Racism is getting really old…
My very long-time friend shared a story the other day that I wanted to branch from. She’s black, and she ordered food over a bad phone connection. When she picked up her food, the person she spoke with used an incredibly offensive slur to describe her, and loudly enough for her to hear firsthand. She kept her cool, went along, and called the owner of the establishment and explained what happened. That’s unbelievable restraint, but she’s always been amazing in many ways.
I’m really pale, but all groups of people get treated unfairly in many ways. I struggle to think of a group in this country more influential and capable currently facing these problems, but that’s beside my point here.
These daily trials are upsetting because they are examples of the ailment affecting so many aspects of our society: sluggishness. It’s the same frustration I get from the direction of quality of education and availability of help for people who need it, but with the added complication that race can be roughly determined in an instant, is incredibly personal, and has nothing to do with a person’s capability, skill or courtesy.
What does help, somewhat, is to think about it from a business perspective:
The person that used the slur against my friend wasn’t the owner or operator of the store. (I mean, can you imagine?) My friend didn’t make a scene, not that it would have been “wrong”, just bonus points for being cool-headed. What she did that is so important is that she found the owner and told them about it.
Businesses are not cheap to run. If a place can hand you food in person at a fixed location, they are paying a great deal of money to do so. Most people who have enough money to do this have the sense to realize that their business would fail utterly if they treated people in this way. Anything close to this type of behavior will send people running in the opposite direction.
My basic point is that if something like this happens to you, find out who pays the bills and make sure they know what happened. Does the person who pays the bills agree with what their employee said to you? It’s possible, but unlikely. Would they have said it in a way that paying customers could hear? NO.
Remember that successful business owners hire and fire based on problems like this. During an interview for a position, you can’t really ask a person if they are rude and expect an honest response. Those types of problems get solved by canning employees. Owners want a profitable business, and loudly saying racial slurs about paying customers will not help them reach that goal. Never assume that what was said to you applies to everyone involved in that establishment.
On the off chance that the person who slurred you actually is the one that pays the bills, the upside is that there will be a brand-new place in that exact location for you to try within a few months, and you had the honor of being one of the current business’s last customers.