Yesterday, I Received an Anti-Semitic Rant

8 Dec

You may know (either from knowing me in real life or from reading this blog) that I am American and my boyfriend is Israeli. We each live in our home countries and only get to see each other every few months. So I am thrilled that for the first time in our almost 3-year relationship, he’s able to fly here for the holidays (for what I’m calling #BabysFirstChristmas).

I’m unemployed and living at home, so money isn’t exactly on my side right now. But when it came time to think of the very first Hanukkah present I’d get to give him in person and watch his face as he opens it, I wanted something perfect. I had a million ideas to start because luckily, he and I share countless nerdy obsessions together. Should I scour ThinkGeek? Or The Tinker’s Packs? Or Marvel gifts? Or Book of Mormon musical gifts?

But one idea stood out above all the rest. A few months ago, he mentioned offhandedly how much he loves the countryball comics and that he would love to find toys of them. (If you aren’t familiar with the comics, this one is my favorite.) Being the good girlfriend that I am, I took note of the comment and squirreled it away for future gifting – which, I decided, would be used this Hanukkah.

With a quick Cyber Monday-inspired search, I found a website that sold adorable plushies of the countryballs. Since their pricing meant that I could order three almost for the price of two, I decided to order USAball, Israelcube, and UKball (the last one entirely because it has a top hat and a monocle).

At the time, the website said that shipping would cost $2.95, plus $1 for every plushie ordered. I had just ordered presents for several other loved ones, so my wallet was already hurting, and shipping for $5.95 seemed like a good deal. But when I went to confirm payment through PayPal, it said shipping would be $9.95. Since I wanted to be sure to order them in time for a holiday arrival, I agreed to it and decided to figure it out later.

When I got the automatic confirmation from their store, I saw that it was from an Info email address and decided to ask about the shipping cost discrepancy.


A few days later, Zac from the company responded.


The easygoing part of me wanted to be satisfied with the response. But the part of me that tries to stand up for myself, encouraged by the part of me that is almost four-months-unemployed and scared by the numbers in my bank account, wasn’t really satisfied. So I emailed him back.


A few days went by and I didn’t hear from them. But then I got an email that said my order was ready to be shipped soon – just the US and Israel plushies. I wasn’t thrilled about how this was going, so I followed up.


And this was the response I received. I’d like you to pay special attention to the last sentence of the first paragraph, just like I did.


After reading this, I had the new experience of literally shaking with anger and I couldn’t seem to get warm. I didn’t want to give this person my money, and I knew I could never look at the plushies without remembering this email. So I asked him to cancel the order.


Perhaps I should have known at this point that Zac would want the last word in this conversation, so I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was when he responded with this (and once again, please pay special attention to the last sentence as I did).


A part of me wanted to respond to Zac and let him know that my concern over $4 didn’t come from being Jewish. The concern came from being unemployed, having more debt than income, living at home with my family, and trying desperately to afford thoughtful holiday presents for my loved ones.

But I didn’t.

The initial reason I didn’t respond was because I don’t owe Zac an explanation. But the more honest reason was that I don’t want to receive another email like these from him. Not only do I not want to receive more scolding – I’m a little scared, and I hate admitting that.

A lot of thoughts went through my mind last night as I tried to process this and couldn’t sleep.

Clearly, anti-Semitism is much more real than I want to admit.

I can’t exactly organize a boycott of this individual website, or the site that seems to be their parent company based on the emails, Legendary Suitjamas (which is really too bad, because I like How I Met Your Mother and didn’t even know this existed in real life).

I didn’t want to spend this holiday season being forcibly reminded of anti-Semitism on a personal level.

Would he have sent this kind of response if my email was from a man’s name?

Regardless of the anti-Semitic statements in each email, they seem like a bit of an overreaction.

When they go low, you go high.

Ironically, based on the length of his emails, he seems to care a lot more about these $4 than I do.

And on top of all this, now I have to find a present for my boyfriend with only two weeks before the holidays.

So, before I end this, I’d like to ask something of you, good readers. Please like this post, whether on WordPress or wherever you found it, so that I can remember Love trumps Hate this December. Please share this story with others so we don’t forget that bigotry is still out there, alive and well. And, most importantly, please show each other love and respect by being there for others and for unifying against hate, no matter how small a comment may seem. Because it may shake the entire world of someone on the receiving end of it.

I’m going to go leave some reviews.


4 Responses to “Yesterday, I Received an Anti-Semitic Rant”

  1. Eve December 8, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

    WTF. That guy is WAY out of line. I’m so sorry you had this experience. Zac is obviously way too sensitive to work in customer service, and should be fired. Escalate this. He’ll ultimately be happier in another line of work, and customers will be happier not getting harangued over their legitimate complaints. Geez.

  2. Abby December 8, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

    I’m appalled and enraged by this! It’s rude, it’s racist, it’s unprofessional, it’s petty…it’s many many other infuriating things, and I hate that it happened to you, my kind and lovely friend. Here’s hoping the rest of your shopping goes more smoothly. Out of curiosity, how much would USPS charge us to send a flaming sack of sh*t to the ever charming Zac?

  3. kitchentourist December 8, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

    Oh hell no – learn to deal with people who have questions, dude. If you can’t handle basic customer service without escalating to racist bullshit, yeah, you don’t belong in any field that involves writing to people who are giving you money.


  1. Following up on the last post | Story O'Clock - December 12, 2016

    […] last post about the anti-Semitic rant I received via customer service emails inspired some pretty incredible […]

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