Ok. So my line manager referred to a student as a 'Chink' today.

(507 Posts)
catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 19:52:50

It's not the first time. We work in an education.

I don't think it was meant to be an insult. She's just thick confused

I reported her to the equality and diversity representative.


cornsilxsxy Fri 27-Jan-12 19:53:48


OlympicEater Fri 27-Jan-12 19:53:58

YANBU, that is dreadful

toutlemonde Fri 27-Jan-12 19:54:29


LadySybilDeChocolate Fri 27-Jan-12 19:54:36

My childhood town used to use this reference. It depends on where she's from, it may be 'normal' for her.


catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 19:55:28

I nearly fell off my chair the first time, but wrote it off as a slip of the tongue.

The third time gave me no choice sad

Could you not have gently challenged her on it, also.

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 19:56:05

*in education. Not in an education.

In an educational establishment (FE college)

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 19:56:37

There were only a couple of us in the office - we were so shocked we were frozen into silence

Dawndonna Fri 27-Jan-12 19:56:50


YADNBU. Gosh, that's awful.

LipstickLover Fri 27-Jan-12 19:57:30

YANBU, ridiculous ignorant word.

RitaMorgan Fri 27-Jan-12 19:57:31

You should have mentioned it at the time - "sorry, but do you realise that is an offensive, racist term?".

smoggii Fri 27-Jan-12 19:58:57

My jaw just hit the floor. I didn't realise anyone still used that term.

Nevergarglebrandybutter Fri 27-Jan-12 19:59:06

You have done the right thing.

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 19:59:17

I know I know I should have. Am kicking self now.

It's awful, we work in a college that 'champions' E and D.

LadySybilDeChocolate Fri 27-Jan-12 19:59:35

My cousin's posts on FB include 'I'm having a chinky for supper.' hmm She's oblivious.

hwjm1945 Fri 27-Jan-12 20:00:35

you shuold have challenged her there and then, going to the diversity person is a bit underhand, she will know it wsa you cos of contect and the nit will maek things worse between you.

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 20:00:51

She is in a managerial role too. Ans supposedly an intelligent (!) educated woman.

MadeInChinaBaby Fri 27-Jan-12 20:01:19


SiamoNellaMerda Fri 27-Jan-12 20:01:50

You didn't really need to snitch her up ffs - a quiet word would have done the trick. She's going to be in a world of trouble now when you could have remedied the situation quietly by yourself.

PurplePidjin Fri 27-Jan-12 20:02:11

YANBU. Major retraining needed for her!

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 20:02:24

hwjn - she will have no idea it's me. She clearly uses the term as part of her normal vocab. I've heard it form her at least four times, as have several others in our team.

Our administratot also told me that she has heard her use the term 'paki'

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 20:03:21

Siamo - are you for real? Snitch her up? I didn't know what else to do!!

flippinada Fri 27-Jan-12 20:03:31

YANBU, especially as she's done it more than once.

People who haven't been educatednot to use those terms, will obviously still do so. Seeming as she has done it three times in front of you she has no reason to think that you find it/it is offensive.

You should challenge "ims" when they happen. You have done the right thing, but i find it strange that you or your collegues said nothing if she has said it three times.

IUseTooMuchKitchenRoll Fri 27-Jan-12 20:05:46

Couldn't you have just had a quiet word with her?

Sometimes people genuinely don't realise they are being offensive, because they genuinely don't mean it that way.

I used to use the word Chinkys when I was talking about going to get a Chinese takeaway. I didn't mean it in and offensive way, I bloody love Chinese takeaway and the people that make my takeaway and give me free calendar are lovely. Obviously I wouldn't say it now, but I would have been really upset if someone had 'told' on me for saying something in all innocence.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:05:55

YANBU. It was the beginning of the end for new 'mum friendship' I had made when she asked me if the the plastic box I had my sandwiches in was from 'the Chinky'. I have challenged many people before when they have used racist language - not once have they not known. I fail to believe that an adult wouldn't know - a very young child maybe.

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 20:06:15

We were so shocked. If it had been any one else I think I would have challenged them.

She is a new line manager to us. Very domineering so we're all treading very carefully at the moment.

blacksausages Fri 27-Jan-12 20:07:08

You didn't really need to snitch her up ffs - a quiet word would have done the trick. She's going to be in a world of trouble now when you could have remedied the situation quietly by yourself.

