"This guy wanted to get onto the freeway from an exit-only lane at the very last second and got really angry that we didn't put ourselves in danger to make room for his indecisive self. Then he cut us off and brake checked us, obviously trying to cause an accident. Then he sped off.
Ten minutes later, he literally stopped in the middle of the freeway, backed up, and followed me to my exit to pull up beside us and scream at me. Then he threw a water bottle into my boyfriend's car so hard that it would've left a bruise if it had made contact with anyone.
And to make it better, he looked like a professional driver. (Suit and tie, Lincoln town car, and mini bottles of water). Like, if you get that angry at driving, then you need a new profession, prick."
"I was about 13, I was riding my bike to my friend's house down a pretty busy street. I was riding on the sidewalk on the correct side (going with traffic). I would ride on the street when traffic was light and then when traffic was heavy, I would ride on the sidewalk because it was safer. This is in California mind you, where riding on the sidewalk is perfectly okay.
Anyhow, I was riding along, minding my own business and up ahead I saw this elderly white gentleman walking towards me on the sidewalk. I couldn't jump off into traffic as there were parked cars and the traffic was pretty heavy, so I moved over to the right in order to pass by. There was plenty of room as the sidewalk was fairly wide and the old guy clearly saw me and started to move to his right to make room. Cool. As I rode past, this elderly chap slugged me, full force, in the shoulder. I lost control of my bike and went crashing off into the grass, fell off my bike and rolled a bit.
I did a quick pain check to make sure that nothing was damaged, then I rolled to my back and got up. I was okay, except my arm was super numb and really hurting. I mean, this guy hit me with the full force of my momentum on the bike and his swing. As I got to a sitting position, I saw the old guy lying face down on the sidewalk and he was squirming around like he was hurt. I guess he must have fallen from the force of the punch and couldn't get back up. I rushed over to the old guy and tried to help him up and as soon as he saw it was me, he yelled, 'Get the heck away from me, you beaner!'
I didn't know what to do. On the one hand, I wanted help the old guy because I was taught to always respect my elders...but on the other...did this guy just slug me because I'm brown? 13-year-old me just backed up, grabbed my bike and peddled on. It was probably the first time I've ever come face to face with racism. Until then, I'd never even considered that people would hate me just because I wasn't white. From time to time, I wonder what happened. Did someone (I guess a white person) help him or call for help? I'll never know as I didn't go back that way on my way home and never heard or saw him again."
"I was 12 years old and got lost at the mall. I had no phone or anything, so I decided to ask other adults if I could use theirs. Keep in mind, I don't look capable of doing anything. A large teddy bear could have killed me at 12. I walked up to one guy and asked him, 'Excuse me, sir, can I use your phone to call my dad?' He smirked and said sure. I dialed the number, then he took the phone away from me. He put it on speaker and said, 'Hey, can you pick up your stupid son. He's lost like an idiot donkey. Come to [place].' Then proceeded to laugh at me and left.
That was translated from my language, but it was pretty bad. I just sat there crying (a weak 12-year-old mentality). Dad found me and asked if I had annoyed the guy. I told him what happened and we looked for the guy for a minute or two. Never asked anyone for help for a few years after that. That guy was a jerk."
"I was wasted in a tuxedo after being a groomsman in a wedding reception, using an antique device called a pay phone to order an Uber-like thing called a taxi.
As I was standing there on the phone in Old Town, Alexandria, these two dudes walked by. One of them cocked his fist and punched me straight in the face, and kept walking.
I swung around to hit him on the head as hard as I could with the phone receiver. It was on a steel cable that didn't reach. Instead, I fell backward in a heap onto the sidewalk.
The two guys looked back and laughed. 'You're lucky that didn't connect,' said the puncher, and kept going. And dangling over my head, I could hear someone on the phone. 'Hello? Hello?' Click. It was my last quarter.
I chased them around the corner, but they were gone, which is lucky for me because either of them could have ripped me to shreds. So I walked it off...from Alexandria to Falls Church. Made it home before daylight, but not much."
"This happened to me about seven years ago, when we lived in a different town. I was grocery shopping with my husband. We finished up and he took the groceries to the car while I went to the customer service desk to get stamps or a money order or something. I left to go to the car. As I was leaving the building, an older man came barreling through the door. He slammed into me so hard I went flying backward and hit my head on the brick wall. I was sprawled on the ground, dazed. My shoulder was messed up where he slammed into me, and my purse was spilled all over the ground. He walked over and kicked me on the legs, screaming at me, 'Get up you fricking witch! I'm not done with you!' Like what the heck, dude. His face was beet red, he was screaming and cussing at me to get up so he can kill me. I reached out and ripped the shoe off the foot that's kicking me, and I heaved it as hard as I could into the parking lot. Now he's calling me various profanities repeatedly, screaming he's going to kill me.
By now, people were leaving through this door, but no one said anything even though they were watching with eyes as big as saucers. My husband was way down at the end of the aisle in the parking lot, so he couldn't see what was going on. The guy beating me up had run to get his shoe, picked it up, and had started running back toward me. By then, I had my phone out and I screamed at the mean old dude that I was calling 911. He stopped dead in his tracks, then turned around and booked it to his car. He dropped his shoe then jumped into his car and peeled out of the parking lot like a madman.
