Urban vs. suburban customer experience
November 22, 2006 7:50 PM   Subscribe

When I go to a Wal-Mart or a Home Depot in an urban location (aka, lots of black customers) and then I go to suburban locations of these stores, I've notice that in the urban areas, the lines are longer, there are fewer staff to help, the store is generally a bit shabbier, and the employess seem to be less-well trained and held to lower standards regarding how they treat their customers.

In the suburban areas, the experience is the polar opposite -- the stores are larger, better stocked, more care is taken in display of merchandise, checkout lines are shorter, and staff is plentiful, helpful, and well-trained. Is this corporate racism, or something else? I can understand how a small business in a less affluent area might be owned by a local person who may not have the resources to present the ideal customer experience, but what accounts for the differences in how Globo-Corp maintains its stores in poorer vs. wealthier areas? I assume the money they get from each is equally green.

(sorry to go long here) I ask because I was in a Wal-Mart in an urban location recently, and me & one other guy were the only non-blacks in a crowded, unpleasant checkout area that no one but us seemed to mind. After he waited in line 20 minutes, and then was told he had to go to the back of the line again because he had to go get another item off the shelf to do an exchange, he flipped out and pulled a Howard Beal on the whole checkout area, shouting that the store was treating "all of you like crap," and asking them why they put up with it, and urging all of them to shop at suburban location so they would understand the difference.

Everyone just kind of laughed at the Crazy White Guy, which I thought pointed to a "customers get only the service they demand" explanation, but that's also a kind of racism. MeFites hope me, my google-fu has failed me, I beseech the hive mind, thanks for reading [more inside], etc. etc.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to Human Relations (48 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Why are you assuming a racial element here? Couldn't it just be a richer customers vs. poorer customers thing, where richer customers have more money to spend and should therefore be catered to?
posted by MadamM at 7:57 PM on November 22, 2006

I can't answer your question. I just wanted to add that I have also noticed this phenomenon in Chicago with Home Depot and many major grocery store chains. The stores within the city limits and in the suburbs seem to be staffed differently, at different levels of cleanliness and have different attitudes towards customer service. For the grocery stores, the quality of the produce and meats is higher in the suburban locations. But I also don't have an explanation.
posted by jeanmari at 7:57 PM on November 22, 2006

Well, I think racism is probably the root cause. I have no idea which stores bring in more revenue, however - that could be a factor. Maybe it's a cyclical problem - lack of competition allows all these stores to provide lower quality service.

The arguably non-racist reason I've heard is that stores in poorer areas (with higher crime rates) require more expenditures on security, and warrant less of an investment in upkeep than stores in very safe, wealthy areas. I don't know how much of a factor that really is.
posted by Amizu at 7:58 PM on November 22, 2006

I've noticed that service tends to be way better in the suburbs than in more urban areas, but I've never noticed any kind of racial element to it.

I always just chalked it up to population density, different available workforce and the general put-up-with-crap attitude that is necessary when living in the city.
posted by JekPorkins at 8:01 PM on November 22, 2006

Overhead costs are less in the suburbs, so the stores can afford larger locations with better service. This, I think, is one of the largest contributors to what you've noticed. The other, which is a corollary of sorts, is that urban stores are smaller because of overhead, but in a chain like Home Depot, they'll attempt to stock the same variety of products, which makes stock crowded and hard to keep tidy.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:07 PM on November 22, 2006

I think there's a racial element. My city is only 8% black, but you can bet the parts of town that have fewer services and shabbier conditions are in the parts of town where there are more minorities.

I don't think higher crime can explain it all. I live in a slowly gentrifying neighborhood, where million-dollar homes are only blocks from cheaper ones. Over the hill from me and closer to the lakefront, there's a really nice urban village with more upscale shops.
Closer to my house, is a really shabby grocery store, which replaced the even shabbier grocery store before it...
posted by black8 at 8:12 PM on November 22, 2006

If you can handle the f*cking madhouse that is Costco in Brooklyn on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm, you can handle anything.
posted by camworld at 8:13 PM on November 22, 2006

In an urban store, you'll get more customers, which leads directly to longer lines. Also, more people pass through the urban store, which will make it shabbier sooner -- just due to normal wear and tear.