So recognition of an issue and taking it forward to be managed in the appropriate way is now snitching?

This language raises great concerns about the woman's attitude, values and general suitability of the post she is supposed to be in. Of course it should be taken further.

YAdef def NBU

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 20:07:31

For some reason to me, referring to a chinese takeaway as a chinky isn't the same as referring to an oriental person as 'Chinky'.

I don't know why confused

Maybe I'm as bad as her

flippinada Fri 27-Jan-12 20:07:36

I think sometimes there's a bit of a 'cat in the headlights' reaction when people do this.

No-one challenges it at the time because people are shocked and think (eg) 'I can't believe h/she just said that' and then the moment passes. Then they feel ridiculous for bringing it up later.

Dustinthewind Fri 27-Jan-12 20:08:13

YANBU, especially considering the context. If she's in any educational setting, she needs diversity training and guidance.
For all those saying 'have a quiet word' what do you imagine is going to happen? A kangaroo court? Public flogging? She won't be hung out to dry, the OP has identified a training need before the woman offends someone who is truly insulted or made to feel sub-human. Surprising such ignorance got so far.

hwjm1945 Fri 27-Jan-12 20:08:23

now you say she uses word Paki, I feel you were justified in going to diversity people, a one off slip is one thing, but the fact that she casually abuses two and probably more ethnic group in the same way suggests she needs to be educated and fast and then sacked if she does not change her ways.

SiamoNellaMerda Fri 27-Jan-12 20:08:39

Damn right it's snitching - how can it be anything else? I just happen to think that one of you, having picked up your fallen jaws of course, could have had a word with her BEFORE running off telling tales.

You should definitely challenge it (somehow). Some people use offensive terms without intending any offense and without knowing the offensive nature of the term. I once taught in a boarding school and a student asked me if she could go out and get a chinky (meaning a chinese takeaway). She was actually Chinese herself and had picked up the term from other students. I was quite surprised and explained to her (and her friends) that it was considered an offensive term. Apparently it was "just normal in the area".

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 20:11:31

If one of my students used Chinky or Paki it would be an instant disciplinary.

flippinada Fri 27-Jan-12 20:11:47

'Telling tales' and 'snitching'?

Its a work environment, not primary school.

Eglu Fri 27-Jan-12 20:11:57

I think you did the right thing. She may not have taken it seriously from you if she uses terms like that so casually. She will realise how wrong it is, if it is brought up in a professional manner.

MarshaBrady Fri 27-Jan-12 20:12:56

Isn't that what the equality and diversity person is for? Helping people communicate properly.

They'll do it correctly, I don't see what's so bad.

PurplePidjin Fri 27-Jan-12 20:16:27

Terms like Chinky and Paki will have already been covered in her training. She's not ignorant, she doesn't give a shit and/or has forgotten.

Quiet word with line manager is exactly the way to handle it in a mature and rational way hmm

Dustinthewind Fri 27-Jan-12 20:17:18

'Damn right it's snitching - how can it be anything else? I just happen to think that one of you, having picked up your fallen jaws of course, could have had a word with her BEFORE running off telling tales.'

So she's a new, domineering line manager who is using inappropriate language on more than one occasion.
Oh yes, she's really going to listen, address her failure and change her manner when corrected by a minion. grin
Or not.

flippinada Fri 27-Jan-12 20:17:26

Surely the worst that will happen is she'll be disciplined?

Ok that's not pleasant and I can imagine that she might find it humiliating and embarrassing but it's her own fault.

squeakytoy Fri 27-Jan-12 20:18:39

I have a genuine question here...

Brit = British.. .so why do we not get offended when we are referred to as Brits.. , Australians are called Aussies.. same thing... yet Paki = Pakistani, but calling someone a Paki is deemed offensive?


oiwheresthecoffee Fri 27-Jan-12 20:18:50

I hate to say but where i come from (small town full of mainly ignorant people) this is a quite often used phrase and i dont think i was even aware it was offensive/racist until someone said how much they hated it being used. Obviously i would never use it now i know that. Is it posssible she doesnt know ?