I got up, picked up my stuff and put it into my purse, and limped back to the car. I didn't call the police because the man was long gone by now. My husband saw me and gave me a surprised look. I told him what happened. He was mad and wanted to go look for the guy. Nope, that dude is long gone. The thing is, I had never seen that guy before in my life, it was just a random attack. It was only later that we realized the store most likely had CCTV. But at the time, I was just dazed and freaked out. My shoulder was hurting for a while, and I had a cut on the back of my head where I hit the corner of the brick wall."
"I grew up in a small, East Texas town and came out as a lesbian when I was 16. I was the only gay person I knew besides the two girls I dated.
One weekend, my girlfriend was home from college and we were having a picnic at a park that was a block north of my house. You could see my front yard and driveway from the corner of the park.
We were harassed by some idiot 15-year-old boys and we got sick of it enough that we got into my car to take her home. Right when we got into the car, the boys ran across the park and piled into the bed and cab of a pick-up truck, and proceeded to literally chase us for several miles as I tried in vain to lose them. Looking back now, I should have driven straight to a fire or police station, but I was 18 and panicking.
I pulled back into the park, afraid to show them where either of us lived, and I got out of the car, locking it behind me so my girlfriend would be safe. I faced the driver of the truck as he roared up behind my car and boxed me in. The driver side window rolled down and a very angry 50-year-old man began yelling at me for being a degenerate: 'How dare you display such disgusting behavior in a public park. You should be ashamed, this is a family environment.'
I was absolutely terrified because, in my town, people carried weapons. Hate crimes were a thing and in retrospect, I'm very lucky that my girlfriend and I were female and white. I don't think I would have come out of this altercation if we'd been gay men or black.
He drove off with the boys cheering him on and I was able to safely get my girlfriend and myself home without another incident.
The boys got their comeuppance though, don't worry. My girlfriend's brother found out about it, figured out who the kids were, and it turned out they were on the baseball team. My biology teacher (who had graduated from the university where I was going to go) was the coach. He heard about it, asked me to confirm (which I did) and he invited me and my girlfriend to practice the next afternoon...where he made the boys run lines on the field until they puked."
"I was exiting a Wal-Mart with my oldest nephew. There was busy traffic right in front of the store, so we were waiting to cross. The entire width of the store was available, there was no curb, we are literally talking about 500+ feet that you could cross through. Some jerk with a cart slammed into my nephew's side and muttered something about being 'too busy to wait.' I'm a big, bearded dude, but my mom raised me to have manners, and sometimes manners mean giving someone a lesson. I took a big step forward and put my boot right on his cart and kicked as hard as I could. His cart tipped over and slid right into the busy crosswalk with traffic."
"I was walking around the mall once and a guy approached me saying he was from out of town. He was looking for one of the stores there and asked me if I could give him directions. I said, 'Oh yeah sure, just walk down there and take a left when you see the food court.'
His face got serious and upset. He said, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa... Don't tell me what to do though.'
I was a little thrown off; I felt like he's playing with me, so I changed my wording. 'Okay, if you see the food court, the store will be to your...'
'Hey man, I said don't tell me what to do.' He was dead serious and staring me down. I was walking with a friend and didn't feel like getting into a thing at the mall. I just pointed in the general direction and said it was that way. He nodded and walked off."
"I was on a plane next to someone who seemed to have bad plane etiquette. I was worried it was going to be a miserable ride and it was. He asked if I was in the military, I said yes. He asked if I had been deployed and I said, 'Yes, I actually just got back a couple of months ago.'
He stared at me for a moment. Then he asked, 'Did you almost die?'
By this point, I was very uncomfortable. I just said I had a few close calls. I turned away but then he kept asking me more and more questions. The next one I heard that got my attention was, 'Where would you go if you died?'
I started saying, 'Well they ship you back.'
But then he interrupted and said 'OH, I meant would you go to heaven or down below? It's most likely down below.' At this point, I activated my military powers of sleeping anywhere instantly and passed out while he was rambling about me going to Hades. It was the most creepy, rude, and uncomfortable moment I have ever been in."
"I was rushing to work at a Blue Line train stop in Chicago and a homeless lady in a wheelchair asked me if I could push her to her friend's house. I quickly told her sorry, I was rushing to work, I couldn't. She immediately screamed, 'Ah frick you, you fricking witch,' for everyone walking from the train to hear.
I get that she's got no one and is struggling and is homeless, yes. But I work hard for the life I live, and sometimes I have to deal with making tough decisions. Her rude response made me feel better at the decision I made, that's for sure."
"I was sitting at my girlfriend's elementary school concert (she's a music teacher). The auditorium was crowded and there were not enough seats for everyone. The seat I sat in was in the last row towards the back for the auditorium; it was the seat closest to the aisle.
I feel some weight on my head, so I thought it was my girlfriend since this was before the performance started. I looked up and some dude is just using my head as an armrest. I'm not a confrontational person, so I just looked up at him and he looked back at me. He stopped doing it...but I just felt super uncomfortable for the rest of the concert."
