Accused of being a racist (waitressing woes)

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I got their drink orders the moment they had their coats off.
Speckla
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I

No one cares about the proper definition of anything until it's on a topic that concerns them, that is clear. Perhaps you are underthinking, Speckla. Everything doesn't boil down to a Beatles song. To borrow a quote, the facts matter.


If you post something on here, get ready for responses. Really, from anyone or everyone. You don't have the right to comment and have no one disagree with you. Sorry, you don't.
Originally Posted by curlyarca
1) You're right. Perhaps I am underthinking things or just really not even capable of understanding them. It's better to stay out of something than jump into the middle. Especially if you're a lousey swimmer.

2) I'll have to amen that. And I apologize. Showing my ignorance again.
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He sounds like a real jerk. A lot of people have problems esp with the downed economy, and they too often take that negative energy out on people that don't deserve it. Not that ANYONE deserves it, but waitstaff and customer service ppl are always getting hammered.

That said, I wouldn't think you were a racist but I would feel slighted if that happened to me. I'm probably oversensitive as this guy probably was. I tend to get ignored or treated dismissively because of my small stature and age. Just the other day, I was at the self-service grocery checkout and I had a problem with it not taking my credit card. There were two women with uniforms on - one was on duty, one was just getting a drink and talking to the other one. I know the off duty one heard me ask for help, but she turned right around and kept talking. Maybe I interrupted the conversation and she thought it was rude, but I was a customer. So I stand there dumbly and finally the lady on duty noticed me and really apologized. I didn't fault her b/c her back was turned to me, she didn't see me, but I thought it was terribly rude of the other one to ignore me like that. IDC if she's on her shift at the time or not. I'll admit I feel an extra sting being black and them both being white. I always automatically think about racism because I did grow up in West Virginia still live in that general region. Though it's more diverse than people think at least in the city, blacks are definitely a minority and there's a tremendous amount of racism.

I'm in no way excusing what that customer did but it's possible for a black person to connect racism with being treated poorly - KWIM - even if racism isn't present in the situation. You came back on it immediately and were very apologetic. That's more than most ppl would do. What I think is that he felt a sting when you (unintentionally) ignored him and felt embarrassed and/or uncomfortable when you were apologetic, since I'm sure he wasn't expecting it. It's a pride thing. I wouldn't take it personally.
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reading all this arguing in circles is making me want some cheese balls.

Which I saw a huge bucket of today for 6 bucks. But I didn't get it because How am I supposed to just snack on a HUGE bucket of cheese balls? I'd die.
I am going to say something that might be controversial but immagonnasayit.

I am not a racist person. BUT I don't have a lot of experience interacting with black people. People are people, but because I am socially aware I am sure sometimes I can overcompensate in my interactions, or unassumingly behave in away that may be construed as being racist. It is not intentional but that doesn't mean I don't do it on occasion with some individuals. I am sure it also happens when Muslim women come into my store dressed in hijab/burqa.

I have a feeling this type of behavior is what RCW is referring to.
If you're saying I might have been "too nice" to them, I definitely wasn't. I'm overly friendly to EVERYBODY. I worked in Public Relations for several years. Before that, I worked retail for years. I deal with people. People are people. Period.
If you're saying I might have been "too nice" to them, I definitely wasn't. I'm overly friendly to EVERYBODY. I worked in Public Relations for several years. Before that, I worked retail for years. I deal with people. People are people. Period.
Originally Posted by CanItBeChristine
I'm not saying you were anything. I am saying for me personally, I know that sometimes I can unintentionally behave in a way that some person might construe as being racist. I know this about myself, and no matter how good my intentions or pure of heart I am that it still happens. There aren't a lot of black people where I live and I know that people are racist so, for me personally, I am sure sometimes I overcompensate.

I am just saying that perhaps this is what RCW was hinting at.

It would break my heart if someone seriously accused me of being racist because I am not. BUT I am also aware enough to recognize that I do sometimes act differently around people based on their skin colour. Good or bad it does happen.

I chose to share this because lasting change only happens when people are truly honest. Even if that honesty is uncomfortable.

Since they don't know you perhaps this is what the man thought you were doing.
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Last edited by Nej; 10-14-2012 at 08:36 PM.
I definitely get what you're saying.

