Do you want to hire a Company who do not know how to deal with racism in their work force?
Do you want to hire a Racist?
I have a story. . . Coming from a Cantonese background, born in England, grown up in Whitstable. Am I British? What does it mean to be classified as a British person?
I thought we were all equal human beings.
My heart and the way my mind thinks is British, but my exterior shell is from a different region. Our family moved to Whitstable to set up a family home and a little takeaway shop. It is a little rusty these days; after almost 27 years. My first Primary school was at St Mary’s in Whitstable when the nuns were there. My brother and I were the only oriental children in the school. It was overwhelming, but it was very welcoming. Growing up in the mind set of Cantonese parents and a bilingual, English education, I did not know that it was going to be this hard. My parents once said to me ‘If people call you nasty names, walk away quietly’ I replied ‘ Why?’
Let alone trying to understand, why were they being racist to me? It makes no sense? Did I listen to those wise parenting words? Absolutely not! I’ve grown pretty strong willed changing from Captain Caveman to a Brave Warrior and fighting for what I to believe to be fair. I will not let anyone take me apart for looking different. I will not shy away. I will stand my ground till my last breath.
Monday 22 February ( Approx. Midday )
Tapping away on the computer, making good use of my day off, working on my other creative job, updating my website. I heard banging noises from the outside, where a couple of workman were dismantling scaffolding from the building next door. It was not the most pleasant noise, banging and clanging. I told myself “it is only going to be a couple of hours, I can deal with it.”
I continued working with the noise, amongst the shouting, the swearing and the dreadful singing for at least half an hour. Something had to give! There were no signs of them calming the noise. I had to do something; needs must!
I opened the window and shouted ‘There are people trying to work here!’
You would have thought a professional would have had a bit more of a respectful attitude and realise they maybe causing some interference.
Was he too thick to understand what was the matter? Because he then shouted racist remarks.
‘Go back and cook your egg fried rice’
‘I’ll have a number _ & _ ‘
‘Your takeaway is shit!’
It was these remarks that ignited my fierce side; just like a volcano roaring.
If I had stepped out of the house I would have taken a baseball bat with me. I would have smacked it right across his face, where it hurts and he would have wished he had taken it back.
I know violence does not help the situation, but there are times when I just cannot describe how much it angers me.
‘Where is your manger?’ I asked.
He said with a cocky voice ‘I am the Boss of the company’. Did I believe him? Hell No! I definitely was not calm. That idiot continued shouting, singing, making awful remarks.
I needed to control my angry thoughts.
Rustle up, call a friend, and manage to find his company ‘Bowman Scaffolding’.
I phoned them and left a voicemail. A guy named David called me straight back, he was shocked, I was angry, he tried to understand and listen to my story. I was still really angry.
In response he said ‘I’ll take your e-mail’ I replied, ‘What for?’
He replied something along the lines of letting me know what he intended to do.
Meanwhile I turned into a Wild Angry Beast thinking, what he should have said was that he’d call me back with an apology on behalf of his team.
I felt he had given an insincere, quite inhumane apology and it was not acceptable.
In my escalating temper I made one mistake. During this phone call I accused his workman of telling me to ‘F***cking Shut Up!’ David pulled me up on this point and shouted. I apologised about that, it was wrong. I cannot describe my anger, I was not red, I was boiling hot red.
What makes it such a damned joke is that he got so defensive and angry in response to my one wrong remark.
No real acknowledgment of the seriousness of my complaint.
He should try being a Cantonese Girl, working at home with such racket and see how it feels to get abused with racist remarks on a Monday afternoon? How would he have reacted? Would he understand my anger and pain?
Bowman Scaffolding, have handled this badly. Racism is illegal.
I am left so dissatisfied and I know not many people ever publicly voice these dreadful experiences.
I believe in fairness, equality and freedom. I once said to someone ‘it does not matter who you are, what you are, and where you are.’ Whatever you are doing now, may not be where your heart is, you are doing it because you have to. The ones who judged you and frown upon you are really the ones who need to have a second look in the mirror. The world is too big and beautiful to waste energy being horrible to others.
So last but not least, the man working for Bowman Scaffolding who grossly insulted me and wasted my time, who thinks it is ok to behave in such a disgusting manner, please think again before you speak to insult people.
Do you realise that roughly 95% of your clothes are made in China and your food is sourced and imported from the rest of the world?
(After this outrageous behaviour, you probably went home and ordered a Chinese takeaway, if not tonight perhaps another day. I hope you choke! I’d probably give you a Hail Mary and a bloody Amen)
After this incident, I was so outraged with the whole experience I ‘named and shamed’ shared it with my friends.
My day wasted in anger and unable to work, it lead me to start to write… it is really important to raise awareness.
There is such a lot of racism that goes unreported to the authorities. Purely the fact is, sometimes you do not have faith in them. In my situation, that is exactly what I felt – I had no faith in them, I didn’t call the police.
You need to understand I was a girl working alone at home, there were three of them, so my next question is if I had called the police what would they have done? Arrive, ask about the incident, and the blame would sway and the victim ‘me’ would be accused- three mouths against one – I would not have had a leg to stand on.
