I work at a hardware store. I was helping a woman select a product. She took one off a shelf to read the features/instructions on the packaging, and said, “I can’t read this. Where’s the English?”
This set off my racism alarm, but I looked at the packaging, and pointed out that it was in French and Spanish, but had the English instructions listed first, in boldface. She then said, “I don’t like that it has Mexican all over it.” Ugh.
At this point, everything I wanted to say would cause my employer to lose a customer. I paused to consider my response, then I continued to advise her until she took the item to Checkout, complaining that it probably wouldn’t do the job, and she’d just have to return it. It was a teaching moment, and I let it pass.
So, how’d I do? How would you handle it, better, or worse? What if you also owned the store? I’m having fantasies where I’m the owner, and can say what I want.