No employee should have to tolerate any form of prejudice while on the job. One woman recently gave a racist customer a dose of reality to send that reminder.
Josie Ajak is a Sudanese woman in her twenties who works as a manager at Gloria Jean's coffee shop in Cairns, Australia. She received an unwelcome surprise of sorts when one of her customers demanded to be served by a White employee. "[The woman said] ‘Get me a white lady,’” Ajak told BuzzFeed.
“[I told her] ‘that’s fine’, with a smile, and she moved aside, waiting for a white person." Unbeknownst to the woman, Ajak actually had no intention of fulfilling her racially charged request. "I told my staff that she is racist and that we won’t be serving her, while I continued serving other customers with a smile,” the bright-eyed young woman added.
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One of Ajak's co-workers shared the troubling incident on social media, celebrating the manager and encouraging other customers to show her some love on their next visit to the coffee shop. The post resulted in over 1,000 comments of support and kind words for Ajak.
"I am so humbled,” she told BuzzFeed. “There have been phone calls to my store from all over Australia, from regular white Australians just calling to say ‘hi’, show their support, [and] say they’re proud of me.” In light of all the positive responses to her story, she later posted a thank you message on her Facebook page, highlighting the unfortunate existence of racism and encouraging others to treat people as they would like to be treated.
I would like to thank every kind soul who has shown me love and support since I was the target of racial discrimination last week. I have been inundated with so many beautiful messages from both friends and complete strangers that have left me feeling so blessed to be who I am. I never in a million years thought that the response would be so great and encourage you all to continue to spread this message. Regardless of which colour, gender, age, size, and shape you are, we are all deserving of love and should be treated accordingly. To everybody who has ever been refused service because of their skin colour, this is for you. There is absolutely no room for racism anywhere in the world! To everyone who has kindly planned to visit me at work, I will be on shift on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and welcome you to share a drink with me. Otherwise thank you all for supporting me and the #buyadrinkfromjosie anti-racism cause. 😘😘
A photo posted by Josie Ajak (@josieajak) on Oct 10, 2016 at 3:20am PDT