Urban customers are less likely than suburban customers to buy big-ticket items like lawnmowers and outside barbecues. Do these stores carry any big-ticket items that aren't used in yards (which urban customers don't have)?

Land is much cheaper in suburban areas than in urban neighborhoods. This means it's easy to spread out -- to add more cash registers, for example, or to make the aisles wider, or to put up nice displays even if they aren't the most efficient way to store the product.

In my experience, suburban Home Depot workers are likely to consider it their career, and they tend to work there for a long time; they are interested in working their ways up the ladder. This makes it worthwhile for them to specialize, to become as educated about their specialty as possible, and to treat any customers they meet well. In my experience, urban retail workers tend to consider their jobs temporary. Temporary workers generally feel that they need to do the minimum required. Again, this paragraph is based only on my experience, but this difference could explain a lot of the workers' attitudes.
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:14 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

I've noticed this in Washington, DC, in particular at the Home Depot. It's not unusual to wait in line 30 minutes because they only have one or two checkouts open.

One particular thing that bugs me at the Home Depot here is that you are required to show your receipt to a security guard at the door before you leave the building. They don't do that at any of the suburban locations. Apparently everybody who lives in the city is considered a thief until proven otherwise.
posted by clarissajoy at 8:15 PM on November 22, 2006

Well, DC is the land of completely apathetic service industry employees, so that sort of compounds the problem.
posted by JekPorkins at 8:26 PM on November 22, 2006

Houses are bigger in suburban areas, requiring more upkeep and more trips to Home Depot, Lowes, Target, etc. Moreover, these people have more money to spend, so they buy more to fill their bigger houses. They're just better customers, period.

but what accounts for the differences in how Globo-Corp maintains its stores in poorer vs. wealthier areas?

Also, consider this -- the stores in suburban areas are likely in nicer neighborhoods overall. Therefore, these are the areas most sought after by the chain's upwardly mobile regional management staff. That competition to work in the "nice" areas attracts and rewards higher quality employees.
posted by frogan at 8:33 PM on November 22, 2006

I wonder how much of this is related to the age of the urban stores and the newness of the suburban stores... When I lived in San Diego, a new Home Depot was built in SE San Diego off the 805 and Imperial Ave, and it was just as nice and spiffy as any new Home Depot in the 'burbs.

Having said that, my experience is that customer service at almost every Home Depot sucks. Not that the staff don't care, but that you can hardly ever find anyone to help you.
posted by Robert Angelo at 8:39 PM on November 22, 2006

I think it's the number of alternatives open to customers. In urban areas, with poorer customers, you don't have to provide stellar customer service, because they basically don't have anyplace else to go. They're either going to shop at HD/WalMart, or they're not going to shop.

Out in the suburbs, there are a greater variety of stores, and customers are also more affluent, own cars, and can afford to go to places if the service at the big-boxes is really crappy. So the big box stores, in order to compete, have to do a better job with customer service.

I don't think there's really any racist element in it, at least intentionally; it seems almost certainly like an economic issue to me. However, because there tend to be more minorities in urban areas, it ends up being divided by race as well as socioeconomic status, even though the primary divider is not racial.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:49 PM on November 22, 2006

In poor urban lots of people don't have cars so they can't drive to the better stores in the suburbs.

If you have a captive clientel you don't have to up the service to attract customers.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 8:53 PM on November 22, 2006

I'm with those who see the issue as mostly class rather than race, with the proviso that in a lot of places those overlap. Not always: I recall the commercial district of the emphatically white working class neighborhood my family's from as being shabby, though with a "small town" (almost inbred) preference for hiring people from the neighborhood who'd then give preferential treatment to neighborhood regulars (that they weren't feuding with anyway). For the regulars being addressed by name etc. generally made up for the high prices, lack of choices and general grime. When that declined, when people found the stores understaffed by faces they didn't recognize, they took to driving all the way out to the malls; "If I'm gonna be treated like a stranger I might as well be one."
posted by davy at 9:10 PM on November 22, 2006

As others have pointed out, it is economics, not racism. A trend that is starting in Wal-Mart and other box stores is to lose a slight advantage in large purchasing power and earn more revenue but differentiation. I noticed the Wal-Mart where I am has larger aisles, "wood" decor and a wine and cheese selection (!), along with some high end electronics. Of course they are competing with a Dean and Deluca and other high end stores around the area. That explains the store quality (higher revenue stores have better upkeep because they have to) ... but for customer service there is a range of problems:

