I walked into AT&T hoping to pay on my go phone account. The clerk, a young Black female, was already helping a customer, another young Black female. As I walked in the clerk was asking her for her work phone number to which the customer replied “Girl! I don’t be knowing no phone numbers. I think its 855 something. Just put Nissan.” The clerk chuckled and proceeded helping her establish her account.
There was another clerk, a pseudo-young white male, on the phone as I proceeded to survey my surrounding. He seemed to be on an important call, so I simply stood in line awaiting to helped. After five minutes the guy walked over to me, said I’ll be right with you, and went into the back. The clerk already assisting the customer looks at me and says ‘I’m sorry, I guess his personal call is more important’. By her tone you could tell this is something that has happened before. My mind raced and I thought ‘here we go’.
The woman who was being waited on upon my arrival was accompanied by what I assume was her brother or her boyfriend and her son, who could not have been any older than three or four.
He ran around the place, unruly, but very innocently. He was playing cops and robbers or so it seemed, since he kept screening about who [his imaginary playmate] had the gun. The gentlemen and I, and secretively the clerk waiting on his mother, watched as he crawled back and forth across the building, screamed and tackled, kicked and enjoyed. What struck me was that the mother was so casual about his public behavior. I admit I am not the best when it comes to kids, but I believe there should be some type of decorum taught in public. Something to the effect of BE STILL.
After another five minutes of this and the witnessing of:
Clerk: What’s your home phone number?
Customer: Girl!! I ain’t got no home phone. Stop Jerod.
Clerk: He has a good imagination.
Customer: Girl!! He play like this at home. I mean it ain’t nobody but me and him.
Jerod (who has collapsed on the floor after 15 seconds of silence): I want a baby.
Clerk: He wants a baby?
Customer: Girl!! He silly.
Clerk: Where is he going to get a baby from? He wants you to make a baby? (now becoming frantic at the mother’s lack of concern) Jerod, where are you going to get a baby from?
Jerod: I’m going to make one.
The mother laughs, the clerk sighs and I am growing agitated.
Mr. Clerk finally returns and asks what he could do for me. I explained I was there to make a payment. He asked what type of phone did I have while simultaneously physically searching my person for it. I backed away and said ‘I have a GO phone’.
He asked “Is the phone off.”
I answered “No”
Without pausing to hear my answer he continues “Because if it is off it will take…”
Again “No, my phone is not off”
I assumed he had gotten the message. He walked around the counter and started punching keys. He asked the other clerk for a dollar, I still have no clue why. Then he beckons me to step forward:
Mr. Clerk: What is your cell phone number?
Mr. Clerk: Make sure you give me the right number.
Me: Why would I give you the wrong number?
Mr. Clerk: You have no clue how many people who don’t know their phone numbers.
Me: [classic sarcasm] Really?
Customer: Girl!! Yea!! Cuz I don’t be knowing my numbas all the time. It just happen like dat. I didn’t even know my work numba.
Mr. Clerk (who has come from around the counter to demonstrate): Because people come in here all dragged out and they’re like uh duh uh…
All of which I could possibly have understood had I not been in the process of giving him my number before he went off on this acid trip. Seeming as though this clerk was obviously tact-less, and wor-king my nerves, I interrupted his speech to motion (read: push) him back around the counter because I was more than tired of his BS.
After finally handing my receipt to me and freeing me from this torture, I headed for the nearest exit. There was a customer entering as I left and I could only hold my head in fear for what she was about to encounter.
Notes on this experience for those who did not see it as I did:
After remembering what I heard of Mr. Clerk’s conversation he was no doubt having phone sex, which explains why he had to take it in the back.
Mr. Clerk is aware of his position as the alpha male in that facility. He knows when the shit hits the fan the Black Chic gets the ax first.
When Jerod turns 16 and says to mommy that his girlfriend is pregnant will she remember she released all rights to be upset. He already told her he wanted to make a baby, by her silence she condoned his actions.
I can not say Mr. Clerk was racist but he was definitely prejudice. He made assumptions from what he saw, a young Black woman dressed in hip-hop fashion, and implied that a) I must be reconnecting a disconnected phone b) I must be too ashamed to admit it c) I will lie about what phone I have for whatever reason d) My time is worthless and e) it is necessary for excuses to be made for adults who don’t take ownership over the products they purchase.
The customer being waiting on from the time I got there to the time I left was obviously offended by my infliction when I sarcastically asked about giving wrong numbers. Yes that was on purpose.
Needless to say my cell phone bill is now REFT so there will be no more trips to hell town.