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:19:37

I don't think there would have been anything to be gained from saying anything privately. She will know they are racist words ffs. And her boss will have a lot more clout than you. Sadly I doubt she will do anything other than make sure she doesn't use racist language at work. If she was going to not use racist words because it's wrong she wouldn't need telling.

iklboo Fri 27-Jan-12 20:20:26

My mum was talking about Chinese people who'd been on a tv show she was watching. She said 'the worst ones for taking food into Australia are..' then pulled her eyes into slits with her fingers & did a stupid grin shock. I had words with her. Especially as DS was there. She can't even use age as an excuse, she's only just over 60.

I am shocked that anyone would allow the use of 'paki' to go unchallanged and would say that if you did you are as bad as her. I still don't see how you were shocked into silence if it was the third time that she had used it.

It isn't right that she does use language like that in the workplace.

'Chinky' in some areas did mean the chippy. I challenged my GM on this (now deceased and not racist) and she said that she had thought the term Chink came from the "Iron Chink" machine used to gut salmon, the fishermen were mainly chinese who used it. I accept that it is a racist term but many do not see it as so.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:21:05

Squeakytoy - because Paki, Nigger etc are used as terms of abuse and Brit/Aussie aren't.

SiamoNellaMerda Fri 27-Jan-12 20:21:23

Good question squeaky. Can anyone tell me, definitively, if it's ok to use the term 'Aussie'?

flippinada Fri 27-Jan-12 20:21:42

If that's the case I'm sure she'll be enlightened during whatever action her employers deem appropriate oiwheresthecoffee!

I dare say if she is genuinely unaware people find it offensive she will be mortified and do her best to address the behaviour.

GoingForGoalWeight Fri 27-Jan-12 20:23:07

American term for chinese people - gooks. I do not get it, aside from being offensive term. I used to say 'going for a Chinky'.
Until i realised it is deeply offensive sad

squeakytoy Fri 27-Jan-12 20:23:18

Nigger I can accept as offensive (when it suits).. but come on.. I know lots of Pakistani people, I grew up with them, and they referred to themselves as Paki... in the same way that an Australian says they are Aussie, and someone from Scotland says they are a Scot.

oiwheresthecoffee Fri 27-Jan-12 20:23:34

Yes thats trueflipp Ive just re read and ive shes saying paki as well then maybe she isnt unaware...

MonkeyTastic Fri 27-Jan-12 20:23:38

Why should the OP have had to have a 'quiet word' with this woman?! One, she's her manager so should know better. How many of you guys pull your manager up? And two, she's not deserving of a quiet word. No way on God's green earth can this woman NOT know this term is highly offensive. She bloody well knows for sure that it's horrible but casually used it because she didn't think it would land her in trouble.

A 'quiet word' indeed! angry

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 20:23:53

That's really unfair Birds

I hardly think me and my colleagues fall in to the same category as her because we didn't say anything. Spineless, yes. Racist, no confused

You don't know what our office dynamics are like

Squeaky- because of the exploitation, inhuman treatment and harsh laws against certain groups. Language was used to build negative propoganda. The British held the power so Brit isn't an insult.

NatashaBee Fri 27-Jan-12 20:25:04

catinboots - if i heard 'getting a chinky' i would consider it just as racist as calling an actual person by the same name. So i would avoid using that term for takeaways too.

Cat-Im from the Neil Thompson school of thought, if you aren't an active part of the solution then you are part of the problem. I mix with racist people but they are never racist around me.

I agree with you reporting her i just think that you should have challenged her, also.

flippinada Fri 27-Jan-12 20:26:37

I think, as is so often said on here (and elsewhere I believe), if someone uses a term that it offensive to someone else and is called on it, the polite response is to apologise and not do it again.

Hopefully that is how catinboots manager will react.

Feminine Fri 27-Jan-12 20:30:28

op the term oriental is also not correct.

That should only be used when referring to soft furnishings.

YANBU but I too, would have told her as sometimes people genuinely don't know.

Like you didn't with the word oriental wink

MonkeyTastic Fri 27-Jan-12 20:30:30

Squeaky and every one else with their tongues up your backside.

Riddle me this: a friend of mine's Mexican-American and when he first came to this counter, his exotic looks so befuddled the locals that they had to do with shouting 'Oi, Paki' at him in the street. I don't think they were commenting as to where on the Asian subcontinent they thought he was from. If Paki isn't an offensive term for people who don't have white skin, what is it?

