name].’”

    Salesman #2: “[Full Name]. Plays for the [Sports Team]? He just carpeted his entire house in deep plush.”

    (Salesman #2 made a huge commission on the sale. Salesman #1 never lived it down.)

    Praying For Some Common Sense

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Bosses & Owners, Religion

    (I work for a market research company, where we called people and conduct surveys about various products, business concerns, or political issues. I have been promoted from dialing surveys to training supervisor, where I train new hires how to use our computer system to correctly conduct surveys. I am giving my introductory spiel about the company.)

    Me: “We here at [Company] are a very diverse company, welcoming people from all races, backgrounds, countries, faiths, sexual preferences, etcetera. It is important for you to know that you are supported here. I am aware that people of Islamic faith may need special prayer time that falls outside the prescribed 15 minute break and may also prefer privacy for this. Please don’t hesitate to approach your supervisor and let them know you need to pray. We have an equipment room in the back with enough room for you to pray as you need. I’ll show you when we tour the main office and dialing floor. If for some reason your supervisor does not authorize you to go pray, please come find me on the floor or in the training room and I will make sure you are excused so you may go pray. We don’t want anyone to feel discriminated against for any reason.”

    (Everything seems fine until several days later, when the operations manager, floor manager, and main office manager call me into a meeting.)

    Main Manager: “The reason we asked you in here today, [My Name], is because we’ve received a very disturbing report about you.”

    Me: “What?! What disturbing report?”

    Main Manager: “One of your trainees said you were calling unfair attention to Muslim people and felt it was discriminatory.”

    Ops Manager: “I didn’t want to believe that about you but then I sat in on your orientation and you talked about Muslims and prayer time.”

    Main Manager: “Yes. We have you on tape saying those things, so unfortunately we’re going to have to fire you.”

    Me: “Fire me?! For WHAT?”

    Main Manager: “Racism.”

    Me: “What?!”

    Main Manager: “Yes. The trainee felt you were deliberately pointing out who the Muslim students were and felt very uncomfortable about it and felt it was racist of you to do so. We have agreed with them. Please sign this dismissal agreement.”

    (Pushes a dismissal paper towards me where I’m to acknowledge by signing that I’m being fired and why and that I would not be allowed to collect any unemployment benefits because of this. I’m so floored by all of this that I mutely sign, as it’s clear they won’t listen to me. Then they try to hurriedly hush me up and shove me out of the office. They allow me to get my things from my locker but I am forbidden to talk to anyone on my way out. I manage to tell one fellow trainer before I’m shut up and she’s shocked and dumbfounded as well, but they stop me again and make sure I get my things and leave the office. I’m left in the hallway by the elevator, just me and the Ops Manager.)

    Ops Manager: “I’m sorry it happened this way. You were really very good and I know your trainees and coworkers really liked you. I did, too. If you need a reference letter, I’ll be glad to write you a good one.”

    Me: *crying* “N-No, that’s o-o-okay. I just—”

    (The elevator arrives.)

    Ops Manager: “I’m sorry about this. You take care, okay? *pointedly waits for me to get into the elevator*

    (I was so confused and traumatised by this, having worked for this company for six years and caused little trouble, that I didn’t pursue the issue legally in any way. I also didn’t take the Ops Manager up on his offer of a referral letter, considering what he just participated in against me. I DID make my case to the Unemployment Agency and they saw fit to authorize me to draw unemployment until I could get a new job.)

    Bigotry Is His Game

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Employees, Top

    (I go to a video game store with my brother to pick up a guidebook for a new game. We look about the same age, and are often mistaken as a couple. I go to the cash register to ask about the book, while my brother looks in a different section.)

    Me: “Hey, do you have the [Game] guidebook in stock?”

    Cashier: “Yeah. Does your boyfriend want one?”

    Me: “Uh, no, I do. That’s my brother.”

    Cashier: “You’re still buying it for your boyfriend probably. They’re [price].”

    (I know how much the book costs, which is lower than the price the cashier gave me.)

    Me: “That’s not the price. It should be around [correct amount].”

    Cashier: “Sorry, girly. That’s the price. Take it or leave it.”

    (I go back over to my brother, and ask him to get it for me. I can hear them from where I’m standing.)

    Brother: “Yeah, one [Game] guidebook.”

