Some family came over to visit from Spain and while out and about we decided to hit a sandwich shop named after a train that travels underground. It was their first visit to the United States, and didn't speak very good English, so I was the go-to translator, explaining the menu and ingredients.
Obviously, we were hanging around for a while before going up to actually order, but we were hanging back, waving people on ahead of us and I was scribbling orders on a piece of scratch paper and reading it back to my family to make sure it was right. So although we were in a big chattering group, we were in no way hindering business or other customers.
One girl at the registers did a lot of eye rolling, breath huffing, and "ohmagawd"-ing at us under her breath. This was the start of things going south. (Girl 2 was assisting other customers at the time we got things sorted.)
Girl 1 huffed and puffed and snapped that they didn't have a requested bread. When I asked which breads they did have she threw her arms up like I was asking her to peel a grape and hand feed it to me and said, still rudely, that they had every bread except that one.
She punched in the order like a sulking child; angrily stabbing buttons with one finger as hard as she could, and blowing out angry breaths every five seconds.
I decided that I had enough and told her to stop, and that we would be helped by Girl 2.
Girl 1 spun on her heels and stomped into the back, stage muttering a very derogatory word for Mexicans. (Never mind that my family is from Spain and it's technically the wrong derogatory word, but to even use a derogatory word at all...)
Me: "EXCUSE ME?!"
Girl 1 laughs loudly and doesn't even turn around to face me as she continues out of sight.
Girl 2 is very nice, takes our orders, agrees that they are out of the requested bread, but suggests another that is pretty similar and might serve as a substitute. Agree, pay, request a manager.
Girl 2 suddenly grimaces. Looking very pained, she subtly jerks her thumb over her shoulder and leans toward me. "That was the General Manager. She's the highest ranking person here, and anyone you complain to here doesn't have the authorization to do anything to her."
Girl 2: [Sigh]. "Who else? Corporate. She's here on a 'training' mission and the lot of us are just dotting our i's till she moves on. Corporate only sees that she runs a tight ship, and that's enough for them to offhandedly dismiss the complaints they get."
As I stand, flabbergasted, she leans just a smidge closer, "I don't want to discourage you, but I don't know how successful your complaint would be. My advice? Complain anyway and pray that yours will be the straw that breaks the camel's back... And yes, I heard what she said. Maybe discrimination is the last nudge?" She gives me another awkward, pained grimace, then loudly and cheerfully wishes us a good day as she hands our bags to us.
We had ordered "for here" but perhaps with wisdom beyond her years, she gave them to us in "to-go" bags so we didn't feel obligated to stay in the building.
I was left with food and increasingly concerned family members, who didn't understand all of that but saw our expressions well enough. I had to explain the situation, half in tears because I didn't want to repeat what was said.
It took me some time before I could talk coherently enough to be able to make the call to corporate. They'll 'look into it' and 'get back to' us at a later time.