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2792 posts

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  # 2176481 11-Feb-2019 14:28
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networkn:

 

I'd actually look at this slightly different. I think it's valid to apologise, not for the behaviour, but because someone was offended. It's possible to say to someone "I'm sorry you were offended by this", which isnt to say "I'm sorry we made a mistake and you were offended". 

 

Also, sometimes it's easier to apologise, than to deal with the consequences for the apology. Arguing with the customer is rarely a good look. 

 

 

 

I recently ate at a fine dining restaurant, which specialises in shared food (think tapas but not quite). 3 Dishes turned up, and had serving utensils for us to move food from the central plate to our own plates. My friend and I (who are not a couple) were happy to share food.

 

4th Plate turned up, its a large single carrot, and there are no utensils, so I ask my waiter for a serving device. His response was that one wasn't required. I asked again saying I felt it was. He said it was a dish intended to be shared and utensils wouldn't assist with that. I again asked politely for serving utensils. He then got exasperated with us and reached over and picked up my friends cutlery and went to cut the dish in half. We stopped him to which he got upset and got a spoon out and handed it to us. Thankfully another waiter came along with a proper serving utensil (who cuts carrots with a spoon!?).

 

 

 

Bottom line was he was in the wrong for 3 reasons. 1) For assuming  we were happy to share food *and* cutlery, which I would expect only those in a pretty intimate relationship may be prepared to do. 2) For touching my friends cutlery which I've never experienced before ever. 3) For failing to take into account that even if I *was* being utterly unreasonable, it was at worst, 2 extra items to wash.  There is a 4th one, but in my old age I can't recall what it was to be. 

 

It was an excellent night out with amazing food, but I'll remember that experience for a long time.

 

 

In your example it sounds as if your waiter was a bit of a d*ck, so a bit different.

 

It's difficult to apologize without the implication that you did something wrong. Saying something along the lines of "We're sorry you were offended..." pretty much implies that their offence was warranted.

 

I think people should apologize if they were offensive (or if a reasonable person would take offense, even if no offense was intended). But in instances of people being offended by what any reasonable person would consider to be inoffensive, it just sets a bad precedent to apologize. It gives people justification to be offended by anything.


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  # 2176483 11-Feb-2019 14:33
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Getting into symantics here, however... 

 

If your wife was abused by a waiter/waitress or Uber Driver, and was very upset, you could say you were sorry she was upset without being slightly responsible. Likewise, someone who said they were sorry for the loss of your loved one, isn't admitting they were in any way involved in the expiration.

 

It's hard to be angry at someone who is apologising. This situation with the café is marginally different than those, but you *can* apologise without accepting responsibility for the cause.

 

 

 

Hypothetically, if you are the manager in this location, and the person comes to you and is upset, really upset, your options would be to:

 

1) Apologise that they are upset.

 

2) Argue that in fact the label is correct and they are indeed Asian, so what's the big deal..

 

 

 

Which is going to escalate further, with all the other customers around hearing the entire case.

 

Hospo is a very difficult game to be in. People are likely to be upset by a hoopalaa, raised voices or whatnot, without even hearing or understanding the full story. A lot of people would use that to not return. 

 

I think it's wrong the customer in this situation was upset, wrong that the retailer should have required to apologise, but ultimately right to try and address the issue to prevent more blow out at the time for the good of the business and comfort of the other customers.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2176492 11-Feb-2019 14:51
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networkn:

 

Getting into symantics here, however... 

 

If your wife was abused by a waiter/waitress or Uber Driver, and was very upset, you could say you were sorry she was upset without being slightly responsible. Likewise, someone who said they were sorry for the loss of your loved one, isn't admitting they were in any way involved in the expiration.

 

It's hard to be angry at someone who is apologising. This situation with the café is marginally different than those, but you *can* apologise without accepting responsibility for the cause.

 

 

But in those two examples the person saying sorry (it's not really apologizing) is a third party. Your wife wasn't upset with you, and you had nothing to do with their loved ones death (or did you?) - so there is no real chance of it being seen as an admission of wrong doing. i think that's quite an important distinction between those examples and the cafe.

