When my own kind robbed me of 50 quid

I own Bubble Tap, which is a very popular desert shop in Cambridge, and today I lost 50 pounds because I was politically correct.

A young ethnic man walked into the store and my super-posh employee (the Etonian-lite rugby playing chap) mistook him for the Deliveroo driver.

I immediately felt bad for this young ethnic chap as it’s par for the course for us coloureds to be mistaken for taxi drivers, Uber drivers etc. I immediately warmed up to him and as he made his way to order; I personally stepped in to take it.

As he made his order with a pseudo-Khaleeji (Gulfie accent – I was born in Kuwait so the empathy grew higher) I was thinking to myself how my English employee had gotten it all wrong. At any rate after the order he asked if I could change money for him and thinking he was a tourist + customer + the earlier confusion I agreed to his request.

He showed me his 20s and asked me if I could change all the 10s I had. Unsuspectingly I did as he asked (again my guard was much lower than usual) and he then returned my 10s in a huff because he wanted the old notes!

I got taken aback and smelled something was up and told him he could go to the Metro bank down the street. He made a big show about waiting for his order and I told him not to worry it would be ready (we were speaking foreign English – lots of hands gesturing) for him when he got back. He asked me show me where the bank was and I went out with him and pointed it out to him.

As I went back inside and recounted my notes I realised I was missing 5 10’s (50 pounds). I immediately realised what was up but he had of course disappeared.

I called the relevant authorities and of course no such luck; but I’ve lodged the police complaint (despite them slightly discouraging me) for my own peace of mind. The police told me these cases are shockingly common; these thieves are primed to take advantage of confusion and chaos..

I was feeling extremely stupid and my guard was down because I empathised with this chap as a fellow Arabish/Muslimish coloured man. It turns out he could have been Gypsy/aroma since they often look like us (he had pale skin, 5’6, short hair – gave his name as Armando and brokenish English that wasn’t actually so broken).

My ego is hurt but writing about it is therapeutic. As is often the way Baha’u’llah has a plan and a way of teaching us lessons. I had earlier shared today in my Brexit WhatsApp group this passage about ethnic and class counciding and seeing my posh English employee make that confusion obviously touch a chord.

Usually I’m sharp and very on the ball (or so I like to think) but I was also coordinating our puppy being sent back home as it was raining so it was a perfect moment for this young ethnic chap to wreck mischief.

Writing about it makes me reflect on the incident and I guess as I tweeted/whatsapped the story (it’s embarrassing having to explain to a wife who’s Cambridge’s scientific super-star how dumb I am) it was carthartic to write my blog post.

Thanks for listening ..

11 thoughts on “When my own kind robbed me of 50 quid”

  1. (With reference to the Whatsapp entry above)

    I lived many years in Southern California in the previous decade, and don’t recall ever seeing a white person involved in a janitorial job; they were all Hispanic or black. So were the bus drivers, come to think of it. Taxi drivers were all immigrants in my recollection (though I mostly drove myself.)

    So this isn’t just a European thing.

    1. There is a serious argument to be made by coloured folk to limited coloured immigration into the West to educated stratas.

      When brown is taken a base of being from the lower classes its not going to be a good sign..0

      1. There is a serious argument to be made by coloured folk to limited coloured immigration into the West to educated stratas.

        I used this thinking to predict Trump would hold his own with Latino voters (he did better than Romney). Latino citizens dont want more illegal migrant Latinos.

        Immigration of Educated stratas. Hmm, obviously you have not had to deal with H1B (programmer type) stereotypes. One of the biggest issues I see with H1B types FOB is refusal clean up after them or get their hands dirty with any manual work. The general boast we had servants in India (Sri Lanka) makes be cringe.

        Those who went thru grad school (TA/RA) and/or working part time get much of that erased because of circumstance. Those who went directly for a Bachelors (in US) are a ifferent kettle of fish. Mummy and Daddy paid for them.

        1. Sereno, can I ask you for the meaning/origin of your name? Also, for Sirimavo? (Bandaranaike)

          1. Sereno, Italian name. Means calm and peace.
            My sister is Shalom and means peace in Hebrew.

            My mothers name is Peace and our given names we were named for her.

            Srima I think is the same as Indian Shrima meaning Fortunate mother (shri-ma). The -vo is an honorific added later.
            Her mother was Rosalind Hilda Mahawalatenne Kumarihamy and Father Barnes Ratwatte.

            Tradition during colonial times was to have two given names and surname. One of the names was English/European.
            e.g. Past President was Mahendra Percy Rajapakse.

          2. Thanks Sereno. I remember when George Castanzza’s father (in Seinfeld) screaming – “Serenity now!” If you need in the future, Peace in Serbian is Mir and the male name is Mirko or female – Mirka (I think Federer’s wife). All the best, peace with you!

  2. My sympathies with you. It’s more psychological as we feel violated. I was robbed 5000 dollars by a POC as I had that cash was returned to me by a friend who took it as a loan. The intruder searched everywhere and found it in my home. It still makes me feel bad years later. But I try to convince myself that someone was desperate enough to steal. Survival tactics and part of life on this planet.

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