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    Pretty Woman: A Christmas Special

    | USA | Bigotry, Employees, Holidays, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I’m shopping for my father for Christmas, but he is incredibly picky. I decide to get him a gift card from a high end men’s clothing store. I stop by on my way home from my job at a kennel. I’ll admit that I’m wearing rain boots, muddy jeans, and a very doggy-smelling hoodie, so I look very out of place.)

    Salesperson #1: “Oh! Ma’am! You’re tracking mud in!”

    Me: “I don’t see any. I think the rain washed it off my boots. If I did, I’m so sorry!”

    Salesperson #1: “Miss, I cannot let you stay here. You can have a cup of coffee, but I can’t let you stay.”

    Me: “What?”

    Salesperson #1: “Why don’t you go home for the holidays? Do you have a home?”

    Me: “Yes, of course I do!”

    Salesperson #1: “Right. I’m going to have to ask you to leave. I’m sure you can’t afford anything here anyway.”

    Me: “Whoa! Wait! First of all, I’m not shopping for myself! Second, who cares if I can or can’t afford anything! I’m here to see if you sell gift cards!”

    Salesperson #1: “Oh… Yes, we do.”

    Me: “Third, I know I look grungy, but that shouldn’t matter. I work at a dog kennel to pay for my own housing. I just picked up an extra shift so I could buy my dad a Christmas gift. Are you going to sell me a f****** gift card or not?”

    Salesperson #1: *goes pale* “Oh… I… Yes, ma’am. Will that be a $20 card?”

    Me: “Do you get a commission?”

    Salesperson: “Yes.”

    Me: “I’d like another salesperson.”

    Salesperson: “Okay.”

    (At hearing this, another salesperson comes over.)

    Salesperson #2: “Yes, miss? How much would you like on your gift card?”

    Me: “$250.”

    Salesperson #1: “She can’t afford that!”

    Salesperson #2: “[Salesperson #1], go to the back. Miss, I’m terribly sorry for my coworker’s behavior.”

    Me: “I understand, I guess. I look kind of gross right now. I just got off a 10-hour shift of manual labor.”

    Salesperson #2: “I understand completely. I apologize again for my coworker.”

    Me: “No worries. Merry Christmas!”

    We Wish You A Merry Saturnalia, Part 2

    | NH, USA | Coworkers, Holidays, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I have only recently started working at this store while I am on winter break from college. I am on register. To keep things as secular as possible, I don’t tell anyone ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘happy holidays’ unless they say it first. Additionally, I am pagan and celebrate midwinter, or the winter solstice. As I live in an extremely conservative state, I’ve found that it’s best that I don’t mention that. I am chatting with one of my coworkers during a lull.)

    Coworker: “So what are you doing for Christmas? Going to any special services?”

    Me: “I actually don’t celebrate Christmas.”

    Coworker: “What? You’re an atheist?”

    Me: “Actually, I practice Dianic Wicca. I celebrate the winter solstice.”

    (Immediately, my coworker seems to get angry, and I feel uncomfortable.)

    Coworker: “So what do you do? Cast magic spells and dance around reciting chants?”

    Me: “Actually, paganism precedes Christianity by several centuries and a lot of Christmas traditions are derived from Yule celebrations. For example, we often have an evergreen tree, which we decorate—”

    Coworker: “So basically, you celebrate Christmas, but you’re just trying to sound edgy.”

    Me: “Well, no. There’s a lot of history and symbolism behind—”

    (I cut myself off as a customer has approached the cash register. Though I feel shaky, I try to put on a smile and give her the best service I can. At the end, the customer wishes me a Merry Christmas, and I say the same to her.)

    Coworker: “Oh, don’t bother. She doesn’t celebrate Christmas. She’s a witch.”

    Me: “Well, it’s a bit more complex than that.”

    Coworker: *sneering* “You’re probably a lesbian too. Right?”

    Me: “My sexuality really isn’t your business.”

    Coworker: *under his breath* “D***.”