 

Maybe it is just semantics. You can say "sorry" as a means of expressing empathy, but I believe an "apology" is always an admission of culpability.

 

I just don't see any way the cafe could have worded this in a way that would appease the offended party without admitting culpability. In this case I suspect they just did the easy thing by issuing an apology that they probably didn't truly believe was warranted.

 

 


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  # 2176498 11-Feb-2019 14:57
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networkn:

 

Hypothetically, if you are the manager in this location, and the person comes to you and is upset, really upset, your options would be to:

 

1) Apologise that they are upset.

 

2) Argue that in fact the label is correct and they are indeed Asian, so what's the big deal..

 

Which is going to escalate further, with all the other customers around hearing the entire case.

 

Hospo is a very difficult game to be in. People are likely to be upset by a hoopalaa, raised voices or whatnot, without even hearing or understanding the full story. A lot of people would use that to not return. 

 

I think it's wrong the customer in this situation was upset, wrong that the retailer should have required to apologise, but ultimately right to try and address the issue to prevent more blow out at the time for the good of the business and comfort of the other customers.

 

 

I agree with most of that, you must have added it after I replied.

 

If this was raised in person at the time I agree that the easiest resolution would have been to say "we are sorry if this caused offense, none was intended". If, on the other hand, nothing was mentioned at the time and they went to the media after the fact I would be less inclined to issue any sort of formal apology.


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  # 2176500 11-Feb-2019 14:58
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So if the customer had been in an female asian wheelchair.
Write Asian.....you are a racist.
Write woman...you are sexist.
Write wheelchair reference your discriminating against the disabled.

What was the intent of the note ? To harass, embarrass to offend or to ensure the lady near the door gets her correct coffee order..


2792 posts

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  # 2176505 11-Feb-2019 15:06
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afe66: So if the customer had been in an female asian wheelchair.
Write Asian.....you are a racist.
Write woman...you are sexist.
Write wheelchair reference your discriminating against the disabled.

What was the intent of the note ? To harass, embarrass to offend or to ensure the lady near the door gets her correct coffee order..

 

The intent of the note was to identify the customer in as few words as possible.

 

If not using a numbering system then I would think "wheelchair" would be the the most succinct way to describe that hypothetical customer as to a stranger it is their most obvious physical characteristic. I don't know if a disabled person would find that offensive, I personally don't think they should as it is simply being used as a descriptor for identification.


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  # 2176512 11-Feb-2019 15:16
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afe66: So if the customer had been in an female asian wheelchair.
Write Asian.....you are a racist.
Write woman...you are sexist.
Write wheelchair reference your discriminating against the disabled.

What was the intent of the note ? To harass, embarrass to offend or to ensure the lady near the door gets her correct coffee order..

 

 

 

Have to ask, for scientific purposes. How do you tell if the asian wheelchair is female?    :-)  


 
 
 
 


6615 posts

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  # 2176514 11-Feb-2019 15:16
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networkn:

 

Getting into symantics here, however... 

 

If your wife was abused by a waiter/waitress or Uber Driver, and was very upset, you could say you were sorry she was upset without being slightly responsible. Likewise, someone who said they were sorry for the loss of your loved one, isn't admitting they were in any way involved in the expiration.

 

It's hard to be angry at someone who is apologising. This situation with the café is marginally different than those, but you *can* apologise without accepting responsibility for the cause.

 

 

 

Hypothetically, if you are the manager in this location, and the person comes to you and is upset, really upset, your options would be to:

 

1) Apologise that they are upset.

 

2) Argue that in fact the label is correct and they are indeed Asian, so what's the big deal..

 

 

 

Which is going to escalate further, with all the other customers around hearing the entire case.

 

Hospo is a very difficult game to be in. People are likely to be upset by a hoopalaa, raised voices or whatnot, without even hearing or understanding the full story. A lot of people would use that to not return. 