I am not accusing the other two workmen but seen from their perspective, they may be reluctant to speak up, lose their jobs and in all fairness one of them was oblivious to the goings on.
Having to re-write trying to get this story out there, a few more things happened along the way and I cannot leave it as it is.
Once the scaffold had gone, dad found that his religious statue, which had been firmly cemented to the roof, had been pulled off and roughly repositioned. This statue is really important to him, it has been with us since he opened his business. Coming from an oriental background ‘Feug Sui’ should not be messed around with, it would be an insult in his belief system and our culture. Dad had reassured me that it wasn’t like this until Bowmans appeared.
Dad also showed me an indentation mark on our roof, where a scaffold pole had been resting. (I am not sure if they had asked permission to use our roof) Dad had asked the workmen if they had moved his statue, they denied it. Dad phoned Bowmans, in the back of my mind this was no use. To my surprise someone from the company did show up straight away, maybe they realised, that they should deal with the situation a little bit more carefully. I hope so and alway give people the benefit of doubt, if they show signs of making up for their wrong doings. This man later found me in the deli in the town and handed me some supermarket flowers! I was not grateful and not pleased to see him. I am still annoyed with yesterday’s incident.
Did I accept his apology? I acknowledged this gesture but have I made up my mind whether it was a genuine apology? I am still too angry to take it in. Did I really accept those flowers as an apology gift? I gave them away.
Little did I know, my father had been so frustrated about them denying removing his sculpture, that he’d suggested speaking to the police, is that why the company representative was so prompt?
What is more painful for me to see, is that you have not just insulted my race, you have insulted my family and the house we live in. How much more insult can one take, fake promises? You reassured me that your staff would visit my house and apologise. The truth is, it was all lies.
That night, I did not make an appearance at home, I made sure I was out, not because I wanted to be out but because I was not ready to be confronted again by this vile, racist, mouthy character. His racist remarks were too smooth, it’s unreal to believe he could be deeply apologetic. That morning my father had told me no one had shown up! What a surprise!
You thought bringing me supermarket flowers as an apology is acceptable, are you taking me for a fool? I have been honest with you; I had shared the story of your company’s nasty and dismissive behaviour. Yes the local Newspaper was interested, and got hold of you, but it turns out they cannot publish my ‘true story’ because I didn’t report it to the police there are no substantiated allegations.
Had I not been Oriental, nor our shop, would your company have kindly asked/notified us that you intended to put your scaffolding onto our building? Would you own up to messing with our property. Is it because we are who we are that you think it is ok to behave so disrespectfully? I do wonder if you are all racist, or actually a really bad company.
My question is; if you experience a member of your staff behaving in a racially abusive manner how would you of deal with the situation? In this particular case, what should you have done?
3 simple steps;
- You say ‘Sorry’ with the most sincere attitude.
- Listen (even if the victim remains extremely angry, it is essential to understand a member of your staff is racially abusive, the context is irrelevant, racism is unacceptable and illegal).
- You should empathise, reassure the victim with the utmost regret, promise commitment to address the issue and maintain open and honest communications.
That is all I wanted and you broke every rule in my book. Your apology is not accepted!
You may think I am nothing but I have the Freedom of speech. I am left with no option but to share my true story via the most powerful source we have ‘We have to thank the modern world – social media.’
( In my comment page)
The was a valid point SOCIETY TODAY had pointed out to me that I may of been RUDE for the first place here is my reply and I hope this justifies my annoyed tone of voice ‘I totally agree what you are saying and there was absolutely ‘no excuse for being rude’ which you had pointed out to me.
I probably have not explained myself well enough to justify why I had shouted at the scaffolders, many apologies to the readers. I did not emphasise on my original blog, it wasn’t the ‘working noise they make’ it was the constant “F” word shouted on top of their voice.
I had tried to put some music to block the noise for nearly almost half an hour. One could only bear a certain limit! In the back of my mind my concerns for young families with young children may have walk pass and may have heard such bad language. Most of us do swear now and again we all do it ourselves, the fact, it was constant, in a public space and working a a professional.
I believed, we have the rights to have respected one another’s space. I have acted upon to protect and prevent any more walk pass to hear it especially young families. Should of I have acted any different? I cannot say I will.
Thinking back, if I was not so obsessed with the insult racial abuse from this particular workman. I wished I, could tone down my voice in the phone call with David, there was no words to describe my shock and anger, for what his workman said.
I can see, why you would describe the workmen would of believed I acted passive aggressive. I did try to tell them my annoyance, the use foul language. He cut me off and denied it was him and made a fool out of me. If it was not ‘him’ who had shouted foul language he could of may of been aware it maybe his fellow colleague. Why did he act upon giving me racial abuse? one do question, was it him?
If he acted a little different, when I said ‘swearing’ and allow me to explain how much they swore in a public space, one would of apologise for being abrupt on the first hand. I would like to emphasise the term ‘shouted’ to get their attention.
At the end of day I was trying to be a good British Citizen to protect my people.