    (At this point, the pleasant customer feels the need to interject.)

    Customer: “Now hold on just a minute, young man. This young lady has been nothing but kind and friendly to me. She returned my holiday wishes even though it’s not a holiday she celebrates. All you’ve done is stand to the side and make fun of her religion and sexual orientation. I’d like to speak to your manager, please.”

    (My coworker, stunned, goes to get the manager, who apologizes for the coworker’s behavior and gives the customer an extra coupon for her next visit. She dismisses my coworker to the back room. I do my best to thank the customer even though I am close to tears. It’s so wonderful to know that even in a conservative state like mine, there are still kind, accepting people. Happy holidays!)

    Related:
    From NotAlwaysRight
    We Wish You A Merry Saturnalia

    Not Just A White Christmas

    | Houston, TX, USA | Bigotry, Employees, Family & Kids, Holidays, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (It is the 1970s. I am five years old. My dad’s company throws a rather lavish Christmas party for all the employees. It is a manufacturing plant for the oil industry. The party is in one of the larger facilities they have and has a few indoor carnival rides, lots of 70s Christmas decor, and many, many families, some who are of diverse backgrounds and heritages, but who mostly are Caucasian, as are most if not all of the management. My family is Caucasian/white.)

    Employee: “Hey, did you know we got a Santa Claus over here?”

    Me: “Really?!”

    Employee: “Sure thing!”

    Me: *to my mom* “Can I go see Santa? Please?!”

    Mom: “Yes, honey; you can go.”

    (When I get there to line up for a toy, there is quite a surprise. There are TWO Santa Clauses; a white one and an African-American one! The African-American Santa looks about as confused as I am but seems really friendly and full of Christmas spirit. I also note that because most of the kids were white, they line up to sit on the white Santa’s lap. My logic was thus: African-American Santa looks lonely and he seems really nice, and because very few kids have lined up with him he still has a better assortment of toys left! My mind is made up. My mom hasn’t seen me for a while so she comes to look for me. To her genteel, racist horror, she sees her daughter happily sitting on ‘black Santa’s’ lap, smiling and enjoying talking to him. He is really sweet!)

    Mom: “Oh… uh… Here you are.”

    Me: “Hi, mom!”

    Mom: “Well, come on then, honey. Time to go!”

    (My mother offered a hurried thank you after I got to pick a toy (he really did have the best toys!) and ushered me away. I smiled and waved goodbye to the confused but kind man. To me, the color of his skin didn’t matter. All I saw was a nice, bored man with better toys than the other guy. To ‘black Santa,’ wherever you are, I’ll never forget how kind and sweet you were despite the rather racist overtones of the whole experience for you. I hope you had a great life!)

    Making A Graceful Exit

    | Las Vegas, NV, USA | Awesome Workers, Employees, Money, Technology, Top, Tourists & Travel

    (A few days before Thanksgiving, my 6’5″ husband and I (tall as well) are on a long trip back to our home in Europe from a trade show in Las Vegas. Our time at the show was fraught with embarrassment and financial peril, as both our East Coast as well as our German credit cards from a major card company are randomly accepted or denied, even within the same hotel. We therefore have resorted to using cash whenever possible. At the airport, my husband is dealing with back pain, and at the gate we try to upgrade our plane seats to Economy Plus with much needed leg room. The agent at the gate is slightly flustered with handling a packed and overbooked flight, but keeping her cool:)

    Agent: “Yes, I can give you two exit row seats if that is okay with you. That would be $204.”

    Husband: *looking way happier* “Yes, please!”

    Me: “Can we pay in cash?”

    Agent: “I’m sorry, I may not take cash here, and you cannot get prepaid credit cards in this area of the airport.”

    (I explain our credit card and authorization woes, and warn her that they might fail, but to please try them. While she attempts to run all our cards, Husband and I chat that we just will have to take it as it comes with the cards, and hope for the best.)

