Saturday, 24 January 2015

All The Training In The World…

…won’t stop someone doing something stupid:
Natalie Rivans was shopping with her girlfriend Helen Embleton at Tesco Extra in Surrey Quays when a cashier who had served a pregnant lesbian couple in front of them apparently said homosexuality was "wrong" and "all gay people should die alone". When Ms Rivans challenged the worker after the incident on January 3, she allegedly responded: "It's a free country so I can say what I like".
The couple, both 30, then complained to the store manager. Tesco today confirmed an internal investigation had been launched and the cashier has since faced a disciplinary hearing.
So, all’s well that ends well, right?
Ms Rivans, who lives with her partner in Deptford, said they were "mortified" by the abuse and had demanded a full apology from Tesco. She said: "It is not something I have ever come across in London before. I am really disgusted.
"We were absolutely mortified. Tesco need to change their policy and procedures."
Eh..? Why? What did they do that encouraged this?
Ms Embleton, who works for the NHS, said: "I was just surprised at [the cashier's] audacity. She was not bothered that she had offended her in the slightest. She was so blasé when she said it was a "free country". I have not been out for long so have not experienced homophobia. It is just not acceptable in this day and age."
Did Tesco somehow lead this cashier to believe that it would be acceptable, then? Do you have proof of this?
Simon Feeke, spokesman for gay rights charity Stonewall, urged Tesco to review its training guidelines following the incident.
Why, do they have an ‘Insulting The Customer’ course, or something?
"Through our Diversity Champions programme we have worked with Tesco to ensure they have policies and procedures to deal with incidences like this.
"We’re encouraging Tesco to review their current training provision and make sure they follow our latest guidance on staff training on fair treatment and respect for gay colleagues and customers.
"In modern Britain businesses should welcome all customers. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s basic business sense."
Ah, right, so really, what this is about is you seeking to use this incident to justify your own continued existence?
A Tesco spokeswoman said it had apologised to the couple and was now formally investigating the complaint. "We work hard to make sure that everyone is welcome at Tesco and put great emphasis on celebrating diversity and ensuring that we are an inclusive place to work and shop.
"Any remarks or actions from our colleagues which are not in line with these beliefs are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”
I fail to see what more Tesco can do, frankly. If an employee takes it into their head to breach all the guidelines, there’s nothing to stop them. All Tesco can do is discipline them afterwards. Which they have.

Case closed.


Antisthenes said...

So it is not a free country and you cannot say what you like.

I may not agree with what the cashier said but we must defend her right to say it. If we don't it is at our peril as more of our hard won freedoms and civil liberties we take for granted will be lost and the police state will be that one more step closer.

Greencoat said...

'...put great emphasis on celebrating diversity...'

Aaaargh!! Nurse! Nurse! The screens...!!

DJ said...

Yep, you called it right. They may as well put out a little road sign saying 'Caution! Shakedown in Progress'

Of course Stonewall are ready to work with the firm, just like Ronnie & Reggie worked with pubs to eliminate the risk of fire.

The only thing missing is that they didn't claim the shop assistant also said 'Cor blimey, I luv that Nigel Farage, 'e's a proper English gent and no mistake' while reading the Daily Mail and driving a white van through the store.

Uncle Badger said...

So Tesco 'celebrates diversity' does it?

I didn't actually need another reason never to shop there again but I now have one.

opsimath said...

'Diversity Champions'? God help us all -- are we still allowed to mention God, by the way ...

Flaxen Saxon said...

Lucky that the 'pooftas' weren't black.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX put great emphasis on celebrating diversity XX

What? Two queers walk into tesco, and find a red carpet being layed in front of them as they move from the tinned tomatoes, to the fruit section (No pun intended....much.) The marching bands, kept for justt such jolly occassions, banners saying how welcome they are, flower nacklaces from women (or men) in grass skirts, and a whole aisle of cheering and clapping tesco workers telling the two poofters how happy they are to be serving them, bowing and groveling and scraping before them?

Mark said...

Mr F Saxon I think you need to review your diversity awareness. They weren't pooftas they were carpet munchers.

This inability to fully understand the nuances of our rich diversity could be construed as a deliberate attempt not to.

Any further transgressions I may need to bring before the friendy rainbow re-education collective for investigation.

Jim said...

Why do I get the strange suspicion that the Tesco employee might not be called Jones or Smith?

Longrider said...

So it is not a free country and you cannot say what you like.

My gaff, my rules. Tesco can impose whatever speech restrictions they choose on employees working on their premises. Property rights always trump free speech.

Brightside Bob said...

Re: Furor Teutonicus.

I think that is a fantastic idea, seriously.

Just imagine if stores actually did assemble the staff to clap & cheer and present garlands of flowers whenever gays walked in.

It would be a wonderful social experiment if nothing else.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Then they would claim embarassmet at being pointed out to all.

No matter which way the wind blows, they will find SOME way to get to the compo funds.

JuliaM said...

"So it is not a free country and you cannot say what you like. "

We never have been able to - there have always been limits.

There's a time and a place for 'speaking one's mind' and I'd suggest it's not to random strangers buying carrots!

"Of course Stonewall are ready to work with the firm, just like Ronnie & Reggie worked with pubs to eliminate the risk of fire."


"Lucky that the 'pooftas' weren't black."

A mass store evacuation would probably have been required!

"Re: Furor Teutonicus.

I think that is a fantastic idea, seriously."

Yes, I think I'd like to see that too!