Thursday, January 04, 2018

Britain: Must not address a woman as "honey"

It is very common for working class people in Britain to address one another using endearing terms.  'Love', 'Pet' and 'Hen' are common, with 'Honey' less so.  One of the oddest forms heard only in some areas is "m'dook" (my duck).

A BRITISH rail company has been forced to apologise after a staff member sent a shocking sexist tweet to a customer.

The stoush began when 27-year-old passenger Emily Lucinda Cole complained about a mix-up to a male ticket inspector on board a crowded Virgin Trains service bound from Edinburgh to London.

Ms Cole told the BBC staff had said to passengers on the platform before boarding that they were welcome to sit in the virtually empty first class section of the train provided they paid for a weekend upgrade.

Once on board, staff told passengers this wasn’t the case and forced them to move seats with luggage in tow.

When Ms Cole complained to the male employee, she claimed he patronised her by referring to her as “honey”.

“The first person to check my ticket was very abrasive. His response to my explaining the situation, politely and honestly, and that I wanted to complain, was ‘you go ahead honey’. In the context and given his aggressive tone I can only assume he didn’t like being challenged by a woman,” she told the BBC.

“I wouldn’t have complained if he’d used the term in a familial or affectionate way. It definitely wasn’t that.”

However, the original gaffe snowballed after Ms Cole sent a public tweet regarding the incident to the Virgin Trains East Coast Twitter account.

Ms Cole said she was “stunned” by the company’s response, after they posted: “Sorry for the mess up Emily, would you prefer ‘pet’ or ‘love’ next time?”

The company was immediately inundated with accusations of sexism, and the tweet has been deleted.

While some Twitter users accused Ms Cole of overreacting, many offered their support.



Anonymous said...

I object to the use of such terms also and I am a man.

Stan B said...

Object all you want, snowflake. People are going to use terms they feel comfortable using, and how dare you invalidate their feelings by using other terms? Who's feelings are more important here? What makes your feelings more important than mine? I'm offended by your attitude that somehow YOUR feelings trump MY feelings.

Bird of Paradise said...

P.C. Stupidity rises again the liberal idiots and certain words might offend little snowflakes its getting more idiotic everyday

Use the Name, Luke said...

So 'Honey', 'Love', and 'Pet' are out for this woman.

I suggest 'Chippy'.

Even so, I can understand her frustration over the obvious disagreement between the ticket office staff and on train staff. Those are the times when it's important for the staff to be as mild, gentle, and apologetic as possible. The tweet wasn't exactly along those lines.

Spurwing Plover the fighting shorebird said...

Play the song Honeycomb want watch as liberals run for their playpens and grab their anti-white coloring books

Anonymous said...

My father always addressed children and women as "duck". It is a term of affection or friendliness that is seldom heard in Australia. He was born in Australia but grew up in England. I never heard any woman complain about it. In fact they seemed to like being called duck.

Anonymous said...

Context and tone always matters.

In this case, the woman is not complaining about the word the original employee used, but his tone that she claims was patronizing and condescending. That's a legitimate complaint.

(As an example, many couples will call their significant other "Babe" or "Baby" as a term of affection. Try the same term on the same person while disagreeing and fighting and say, "Awwwww......poor widdle Baby." See what that gets you.)

When she complained about the tone of the agent, she was met with a dismissive tweet from the company that focused more on the word "honey" rather than her point that the term itself was not used in an acceptable or polite way, but in a way to be dismissive of her.

In a business, that's unacceptable and horrible customer service from both the agent and the company.

The original article also has a tweet which was not printed by this site that may shed some more light on this:

He was male. I heard him. And it wasn’t regionally appropriate. She was (legitimately) complaining about something else and his response was highly patronising — Joe Cannon #FBPE (@JoeCannonLondon) January 2, 2018.

This is from a guy who claims to be an eye (ear?) witness to the original incident.

Her original complaint was not about the word "honey," but the tone of the agent in its use. The company doubled down on the agent's stupidity and mocked the woman by again being patronizing and condescending.

This is a case that is not about a word, but bad customer service.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:51; Of course, we only have her side of the story on the context. It is not uncommon for "snowflakes" to interpret innocent words as offensive.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:51,

Of course, we only have her side of the story on the context.

No we don't. We have another bystander saying the agent was "highly patronizing."

The woman also says in her statements that she is not offended by the use of the word. She was, however, offended by the tone.

Frankly, if a company had dealt with my wife and mocked her in a tweet like Virgin Train did, I would be upset too.

The company seems to have screwed this one up. It happens, you know.

Anonymous said...

Dumb response to the initial complaint - and then to the Twitter complaint.
But this storm is too small even for a teacup. Maybe a thimble might do.