Category: Bigotry


White Lies Matter

| Baton Rouge, LA, USA | Bigotry, Coworkers

Coworker: “So, I tried to tell a little white lie.”

Me: “Why does it have to be a WHITE lie?”

Coworker: “Because when y’all tell them, they believe you.”

Me: “Touché.”


Has Some Baggage About The Bagger

| Washington, DC, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Employees

(I’m shopping at my local grocery store. The register I get in line at has a bagger, and everything is moving okay. However, the bagger is not super-fast, and, from the looks of it, has Down Syndrome. He’s doing a great job of carefully packing up everyone’s shopping, and no one is complaining, but the cashier seems to be going out of her way to make his job hard… scanning things in such an order that he has to wait for heavier items to put on the bottom of the bag, doing no bagging herself (and if she finishes scanning before he finishes bagging, just standing there and staring at him), and tossing handheld shopping baskets, which most people use at this store, into the middle of the bagging area so that he has to work around them. I arrange my shopping so that she will scan the heavier items first and bagging will be easier. She reaches for the lightest items at the back of the order.)

Me: “I arranged my items to be bagged easier. Why don’t you scan from closest to you?”

Cashier: “I know how to scan items.”

Me: “Apparently you don’t. I’ve watched you scan three people’s items in the exact opposite order they should be bagged.”

Cashier: “Whatever…” *condescendingly* “Is this better?” *scans my items in proper order*

Me: *in the snottiest tone I can muster* “Yes, it is.”

(I stand there silently while she rings up my order, finishing before the bagger finishes. She shoves my cart at him, hitting him in the heel.)

Me: “That wasn’t necessary.”

Cashier: “It was an accident.”

Me: “No, it wasn’t. I need to see your manager.”

Cashier: “Just pay and go. He’ll be done by the time your payment processes, I think.” *said in the snottiest of tones*

Me: “Nope. Manager, now.”

Cashier: “Fine.” *into intercom* “Manager requested at register three.”

Manager: “Is there something I can help you with today?”

Me: “Your cashier here seems to have a problem with her bagger, and seems to be going out of her way to make his job harder.”

Cashier: “No, I didn’t! You’re just making trouble and holding up the line!”

Me: “I’d suggest you go review her register camera video and see just what she’s doing. I arranged my items to be scanned heaviest to lightest to make bagging easier, and she tried to scan them in the opposite order, like she did every customer in front of me. She’s also put the baskets in the middle of the bagging area in his way, and offered no help on larger orders, even though she could have bagged alongside him after scanning and processing payment to expedite the remainder of the bagging. Your bagger is doing a great job of handling customer’s items carefully and bagging them in proper order… She’s actively making his job harder.”

Cashier: “No, I didn’t! It isn’t my fault he’s slower than s***!”

Manager: “[Cashier]! Go to the office now. Ma’am, thank you for speaking up. We will review the tapes. We value all of our employees, and this is unacceptable.”

Me: “One more thing.”

Manager: “Anything. Shoot.”

Me: “Tell him he’s doing a good job.”

(Manager looks over and sees Bagger looking at him, worried.)

Manager: “[Bagger], you’re doing a good job! Keep it up! I’m going to work with you here for a minute, okay?”

Bagger: “Okay, boss!”

Me: *to Bagger* “Thank you for packing my groceries so carefully.”

Bagger: “That’s my job!”

(No one who works hard deserves to be treated like that. I’m hoping the complaint has some impact on how they train and review their staff.)


My Boss Is A Nazi… Literally

| Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Bosses & Owners

(I work at a drive-in fast food joint as a cook. The store manager is relatively new. While working the prep station, I notice that someone has carved a large swastika into the cutting board.)

Me: “[Manager], I thought I’d bring this to your attention. It looks like someone has carved a swastika into the cutting board.”

Manager: *indignantly* “Okay… What do you expect me to do about it?”

Me: “Just a thought, maybe we could just have it flipped over, so that it isn’t visible.”

Manager: *dismissively smirks and returns to his paperwork*

(For a month, I take it upon myself to flip it over every time I work. Two days before the regional manager comes in, I noticed someone had carved multiple swastikas on BOTH sides of the cutting board.)

Me: “[Manager], I’m not sure if you had noticed, but someone has carved swastikas on both sides of the cutting board.”