Don't you fucking tell me it's a nice or colloquial word.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:31:08

Oh dear SqueakyToy. You may well know Pakistanis who refer to themselves as Pakis. Every racist seems to have a black friend who finds it absolutely hilarious to be referred to as a nigger after all.
As they are racist terms I personally wouldn't even use words like that if my, hypothetical, friend did insist on it. Other people who heard me use it may not share their attittude

chinam Fri 27-Jan-12 20:31:59

Agree with Natasha Bee. The word should not be used in any context.

Feminine Fri 27-Jan-12 20:33:05

squeaky have you really met people from Pakistan that refer to themselves as "paki"

After 34 years in London, surrounded by friends from there, I have never heard that confused

I believe you, but I had no idea.

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 20:33:09

Feminine - apologies if oriental offended you. Maybe I am as bad as her. I used oriental instead of asian as I felt it refers to a smaller area of asia than asina

<feeling like a double-standardish twerp now>

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:33:13

MonkeyTastic. My friend at school was regularly called a Paki despite both her parents being white. She had quite tanned skin.

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 20:33:19


SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:34:40

It is possible that Pakistanis or black people may use that kind of language to show they aren't bothered by it. I still wouldn't use it myself as a white person.

Feminine Fri 27-Jan-12 20:35:15

catin no you haven't offended me at all.

Words do evolve, you didn't know smile

I wanted to think your line manager just didn't know!

SarahBumBarer Fri 27-Jan-12 20:37:06

Squeaky I think it is done/was done as a bit of a getting in there first defence mechanism. I understand what you are saying about it just being shortening of the word and it is nice to think that in time these expressions will be de-sensitised but I think in Britain that is a long way off. It is only the 1970's where these terms were used in an extremely offensive manner and the 1980's before anyone even really began to challenge such use. I know some Kiwi's who use the term "paki" in absolutely the same way that we/they say Kiwi (and my DH is an Aussie and he had to explain to them not to use that word in the UK) but they don't have quite the same history that we do so are forgiven a bit more easily. Remeber the US is still not comfortable with "blacking up" (did you see the furore over the Aussie Hey Hey it's Saturday show just last year) and it is nearly 100 years now since that used to be done.

OP, YANBVU but I too would have at least challenged her directly first - I suppose I do see on the spot feedback as a bit more "ethical".

canihavesome Fri 27-Jan-12 20:37:10

My parents had a takeaway and I worked in it. When you are standing there and you here people outside talking about the chinky, or they stand right in front of you, phone someone and say 'I'm at the chinky, what do you want?' it doesn't seen ok.

Its not short for Chinese btw, the way paki is, its in reference to chinese peoples eyes, its like calling a black person fuzzy wuzzy or rubber lips i.e. fucking rude not very nice.

I actually haven't heard it in years

flippinada Fri 27-Jan-12 20:37:32

I would cordially invite anyone who genuinely believes that 'paki' is simply a benign way of describing someone's cultural origin to visit the following areas* and use it frequently and with gusto (remember it's fine, cos its not offensive!)

*Bradford, Burnley, Manchester, Leicester, Glasgow

Note, that is not an exhaustive list.

CrabbyBigbottom Fri 27-Jan-12 20:37:41

She's in a managerial position in education and she casually uses the term 'chinky'? I can't believe that! shock

Of course YWNBU to report her.

catinboots Fri 27-Jan-12 20:37:56

BTW - I know it's not of any relevance, but my BIL is chinese. My two nephews are half chinese half english. My Dsis has no problem with them being called mixed race ( a term I also use) However I know some people don't like mixed race and prefer duel heritage

But surely everyone knows chink is offensive.

happyhohoho Fri 27-Jan-12 20:38:42

I am with Siamo. I would have kept it light and said something like ' isn't that a very non-PC thing to say?' It can get quite serious and stressful for the whole establishment.

But I do agree with you that this person is very ignorant.

I hope this gets resolved smoothly soon.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:39:27

SarahBumBarer I was speaking to an Aussie once who told me the same that Paki has no racist meaning there.

LipstickLover Fri 27-Jan-12 20:40:12

Can't believe people are defending The use of Chinky, paki and nigger. The whole point is that they are offensive and usually massive generalisations or incorrect. Paki refers to Pakistani although is often used in reference to anyone who has brown skin. Chinky ditto. It's rubbish and why does skin colour even come into it. Complete rubbish and no excuse, have some respect although I would have just said something at the time and if they said it again I would report it. Lack of respect for people is what it boils down to. Rude...

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:42:56

Flippinada - DH is from West Yorkshire and I second you on that!