(1) Employees have to have a car, which means bus transportation is out ...
(2) Beyond having a car they probably will live in the general area
(3) Which means higher pay for higher rents and cost of living
(4) Better customer service

It is a lot of compounded problems, but I don't think there's a manager in Wal-Mart or Home Depot that's sitting around somewhere purposely pumping money into white neighborhoods. Keep in mind Home Depot is very career oriented as mentioned above. I don't know the specifics of career advancement but if you wanted to work up the ladder would you rather go to a high revenue store with motivated employees or an urban center? A very mutli-variate issue ... if only it was racism then we could focus on one problem.
posted by geoff. at 9:12 PM on November 22, 2006

Well, DC is the land of completely apathetic service industry employees, so that sort of compounds the problem.

There is plenty of good service to be had in DC. Home Despot is not the place for said good service.

My wife and I have a fix-er-upper home only a few blocks from the DC Home Despot, but will drive 45 minutes to College Park rather than shop there any more.

Having some neighbors that work for Home Despot I can tell you that in this case it is not a rich/poor, black/white issue. The stores in the DC area rotate staff and management. Despite this there seems to continue to be a sense of dread among customers and staff at the RI avenue location. It is beyond palpable, the aisles are litterally strewn with trash, misplaced items, flotsam. The staff is barely concious or is working their ass off to cover for the braindead. My neighbors tell me that there are people that would rather quit than be rotated through that location again.

Not really an answer, just an obsevation. Another, strange observation is that Lowes on the other hand at PG Plaza, not terribly far from the RI Avenue Home Despot is catering to the exact same clientel, yet seems to have none of the same issues.

Maybe there is a gas leak at the DC HD?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:26 PM on November 22, 2006

Oh, just to shoot some holes in geoff's theory, Home Depot, among other big box retailers, report their highest retail grosses from inner city stores.

Maybe though customer satisfaction is tied to the little "something extra" suburban customers get from Home Depot.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:35 PM on November 22, 2006

This isn't anything new... I just saw a Cosby Show rerun about this exact topic the earlier today.
posted by cgg at 9:41 PM on November 22, 2006

Yes, it is a racial or class thing. You see the same thing in New York, with city services. A friend of mine lived right on the border of a white, wealthier area and a black poorer one--the black area had its trash picked up less, its potholes filled less, and in general looked like crap. People with resources throw tantrums and get shit taken care of. People without don't.
posted by dame at 9:48 PM on November 22, 2006 [2 favorites]

When I lived in northwestern Wisconsin, the area's first Walmart opened in Ashland. For that area, this was a Big Deal. Ha!

I went with expectations that were very much mistaken. It looked more like a warehouse than the Walmarts I'd previously shopped. The goods offerered also seemed of lower quality. Of course this area in general is rather poor with tons of unemployment.

So, it doesn't need to be racial so much as economics. There is no shortage of space in Ashland, so it isn't that.
posted by Goofyy at 10:01 PM on November 22, 2006

My experience with Home Depot has been the opposite.

The location in Port Chester, NY (within a few hundred yards of Rye, NY and a few miles from several affluent towns) is a poorly run store. Employees are not knowledgeable about the areas they work in and customer service is abysmal.

The location in Norwalk, CT is the exact opposite in my experience. Employees are knowledgeable about the areas they work in.

I have had several positive experiences with employees who were willing to take the time to explain something and the customer service department is much more accommodating to people who do not work in the trades (unlike the Port Chester location).

Crime Rate Comparison.
posted by mlis at 10:36 PM on November 22, 2006

It's not racism. The stores hire locally. So the customers and employees are from the same socioeconomic and geographic group.

I live in an urban area full of white and Latino people, and my Home Depot sucks. Why? Because a lot of people use it. It's trashed constantly, and the employees are harried. The Home Depot in a nearby suburb, also full of white and Latino people, is right next to a Lowes and an Osh, and it gets used less. So it's cleaner, and neater, and the employees have more time to answer questions.

