That time I was a bigot.

I know I will get treated noticeably different if I shop in “the poor part of town” dressed in my work clothes vs my usual shabby weekend wear. As I’ve mentioned here many times, I can pass for . . .just about any ethnicity that involves slightly darker skin, apparently. Dressed up, I will be totally ignored at best but more often given the side eye and open hostility. In my weekend civies, I can pass as one of “them”. Little do they know that I shop there because I AM ONE OF “THEM”, economically speaking.
Everyone, right or wrong, is capable of jumping to conclusions.

When it was just a missed commission, it didn’t live rent-free in my head. It was a $50 lesson in not making hasty assumptions.

It only started bothering me very recently when I realized that every time I thought about this incident, I failed to see that I acted with prejudice, I only saw the missed opportunity to earn money. I didn’t learn to treat people the right way, I learned that sometimes shabbily dressed people spend money you don’t expect them to have.

I wasn’t wrong to ignore them because they actually had money to spend, I was wrong to ignore them because it’s just not OK to devalue people based on clothing choices. It just took me 25 years to realize it.

What’s ironic is that a lot of us have the nasty inclination to look down on retail employees, like those that work at Radio Shack.

Then you should feel good for having grown as a human. Treat yourself to a beer.

And try never to think of The Shack again. That way lies madness.