Wednesday, May 20
Does It Matter If You're Black or White?
I’ve been working in retail for the past couple of months while on the hunt for a somewhat fulfilling full-time position…but that’s beside the point. I happened to be at the store today, and a certain woman came in. After going through the normal greetings at the cashwrap, I proceeded to complete her transaction. After paying for part her transaction with a gift card, she reached into her purse and pulled out some shiny gold coins. Normally, I would have gladly accepted the coins as tender towards her purchase (the coins are issued by the shopping center), but because of issues with redeeming them at the bank, the store was temporarily not accepting them. In a frustrated tone, the woman asked me if that was the case with all stores in the shopping center, or just ours. I told her I was not aware of what issues other stores might be having, but our store was not accepting them. I contacted a manager (while she was present), and confirmed that our particular store was definitely not accepting that tender. Begrudgingly, she paid for the remainder of her balance with her credit card while she mumbled under her breath that it was a tremendous inconvenience. Before she left the store, she told me that we should put a sign up to let customers know we were not accepting these gold coins, so customers would know before hand. About an hour later, my manager approaches me, and tells me that the manager of the center just contacted him saying that the concierge had a customer complaint from a woman. The woman had told the concierge that a cashier had not accepted her gold coins because she was black. WHAT!!!
I hope this doesn’t say anything about me, but this is not the first time this has happened. I can’t help but wonder, “If I was white, would they have said the same thing?” Do I have an obligation to go out of my way to show every person with brown skin that I see their color? What type of thought process goes into an individual making such a hasty judgment about MY intentions?