Manager: “Well, I guess you’ll have to deal with seeing it.”

(The next day, I show the regional manager. Though I had the opportunity to throw the store manager under the bus, I choose not to let him know that I had told him about it.)

Regional Manager: *seeing the obviously intentional carvings* “Wow! Yeah, we’ll take care of that as soon as possible.”

(Two days later I come into work and notice a clean, new, cutting board. I also noticed that my hours are cut in half, and am assigned every crap closing duty on the days I work. Biting my tongue, I continue working, un-phased by the turn of events. One night, I pass by the store manager and another employee in their smoke break, while taking out crushed boxes.)

Manager: “[My Name], would you have gotten offended if you saw the word ‘n*****’ written in our bathroom wall?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Why? You’re not black.”

Me: “It doesn’t matter. It’s an offensive word. Not to mention customers also use that restroom, and it’s just all around unprofessional.”

Manager: “Well, you’re not Jewish, are ya?” *now referring to the swastika*

Me: “I have Jewish background.”

Manager: “Well, you’re not German, are ya?”

Me: “Yes… I have German background, too.”

(The next day, I submitted my two-week notice. In an ironic twist, I found out that he was fired two months later. Apparently, he and another employee, who he told us was his “brother,” were caught making out in his car, in front of the store, by the regional manager.)


Wish They Could Self-Store Away Their Misogyny

| NY, USA | Bigotry

(I am one of three employees in the office that I work in. We are a small, locally owned company and all of the employees are either family or friends of one of the two owners. I’m a young woman in my early twenties and I’ve been there for almost six years. I handle everything having to do with money, the Internet, or computers in general, except the basic stuff I taught the other employees. Without fail I get a call like this at least once a month. The phone rings.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Self Storage]. This is [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Uh… is one of the guys there?”

Me: “No, I’m the only one here today. Is there something I can help you with?”

Caller: “No that’s all right. When’s the next time one of them is in?”

Me: “[Coworker #1] will be in tomorrow morning.”

Caller: “Okay, thanks.”

Me: “Have a nice day.” *eye roll*

(After five years of this I get sick of it and finally stand up for myself. This has been my normal response for the past year:)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Self Storage]. This is [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Uh… is one of the guys there?”

Me: “No, I’m the only one here today. Is there something I can help you with?”

Caller: “No that’s all right. When’s the next time one of them is in?”

Me: “[Coworker #1] will be in tomorrow morning, but I assure you that I am more than capable of helping you. I’ve been working here for five years and know the system as well as anyone else.”

Caller: “Oh, okay, then can you look up my account and tell me my balance?” *gives information*

Me: “Your balance is [amount]. Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

Caller: “No, that’s all. Thank you!”

Me: “No problem. Have a nice day.” *eye roll*

(Apparently people assume I can’t complete tasks I learned on my first day here six years later.)


A Race To Prove A Point

| NB, Canada | NB, Canada | Bigotry, Bosses & Owners, Job Seekers, New Hires

(I am the front desk manager at a hotel. It is important to note that I am a First Nations individual and I live on a First Nation reservation. It recently became necessary to hire a new front desk agent and since I had a number of resumes on file already, I chose to go through those before posting a new ad for the position. I call up all the qualified applicants and schedule interviews and finally decide on a potential candidate. Before I can offer him the position, my boss calls me into her office.)

Boss: “I think we need to have a talk.”

Me: “Okay, about what?”

Boss: “About you racially profiling potential applicants.”

Me: “Excuse me? Where is this coming from?”

Boss: “I went through your files and based on what I’m seeing, you only invited people with white sounding names in for interviews. The people with Middle Eastern or African sounding names were not called. You do realize this is a very serious offense? As in, grounds for immediate termination?”

Me: “Woah, hang on now. Where is this coming from? What makes you think I didn’t call them for interviews?”

Boss: “Well, I found your interview schedule and compared it to the resumes on file. Not one of these Middle Eastern or African people was scheduled. What else could that mean?”

Me: “Okay, first of all if you look at the notes attached to the resumes, you would see that I did call these people. The majority of them didn’t answer their phones and didn’t have voice mail and you can see here—“ *I point to a note on one of the resumes* “—I called at least three times, I even marked the date and time of each call. This one here wasn’t qualified, and this one has an address in Dubai and his number is international. It was an email resume and it was probably submitted by mistake. I can’t very well hire an individual who lives on another continent, can I?”