    Cashier: “All right, it’s gonna be [correct price]. I knew she was just gonna get it for her boyfriend.”

    (At this point, I’m fuming. I storm over to the cash register.)

    Me: “Look, boy. I’ve been playing [Game] longer than HE has. He is NOT my boyfriend. He is my brother. I’m a f***** lesbian, and my girlfriend already has one. I want your manager out here NOW.”

    Cashier: “I AM the manager.”

    Me: “I want your boss’s number.”

    (He reluctantly gave me the district manager’s number. I called and explained to him what happened. The next time I went in, there was a new store manager.)

    Not Ink-lined To Help, Part 2

    | MD, USA | Bigotry, Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (Three years earlier, I had a tattoo done at a very well-reputed and very CLEAN studio that came highly recommended. The doctor is a new one at this office.)

    Doctor: “What seems to be the problem today?”

    Me: “I think I have the flu. I started feeling sick about a week ago. I thought it was a cold, but it got better instead of worse.”

    Doctor: “It has been going around. What are your symptoms?”

    Me: “Viciously congested, barking cough, headaches, chills. My whole body hurts. I have no appetite. And, as of yesterday, I’ve also got a fever.”

    Doctor: “Yeah, that sounds like the flu, all right. Are you in school?”

    Me: “No, I work. But my mom’s a schoolteacher, so the germs probably hitched a ride with her.”

    (She starts to examine me and it all goes normally until I have to take my sweatshirt off so she can listen to my chest, which reveals my tattoo.)

    Doctor: “Oh, dear…  Did you get this tattoo in the last six to twelve months?”

    Me: “No, it was years ago. It was my birthday present to myself when I turned 19.”

    Doctor: “Have you ever been tested for hepatitis?”

    Me: “Um, no…?”

    Doctor: “Are you aware how infectious hepatitis is? You can get it very easily from dirty needles. You need to be tested.”

    Me: “I appreciate your concern, but—”

    Doctor: “I can’t tell you how many young people I see with their piercings and tattoos. Their little friends told them where to go to some guy for it, and they don’t realize how dangerous dirty needles are. It sounds like you could have it.”

    Me: “I really don’t think I have hepatitis.”

    Doctor: “But you’re not a doctor.”

    (She takes another look at me.)

    Doctor: “And look at all those earrings! Oh, dear, you NEED to get tested for hepatitis. You have the symptoms and you have that tattoo and those piercings. I’ll write the order for you. You can go down the hall to the lab, and then we’ll go from there.”

    Me: “Look, I really don’t appreciate the assumptions you’re making about me and about everybody with tattoos. I didn’t get this in some guy’s basement and the artist used sterile needles. I’ve been here many times since getting the tattoo and nobody has ever thought there was a problem until now. I REALLY don’t think I have hepatitis. I think I just have the flu.”

    Doctor: “Here you go. Now, the lab is down the hall on the left…”

    (Since the office was busy, I couldn’t get another doctor. I ended up submitting to the test, and feeling even CRAPPIER after they took several vials of blood. Surprise, surprise, I tested negative for Hep A, Hep B, and Hep C. In another surprise twist, it turned out that I did indeed have the flu!)

    Related:
    Not Ink-lined To Help

    I Don’t Mean To Be Homophobic, Or Racist, Or Bigoted, But…

    | NY, USA | Bigotry, Bosses & Owners

    (My mom is a veterinarian in a privately owned practice. She often comes home with stories about her boss and his wife, the practice’s manager. Today, she is listening to the manager talk about her daughter’s family.)

    Manager: “[Grandson] has taken to playing with his sisters’ dolls. My daughter thinks it’s fine, but her husband doesn’t like it.” *in a conspiratorial whisper* “His sister was a lesbian, you see, and he’s afraid his boy will turn out like that!”

    Mom: “You… do know it doesn’t work that way, right?”

    Manager: “Oh, yes, of course, but he just doesn’t want his son playing with those dolls…”

    (The conversation moves on to the family’s recent move.)

    Manager: “One of the reasons they moved is because of the school district. In the last one, they were the minority! It was all blacks and Hispanics. Their new school district is much better. There aren’t any blacks there!

    (My mom’s face freezes in shock.)

    Manager: Oh, they aren’t discriminatory or anything!


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