    Me: *noticing the people on the waiting list nearby* “You know, at least we will BE on the flight and get home, with or without the upgrade. I’m glad for that. If we can only pay for one upgraded seat, you’re getting it!”

    Agent: “It looks like this [last] card might be authorizing, but the system is acting up again. It won’t let me assign the seats to you!”

    Me: “Oh, dear. Did the card fail after all?”

    Agent: “I don’t think so. This is the third time today the system is doing this. I’ll try this a couple more times, and if it doesn’t assign, I’ll waive the fee.”

    Husband: *in German* “What did she say? Is she serious?”

    Me: *in German* “She might be joking. I don’t know. Let’s just wait.”

    Agent: “Okay. That does it. I am done with seating system. I am waiving the fee and manually assigning you the seats. Here are your new boarding cards!”

    (Shocked and grateful, we shake her hand and thank her profusely. The waiting list people got on the plane, too, on our vacated seats! Airline agent, if you are reading this, you saved us a lot of pain on the long flight home to Thanksgiving with our family there! Thank you so much, and happy Thanksgiving to you, too!)

    Engineering A Problem

    | CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Top

    (I’m part of an engineering team for a small aerospace firm that is currently tasked with fixing airfoil defects in wing design. A company wide ‘reshuffling’ has seen us get a new supervisor from corporate, whose first order of business is one-on-one interviews to determine who is ‘expendable.’ This happens during a team meeting held a week later with him, me, and three other coworkers. We immediately notice our only female coworker, a thin Asian woman in her mid-twenties, is not present.)

    Supervisor: “All right, everyone, if you can just sit down we’ll get this meeting done with.”

    Coworker #1: “Wait, we’re missing someone. Where’s [Coworker #4]?”

    Supervisor: *waving his hand dismissively* “Oh, that, it was decided that with the new cost-cutting measures it wasn’t worth the cost to keep a secretary on hand for you guys, especially such an overpaid one.”

    Me: “Wait, what are you talking about?”

    Supervisor: “Oh, don’t try and fool me. I noticed that little b**** didn’t even have an engineering degree, and she made up all sorts of excuses about not needing one when I confronted her on it. I don’t care how good she was at getting coffee or whatever her ‘other services’ were. After reviewing her file I saw she barely does any work in the department and I won’t have my department filled with useless employees. There’s no point protecting a deadweight liar just because she’s a pretty face.”

    (He finishes this speech with his arms crossed, looking very smugly at us, as if he’s just uncovered some grand secret. Eventually Coworker #2 finally breaks the silence.)

    Coworker #2: “You f****** moron.”

    Supervisor: *stunned* “What did you say to me?! I will have you reported for this kind of language.”

    Coworker #3: “Go right ahead, and while you’re at it explain how you just crippled our department for the next couple of months.”

    Supervisor: *frustrated* “Oh, don’t be so overly dramatic. Just because you won’t have a pretty girl to ogle…”

    Coworker #2: “That ‘pretty girl’ you fired had a PhD in applied mathematics. She was the only person in our department who could actually figure out the Joukowsky transform on the new designs we’re working on. She clocks so few hours with us because she’s asked to help out the other departments practically every other day.”

    Supervisor: *unimpressed* “Well, finnneeeee, if it’s so important we’ll just get another one of these ‘applied’ math people. It shouldn’t take long. H***, with all these new college graduates we can probably just use two unpaid interns and get twice the work for less than half the pay!”

    (He once again looked around like he just solved the greatest puzzle in the world. Ignoring our protests he attempted to go ahead with his plans, even creating an ad listing for an UNPAID internship for someone with at least a master’s degree in applied mathematics. Unsurprisingly it turned out to be incredibly difficult to find another PhD in applied mathematics with a specialty in airfoil design, especially one willing to work for free. Our former coworker is now at a much higher paid job at a larger company, and four months later we still haven’t found a replacement. After months of stalled projects, it was very satisfying watching the CEO of the company tear into my now ex-supervisor for his stupidity.)


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