Racial & Religious Hatred, Prejudice, Slander, Defamation

Something was given to me at work today that could be seen as labelling a particular religious group as devil worshipers. I know that they are not.

The information was copied off a website and was given to several people so I asked for a copy. I read it through with interest. Some of it was factual information but then came the lovely sentence referring to, ‘…idol worshipers and devil worshipers…’.

I sent off an email to all of our team pointing out that this particular religion does not worship the devil, and that it was defamation and slander. Thinking about it afterwards it seems to me that it could also be seen as inciting religious or racial hatred. It has been passed to several people, some of whom do not know anything about the religion in question, so it could manipulate their way of thinking.

I’ve spoken to my family about this also. They think that this is a ‘sackable’ offence. They think I should lodge a formal complaint and take it further. Even though the information was obviously copied and pasted from a website.

If you are reading this you may be wondering what religion I am talking about. Well, usually when this type of thing crops up we are hearing about people saying things about Islam and Muslims. People are then in uproar screaming about racism and prejudice.

This particular information was taken from a Muslim website. It talks about the origins of Halloween, or Samhain, which is actually factual information. It then goes on to give basic information of the Christian church labelling it ‘evil’. After that it discusses the Islamic view of Halloween and tells Muslims they shouldn’t take part in any ‘idol worship or devil worship’.

As I put in my email to the team:

1) Pagans do not worship the devil. You have to believe in the devil to worship it and Pagans do not have any concept of this entity. Also, if you check back in Christian history, the devil was actually put into the bible by the Council of Nicaea back in AD326, or sometime around then. It doesn’t actually exist – only in the minds of people who believe in it. Pagans do not.

2) Pagans do not worship idols. We, yes WE, have Gods or Goddesses or both, who we worship. Our deities are as real and as important to us as Allah is to a Muslim.

I don’t call Muslims devil worshipers because they do not follow my religion, so what gives them the right to label me as such because I am not Muslim? Some people need to grow up. Tolerance is something that some people do not understand. Accept of course when they want people to show it towards them. But then some people are used to getting everything they want aren’t they?

Many people celebrate Samhain in the UK as a religious celebration. If you don’t like it go live elsewhere.

HAPPY SAMHAIN PEOPLE!

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Black Country Flag

This week a so-called ‘equal rights campaigner’ has branded the Black Country flag as racist. According to Patrick Vernon the chains on the flag represent slavery. What an idiot!

The Black Country is an area within the West Midlands with a very distinctive history. With the Victorian Industrial Revolution this area became the manufacturing and foundry hotbed of the UK. The smog from the foundries covered everything with dirt hence the name ‘Black Country’. The area is known for chain making, lock making, and various other things in this ilk. This is part of our heritage. It is part of UK history. We are not going to change our history for some idiot who obviously has no education.

I’m sick of people saying to us that their ‘cultural people’ have no mention in certain historical films or books, or such like. Well you weren’t in our history at that time, so why the bloody hell would we put you in it? I remember watching Shaka Zulu, a South African series about a Zulu tribe. Very good series I might add. There were no white people in the tribe. Guess why? Well it was set before Europeans got there so there wouldn’t be any white people there. All the white people knew this and weren’t offended by it. In fact I didn’t hear any white person screaming ‘prejudice, get us in the program!’ But then they had common sense to look at the time period it was set in, and didn’t have a Himalayan mountain sitting on their shoulder.

If you find a depiction of a chain on a flag offensive then tough! Go live somewhere else. Walk to the West and you will find the Atlantic ocean. Carry on walking.

With regards to the slavery trade of past centuries- it was quite normal for African tribes to capture their rivals and sell them as slaves to the Europeans. So don’t just blame ‘white’ people. Take a look at African tribal history. They sold each other. Got it? They fought each other. They took prisoners and they sold them as slaves – if they didn’t keep them for themselves that is.


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Derogatory Additions To Names

I expect a lot of people have seen the news about a gentleman who had a derogatory addition to his surname. It was in the news recently and a great deal on social media. Not a nice thing to happen at all. I can’t see anyone enjoying getting a letter with that kind of thing on there. Fortunately it doesn’t happen very often. Although saying that, there are many occurrences of letters being sent out to people who have passed away. Also offensive.

The media have been saying that this offensive addition to the gentleman’s surname was deliberate. But was it? From what I’ve read there is an investigation underway at the moment. But what possible reason would an agent have to do this? If the agent was someone who was just plain and straight forward prejudiced against skins of a particular colour, or particular religion, then surely it would have been spotted well before hand. I can’t see a large company keeping on an agent who is prejudiced, or in fact, a person applying to work at a multi-cultural company if they were prejudiced. Doesn’t make sense either way.