LipstickLover Fri 27-Jan-12 20:44:03

It's like saying continental rather than italian, French, Spanish... What's wrong with saying Chinese if they are actually Chinese. It's lazy and rude. I have been called a paki. My dad is Indian and my mum is Irish an I am British!!!! Go figure.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:44:12

It's also worth remembering that just because a few people you know are fine with certain terms they don't speak for the whole of their country.

happyhohoho Fri 27-Jan-12 20:44:23

Having read further down this thread, I noticed you had taken an instant dislike to her (her being a new line-manager with very domineering manners). I don't want to excuse her action but perhaps you acted too quickly because you didn't like her.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:45:19

And ask yourself if it would be ok for a child to be called it at school. If it was just an unloaded abbreviation the answer would be yes.

SarahBumBarer Fri 27-Jan-12 20:48:53

If that was to me MinceRincer then no of course not but when the people you know are intelligent and well educated you can expect that they can give you a reasonable opinion or overvieew in a sensible discussion about cultural differences in such matters - same as I can give the view that generally in the UK the use of such terms is considered offensive (as this thread demonstrates, clearly not everyone agrees).

CrabbyBigbottom Fri 27-Jan-12 20:50:07

As far as I am aware, Paki used to be a term used (with no offence intended or taken) in cricket - 'the aussies are playing the pakis', eg. What charged the term with such negative connotations was the use of it a term of racist abuse in the 70s, 80s - 'you fucking paki' doesn't quite have the same ring about it as a colloquial term for people from a certain country, does it. Once a word becomes associated with racial abuse, I just don't think it's appropriate to use it any more. Chinky I think is not as loaded a term, but it has still been used as a derogatory and patronising term, and I think it's really inappropriate. hmm

flippinada Fri 27-Jan-12 20:50:47


It's ok cos it's not offensive, remember wink.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:52:21

No not to you. To the 'but my friend's Chinese and loves being called a Chink' brigade.
Are there any Pakistani's/black/Chinese people on this thread who think Paki, Nigger or Chink are acceptable words I wonder?

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 20:53:27

That was to BumBarer btw. I type too slow.

TheParanoidAndroid Fri 27-Jan-12 20:53:58

have you ever had "brit" screamed at you on the street and got spat on? Or had "Brits get out" scrawled on your shop door before it got burnt out?

Thats why its ok to say Brit and not ok to say Paki.

If you need another reason, most of the people who get called "paki" aren't from Pakistan. So its both racist and fucking moronic at the same time.

SarahBumBarer Fri 27-Jan-12 20:54:41

There is something about the word "paki" that is just quite harsh. Of course some of it is historic connotations but the p and the k are harsh letters which kind of lends itself to being spat out as a derogatory term in a way that Aussie just does not. I know it sounds stupid but you can't say Aussie in a way that sounds offensive. Pom on the other hand...grin

GoingForGoalWeight Fri 27-Jan-12 20:57:49

In the petrol station two weeks ago a woman in a sari bumped into ME. As i said sorry, as natura;l reactio, she called me a white whore. I look nothing like a hooker. I've lived in most parts of the 2nd city and I've been racially abused lots and lots of times.

GoingForGoalWeight Fri 27-Jan-12 20:59:19

I have known Pakistani people refer to themselves as Pakies lots of times. I'm White btw.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 21:00:57

Going. Imo if you have belong to the race that has historically been the opressor rather than the oppressed you don't know what racism is imo. Not nice to be called a 'white whore' but whore is the insult there. Just calling you a 'white' wouldn't have the same effect would it?

GoingForGoalWeight Fri 27-Jan-12 21:01:50

I was married to a Pakistani....

MildlyNarkyPuffin Fri 27-Jan-12 21:02:22

GFGW, prostitution embraces a wide range of body types and styles of dress.

Don't limit yourself.