Unless you can present hard evidence about the "lower standards" and the "poor training" you observed in your urban adventure, I'd look hard at your impressions for evidence of racial stereotyping -- not at the corporate bogeyman.
posted by turducken at 10:53 PM on November 22, 2006

I used to live in DC. Not Virginia, not Maryland. There is definitely a difference. My first impression was attitude. There was some seriously fucking depressed attitude going on in the city there. I remember driving down North Capitol St., seeing the worst ghettos I have ever seen, with the CAPITOL BUILDING OF THE UNITED STATES IN SIGHT. I don't even know what my point is, but that it was depressing. I think they (those living in urban areas where the world is basically run from) know that it is all for nothing, there is nothing they can do, they are fucked.
posted by bobobox at 11:39 PM on November 22, 2006

Actually, we like our neighborhood. We just wish Tony from down the block would put his forties in the trash can rather than leaving them on our stoop.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:14 AM on November 23, 2006

The key point in my mind is that stores tend to hire employees from the immediate area surrounding the store. In lower class areas, you're more likely to be stuck with employees who just don't give a shit.
posted by chrisamiller at 1:02 AM on November 23, 2006

I work at an "urban" retail store myself (full disclosure: white boy here, with the staff about 50% non-white, customer base about 70-90% black, and mostly poor and on welfare) and yeah, it's mainly about the income disparity. Lots of people pass through the store, often without buying anything; some people are in the store just to kill time until the next bus, and more of this "browsing" means more wear and tear on the merchandise, items out of place, etc. Lots more theft than other stores in the same chain that I've worked at (enough that we hire private security). Lots of customers being picky about prices. All this eats away at employees' time enough that we don't really have time for anything other than the essentials. And yes, there is a bit of an attitude of "We're in the dirty ghetto anyways, so it doesn't matter", but I don't see this being any more prevalent among the white employees than the black ones.
posted by neckro23 at 1:07 AM on November 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

The key point in my mind is that stores tend to hire employees from the immediate area surrounding the store. In lower class areas, you're more likely to be stuck with employees who just don't give a shit.

In the DC area at least, chris, they rotate staff.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:34 AM on November 23, 2006

a different perspective here - living in Spain i am constantly amazed at how bad customer service can be...how there are long long lines and people don't care. you walk into a store, someone is talking to a friend, a long line forms and the person doesnt even acknowledge it until they're done their conversation.

this is everywhere...upper class...lower class...etc.

i think a lot about this and wonder why people put up with it...sure there are cultural issues and historical issues, but more than anything, i think it has something to do with peoples' expectation and the options available to them.

if a good, efficient store opens, sure, people with go there...
however, what happens more often is that new options dont try so hard because people dont demand it.

it's sort of a vicious cycle, one that requires someone with imagination and foresite to break.

in the ghettos, it probably all boils down to a cost/benefit. people are used to accepting it and there aren't that many options.
posted by BigBrownBear at 1:58 AM on November 23, 2006

My very best friend is a manager in a retail outlet with about 15 years' experience. I asked her your question and read some responses to her, and without a moment's thought, she spieled off the following:

1) One of the critical factors in a manager's pay and possiblity of obtaining better positions is "shrinkage." There are stores in wealthy areas where there is no security, but theft (shoplifting or internal) is close to nothing. But shrinkage is very high in most stores in poorer neighborhoods, especially in urban (as opposed to rural) areas.

2) Payroll is determined by sales. So when stores need to hire extra security, there is less payroll cash for checkout, etc.

3) It's true about the "manhandling" of merchandise. Non-purchased returns of "damaged" goods are extraordinarily high in inner-city stores in low-income neighborhoods.

4) Even with the same number of customers, the average sale (in dollars) and product units per transaction can, in a "wealthy" store, be more than double or triple what it is in a "poorer" store. Staffing is increased relative to this as well.

5) Returns are a big problem in "poorer" stores. For whatever reason, they are much lower in "wealthier" stores. So not only is extra staff needed in "poorer" stores to handle the higher number of returns (which is counterproductive), but a reasonable percentage of the items are not resellable, which hurts the store's profits.

6) It's much tougher to hire people in poorer neighborhoods, since many stores won't hire people with criminal records and (like it or not) there is a relationship between poverty and crime. This is equally true in poor rural areas, of course. And the fact that many stores in poorer urban neighborhoods are not so profitable means pay is capped at a lower level. Additionally, many retailers try to higher people with the expectation of (theoretically) having those people become managers. The often pandemic problem of undereducation is a factor too - most retailers do their best to avoid people who have not at least completed high school. Consequently, many of these stores have employees who aren't already adept at many retail skills (closing out the cash drawer is a biggie) and take longer to train. This costs $ too.

