BAM! There it is, staring with bleak indifference upon your gobsmacked face. The Race Card. The perfect weapon when it comes to getting what you want as a member of an ethnic group other than Caucasian. If the Race Card is pulled out during a situation where the environment is relaxed, for example: a social gathering or an urine-soaked bus journey, then you would be well within your rights to give that cheeky bugger a damn good verbal thrashing. But what happens if a customer at your place of work pulls out the Race Card?
What you are about to read is the first in an ongoing series of articles known as Seething Situations. In this series I will regale you with tales from my life and other people’s lives where we have had to seethe like turbulent vats of poisonous broth, and in telling these stories I hope to pass on some wisdom to those with a more trigger-happy and troublesome attitude to certain situations where Life just fancies being a bit of a cunt.
First of all I should begin with this: Once upon a time there was a bearded fella who worked in a theatre. You may think that the world of theatre is mainly dominated by SJWs, fags, and women, and you would be right about the latter two, but in the theatre where I work most of my immediate colleagues are pretty right-wing in their political views, which works to my advantage on certain occasions. Around six months ago we had a nightmare customer, the kind of deliberate, obnoxious, bloated mass of flesh you would love to see boil in a tank of putrid sewage. For legal reasons I cannot name the customer in question, but I will call him Rohan Dogsbody for the sake of argument. Dogsbody is a Sikh gentleman who came to watch a show around six months ago, he left halfway through due an argument with his wife whom he claims was divorcing him. He complained his experience was marred by this altercation and was told by an usher he could receive a refund in voucher form and two free tickets to another show. This was not the usher’s job to say such a thing, but nevertheless we had to honour it, and honour it we did. From the start we knew something did not smell quite right about Mr Dogsbody, and I’m not referring to the contents of his turban either. He had lied about the way in which he had paid for his tickets, but we initially chalked this up to forgetfulness. As far as we were concerned the matter was settled.
Two months went by and he reached out again claiming he had not received a refund voucher, nor his two free tickets. I was not involved in this particular exchange of words but I immediately remembered his name when one of my colleagues told me of his angry phone call. According to my colleague he hung up after saying he was going to take it further.
All was quiet on the Southern Front.
Another two months peeled away from the calendar (see a pattern emerging?), my colleague Laura answered a phone call and was greeted by the sound of Mr Dogsbody telling her he was due a refund and two free tickets that he wanted to use for an upcoming West End show. Laura is a timid creature and would not really say boo to a goose, unless she was wound up to the point of mental implosion, but it was apparent from her demeanour she did not want to deal with the call. Upon hearing the dreaded name of Mr Dogsbody I immediately told her what to say to him, in my excitement I unloaded a diatribe about Mr Rohan Dogsbody. Laura sternly held the phone out to me. I snatched it out of her grasp and as I hit the resume call button I felt this surge of adrenaline flow through me and my asshole puckered in anticipation of a confrontation. Mr Dogsbody was pleasant enough to begin with, he walked me through his situation in a condescending tone as I nodded and made gestures with my hand that suggested he was yapping on a little too much for his own good. I knew what was coming so I retorted in a calm and collected manner, affecting a posh accent to add an air of superiority. In customer service you’ll do anything to keep yourself entertained.
He denied that any action had been taken on our part. I pulled up his customer account on our ticketing system (all of the details on that account had been confirmed by Dogsbody when we issued the refund voucher six months ago). I gave him the name on the account and the address and read to him which shows he had attended since the night of his complaint. He told me the name on the account was not his wife’s (even though I never mentioned it was his wife’s) and that the address was incorrect, that it was number 20 Bollocks Lane, not number 15 Bollocks Lane.
“You can come over right now and see for yourself,” he said.
I laughed and gracefully declined in a sarcastic tone.
He told me was “taking it to the wire” and going to the local news about this abysmal behaviour.
The phone conversation was into its twentieth minute at this point and I was growing bored with this conversation, as you have grown bored of this article I imagine.
I stuck to my guns and was at the point of giving him the administration contact details and terminating the call when he did it. He whipped out his greasy fucking Race Card and flashed it in my face like some obscene brown phallus.
“You have been very, very rude to me and quite frankly very racist…”
I didn’t give this rag-headed bastard a chance to finish. I told him I was terminating the call and had never heard such a heinous accusation in all my life. I slammed down the phone and muttered “cunt” under my breath. My colleagues voiced their concern for me and said I did a great job of handling the situation. Maybe I exacerbated it but who gives a fuck?
For the rest of that wretched shift I seethed.
Upon using the Race Card I felt the armies of vitriol mustering inside me, preparing for a full-scale attack on Mr Dogsbody. I wanted to tell him that he is the reason why racism exists, not because people are actually racist, but because people like him use it as an excuse to get something for nothing. I could have said he is a miserable excuse for a human being and should have been tossed in the canal with the rest of his wretched kind at birth. You want racism buddy? You got it! I wanted to say how funny I found it was that a British-born Sikh man (his accent proved that much to me) was using the Race Card when, apart from his religion, he is probably just as white as I am. What shocked me most was that a member of the Sikh religion was systematically lying and harassing staff members to get free tickets and a refund that he had already claimed six months ago. From the way he spoke I would have sworn he was Jewish.
But instead I seethed, as difficult as it is for me to seethe in a situation where someone’s deliberate stupidity is displayed in such a way, and I am proud of that. I went to the gym, pumped some hard iron, and beat the savage fuck out of the punching bag, reflecting upon the moments that had transgressed. Mr Dogsbody seems to be a creature of habit, so I suspect he will return in two months and this seething saga will start all over again.
I could have found myself provoked into a situation that probably would have found its way into the local news, thus exposing me as some kind of racist bigot, thus getting me sacked from my job. Luckily I have strong ties with my colleagues so the latter may not have come to fruition, and I suppose being featured in the local news as a racist bigot could have worked to my advantage. It could have been an official initiation into the alt-right…
Hang on. I need to make a quick call.