Category: Bigotry

You Co-Sign Like A Girl

| Toledo, OH, USA | Bigotry, Employees, Non-Dialogue, Transportation

It is approximately 15 years ago and I am in the market for a new car. I have decided on an SUV from a now defunct manufacturer. They made awesome cars and this would be my second car from them. Mind you, I’m a woman in my 30s at this point and a legal secretary at a law office plus run my own side business. I have good credit and make more than enough money to afford this car.

I pick out and actually order the SUV I want, because I want a specific color with a few extra options such as a 6 CD changer and moon roof. I’m using the same salesman that sold me my original car from this dealership. He’s great – answers my questions without acting like I’m an idiot. We get the paperwork ready and hand it over to his financial team, at which point I am told it can take up a bit to process the paperwork as there are a lot of people there buying cars. My salesman needs to speak to his manager, so I start to walk over to get a drink of water when I hear my name being called – it hasn’t even been 5 minutes. I say “over here” and the man simply turns to me and doesn’t move towards me. So I wave at him and start to walk towards him when he proceeds to tell me very loudly from 10 feet away that I will need a co-signer. I immediately know he hasn’t looked past “female” on my paperwork nor done a credit check because I haven’t needed a co-signer since I bought my first car at 16.

So I stop walking towards him and from 10 feet away I very loudly reply “Please go back to your office and get me a list of the banks you called that say I needed a co-signer and I’ll go back to my office and subpoena their records because I guarantee you that they have sold this very car to a man who makes less money and hasn’t worked as long as I have, and without a co-signer.” It is at this point I see the guy who was helping me purchase my car with a big grin on his face and what I assume was his manager next to him scowling. I did not see that man again but I had the paperwork and a date my car would be delivered not 10 minutes after he disappeared.

I was and still am a huge fan of this particular car manufacturer. I went back to them for all of my oil changes, etc. And I never once saw that financial guy again. My salesman did however tell me that he thought it was awesome how I didn’t even miss a beat telling that guy off and loved that I did it in front of everyone. Apparently they had been having problems with him and losing sales over his sexism since he was hired and my response brought it to attention of a lot of higher ups that this kind of behavior was an open door to a lawsuit.

That Conversation Went South

| Phoenix, AZ, USA | Bigotry, Food & Drink

(After being hired I’m sent to a two-week training in another city with other new hires from the surrounding region. During introductions we say where we are from since most of us are transplants. I am from Oklahoma and am a 21-year-old white female (relevant) and another new hire is a middle-aged (black) man who relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans after Katrina. Once we are done the trainer stands up.)

Trainer: “Okay, apparently I need to make this clear now since we have people from the South. This is the Southwest. We don’t tolerate people saying ‘ma’am’ or ‘sir’. We aren’t formal like that. We wear flip flops to meetings! So don’t go dressing up too nice!”

(We had been given a very clear outline of expected dress code — eg. slacks, button-ups, etc.)

Trainer: “Just remember; this isn’t the South and we don’t DO things like you think is okay.”

(Coworker and I exchange uncomfortable glances at being singled out but don’t say anything. Throughout the week whenever she calls on me she will then interrupt me and declare she can’t understand what I said because of my ‘accent’. I don’t think anything much about it until a few days later when we are on break again and the gentleman from LA and I are having a passionate conversation about food and who has the best BBQ between our home states.)

Trainer: *to me* “Excuse me! You shouldn’t say that to him! He lost his home in a terrible flood, and you are bragging that your food is better than his! You can’t be talking like that to someone who has overcome so much as a black man! It is that kind of insensitivity that I can’t stand from you Southerners! It’s so racist!”

Coworker: “No.”

Trainer: “What?”

Coworker: “No, it isn’t racist to talk about food. BBQ in the South is almost a religion, I’m sitting here having a normal conversation with this young lady about something we both care about and she’s the first person I’ve talked to since moving here who actually knows what they are talking about. And I don’t care to have my business about why I moved or the ‘tragedy’—” *he made the finger quotes* “—of losing my home a subject of discussion!”

