March 3rd, 2014


Bad service at Michael's...

I don't know if this was more bad_service toward me or the customer before me, but damn...

I went to Michael's last night to get a picture frame. It was getting near to closing, or so I surmised from the music on the speakers being turned off partway through when I was shopping. I made my way up to the checkout, where there was only one register open. There was a customer ahead of me (relevant to the story: She appeared to be a high school student or college freshman, and was on her cell phone while the cashier was checking her out). The cashier was this sweet-looking older lady (in her 50s or 60s, I would say), so in my mind, I'm thinking that because she looks the part, that is what she must be (a sweet old lady). The girl ahead of me finishes her transaction, I go up, and the following happens: (C = Cashier)

C: *scanning my frame* "Can't wait to go home and put some Ben-Gay on the back of my neck."

Me: *thinking it sounds like she's had a tough day, so I try to be nice* "Did you have a long day?"

C: "Not a long day, no, but...I just had a customer who should be committed to a mental institution. She actually thinks that they're going to cancel a basketball game at her school because [some other event] is happening at the same time."

...I didn't even know what to say after that. I realized she must have been listening to the girl's phone call and so gotten that information from there, and if she wants to think that about a customer, she has every right...but to say it out loud? To another customer (me)? Not professional and not okay.

It is ESPECIALLY not okay in view of the fact that I am on the autism spectrum (Asperger's syndrome) and I know for a fact that when I was diagnosed as a child, there were people who told my parents to put me in an institution (they didn't, thankfully). All I could think was that if C thinks that a comment like that girl made means she deserves to be in a mental institution, I don't even want to know what she'd think of someone like me. It's really sad and scary to think that people like C exist in the world...


lying taxi driver

Took a cab on Friday night with my husband and our friend. I requested he take the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn. He said the Brooklyn Bridge is closed. I said, then take the Manhattan Bridge. He said there was too much traffic and we would have to take the Battery Tunnel. I agreed but decided it would be reflected on his tip that he demanded we take the tunnel instead of asking.

As we were driving to the tunnel, the traffic report was on his radio and I could hear the newscaster say the Brooklyn Bridge was OPEN TO Brooklyn and closed to Manhattan. Not long after that report, he turned the radio off. That means we would have been just fine getting home via the route I told him. The guy lied. The cost of the tunnel is less than I would have tipped (on average $10). Now, I decided, instead of deducting the $5 cost of the tunnel from his tip, he was going to get no tip.

We get to Brooklyn and we hit a massive amount of traffic on the BQE. We ended up getting off and having to drive around to get to the route we needed to get home. Except, we told him what street we needed to turn onto and he drove right past it! At that point, I called him on being a liar and either not paying attention to where he was going or deliberately missing the turn. He argued that the Brooklyn Bridge *is* closed and I told him it was not closed going towards Brooklyn because the traffic report said it wasn't and I had even checked on my phone. After that, he shut up and drove us the rest of the way. The fare was pretty big but that was mostly cause of the traffic we hit in Brooklyn. I think his antics only added a few bucks if that. Obviously, I didn't tip.

Unfortunately, I paid in cash (didn't want this guy having my name so I didn't use a credit card as planned) and didn't think to get a receipt. I did write down the medallion number but there was no driver's id where one should be displayed so I have no name. That is against the rules but half the time the id doesn't match the drivers because the medallion owners rent out their cars. I think I transposed the letter and one of the numbers on the medallion number so I don't want to make a mistake and complain about the wrong cab.

Homo/transphobia at Walmart

So, today I tried to go to Walmart for a phone upgrade since they apparently had the phone I wanted on sale for $1 with an upgrade. It seems that was a mistake.

I actually went there twice, because the first time the guy said he needed my credit card and a paystub from my job?????? Which was extremely bizarre as my phone carrier has no info on where I work at all and I'm just trying to upgrade my phone, not open a line of credit. I was very baffled by that. Came back later and spoke to someone else, explaining carefully this time that I was not a new customer and just wanted to upgrade, in case there was confusion last time which caused the weird paystub thing.

In the end, she couldn't help me, which was fine and not her fault at all. What WAS a problem was the entire time she was making incredibly inappropriate remarks about a trans woman who was nearby, to all of her coworkers. "I can't believe you didn't see that THING. That man who wanted to be a woman! What is it?" She actually was there the first time when I was talking to somebody else, when the trans woman first walked past, and the second time, long after the woman had gone, she was STILL TALKING about her! Very blatantly, not under her breath, so all the customers can hear. Her other coworkers were gossiping about her a little too, but she was the main pot-stirrer for sure, especially since she continued to bring it up. Wtf.

She kept and kept on until finally I got so sick of it that I spoke up, not to scold her but just saying "I think she's a SHE", etc. to give her the hint, without outright causing a scene, that her customer was not pleased by her behavior. She stopped talking about the woman then, but a minute later started making fun of a guy who had a pink cup... I... just don't understand. I'm sure that she believed my sour expression was because she could do nothing to help me with the phone upgrade, because she apologized a lot, but clearly she didn't know what she actually should have apologized for. She also said something about how one time she tried to call "someone like that" 'ma'am', but they got offended. If that is true... it's possible to be polite without using gendered language, and that's still absolutely no excuse for talking about "that man who wannabe a woman".

I spoke with a manager about it, and finally someone was sane and apologized to me about it. Still, that was my first and definitely last experience working with Walmart, or at least this location, about my phone. So disgusting.

I don't want that girl to get in any serious trouble for her remarks but she needs a sharp reminder to watch her mouth in front of customers. She really shouldn't be saying those things EVER, but there's absolutely no excuse to make transphobic and homophobic remarks right in front of customers. You never know who is hearing your ugly words. In this case, another transgender person [me] was hearing them, and was not pleased in the slightest.

Edit: I should clarify, since it seems everyone is misunderstanding. I said I don't want her to get in serious trouble. Like, I wouldn't try to get her fired over something like this. At least not the first time I run into it. That said, she needs a wake-up call, and hopefully my complaint - and hopefully a resulting talking-to by someone in charge of her - will serve as that for her.