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    Category: Bigotry

    Don’t Even Ink About Being Racist

    | St Louis, MO, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Coworkers

    (I am a Hispanic woman and my coworkers are of various races. I have to write down a list of names for the swimming schedules when my pen, with blue ink, breaks before I write the last name.)

    Me: “Great.”

    (I write the last name with a black pen, before I sign my name at the bottom. A black coworker comes past.)

    Coworker #1: “Hey, what’s THAT?”

    Me: “What do you mean?”

    Coworker #1: “Oh, you WELL know what I mean!”

    (She jabs a finger at the last name.)

    Coworker #1: “That’s [Coworker #2]! You’re racist!”

    (I have written my black coworker’s name in black ink, where everyone else, who happens to be white, Hispanic, and Chinese, aren’t.)

    Me: “No, I’m not. The pen ran—”

    Coworker #1: “Oh, no, don’t you start excusing. I’m going to get [Managers] on you!”

    (She ran off, shrieking their names. I’m not punished at all after they laugh about it, all while my coworker was yelling about how ‘everyone she works with are god-d*** racists.’)

    The War Against Sexism

    | Manchester, England, UK | Bigotry, Coworkers, History

    (I’m an Irish woman but often travel to a mostly male UK office for work. One coworker thinks he is hilarious and tells me either a sexist or an Irish joke every time I visit. I always laugh it off or ignore him. One morning he is trying harder than usual to get a reaction and I am totally ignoring him until:)

    Coworker: “All I’m saying is, a hundred years ago women didn’t have the vote and we had an empire. Now women have the vote and we don’t have an empire.”

    Me: “Well, you shouldn’t have lost all those wars, then!”

    Other Coworkers: *loud laughter*

    (The funniest part is a few months later I met him outside of the office, with his wife. He never said a single sexist thing in front of her and seemed terrified I might tell her what he’s like in the office. I was nothing but polite and he left me alone after that.)

    Wish You Could Doctor What You Said

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Bigotry, Health & Body

    (A meet-and-greet is full of older male doctors and a male pharmaceutical rep. Note I am female and in my 30s. Also, nurses don’t attend these events as a rule.)

    Me: “Hello.”

    Rep: “Hi. You must be one of the nurses.”

    Me: “Ah, no. I am one of the doctors. Welcome to the 21st century.”

    (He did apologise!)

    Needs To Retire That Attitude

    | Auckland, New Zealand | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Job Seekers

    (I’ve been applying for jobs for about three months and on Monday receive a very interesting call. I answer in three rings.)

    Caller:“That took long enough! Is this [My Name]?”


    Caller:“I’m [Caller] from [Company I have applied to], just touching base on an idea we’ve had here at HR… Now, first of all, due to your being elderly, we can’t in good faith offer you the job… right?”

    Me:“Well, I’m—”

    Caller:“Exactly, good of you to be understanding! Now, the good thing is you have a lot of experience, and as most elderly need to pass that on to younger people and anyway, they like working voluntarily. We decided to offer you the chance to come in here, three or four days a week and train the young staff. Better than just stepping aside for them, eh?”

    Me:“So, I won’t actually be paid for this?”

    Caller: “Oh, s***, no! Not worth the cost of paying for all your sick days; you elderly have all those troubles, right? No, it’s entirely a voluntary position.”

    Me: *feeling a touch insulted* “I’ll have to talk to [Government Employment Department] about doing that, but I’ll consider it.”

    Caller: “Oh, no need to bring in those [homophobic slur]s in that [ethnic slur] bunch! My number’s [Number], call me before Christmas if you feel grateful for the chance!”

    (I have yet to call her back. For information, I was born in 1965.)

    His Race Card Has Expired

    | UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Bosses & Owners

    (I’m working at a pub near to my home over the summer holidays. Against the odds, I ended up having to serve my former childhood bully the previous day. The next day I am called into the office by the manager.)

    Manager: “I’ve had a very serious complaint about you. I feel like I know you, so I thought I’d ask for your side of the story before it goes anywhere. A customer yesterday alleges you racially abused him.”

    (It takes a moment for me to put the pieces together.)

    Me: “Would the complaint be from [Bully], by any chance?”

    Manager: “Err…”

    Me: “He tried to get me thrown out of school, too. And my brother thrown out of scouts. He’s got a few issues.”

    Manager: “Umm…”

    Me: “Would a character witness help?”

    (I go down to the bar, where a former classmate is working. While my manager is out of sight but within earshot I ask:)

    Me: “Hey, [Coworker], remember [Bully]?”

    Coworker: “Oh, that little s***? Threw a chair at you, slammed a window on your head, then claimed racism when you complained to the teacher?”

    Me: “That’s the one.” *I turn to the still-hidden manager* “That wasn’t even the worst of it.”

    Manager: “Enough said. If he comes back, tell him to get lost.”

    (I love my manager.)

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