 

I think it's wrong the customer in this situation was upset, wrong that the retailer should have required to apologise, but ultimately right to try and address the issue to prevent more blow out at the time for the good of the business and comfort of the other customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I personally think if someone is daft or malicious enough to go taking your description as racism or what ever they are probably going to very quickly take your apology as admission to guilt.. Just sayin..

It all comes down the the person you are dealing with and my comments are more apparent at e.g: left wing snowflakes who will take offence to anything and contort what you say to suit them and their ideas.

 

 


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  # 2176522 11-Feb-2019 15:25
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Paul1977:

 

afe66: So if the customer had been in an female asian wheelchair.
Write Asian.....you are a racist.
Write woman...you are sexist.
Write wheelchair reference your discriminating against the disabled.

What was the intent of the note ? To harass, embarrass to offend or to ensure the lady near the door gets her correct coffee order..

 

The intent of the note was to identify the customer in as few words as possible.

 

If not using a numbering system then I would think "wheelchair" would be the the most succinct way to describe that hypothetical customer as to a stranger it is their most obvious physical characteristic. I don't know if a disabled person would find that offensive, I personally don't think they should as it is simply being used as a descriptor for identification.

 

 

This thread has just come full circle.


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  # 2176526 11-Feb-2019 15:27
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afe66: So if the customer had been in an female asian wheelchair.
Write Asian.....you are a racist.
Write woman...you are sexist.
Write wheelchair reference your discriminating against the disabled.

What was the intent of the note ? To harass, embarrass to offend or to ensure the lady near the door gets her correct coffee order..

 

I would likely have opted with "woman wearing blue dress" before making mention of the wheelchair personally. Not because *I* feel it should be inappropriate to mention the chair, but in case it was perceived as insensitive.

 

 

 

 


gzt

10938 posts

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  # 2176539 11-Feb-2019 15:36
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afe66: So if the customer had been in an female asian wheelchair.
Write Asian.....you are a racist.
Write woman...you are sexist.
Write wheelchair reference your discriminating against the disabled.

What was the intent of the note ? To harass, embarrass to offend or to ensure the lady near the door gets her correct coffee order..


Well who knows. Asian means different things in different places. How do feel if someone calls you Australian ; ).

2792 posts

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  # 2176541 11-Feb-2019 15:39
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networkn:

 

afe66: So if the customer had been in an female asian wheelchair.
Write Asian.....you are a racist.
Write woman...you are sexist.
Write wheelchair reference your discriminating against the disabled.

What was the intent of the note ? To harass, embarrass to offend or to ensure the lady near the door gets her correct coffee order..

 

I would likely have opted with "woman wearing blue dress" before making mention of the wheelchair personally. Not because *I* feel it should be inappropriate to mention the chair, but in case it was perceived as insensitive.

 

 

Which then comes back to whether they are being overly sensitive if they do take offense? If someone with their leg in a cast was described as "broken leg" it's hard to imagine them being offended, but to me it seems more plausible for someone with a permanent disability to be offended by "wheelchair".

 

That makes me think it is often more about them projecting preconceived ideas or past discrimination into new situations. In such instances it is hard to blame them, but at the same time it's not the other persons fault either.


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  # 2176543 11-Feb-2019 15:39
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gzt:
afe66: So if the customer had been in an female asian wheelchair.
Write Asian.....you are a racist.
Write woman...you are sexist.
Write wheelchair reference your discriminating against the disabled.

What was the intent of the note ? To harass, embarrass to offend or to ensure the lady near the door gets her correct coffee order..


Well who knows. Asian means different things in different places. How do feel if someone calls you Australian ; ).

 

I couldn't much care less. I'll correct them if it's appropriate or required, but otherwise....

 

 


2792 posts

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  # 2176546 11-Feb-2019 15:40
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gzt: How do feel if someone calls you Australian ; ).

 

Incredibly offended, obviously!

 

EDIT: But seriously, I honestly don't think it would bother be in the slightest.


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  # 2176549 11-Feb-2019 15:50
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Apparently there's going to be something called The Back & White Ball in Whakatane sometime in March. Am I allowed to mention such a thing ? I hope no-ones offended...





rb99


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