So I was told to “go back,” today at work. “Back where I came from.” By – who else – an old, white, male friggin’ toothless monster.
This happened. In America, in 2019. In San Francisco.
So much for peace and love. What happened around here? The Summer of Love was not that long ago.
Without going into too much detail, because this isn’t meant to reflect on my employer, our company values, or the people with whom I work, the aforementioned beast basically wanted me to jump when he said so, and, sorry def not sorry, it doesn’t work like that, man. He might have been a customer, but he’s not my boss, and I’m nobody’s bitch, so don’t (try to) hang your shit on me, OK. He asked me the same thing three times, each time looking for a different answer, and when I told him to hang on so I could put down the big box I was carrying and finish the task literally at hand so I could check the computer, he did a coward’s drive-by and murmured something along the lines of how I didn’t give “a shit” about him and how I was a piece of shit.
I am not entirely sure who he thinks he is (but, obviously, these days, he would feel bold enough to skip the pleasantries and talk to other people with such panache – I mean, look at the orange hemorrhoid we currently have to call president), but I know who I am, and I was suffering exactly zero fools today.
He enjoyed telling me to go back. To go away. To go back where I came from. He relished it, and he practically gagged when he told me his purchase would go toward my paycheck (so I better, what, be quiet or else?). I could see the glee through that unfortunate smile of his. And I could see how he thought he knew, but like, he didn’t.
I am a college-educated man, a graduate from an American public university, who speaks three languages, knows some stuff about journalism (like how this is an account, so more than any mere iPhone writer), and is happy and proud to work a gig that I don’t heart 4ever but that puts a little money in my pocket and provides me with insurance. Including dental. So the joke’s on the racist whose racism I called out loudly and widely in a room full of witnesses who could not be bothered with it. I see you Susans with your white earbuds; they don’t make ya invisible.
The racists are joining the rudes out in the City by the Bay. Don’t come lookin’ for me, unless you’re ready to find me.
P.S.: Speak up for yourself, and you will find friends. Advocates. People who will believe you and have your back.
I confirmed this when my boss spoke to that man – who had the gall to return a few days after this incident, like nothing happened – and made it clear to him that his behavior and comments were unacceptable and unwelcome.
It feels good to work for a company that champions integrity. It’s our No. 1 value.