Wednesday, September 05, 2018

So yesterday, I found myself sitting in a Starbucks waiting for my car to be serviced. They told me it would take about 2-3 hours, and I didn't feel like going back home or going anywhere else, so I decided to kill some time on my laptop while I drank some tasty, overpriced coffee.

When I set foot in there, the line was at least 25 people deep, so I decided to secure an open seat by an outlet first, while I waited for the line to die down. I took out my laptop, my phone and my computer charger, and I sat down to begin my job search (yep, still unemployed).

I had been sitting down about 10 minutes, when this lady who could not have been any older than 30 years old came up to me. I could tell she was nervous and a bit tentative, but that didn't stop her from moseying her ass on over to me, so that we could have this inane conversation:

Her: Excuse me sir and good morning. Um, you cannot just sit here in Starbucks without purchasing something first

Me: (while looking at the long line): Well if you allow me to cut to the front of the line, I'd be glad to buy something, do you think you could do that for me?

Her: (laughing): No sir, I definitely cannot do that

Me: (definitely not laughing): Well can you tell me what the difference is between me waiting for that line to die down while I'm on my laptop, and me standing in that long ass line?

Her (stammering): Well I don't know

Me: I didn't think you could, so would you kindly service the 25 customers waiting in line? I promise you I'll join them soon but for now, I need you to leave me alone or find a manager

She turned red, then she walked away. The manager made an appearance and I saw him talking to the woman who harassed me, and he later came over and apologized. I told him I like my apologies in the form of copius amounts of free drinks redeemable at any Starbucks location. He obliged. He also clearly must have asked the young lady to come over to me to apologize because she did so reluctantly. After she apologized, I told her it was ok because she clearly didn't know any better. She gave me a dirty look but she knew better than to provide any type of nasty retort because 1) she might have been fired and 2) I'd have gotten much more profane and personal with my insults. All parties walked away unscathed.

Now, I know I should have lost my temper a little more and maybe I should have made a bit more of a stink about this woman's behavior, but I didn't have it in me. After all, I was already pissed that my car was in the shop (at the dealer shop no less) and I was being overcharged for some simple repairs. Initially I felt like a sell out, but I'm at peace with my actions.

I was in Bethesda, Maryland which is diverse (and affluent) for the most part, but this particular was White and Asian only. I was in that Starbucks for nearly 2 hours and no one who looked like me set foot in that place at all. I grew up not to far from the neighborhood, so I know how to navigate those murky waters, but I was a bit surprised that this young woman would come at me like that.

Just goes to show you that even when you're unemployed, some good, homegrown discrimination can still find its way in your lap.

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