Gluten Intolerance Versus Gluten Ignorance, Part 2

| NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Employees, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(I always ask for no onions on my burger, but they always put onions on my burger every time, almost like they are doing it on purpose. Today I try something new.)

Me: “I would like a burger with no onions.”

Cashier: “Why not?”

Me: “I’m gluten free.” *I am not gluten intolerant*

Cashier: “Oh, I’m sorry, I’ll make sure you don’t get any onions.”

(I don’t think I was totally in the right, but they made my burger correctly!)

Gluten Intolerance Versus Gluten Ignorance


Her Complaint Is Nothing To Be Sneezed At

| ON, Canada | Coworkers, Health & Body

(I work in a call center and have a very loud sneeze. Sometimes they come out of nowhere so the entire office will hear it. This particular coworker is on the other side of the room.)

Me: *sneezes super loud*

Coworker: *by email* “Can you please try to cover your mouth? I’m trying to get pregnant and I’m having trouble with it. I’m trying my hardest not to get sick in case that’s the problem.”

(I send her a pleasant email back explaining I will try harder to catch my sneezes before they come out. A few days later, at the end of the day, I leave through the back door.)

Me: “Hi, [Coworker]!”

Coworker: *turns around with a cigarette in her hand* “Hi, [My Name], have a good night!”

Me: *thinking to myself* “Well, there’s your problem!”


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.)