GoingForGoalWeight Fri 27-Jan-12 21:03:34

oh ffs <retires from thread> as i'm not allowed to be offended because i'm white

canihavesome Fri 27-Jan-12 21:03:49

"Chinky I think is not as loaded a term"

Possibly because racism against Chinese people is tolerated more than racism against Asians. Thats why you can have Jamie Oliver doing 'funny Chinese sounds' in a sainsburys advert to advertise sweet and sour sauce but never advertising curry sauce in a funny Indian accent. Its an insulting physical description designed to reduce a whole people to a feature that marks them as non european and therefore inferior. Its pretty loaded.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 21:03:57

Being married to a Pakistani or knowing some Pakistanis doesn't give you the right to speak on behalf of all Pakistani's imo. Or Spanish people, Or Morroccans, or Brazillians or any other nationality with a skintone which will mean they are open to being abused with that word.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 21:11:15

I kind of disagree canihavesome. I think racism towards subcontinental Asians is seen to be ridiculously acceptable these days. Especially since 9/11 and the media/goverments seeming determined to link Islam and normal Muslims with terrorism in a way they never linked the IRA with Christianity.
I haven't seen the Sainsbury's advert btw shock

canihavesome Fri 27-Jan-12 21:29:00

Yes, I suppose so, Asian=Muslim=Terrorist is rife. There is something different about racism against Asians and Chinese. Perhaps its a fear thing. You here stuff about 'gangs of Asians youths', 'Asian men target white girls for sex', 'young men go to mosque and plot terror attack' . You would never here Chinese people talked about in those terms. We are the funny little sub humans who cook the food and do the laundry. Like elves. Not a threat but not to be treated equally either.

tralalala Fri 27-Jan-12 21:30:26

goingforgoalweight. Surely if you were married to someone from pakistani you would be aware that Paki is an offensive word when used by someone white.

And of course white people can suffer from racist abuse. But that doesnt make it alright for anyone to be racist.

tralalala Fri 27-Jan-12 21:34:21

I agree canIhavesome racism against Chinese/Japanese people doesn't seem to be viewed as being as loaded. I know a lot of chinese people and we have discussed this many times. From what they say is the worse thing is a constant stereotype about being pushy parents/restauarant working people.

giveitago Fri 27-Jan-12 21:39:35

"Imo if you have belong to the race that has historically been the opressor rather than the oppressed you don't know what racism is imo. Not nice to be called a 'white whore' but whore is the insult there. Just calling you a 'white' wouldn't have the same effect would it?"

How come? Who are you to say that the word whore is the insult to a particular skin colour and not another.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 21:47:06

Because if one skin colour has been historically viewed as inferior or subhuman some people can use that colour or reference to it as an insult eg 'you're JUST a black man' being the inference. 'You're just a white man' would make no sense as white as for so long 'white' has equalled privilege. If/when racism is completely irradicated calling someone a 'black whore' and calling someone a 'white whore' will be the same.
People who use the argument that calling someone a 'milk bottle' is equal to calling someone a 'nigger' are generally racist ime.

CrabbyBigbottom Fri 27-Jan-12 22:10:04

cani you took half of my sentence and presented it out of context:
"Chinky I think is not as loaded a term" is quite different to
"Chinky I think is not as (note the italics!) loaded a term, but it has still been used as a derogatory and patronising term, and I think it's really inappropriate.

So thanks for that. hmm

sittingonthefence Fri 27-Jan-12 22:16:56

I would beg to differ SMR. Racism is unacceptable whoever is on the receiving end of it. "White" used in the context of GFGW's experience was racist abuse and she was quite rightly upset by it. It is actually quite patronising to say it is ok to racially insult white people because historically they were oppressors.

I speak as someone who is mixed race and has experienced racism from both white and non white people, and have felt equally hurt each time.

And yes Paki, Chink and Nigger are all unacceptable.

giveitago Fri 27-Jan-12 22:20:12

Secret - that's your view. But I'm laughing. Of course people can be racist to each other inspite of the historial 'privilege' or lack of it. Offensive shit is offensive shit.

SecretMinceRinser Fri 27-Jan-12 22:22:48

I wouldn't say it's OK. But saying that white people in Britain experience racism on the same level as a black people is just wrong. I would bet the woman in the sari got more racist abuse that day than the pp.

canihavesome Fri 27-Jan-12 22:29:27

Crabby Sorry. I C&Ped it and I didn't notice the italics had gone. I don't think the rest of the sentence gives it a 'better' context so I didn't include it. The 'as' which I left in says clearly enough that you think it is loaded, just not as loaded. I disagree. I think if you wanted to argue the toss, shortening the name of a country someone may or may not be from isn't quite as bad as calling them by the physical feature that they most get taken the piss out of for. Thats not to say I think its in anyway ok to call someone Paki or it is better to be called Paki than chinky. My post wasn't to try and make you look like a biggot (I assume you thought is was by the sarcasm) that s not what I think, but to say that racism against Chinese people is somehow more socially acceptable, or at least different (a la sainsburys) and I think that is why more people think chinky is not as loaded as Paki.

alemci Fri 27-Jan-12 22:30:21

I remember working in a Saturday job and I had a friend whose mother was Anglo Indian. I was explaining this to another girl as the girl knew the family too.