Working in a call centre myself I know first hand how bad it can be on the phones. I often have people coming through and I ask them for their name and haven’t got a clue what they’ve said. Whether it’s a bad line, a strong accent, speaking too quickly, or someone covering the mouth piece, there have been times where I’ve been completely stumped. I’ve begun the call by calling them what I thought they said only to be told quietly bluntly that I’m wrong!

Some customer don’t understand what ‘initial’ means. So when I ask for an initial they spell out their name. I’ve had customers give me their full names – first, middle, last – all in one breath. It can be quite difficult at times, and it’s very common for us to have to ask a customer to spell out their surname and then spell out their first name. Just so that we can understand them.

Is this what happened in this unfortunate case? Was it just a matter of the agent not understanding the customer? It’s interesting to note that at my company there is a split with what people think between those on the phones and that those who aren’t. Those of us on the phones are all saying this couldn’t possibly have been done deliberately – it’s just too easy for us to hear the wrong information. While those who are not on the phones are all saying it was deliberately done.

The only reason I can see for this to have been done deliberate is if the agent had just had enough. I’m not saying that this is what happened here. I don’t know. And I’m certainly not saying that this customer was aggressive. Again I don’t know. But having worked on the phones for so long I’ve had my fair share of abusive customers and it would be so easy to want to get my own back. I never have. But there have been times when the temptation has been very strong.

I had a customer complain that I was heavy breathing. I had a cold and because I was breathing through my mouth he could hear it. Another customer complained about the same thing with one of my colleagues who had asthma. This is blatant prejudice towards us when we are not well. One customer complained about a colleague who asked him to call back. He wanted to speak to an English person but everyone was on the phone as it was particularly busy. My Nigerian colleague asked him to call back later when it was a bit quieter and he may get an English person. He called back and complained about her. This again was prejudice.

What is annoying is that the company upholds the complaints from the customers. Customers come first. It should not be happening. Customers should not be treating agents in this manner. We are not pieces of dirt. Some customers are extremely offensive, aggressive, bullying, prejudicial, swearing, and downright nasty. Agents are human beings. I got to the end of my tether a few times. I got into trouble raising my voice to one woman who was insulting me and shouting at me. We can only take so much before we snap. Is this what happened in the news item recently? I will be very interested to see what the investigation uncovers.


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Woman!

A work colleague had a particularly nasty individual on the phone a few days ago, who insisted in finishing every sentence with the word ‘woman’. We always give our name to the caller – it’s politeness as well as good service. However, this man wasn’t interested in using my colleagues name as he didn’t wish to speak to a woman!

The conversation went along these lines:

‘Good morning. You’re through to (name of colleague). How can I help you?’ She asked politely.

‘Put a man on the phone, woman. I’m not speaking to you.’ He demanded.

‘We are very busy at the moment and my colleagues are busy on other calls, so how can I help you?’ She asked again, politely.

‘Renew my policy, woman.’ He spat.

My colleague was polite throughout the call. But even when she reminded the customer of her name, he still didn’t use it.

Personally I would not have put up with his rudeness and, let’s face it, his prejudice. We are living in the 21st century and to think that there are people like this in the UK now is unbelievable. What a prat!

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Prejudice

We are based in the UK with a primarily British workforce, which is spread across different cultures and religions. There are also a small number of Europeans, Africans, Americans, and other nationalities, many of whom are students, or are in the UK because of their partners’ work. They all speak impeccable English – they have to as they are dealing with British customers.

Occasionally we get the ignorant prejudiced twat calling in and having a go at us for being in India. We’re not in India. We’re in the UK. We also have the occasional male bigot who does not want to speak to a female agent – tough it’s the 21st century and 50% of the workforce is female. Get over it. We also get people having a moan and venting their spleen about various situations in the country. This often includes relating to us their thoughts on various cultures or religious communities. The world at large is multi-cultural – be realistic. Do you go abroad? Do you still have a go about other people while you’re abroad?

These people can’t see us. They don’t know what the colour of our skin is, or what religion we happen to follow. They don’t know if we were born in the UK or elsewhere. Unless they get through to someone who obviously has a non-UK accent! I’ve spoken to people who often begin to relate their religious beliefs to me. One customer asked if I would like some information sent. I don’t discuss my religion with customers – it’s my business.

Quite a few of my colleagues have spoken to customers who have been openly prejudiced about people of other colours. Often they have been speaking to black or Asian agents and have not even realised it. These agents have had the grace to remain positive and polite on the phone to these people, when they are in their rights to refuse the call and to cut them off.

As agents we are doing a job and trying to help the people phoning in. Sometimes these people make life very hard. Yes, I have cut people off for being rude or prejudiced. I have even cut people off when they are sniffing down the phone and can’t be bothered to blow their nose before they phone in. I don’t need to listen to the crap. Whatever thoughts or beliefs people have, they should keep them to themselves when dealing with companies.

Margaret Road Wednesbury WS10 7QT 07505067286 naturalmatrixtherapy@outlook.com By appointment only, so please contact me to discuss available times.