I am a tall Asian woman. I visited the Ma’s at the O’Hare airport Oasis around 5:10 PM on May 22.
When I went to the counter, there was no one attending the cash registers.
Instead, three customers, two women and one man, all white, were gathered around the register at the center of the counter. There were three registers at the counter.
It was clear that the register on the left was not in service as it had a white board standing in front of it. Those three customers did not appear to be making a line, and, as I did not know what to do or where to stand, I joined them. They were waiting for food.
After they left, I was alone, still standing around the register at the center of the counter, waiting for someone to say, "Can I help you?"
About three female employees were working at the time, one black, one black-Hispanic, and a short white woman with a black hat and black glasses. All three of these employees looked at me, acknowledged my existence, but did not say anything to me. They completely ignored me as if I were crazy, not worth serving.
I waited alone for a while. Then two young Hispanic male customers came to the right register, and started waiting.
The short white female employee with black glasses and hat acknowledged them; she passed by me, looked at me, but started serving the men instead of me.
Realizing that I had been ignored, I asked the black-Hispanic female employee who was dispensing drinks, facing customers, "Excuse me, are you rejecting service to me?"
She answered, "No, you go to a register" pointing to the right register where the short employee was serving the men.
I had to stand behind the men and wait even longer.
There were no signs indicating which register was open, or indicating that one register was for ordering, and another was for picking up orders.
I believe that the fact that nobody would serve me even though they acknowledged that I was waiting, and that the short white female employee -- who seemed to be the only one in charge of taking orders -- completely ignored me was a micro aggression, which is a subtle form of racism.
When my turn finally came, I said, "You know that I have been standing here," but she did not answer or apologize.
I thought perhaps that she was assigned to the other register, where I was forced to wait, but in fact, she started using the center register at 5:40 PM.
She could have taken my order using the center register when I was waiting with the first white customers, but she did not. Instead, the staff forced me to move to the right register and made me to wait longer.
Another fact that seemed odd to me, in comparison with other Ma’s outlets, is that the short white female employee did not wear a nametag.
At the counter I said to her, "So you don't have even name tag?" and she answered, "I don't know."
I did not check the other two women, but it seems that none of the staff wear nametags at that outlet.
I understand that I cannot change people, but if employees have issues with Asian women for any reason, they should not be in front serving customers, but instead work in the back.