I’m working in the D.C. area again, and this week I’m staying at the same hotel where my Elevator Ellen incident occurred. Unfortunately, before I could check into the hotel, I had another microaggression incident with a totally different White female and her accomplice. This time it was a young White woman and her female Asian colleague. I’m totally floored by the entire incident, so I decided to write about it because it almost made me lose my composure.
Today’s microaggression was misinformation, and a slight in an exchanging of my money, two things I don’t take lightly.
As I walked into the hotel with my bags to check into the hotel, I greeted the first White female customer service representative who ignored me, so — I just stood there. Her Asian colleague working at the counter right across from her did the same. They both stared at their computers as if they were so busy.
The funny thing is they both had just got done chatting with an older White lady as I was approaching the counter as I walked in the door. This older White woman was sipping on the refreshing cool water with lemon at the front desk for guests. When I came in the White woman walked away, and the demeanor changed. By this time, I knew it was going to be some bullshit during my interaction, and true to form — it was.
Black folks know racism.
I cleared my throat and said “Excuse me,” to the rep who then looked up from her computer pretending she didn’t know my Black ass was standing there. I informed her in my nicest Southern Black lady voice that I could conjure up that I would like to check in as my blood boiled beneath my skin. The young White lady looked like she perhaps 25 years old or so.
But age doesn’t matter when it comes to racism. One is never too young be racist and engage in racist micro-aggressions.
I handed her my driver’s license and waited on her to inform me on the need for a debit or credit card for incidentals. I just for kicks inquired about how much the rate would be per night, and in true racist fashion she charged me $50 per night more than I’m usually charged per night when I stay at the same hotel. Because I stayed at this hotel in March, I already knew how much it was supposed to be. I just wanted to see whether the racism I perceived was real or my imagination.
It was real.
I proceeded to inform the rep of my stay at the same hotel a few weeks earlier, as well two stays at the same chain in D.C., and the nightly incidental rate for our group (the Department of Justice) was not what she quoted. So, she calls the racist older Asian woman over who does not acknowledge me, and proceeds to tell the White rep she is correct. She trots back over to her computer to attend to a White male enlisted military officer now standing at the desk awaiting service…she was very chipper with him. Smiles and all.
Funny how being a White man in a uniform gets you the royal treatment even when you did nothing to deserve it.
In any event, after continuing to challenge the rep and not being able to persuade her she was wrong, I decided to pay my incidental fee in cash. My spirit did not trust these two women with my credit card info. I give the young White female customer service rep $300 cash, in one-hundred dollar bills. My incidental fee came to a total of $225, so I was owed seventy-five dollars cash in change.
Do you know this chick tried to give me $75 change in all one-dollar bills?
I watched her take out $5 bills and then suddenly she returned them her cash drawer, then decided she was going to pawn off $75 in one dollar bills to a grown woman, for no good reason. Not only did she try to give me 75 -one-dollar bills, she did not even count them out to for me to make sure I had the correct change. She called the racist Asian rep over to recount her original count to make sure she counted the correctly for herself but not me the customer. The woman just placed the bundle of money on the counter, strewn in all different directions. So I counted the money out myself, and of course, it was $35 dollars short.
When I called her out on it, she puts the rest of the money on the counter as if she was still counting it. Wtf?
This woman went out of her way to be disrespectful to me. Both women did, and by this time I had had enough of them. I was not letting this fly.
First, I told her I didn’t want all of her one-dollar bills. This was a national chain, I know armored cars come there to deliver money as well as to the hotel next to it because I’ve seen them do it. She started getting nervous. I asked her where were the $5 bills she had in her hand, and why didn’t she give me those instead of all those one-dollar bills. She proceeded to take the dollar bills back and give me the $5 bills along with my room keys. She had this nervous, stupid look on her face as if she knew she’d worn out her welcome with me.
And she had.
Some women deserve to be called bitches (sorry, not sorry if it offends you). She and her colleague earned their temporary titles from me today. I thanked her, but not with the same politeness I had when I arrived. I walked away to the elevator, tired from a day of travel and the microaggressions trying to do business while Black in America.
I’m mentally exhausted.
Why was all this necessary? All I did was arrive to do my job? I thought this area was pretty progressive? I see racist microaggressions are getting worse. We Black folks can’t ever sleep or let our guards down.
The perpetrators and perpetuates of racism come in all shades, but I have seen an uptick in young White women being really bitchy to mature Black women. I don’t want to be the angry Black women who walks around with a bad attitude and a chip on her shoulder (rightly so most times), but it’s getting pretty obvious White people will do anything they think they can get away with to slight Black people, and other People of Color will gladly get in on the fun.
I reported the two bitches to hotel management.
The manager called about 10 minutes after I got settled into my room to tell me I was indeed overcharged and apologized for the behavior of his two evil, racist customer service representatives. He asked me to come down and collect the extra $150 I was overcharged. I haven’t experienced this type of microaggression in the DMV ever, and I have been coming here to work for nearly 14 years. I have little faith in White women these days. Less in women of color. It seems White Supremacy and racism are fashionable, and too many women of color have forgotten or never learned about the backs, shoulders that got them where they are today.
Why do we Black women always second guess racist microaggressions? And why do we always give White and other women of color the benefit of the doubt? I’m losing faith in humanity.
I wrote this short essay to show my readers how difficult something as simple as doing business is with some White people. Now, I could have gone ballistic, but I would likely be in jail, surely out of a gig and evicted from this nice hotel. Yet again, I must stay composed in the midst of injustice. I was forced to maintain my composure in the face of racism.
This was one day in the life of being a mature, professional, Black woman in America. Nothing we do will ever be good enough.
This is the point I’m going to continue drilling home, especially for those who feel we have no reason to fight. If people, especially White women, continue to think less of us, we will never be able to bring about change in this nation or the world. We women are supposed to give life, not take it away. I wish more White women would think this way and teach that concept to others.
If Black women have to fight patriarchy, White Supremacy, White Nationalism, capitalism, White women, and other Women of Color, we can’t possibly continue to carry the world on our shoulders. Who takes care of us, and when will they start?
White women, please check your daughters, friends, sisters, mothers, grand mothers, and female colleagues on their racism and their privilege. Everyone won’t be as nice as I was, and some folks aren’t going to be happy until you lose your jobs or get worse get your wigs snatched.
Racism is the cancer that infects some of us, but affects all of us. White folks, please address your racism. It’s taking my money, it’s preventing me from doing business, it’s costing me minutes of my life I can’t get back, and it impacts my health because my head is about to explode trying to contain my anger.
Black people can’t get angry. Not in public anyway. So I have to write about it. I hope this experience demonstrates the small, unseen ways racist microaggressions are carried out by people with explicit or implicit biases.
For those who don’t see the need to fight, wake up. Open your eyes. Get in the game. Injustice and racism is all around you if you choose to open your eyes and see it. Some people in America don’t even have the privilege of getting treated well, no matter what they do.
MICROAGGRESSION #4 UPDATE (4/24/19):
I was awakened by weights dropping on the floor at 5:30 am this morning. The White front desk rep even ensured I wouldn’t sleep in peace. The hotel has 14 floors and I know she knew I was a civilian because of the group I was registered under. While someone enlisted may appreciate the gym being above their room as a motivator, I did not. I went down to the lobby to complain to a different woman who will leave a note on my account to get a new room later away from the guy.
Just goes to highlight the measures some White women choose to make our Black lives miserable. I was forced to call, and after no results, walk down to the front desk at 6:30. The microaggressions continue… I wonder how many other people these two women have handled poorly due to race?
The devil did her job well.
©2019 Marley K. All rights reserved. May not be copied without written permission.