It happened again.
Just 10 minutes ago.
The perpetrator: Indian; again. The first and worst had been Indians. It too had been at a Dunkin’ Donuts. That one had been in Bay Ridge.
Every. Single. Fucking. Day.
And I would just be waiting for these bitches to give me my muhfuccin change.
And they would act like they ain’t know what the fucc I was waiting for.
And I got it. They felt I should have to forfeit some sort of surcharge for them having to serve me. They were better than my Nigger ass. They were, like I wrote, Indians.
They were “Red Dots”, for you dudes that distinguish “East” and “Native” by “Red Dot” and “Squaw”.
But no, bitch, that’s my money.
I don’t give a fuck if you’re the Queen of England, if you’ve got my cash, you’ve gotta come off of it.
And eventually they would acquiesce because right was on my side.
It was my money.
But even those times weren’t the worst experience ever. The worst was at the McDonald’s on Adam Clayton Powell and 139th in Manhattan. Two Black girl-employees argued me down.
Me: Where’s my change?
Girl 1: What? The two cents?
Girl 2: You want that?
Me: Yeah, it’s mine.
They absolutely refused to give it to me. But they wouldn’t let the topic go. I had to explain why I wanted my money.
Me: Look: if this were some ‘Mom & Pop’ operation, I’d be cool with you keeping the change. But McDonald’s is corporate. And I’m not gonna give any more money to the McDonald’s corporation than I absolutely have to.
The girls were unmoved, but some young dude picked up my thread.
Young Dude: I kinda see what he’s saying.
Girl 2 (astonished): You do?
Young Dude: Yeah, McDonald’s is corporate. It’s …corporate.
Believe it or not, that worked. I got my money.
And whites have done it to me too. ‘Mistakes’, of course. Sometimes, I think they thought I was too dumb to know the difference.
Sometimes, they might have been right.
But it’s the belief that Black people are supposed to be poor that makes this continue to happen.
When people rip us off they think they’re doing God’s Will.
When we rip ourselves off or cheat ourselves, we think the same.
Like I always write, the whole idea of anyone being “overpaid” – as un-American as that concept is – was brought into existence as a subtle reminder of our history of not being paid at all.
And sadly, too many Black people are conditioned to think this way.
That may be why when many of us do get our hands on some bread, we either spend it recklessly or too fast figuring that our possession of it could only be, at best, temporary.
Still, cashiers are out of pocket once they decide on their own to reach into yours.
Not to mention how arrogantly offensive it is to presume to have better judgement about what do do with somebody else’s money than the money’s owner.
Do white people go through this?
Back to earlier; I had my eye on the guy.
This Dunkin’ Donuts is on Nostrand and Lafayette in Bed Stuy.
Like I said, he was Indian. Red Dot again.
Magically, the amount was again 2 cents.
He slammed the register closed then looked up to me eyeing him.
He reached into the tip bowl.
Him: I’m sorry, I forgot to give you your change.
Me: You can keep it. I just wanted to see if I was gonna give it to me.