Saturday, 31 March 2018

When Trendy Restaurant Meets Chippy Activist Customer...

Louise Ankle, 31, was having dinner with her friend Matthea Fearon, 32, at The Botanist, in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, on Sunday evening.
Miss Ankle, who works in retail, said they enjoyed their meal and asked for the bill, which was presented in a hardback book. It was designed for customers to open the front cover and find the receipt.
Blimey, I didn't realise this modern trend had spread to the delivering of the bill too!
But they flicked through the rest of the pages - which were supposed to be glued together, but had come unstuck - towards the end of the book. And they discovered a page in the book, which displayed the N-word as part of a page heading. The book is believed to be a collection of essays by Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), who wrote in 1849 arguing in favour of slavery.
*shrugs* So...?
Miss Ankle said: 'We did realise at the time we were the only two black people in the restaurant. Although it did not bother us, we were aware. 'When [the bill] came, it came in a book which was closed. I did not see the N-word.
'Matthea opened it and flicked through to the back of the book. Her first reaction was, "Oh my God". She said it again and was hesitant to show me.
'[It was] at the back of the book. We both were in shock, we were both flabbergasted. The initial reaction is shock then it quickly turns into anger and upset.'
And you got a free meal out of it. Was that enough? No, of course not. Not when you can climb up on your soapbox and gain the adulation of the anti-racism industry too...
She added: 'We have [since] been emailing the manager of the restaurant and we are talking with them at the moment. 'There's nothing in particular I want. I do not want an item or to go back to the restaurant. We want to make people aware that these things do happen.'
What, total accidents whereby you come across the word 'nigger'? I guess you've never read any books, or heard any rap records, for that matter...
Miss Fearon, who works in the hospitality industry, said: 'As racial as the word is, this is more to do with ignorance and education.
'We were just shocked more than anything. You do not expect to go out anywhere and see that word.
'There were children in the restaurant who could have opened it.'
*rolls eyes*

Of course, this feigned shock and outrage is merely designed to make someone grovel. And of course, someone promptly does.
Chris Hill, CEO of the New World Trading Company, which owns the restaurant chain, said: 'First of all we are horrified, apologetic and distressed, as you would imagine. We would like to reaffirm our apologies to them and anyone else offended by this.
'We buy vintage books from our supplier. They arrive to us hollowed-out and glued together. We ask for them to be old and vintage-looking.
'What looked to have happened is in the book presented to Ms Fearon... the glue came away and the page revealed content and this awful language.'
Look, you had an idea for trendy bill-presentation, and the supplier supplied what you wanted - old books. That's all.

It was never intended they be read. It was clearly an accident. Why the over-the-top apology? That's all you have to say!
He added: 'We do not specify at all what we want. We have withdrawn the books from across the sites and will not reinstate them unless we can be 100 percent satisfied that an incident like this will not reoccur.
'We will be going back to the supply chain to understand how this would have happened.
'We withdrew the books immediately the following morning, this was across the country.
'There's no title on the front of the book, it had Carlyle on the side. The vast majority of the content had been hollowed out. It was the few pages at back of the book. We had no idea.'
That's certainly true. No idea that you are simply a pawn in these women's public display of outrage. No idea that you are merely making it harder for the next target of their self-publicity drive.


Anonymous said...

Years ago (2008?) I wrote an admin system used by GP's to set up practice information for the NHS. After it went live, one of the Business Communication teams (because they don't trust oiks like me to talk to customers) sent out a letter to every practice with their password, the username having been previously emailed. The passwords comprised two random words, separated by a randomly selected character from the set easily found on the keyboard.

A female Jewish GP working at a large practice in London received her password and decided it was personally offensive, raising hell with the Practice Manager, who raised hell with the Managing Director of our part of the NHS. MPs were also involved and the national newspapers picked up the story. She received a grovelling apology, a new password and somebody even took the password picker code to show her that it really was completely random. Somebody (else) still had to remove words from the dictionary used by the picker.

Oh the password? It was bitch*jew.

-- Justin

Libertarian said...

That whole Twitter thread is great!

jack ketch said...

Oh the password? It was bitch*jew.

Even back in the dim distant computer past of 10 years ago, whoever compiled the dictionary should have known to remove any word that might relate specifically to any race,gender, sexuality etc etc
And not just the usual 'offensive' terms such as the Nword but words such as 'muslim, black, hindi, Indian,' . Imagine if that nice doctor Assad had gotten the password "muslim pig" ? Imagine if an LBGT doctor had gotten 'dirt dike'? Even back in 08....

I can only hope the female doctor who got 'Hot ass' took it as a compliment.

Ed P said...

Just read Guy Gibson's account of Bomber Command leading up to the Dambusters' raid. His dog was named N****r - a normal and not in the least bit racist practice in the 1940s. These silly girls should grow up (into women?).

Hector Drummond, Vile Novelist said...

'We will be going back to the supply chain to understand how this would have happened."

How this happened? They're old books. Full of non-PC ideas. A page might get seen. I know seeing a bad word would be the worst thing that could ever happen to anybody, but it can happen. Perhaps we need to burn all the old books to make sure.

"We want to make people aware that these things do happen."

Make people aware that sometimes people inadvertently see offensive words? I think we all know that happens.

Perhaps we should make an international day out it: International Day of Awareness That Sometimes People See Offensive Words.

Ted Treen said...

@Hector "...Perhaps we need to burn all the old books to make sure..."

Might be more effective to burn all the touchy activists: my friend Flaxen Saxon could help with details...

JuliaM said...

"Oh the password? It was bitch*jew."

Oh, good lord!

In a previous role, one of my team's jobs was to police people's chosen system passwords for naughty words, and email them an official warning. Some were...quite inventive!

"That whole Twitter thread is great!"

Isn't it just? :D

"I can only hope the female doctor who got 'Hot ass' took it as a compliment. "


"Perhaps we should make an international day out it: International Day of Awareness That Sometimes People See Offensive Words."

Couldn't be half as daft as some of the existing ones.