“Is it a white thing or laziness.”
– Leather Strap Customer, 2019
Today I had a customer who pulled a race card on me at work. This huge white man probably in his 50’s comes into the store making a scene telling his wife to hurry up and get the burlap in her cart. After an additional few seconds of looming around, she finally came up to me and ask me to cut seven inches. While I was cutting the burlap, he asked if the store had leather straps. I told him no. A few seconds later he asked again, “You don’t have any leather straps that around 3/8ths or anything like that.” Again I told him no.
After checking out his wife and another customer, as I was heading back to the cutting counter he stopped me. “I thought you said you didn’t have any leather straps. Look what I found.” I look at his hands and saw him holding two small bolts of leather trims or cords. I look at him and said, “so you meant trims?”
His response, “I asked so many times of you have leather cord and all you said was no, no, no. Is it a white thing or just laziness that you didn’t want to help me?” First, I apologized to him and proceeded to explain that people used different terms for sobmany products so if that was what he was looking for and not leather straps, then I’m sorry. Once again, he continue to verbally harassed by repeating the same thing and finally adding, “or maybe because you’re Asian.”
That was it. I responded by saying “Sir, I already said I’m sorry and once again I apologize.” He continued to verbally harassed me using the same old tactics and finally I grabbed the two bolts of trims out of his hands walking away. As he caught up with his wife, he continues to complain saying “I don’t know if it is a white thing or just laziness.”
As soon as they both exit the store, another customer apologized to me for his actions and that it wasn’t necessary for him to do such things. And that she also heard him asking for leather straps multiple times and not cording. I just told her it was alright and continued to do my own things.
Now let me make three things clear, I know that no one reading this is able to see me at work, but I’m a hard worker. As a full time manager on duty, I complete as much tasks as I can during my shift. I make sure that my coworkers are actually doing something or attending to customers’ needs instead of sitting or standing around.
Secondly, I’m not going to service a customer who is pulling racial cards. I understand that sometimes customers get product names confused and sometimes they forget what it is called and used another word for it. However, using specific terms such as leather straps will lead me to think that you’re asking for straps made out of leather, not a bundle of strings made out of suede looking leather material.
Lastly, I work in a store where the majority of the customers are White and for the most part some of them are ignorant. And I’m going to quote my three White associates on this, “every time we get an upset or rude customer it’s always a white old lady or man.” Yes, believe it or not they said it. Every time we huddle up to talk about a rude customer, they’re always asking “was he/she white.” So, I don’t know or understand why someone would be pulling the race card saying “is it a white thing” when I’m spending my time servicing White customers.
It’s definitely not because the customer is white or I’m lazy that I didn’t help find what he was looking for. It’s because he specifically ask for a product that the store didn’t carry. And if corporate finally decided to send leather straps to the store, I will know about it because I stock all the stupid products like crazy each week and each day.
Additionally, I will make myself clear that I can care less if he decides to call corporate. For one I do not want to work under some company that wants their employees to kissed customer’s asses. Lastly, I most definitely do not want to work for a company that will allow customers to harassed employees and always buying the customers’ victim stories.