Two days ago I decided to play laptop hooky, so I drove down to Dana Point and paid $15 for an hour on a kayak. It is, easily, the world’s best deal for anything, anywhere.
Anyhow, after 60 minutes I returned to the dock, where a guy in his late teens/early 20s worked. We chatted a bit. He’s a college student, used to run track. I asked how often people lose their cell phones while leaving a kayak or paddle board, and he smiled and laughed.
“All the time,” he said. “Just yesterday there was this guy, some gay dude, and he was, like, crying. And I just …”
His remaining words turned blurry. His co-worked, standing feet away, actually said, “Don’t you think that’s profiling?” to which the guy said, “Nah. He was clearly gay.”
By now I was exiting the dock, measuring my options …
A. I could say nothing and just move on.
B. I could say, “That’s not really an appropriate thing to say.”
C. I could say, “Soooo … I’m gay. You have a problem with that?”
D. I could mention something to the manager inside.
I was leaning hard toward C. I’m not actually gay, but I do like the merging of pointedness and humiliation. Then I thought B was the best.
Ultimately, I went with E—the unlisted-above decision to mention something to the young woman behind the desk, who wasn’t management, just a co-worker. I said, “Look, I don’t want to get the guy in trouble, but you may wanna mention when he comes in that’s it not really cool to …”
She nodded and thanked me.
Did I do the right thing? Probably not. It was sorta wimpy, but I also didn’t want to go out of my way to embarrass the guy in front of his colleague and/or customers. I suppose I could have let it go—but, well, I didn’t feel great about that, either.