"At a gas station in Texas, I walked in and greeted the cashier with, 'Hey what's up, man.'
He responded with, 'What the heck did you say?' It took me a second to realize what just happened. Stunned, I glanced around and realized it was only us in the store, so he had to be speaking to me.
So I responded, 'Uhh I just said what's up man?'
He said, 'I don't know you, you're not my friend, don't greet me like one.' I took the high road and exited the store without making a purchase. The rudest encounter I've experienced."
"While doing door-to-door lawn aerations with a company in Calgary, my team takes a trip to Saskatoon. We get dropped off early with our machines and walk around with them because that's how we do. So it's now 9 at night. The sun has just finished setting, but there's still some light. My phone is dead, so I can't call my manager to pick me up. I go up to a guy and ask him if I can borrow his phone to make the call.
Without warning, this guy's expression turns sour, and he says to me, 'No, you can't use my phone. And don't talk to any of my neighbors, or I'll kick your butt.' He then proceeds to go on a long-winded rant that I no longer remember.
The guy's twice my size and has a huge dog with him. The sun has gone down, I'm in an unfamiliar city, and now I have some kind of self-important suburban crusader threatening me over literally nothing. I can't really do it justice in text, but from the expression on his face, I swear he looked like he was going to have that dog maul me. So naturally, I was pretty freaked out. I decide to flip him a proverbial middle finger and borrow a phone from the guy next door.
I don't remember that guy's name, but I'll never forget that incident. It's part of the reason I don't go door to door anymore. I hate that guy and everyone like him who think they own their street and think they have the right to threaten anyone they don't recognize."
"At the time, I was 19 years old with a bad back and an occasionally bum leg. Whenever my leg acted up, I had to use a cane. Seeing a young woman using a cane in public is apparently too weird for some people and I got stared at all the time. No one said anything until this incident, though.
I was standing in the cereal aisle in Walmart deciding what size of my favorite cereal to get, leaning on my cane for support. I noticed an old man, probably in his 70s, walk toward me.
Old man: [pointing at my cane] 'Aw honey, you don't need that.'
I'll admit, I was a little sensitive at this point because I was in a lot of pain and also was frustrated because after four years of worsening symptoms, I still didn't have a diagnosis. So I said the most un-Canadian thing possible:
'Go eff yourself.'
I couldn't believe that this complete stranger would walk up to another complete stranger and just tell them they didn't need a cane. Like what?! It's almost three years later and I still can't believe it really happened. But some people get super weird around people with disabilities, especially when said people are young like me."
"I am currently in nursing school, we rotated through the OR in the hospital we have clinics in. We had very little instruction, just show up, change into the OR-specific scrubs, and report to the room we were assigned. So I did all I knew to do, put on the scrubs, washed my hands, had a cap and shoe covers on and I walked into the operation room. I introduced myself to the scrub techs while they were setting up. The surgery was scheduled about 45 minutes later.
Nursing students are 'eyes-only' and I was just there to watch the nursing staff work and see how an operation went down. The nurse I was supposed to shadow wasn't there yet, so I stood in the back corner trying not to touch anything (sterility is super important in the OR). The scrub techs left the room and I stayed in and stood at the computer. A few minutes later, an anesthesiologist walked in to set up his cart, and he said, 'What the heck do you think you're doing?' He continued screaming, 'Go don a clean gown, scrub in, and get some fricking gloves on.'
Of course, I said, 'Yes sir.' I was really confused at what just happened. He then literally chased me out of the room and said, 'Actually, I don't have time for your crap today, get the heck off the OR and give me your attending's name; you should be ashamed, Jesus fricking Christ.'
On my way out of the OR, still really confused and on the verge of tears (this was my very first clinical day in a hospital setting EVER), I found a nurse who was looking for her student. I told her the story and she could not stop apologizing. She had forgotten she had a student and had gone to get a coffee with some other nursing staff from the cafe a few floors above the OR. When I went back into the OR, this time with my nurse, she told the anesthesiologist that I was a nursing student, not a medical student, and that it was my first day, and that nursing students are eyes only, so I didn't need to scrub in or put on all the sterile gowns and sterile gloves, because I wouldn't be touching anyone or anything. He didn't say sorry, he only said, 'Well he should have spoken up.' I NEVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO OPEN MY MOUTH!
So I guess I could have said that I was a nursing student (even though my ID badge says nursing student), waited outside of the room instead of getting curious and watching the scrub techs set up, or just shown up a little closer to the operation's scheduled time, but to me, why would you come into a room and instantly start screaming at a student at a teaching hospital? There were no patients around and no need for him to attack me like that. Maybe because I was a male, he thought I was a resident physician? I don't know. I still have a hate for the OR and I hope I never have to go back there in school or during my career."
"I was at a bar with my husband, chatting with strangers...one of them said to her husband, completely LOUD while pointing at us, 'Their marriage won't last; he is much more attractive than her.' We are now divorced, so she may have been right, but that was still a terrible thing to say!"