Honestly, this guy didn't exactly come-off very nice or warm when he walked-in. (Not that I expect diners to act like we're going to embark on a beautiful friendship.)

It's definitely possible that I was reacting to his not-so-nice energy and it threw me off a bit, prompting me to skip over him...but that had nothing to do with the color of his skin. (And I went back within a minute and apologized like crazy. It's not like I placed the orders, never returned to the table, the rest of the food came-out and THEN I realized I had skipped him and he had to eat alone. The rest of the food hadn't even gone in yet!)
I agree with others that say, let it go.

I understand, I work in customer service and get all kinds of nasty. Perhaps it was personal, perhaps he just needed someone to take life out on.

I would drive myself crazy (and I have) trying to analyze everyone and how I could behave differently. If you did all you could and people are on your side then do whatever you need to let it go.

Being stressed out and anxious about it will only make you make mistakes.

I am just as capable of being unintentionally rude to someone, catch me on the wrong day and it happens. Nothing to do with the other person at all.

It all probably seems like a huge deal because of other stuff going on in your life.
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I am going to say something that might be controversial but immagonnasayit.

I am not a racist person. BUT I don't have a lot of experience interacting with black people. People are people, but because I am socially aware I am sure sometimes I can overcompensate in my interactions, or unassumingly behave in away that may be construed as being racist. It is not intentional but that doesn't mean I don't do it on occasion with some individuals. I am sure it also happens when Muslim women come into my store dressed in hijab/burqa.

I have a feeling this type of behavior is what RCW is referring to.
Originally Posted by Nej
Do you mind saying where you live because it always surprises me when I hear people say that but I never speak up. West Virginia is known for being a "very white" state but in the larger cities I'd say they're at least 30% black. Even in most of the rural areas it's not like black ppl are scarce.

I understand a black person not having much interaction with white ppl because most white people distance themselves from "black areas." However, when a white person says this I have to wonder why it is. I don't think it always happens intentionally. I'm not saying that or assuming it of you, Nej. I was on this forum where several posters (white I just assumed) were talking about attractions in L.A. and sharing pictures. All of the people pictured were white and... I guess I'd just pictured LA as more like Cincy with Hispanics, right? I know nothing of CA but from what I've heard about LA I've always assumed it was mostly black and Hispanic and that Melrose Place and all that was fiction or that part was very isolated. I jumped in and expressed surprise at there not being any black or Hispanic people pictured. They replied (not knowing my race) that "yeah, of course there are blacks and Hispanics there but it's not like we associate with them on a daily basis." I just don't get that. Are big cities that segregated that races just don't mix? Is this a common thing?

Last edited by Blackbanjogirl; 10-14-2012 at 09:25 PM. Reason: wrong word
I am going to say something that might be controversial but immagonnasayit.

I am not a racist person. BUT I don't have a lot of experience interacting with black people. People are people, but because I am socially aware I am sure sometimes I can overcompensate in my interactions, or unassumingly behave in away that may be construed as being racist. It is not intentional but that doesn't mean I don't do it on occasion with some individuals. I am sure it also happens when Muslim women come into my store dressed in hijab/burqa.

I have a feeling this type of behavior is what RCW is referring to.
Originally Posted by Nej
Do you mind saying where you live because it always surprises me when I hear people say that but I never speak up. West Virginia is known for being a "very white" state but in the larger cities I'd say they're at least 30% black. Even in most of the rural areas it's not like black ppl are scarce.

I understand a black person not having much interaction with white ppl because most white people distance themselves from "black areas." However, when a white person says this I have to wonder why it is. I don't think it always happens intentionally. I'm not saying that or assuming it of you, Nej. I was on this forum where several posters (white I just assumed) were talking about attractions in L.A. and sharing pictures. All of the people pictured were white and... I guess I'd just pictured LA as more like Cincy with Hispanics, right? I know nothing of CA but from what I've heard about LA I've always assumed it was mostly black and Hispanic and that Melrose Place and all that was fiction or that part was very isolated. I jumped in and expressed surprise at there not being any black or Hispanic people pictured. They replied (not knowing my race) that "yeah, of course there are blacks and Hispanics there but it's not like we associate with them on a daily basis." I just don't get that. Are big cities that segregated that races just don't mix? Is this a common thing?
Originally Posted by Blackbanjogirl
I live in Canada and a VERY multicultural city. Most of my friends were and are Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Iranian, Pakistanian, Sikh, French, Brazilian, El Salvadorian ...