7) To rebut someone's comment that many inner-city stores are among (in this case, Home Depot's) highest grossing stores, it's true. However, there are reasons for that. Home Depot, for example, makes much of their many from contractors, who drive all over to jobs, and locating in a poorer neighborhood isn't a big deal for many of the customers, who may be driving across town anyway. And it's MUCH cheaper for the company. Also, several retailers, such as the Gap, will only keep stores open in "bad" neighborhoods if they do extremely well, so this skews things a bit. For example, an Old Navy store that makes only $250K profit a year in the suburbs is way more likely to stay open than a store performing as badly in the inner-city. Why? Fewer headaches staffing, retaining staff, having reliable managers want to take positions, and so on. The Gap has closed many "reasonably" profitable stores in poorer parts of Chicago for safety reasons - too many run-ins with shoplifting gangs, problems with workers leaving at night, hold-ups etc. But if a store's doing *really* well they may keep it open.

My friend started out in a pretty rough retail outlet in a rough neighborhood. She was promised that if she turned the place around, she'd be moved "out" in a year. No one wanted the store, but this was my friend's chance to move up with the company. She spent the worst year of her life improving the place and succeeded, but the company stalled on moving her up (no one would take the job!) So she moved to another company in a better store, with more pay - so it worked out in the end. Her job at the "poor" store sucked, she said, because she was screamed at and threatened on a daily basis, physically assaulted several times. It was common for employees to not show up for three shifts and then act "shocked" when they lost their jobs. Many employees didn't show up on time ever, or would show up dressed in wildly inappropriate attire and on and on, despite constant coaching. When she moved to a "richer" store, ALL these problems disappeared immediately!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:21 AM on November 23, 2006 [4 favorites]

Dee Xtrovert said it. My girlfriend is a manager at a large chain grocery story, and has had all those problems.

Bottom line, nobody wants to work at the "bad" store. The good managers find better stores to work in.
posted by atchafalaya at 4:11 AM on November 23, 2006

I live in Detroit, where everything involves race, including class and economics. I tend to get better service in the city, rather than in the suburbs. Out there, I'm made to jump through the hoops of silly rules and corporate policies. In the city, employees know the company is out to exploit everyone, and they really don't care about silly rules.

I suspect this is, in part, because I know the city etiquette (I'm white, for "city," read "black").

However, the best service is still in some of the non-chain stores, where I'm known, I know them, and it is a pleasure to go in. Yeah, I may pay a little more, but when I need service, I'll pay for it, no problem.

If you need service, you ain't gonna get it in any Home Despot.
posted by QIbHom at 5:47 AM on November 23, 2006

One particular thing that bugs me at the Home Depot here is that you are required to show your receipt to a security guard at the door before you leave the building.

Just as an aside, the only place you MUST show your receipt is membership stores, like Costco, where they can make it a requirement for continued membership. In all other cases, you can simply walk out and there's not a damn thing they can do about it.

The property becomes yours when you pay for it at the register, and you don't have to submit to a search if you don't want to.
posted by Malor at 5:52 AM on November 23, 2006

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the rather more egregious problem of price-ism. I live in a city with a Wal-Mart. let's call it store A. In store A certain items are priced higher than in a more upscale neighborhood's Wal-Mart. The upscale Wal-Mart, store B, is about 10 miles distanr, and will often offer prices as much as 10% LOWER. Is it shrinkage? It certainly isn't because Store A has more employees than store B. From experience store B always seems to have more registers open.
posted by Gungho at 6:29 AM on November 23, 2006

Maybe it's more due to the fact that people around Store B in the more affluent area rely on their car/SUV more. So maybe they'll drive around more to get the best deal, while people in Store A don't have this luxury and are more likely to buy at the higher price. But I suppose we'd have to know what items are priced this way, as different things have different price elasticity factors.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:35 AM on November 23, 2006

And to add to my point, maybe people in the affluent area seem rich but are actually highly in debt (e.g. mortaged house, payments on their Escalade, etc, thus "apparent" wealth) and are more constricted with the money that's left over than people shopping Store A. Thus the affluence is purely visual but they're actually more in dire straits with the shopping budget. Speculation of course.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:39 AM on November 23, 2006

