So I’m sitting here in my real estate office doing what’s called “Floor Time.” Basically it means that I’m on call to help anyone who walks in off the street or calls in to our office looking for help. I can sit at my desk and get things done like usual, but it gives me the opportunity to pick up a new client here and there.
A woman just called and was transfered to me. She lives in New Jersey and is trying to decide if she will retire in Montana or out here. She wanted me to check into 55 and over communities and let her know prices and the like. We even had a lovely conversation about the weather difference between here and New Jersey. I was just finishing up getting her information so that I could contact her back when she said she had one last question:
NJ Lady: “I don’t want you to think I’m dumb or anything, but,”
Me: “No no, of course not, there are no dumb questions.” (A statement I will quickly learn to regret.)
NJ Lady: “OK, um, what kind of class of people do you have out there?”
Me: “I’m sorry, um, what do you mean by class? Like economic class?”
NJ Lady: “No, you know, like type of people…”
Me: Confused silence…
NJ Lady: “Like blacks and whites, and do you have any of those, well, we call them dot-heads out here? Cause I don’t like the dot-heads, but they’re everywhere and I just can’t get away from them. The American Indians I’m fine with, it’s those Iranian people I just don’t want to be near. Do you have those?”
I honestly had no idea what to say to the woman. My mind went utterly blank with horror. I may be on the slightly sheltered side, having grown up in a pretty liberal home and community, but I was honestly shocked and appalled. I didn’t even know this woman and there she was, metaphorically flashing me all of her racist tendencies from her dirty trench coat. I mean the gall. I could very well have been East Indian for all she knew, we were on the phone!
I probably should have hung up right there, but I took her information and politely promised to mail her the information she requested. I decided shortly after the call ended that I can’t, no won’t, work for a person like that. That’s the nice side to my life right now. I’m my own boss, and if I meet someone who so sharply offends my sensibilities, I can decide not to take them on. I will send her a polite letter recommending that she call another company. I’m sure there’s someone out there who’s hurting enough for the business. Not me, though, not me.