There just aren't very many black people. When my friend moved here from LA he honestly asked where all the black people were. My personal interactions are just limited. I didn't have any black people in my high school, but it was still very multicultural.

One of my best friends is black and she always makes jokes about being the only black woman in Alberta.

Last edited by Nej; 10-14-2012 at 10:13 PM.
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Oh... I've heard that about Canada. Only been there once. I was only in junior high so I don't remember much about it - just that it was very cold.

West Virginia is just the opposite. There aren't many non-black minority groups. I had to get out of there. I always felt like I was regarded as part of the property, didn't know any different. I went to Cincy for an event and loved it. When I told my family I was moving here they said FOOL. I don't care what anyone thinks about it. Black people OWN this city. I'm still poor as hell but I feel like a queen here.
CurlyCanadian likes this.
It depends where in Canada. Some areas are Blacker than others and there are some areas that are mostly Black, and then many with very few Blacks. Overall though, we don't have the number of Blacks the US does.
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I

No one cares about the proper definition of anything until it's on a topic that concerns them, that is clear. Perhaps you are underthinking, Speckla. Everything doesn't boil down to a Beatles song. To borrow a quote, the facts matter.


If you post something on here, get ready for responses. Really, from anyone or everyone. You don't have the right to comment and have no one disagree with you. Sorry, you don't.
Originally Posted by curlyarca
1) You're right. Perhaps I am underthinking things or just really not even capable of understanding them. It's better to stay out of something than jump into the middle. Especially if you're a lousey swimmer.

2) I'll have to amen that. And I apologize. Showing my ignorance again.
Originally Posted by Speckla

Underthinking, yes; not capable of understanding, no.

I don't understand why you're apologizing (or deleting all of your posts).
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Honestly, even with a definition more like how people use it, I don't think people of color can be racist toward white people. I think people of color can be racist toward each other, but no, not towards white people. White is held up as ideal, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a single person of color who genuinely believes being white is inferior.
Originally Posted by Saria
My mom's side feel white people are infrerior. They dont like my dad, and treat my sister and I different because of it. I have been asked on severl occasions if I have ever ben molested by my father because white men likes having sex with their daughters. White people are trashy, stupid, evil, should die out, incompetent, ect. Oh the things I grew up hearing about the white devil.

Back on topic: I dont hink you did anything wrong, CIBC. The man could have been having a bad day and took it out on you.
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Honestly, even with a definition more like how people use it, I don't think people of color can be racist toward white people. I think people of color can be racist toward each other, but no, not towards white people. White is held up as ideal, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a single person of color who genuinely believes being white is inferior.
Originally Posted by Saria
I don't think that's exactly true among every person of color. There are plenty of us who think that a lot of things that white people say and do are weird or crazy. Many people of color don't have the arrogance to believe they are superior to whites in every way, but there are a fair number of us who don't think whites are all that and a bag of chips either.
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Honestly, even with a definition more like how people use it, I don't think people of color can be racist toward white people. I think people of color can be racist toward each other, but no, not towards white people. White is held up as ideal, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a single person of color who genuinely believes being white is inferior.
Originally Posted by Saria
I don't think that's exactly true among every person of color. There are plenty of us who think that a lot of things that white people say and do are weird or crazy. Many people of color don't have the arrogance to believe they are superior to whites in every way, but there are a fair number of us who don't think whites are all that and a bag of chips either.
Originally Posted by LadyV69

He also could have found me personally inferior because I was a waitress. (We're not really talking about me anymore, are we?)

He could have been a billionaire.
Oooo cheese balls. Well, im going to the store on the way to work now. Lol

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What are cheese balls? Are they like Cheetos cheese curls but round? Or are we talking actual balls of cheese?

Sorry for the guano.
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Aside from all the technicalities I dont believe anyone here took at as racism on your part. Hopefully you dont get anymore touchy customers ateast for a while, since they are impossible to avoid. Be confident in your service and do well. We all have sucky days at work sometimes
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