Trainer: “Well, I think it’s a conversation that isn’t appropriate and it is making people uncomfortable…”

Coworker #2: *also a black man* “Well, it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. You’ve got a class with two black men, an Asian, and a Muslim, and not one of us is uncomfortable about a conversation about BBQ!”

(The trainer then cut the break short and returned to class but didn’t say a word to me about my accent the rest of the time. Later Coworker #2 stopped me when we were leaving and let me know that both he and Coworker #1 had spoken to the trainer’s supervisor and that they didn’t think I would be bothered again. I wasn’t and neither were they. I was very grateful to both gentlemen; a combination of youth, inexperience, and social anxiety had left me speechless during all of it which made me feel like an idiot. I brought doughnuts the next day as a thank you and drinks later that night where we all called each other ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’ with each toast!)

You’re Insecure, We Know What For

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Bigotry, Musical Mayhem

(It’s my dad’s birthday and for reasons I can’t understand he loves One Direction. I decide to buy him a CD and this happens when I’m at the checkout. I’m a young female.)

Employee: “You’re all the same; I bet you only like them because they’re hot. It would be nice to see someone who truly appreciates music.”

Me: “Actually, I hate One Direction. It’s for my dad.”

Employee: “You’re lying. That’s girl stuff; no man would be caught dead listening to that s***. I bet you’ve never even heard of [he lists several somewhat obscure alternative bands].”

Me: “I have actually seen every one of those bands live and own at least one album from each of them.”

Employee: “Prove it.”

(I show him pictures I have on my phone of every concert I’ve been to AND a video of my dad freaking out over a 1D t-shirt and trying to convince me to try it on. The employee looked like he was about to pass out after seeing that.)

The Most Insecure Working Security

| Scotland, UK | Awesome Workers, Bigotry

(I have just finished a purchase and am leaving the store. A security guard stands in front of me.)

Guard: *yelling* “I’M SORRY, SIR, BUT MY BOSS IS A C*** AND DEMANDS I SEARCH YOUR BAGS. MAY I?”

Me: “Oh, umm. Sure?”

(He searches my bags in the most thorough way possible. He doesn’t find anything and turns to a smartly dressed gentleman who has been just off to the side of the entrance.)

Guard: “[BOSS], I HAVE SEARCHED THE INDIVIDUAL YOU REFERRED TO AS A [SLUR] AND HAVE FOUND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. MAY I NOW GET ON WITH MY ACTUAL JOB INSTEAD OF ACTING ON YOUR RACIST BULL-S***?”

(The gentleman almost turns blue before disappearing outside. The guard turns to me.)

Guard: “Sorry. He’s had this entitled attitude since the EU referendum, and I’m actually sick of it. Just thought I would teach him a lesson before leaving. Hopefully HR will handle him, but it doesn’t look hopeful. I’d suggest shopping elsewhere in future if you don’t want to be accused of theft. Again, sorry.” *walks away*

(I was honestly stunned, but I’ve got to admit it was quite satisfying, too.)

That Takes The Cake

| Scotland, UK | Bigotry, Coworkers, Language & Words

(We are all celebrating a colleague discovering they are pregnant. We are all eating cake when a phone rings.)

Coworker: *mumbles incoherently into the receiver*

(Swallows the cake.)

Coworker: “Sorry, we’re all enjoying cake!”

(Pause.)

Coworker: “No, it doesn’t!”

(Pause.)

Coworker: “WELL, F*** YOU, [homophobic slur]!” *hangs up*

Pregnant Coworker: “Umm, what happened?”

Coworker: “F****** a**-hole saying it sounds like I’ve got a good mouth for giving blowjobs! Disgusting [slur]!”

Me: “Well, I can’t say it was an appropriate call, but maybe tone it down on that sort of language?”

Coworker: “Why, you aren’t a [slur] are you?!”

Pregnant Coworker: “No, he isn’t. I, on the other hand, am!”

(Coworker went pale and ran out of the office. For the next month he refused to be in the same room as her. Shortly after he was fired for discrimination.)

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