Wow, Dee Extrovert, what a great AskMeFi answer -- the difference between knowledge and speculation.
posted by MattD at 8:17 AM on November 23, 2006

Dee Xtrovert writes "Returns are a big problem in 'poorer' stores. For whatever reason, they are much lower in 'wealthier' stores. "

The reason is a person with $1000 of disposable income a month can afford to (and often will) absorb the cost of a malfunctioning low cost device (say the $30 DVD player for the cabin or a flourecent fixture for the shed). A person with $50 of disposable income a month is going to return the device even if they have to wait in line for two hours to do so. A person who had to dumpster dive for empties to buy a jacket is even more motivated to return it if it fails.
posted by Mitheral at 8:36 AM on November 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

The Home Depots where I shop in Dallas have the worst service possible at a retail store. This is regardless of neighborhood status.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 8:55 AM on November 23, 2006

In store A certain items are priced higher than in a more upscale neighborhood's Wal-Mart. The upscale Wal-Mart, store B, is about 10 miles distanr, and will often offer prices as much as 10% LOWER.

I actually was exposed to the opposite phenomenon when I worked for a large national specialty retailer back in the 90s. They set price points based on geographic and demographic information, and had about a dozen or more levels for their stores nationwide.

The highest price levels were assigned to their stores in Manhattan and West L.A. This was partly due to a higher cost of doing business (Manhattan!) but also the income levels. Buy the same dog food at a store in the Valley, or in central San Diego, or in the Inland Empire, and you'd pay less.
posted by Robert Angelo at 9:38 AM on November 23, 2006

My parents live in Metro Detroit, and I will echo that I've seen similar urban/surburban customer service discrepencies.
posted by k8t at 9:44 AM on November 23, 2006

I've seen similar things in Metro Detroit too, although I think much more along class lines than racial. You could test it out pretty easily, though -- I would venture to guess that service in Southfield, for example, is pretty decent, Southfield being heavily black but economically pretty well-off.

But, you know, you learn to wait when you're poor. You wait for the bus, you wait for sales before you buy, you spend a lot of your time on little things because you know your time ain't worth much. You have money, you suddenly think you're important and it's you're valuable time being wasted.
posted by dagnyscott at 8:05 PM on November 23, 2006 [2 favorites]

I have observed a similar phenomenon of poorer service or heightened security in the more "urban" locations of Kroger's, Giant Eagle and Wal*Mart in places like Cincinnati and Cleveland. If you travel at all outside of Western Europe to places like Kiev, Bucharest, or even Chisinau (Moldova), you'll find the same situation--most metropolitan locations of supermarkets and department stores will be overrun with customers 24/7, will look dirtier and there will be annoyingly high security. I think this transcends race.
posted by vkxmai at 10:23 PM on November 23, 2006

In this thread there is a consistent racism, but really only in the contributors to the thread...

Many start out talking about racism, but in the end discuss the variables of poverty.

Racism is a economics-independent variable. Everything we've discussed so far has been based on economics.

Poverty is not a race issue.
posted by ewkpates at 5:23 AM on November 24, 2006

Yeah, poverty and race have no correlation whatsoever. People who notice that one is often used as shorthand for the other have discovered our wicked ways and not the fact that they are deeply related. Good job, soldier.
posted by dame at 4:55 PM on November 24, 2006

People that think race is not at all related suffer from terrible naivete. White Privilege is the name of the game.
posted by mynameismandab at 9:27 PM on November 25, 2006

People that think race is not at all related suffer from terrible naivete. White Privilege is the name of the game.

Yeah, I was just saying to the guys how I haven't oppressed anyone in ages...

Dude, please. Me and the Asian guy next door would love to have the luxury to oppress someone. But I don't, because some British soldier beat the shit out of my grandfather in Dublin and stole his wallet. And the Asian guy? F'n communists killed his grandfather. So don't talk to me about "white privilege." Talk to me about "go to school and work hard."
posted by frogan at 9:48 PM on November 25, 2006

Frogan: I have to say I'm a little confused at your response. How does it help the OP?
posted by mynameismandab at 9:55 PM on November 26, 2006

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