Not discriminatory really. Tough salesmanship. And, naivety on my part.
I don’t fault the shop owners for it. Actually, I found it kind of funny. And, my coworker was also a friend.
We used to go to Peonies for dim sum occasionally. He and the other folks that went with us knew what they were doing and discussed the offerings with the waiters in Cantonese. I had a great time. I seldom knew exactly what I was eating but did not care. It tasted good and was interesting, albeit not cheap.
The group consisted of several Chinese from mainland China and Hong Kong (this was in the late 90s). But one of the group was from Singapore. The others would make fun of his ordering, saying he was trying to speak Cantonese but had a Mandarin accent.
Me? I just kept my mouth shut or full of good food. I couldn’t tell Mandarin from Cantonese if my life depended on it.
Those were really fun times!