The Passive-Aggressive and Unintentionally Racist Dunkin Donuts Customer

Monday, November 25

6:47 a.m.

Good morning, Morose Caucasian. Let me give you my card. There you go. And you’re closing the window without saying hello. I must say, I’ve been trying for several months now to cope with the loss of the extremely benevolent Indian employees at the Dunkin Donuts near my old house, yet my loss becomes keener each day that I’m greeted by your dour expression. I use the word “greeted” figuratively, of course, given that you’ve failed to offer me an actual greeting. And there’s my medium hazelnut coffee with extra cream, handed to me without a smile.

Tuesday, November 26

6:43 a.m.

Hello, Morose Caucasian. I see you’re earning your nickname again this morning. It’s very early—oh, I recognize that. And I hate to keep bringing this up, but your Indian counterpart at the Dunkin Donuts across town is smiling right now as he hands a lucky customer a coffee and a free munchkin for the little “munchkin” he’s noticed sleeping in the back seat. Now he’s wishing her a pleasant day. It’s been said that Indians are the friendliest people in donut history, and my experience certainly bears out this saying—but as I said, not to compare. I hope you have a pleasant day, even though you appear not to wish the same for me.

Wednesday, November 27

6:50 a.m.

I’m forced to assume that you dislike your job. Or dislike me. Or are suffering through some sort of personal crisis. What is it? Did you fail out of school? Were you recently spurned by a morose female? Perhaps a disgruntled customer had the temerity to point out that your drive-through disposition pales significantly in comparison to the sunny disposition of Mr. Patel, from the Dunkin Donuts across town. I may have mentioned him.

Thursday, November 28

6:55 a.m.

I’m considering driving 45 minutes out of my way to once again feel the warm glow of hospitality that always radiated from Mr. Patel. I remember him fondly. What’s that? Oh, hello, Morose Caucasian. Business as usual. Visa card for medium coffee. Quid pro quo. And yet something is missing.

Friday, November 29

6:38 a.m.

Good morning, Morose Caucasian. Here’s my card, and while I’m at it—no, don’t close the window—I’d like you to put on this moustache. That looks smashing on you. Now, could you please talk in an Indian accent? What do you mean, you don’t get paid enough to do that? Ask me to leave? I’ve never been so insulted. You people’s lackluster work ethic and poor customer service skills are EXACTLY WHY ALL OF OUR JOBS ARE BEING OUTSOURCED TO INDIA! What do I mean by “you people”? I think you KNOW what I mean!

Saturday, November 30

I have purchased a Keurig and several boxes of Dunkin Donuts K-Cups, lest my morning coffee be poisoned by the profound existential depression leaking from that White Devil at the drive-through.

Also, I’m not allowed back there.

Lackluster work ethic and poor customer service? Ding ding ding! WHITE PEOPLE. (weblogs.baltimoresun.com)
Lackluster work ethic and poor customer service? Ding ding ding! WHITE PEOPLE. (weblogs.baltimoresun.com)

Commentary

Part of my morning routine is trying to engage the morose Caucasian kid at the DD drive-through in conversation, or at least to elicit a smile from him. He makes me miss my old Dunkin Donuts, which was owned and staffed exclusively by very friendly Indian immigrants who recognized me every morning.

One day last week when I got to work, I wrote: Indians are the friendliest people in all of donut history. And given the morose Caucasian who greets me every morning at the Dunkin Donuts near my house, I don’t think that’s likely to change anytime soon.

My stereotypical thinking intrigued me (immigrants have a strong work ethic and know how to run a business; young white kids are apathetic), as did the phrase “morose Caucasian.” I wondered what would happen if I pushed the stereotype to absurdity.

That’s how this post was born.

xo

Abby

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