Boss: “Well, it still seems a little fishy to me. You never hire people of color and you seem to be geared towards white-only applicants. I think you might be racist.”

Me: “Are you being serious with me? First of all, I myself am a minority. I’m Native, remember? I’ve been the victim of racism myself here at work and elsewhere. You know that. Second of all, we live in a tiny mountain town in the middle of nowhere! 80% of the population is white! I can’t very well hire people of color if they don’t live here and don’t apply. Third, two of the people I interviewed were of color, one was even Asian and you told me I couldn’t consider him because none of our customers would be able to understand him due to his accent, so I don’t feel that your accusations are valid at all. I am very offended right now. Finally, you are the one assuming that these people are Middle Eastern or African based on their names, not me. I’m not the one racially profiling here.”

Boss: “Okay, okay, so maybe I jumped the gun a little bit here but you know I have to look out for the company. We can’t have rumors of racism running around the town. Listen, this guy here looks really good. Why don’t we hire him?”

Me: “Oh, no… I’m not even considering this guy.”

Boss: “And may I ask why not?”

Me: “Well, for starters he showed up to apply with one of his friends. They were sweaty and smelly from playing soccer and he didn’t even think to bring his resume. That right there tells me that he does not have common sense and is not very professional. Second, he barely speaks French and doesn’t speak a word of English. His accent is so thick that I could barely understand him in French and since the system and all our paperwork is in English he wouldn’t be able to even get his work done. So no, he is not a valid candidate.”

Boss: “See, this is what I mean; you are racist. He’s obviously black based on his last name and he has a bit of an accent so you don’t want to hire him. I am very disappointed in you; I’m considering this a verbal warning. You need to change your attitude and I think I might even look into sending you for sensitivity training.”

Me: “Okay, well, if that’s how you feel, do what you have to do.”

(The following day I am off when I get a text from my boss.)

Text: “I’ve just called [Applicant] and his accent is not nearly as bad as you let on. I think he is wonderful and I’ve offered him a position. He starts tomorrow.”

(I am a little annoyed and very skeptical about how well this new hire will work out. After exchanging a number of texts with my boss I determine that she has only hired him to work four nights per week, doing the night audit shift. She figures if he doesn’t have to serve customers his language skills won’t be an issue. I decided to pick my battles and let this one go. Fast forward three weeks. I have had nothing but trouble with this employee but I decide not to rub it in my boss’ face. This particular week I am off on vacation. My boss calls me at home near the end of my week. She has been covering for me at the front desk all week.)

Boss: “We need to talk seriously about [Applicant].”

Me: “Oh? What’s the problem?”

Boss: “He’s un-trainable! And miserable at that.”

Me: “Really? Why, whatever do you mean? I thought you said he was wonderful.”

Boss: “I can’t work with this guy! For one thing he doesn’t shower so he stinks and always has his friends coming in to see him. I come in at seven and he’s grumpy and ready to run out the door before I have my coat off. He never follows instructions, he forgets to do half of his job every night, and I’ve gotten a number of complaints from customers that he can’t understand them and isn’t able to fulfill their requests and that they can’t understand him. This morning [Best Client] and [Second Best Client] missed their train to work because he couldn’t understand their simple requests for a wake up call. They’re threatening to take their business elsewhere if we don’t replace him or teach him English. And on top of all that I have to keep re-teaching him things and each time it’s as though he’s learning it for the first time. He’s got no common sense… I could go on and on but I’m just so frustrated. I don’t know what to do.”

Me: “Well, for starters maybe next time you could learn to trust my judgment. You did put me in charge of managing the front desk staff. There had to be a reason for that.”

Boss: “Well, why didn’t you tell me not to hire him in the first place?”

Me: “…Really?”

(We ended up scheduling him for more training but it was a lost cause. This guy simply could not read the information on the screen and had no desire to do anything beyond receive a paycheck. He was so seriously unmotivated, we ended up letting him go. The guy I hired to replace him? He was Asian and was more than qualified. My boss never accused me of racial profiling again.)

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