She said that the girl's mum was a 'paki'. I said no she is Anglo Indian. I was 18 and I thought this girl was a bit dim TBH. This was the '80's and the girl was being derogatory.

Popoozle Fri 27-Jan-12 22:31:49

Hmm, where I live it's really common for people to say they're having a "chinky" for tea - meaning a chinese takeaway. I've never heard anyone call or refer to a Chinese person as a "chinky" though - it seems to exclusively mean the food here. I would definitely have been shocked to hear someone use the term to describe a person, it is clearly akin to paki & nigger. sad

giveitago Fri 27-Jan-12 22:38:34

Yes, I would agree Secret. There is certainly a difference in how racism can affect the life chances of visible minority groups.

Racial abuse is racial abuse whoever it's directed to and whoever it's from. Offensive shit is offensive shit.

TuftyFinch Fri 27-Jan-12 22:47:58

I think you should have challenged her at the time. The outcome of that conversation should have determined your next course of action.

a) she apologises/embarrassed/you won't hear me say it again etc etc. Take her at her word. If it happens again go to E&D.

b) she laughs and says 'so what?'. Report.

I am a lecturer in FE and if I ,or any of my colleagues, was reported for everything we said in the staff room (not racist but stuff we wouldn't say in front of students) we'd all have been sacked years ago. Can you honestly say you have never said something in private, that if it had been reported, you'd have been in trouble.

She shouldn't use racist language. No one should. But, I think it would have been fairer to speak to her in the first instance.

URallchickenlentil Sat 28-Jan-12 01:18:29

Chonju is the only term I have ever heard of used un reference to a finder takeaway, including the one staffed by white scots but your terminology is doubleplusgood comrade just song expect any leniency. or discretion. whatsoever in future dealings with your manager and dont be surprised when every infraction is reported up the chain in the medical manner, assuming she survives the reprogramming and isn't fired anxious it kinda seems like your men hoping for...

catinboots Sat 28-Jan-12 07:45:12

Tufty - I agree

We say some dreadful things in our office wink

But this wasn't in the context where we were all having a laugh and a joke. She just came out with it. For instance, I think the very first time I heard her use it was talking about an X factor contestant.

Then again, using it to describe a student. And again? confused

TuftyFinch Sat 28-Jan-12 09:00:56

catinboots. I do see the difference. It's a tricky one. But, if she was talking about a student then I can see why you reported her, I would probably do the same. I'm impressed you've even got a designated E&D person, where I work I wouldn't know to report her to confused.

Jolyonsmummy Sat 28-Jan-12 09:17:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mauwmauw Sat 28-Jan-12 09:39:37

In my opinion the use of the word chinky is offensive I am chinese and whenever I hear it in ANY context I deem it as a) derogatory and b) racist. I am a secondary teacher and have been called this various times throughout my career by children as well as the pulling of eyes and mocking of my mother tongue. It has always been treated as a serious racist incident and I have always afterwards spoken to the child and explained why it is offensive. Never has a child ever been anything less than truly sorry and none of them has ever done it again in front of me at least. Children saying it unintentionally I believe happens, but adults no if you are an adult and you say those words, you choose to do so knowing they are socially unacceptable.

As a child I was called this by adults too. It is not acceptable and those who believe it isn't are truly ignorant. It is not the intention of the person who said it which makes it racist or not, it is how it is percieved by the person listening. There is no 'joking' when it comes to a person's skin colour. Some people are truly thick as shit I have had at least 3 adults talk to me about 'chinky' eyes. WTF I just had to walk away before I lost control.

If I heard my colleagues using the word at work I would report in a heartbeat. Someone who does not understand racism has no place working at a place of education full stop. OP was correct to do what she did. It is not OP's place to remind her boss of how to behave like a decent human being. Oh and to add chinese people do not like a chinese takeaway being called a chinky.

Paki and Nigger are words I feel exactly the same about.

Feel free to respond.

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 09:40:51

Thanks for the explanation and apology cani. smile
Without the italics the sentence would read to me as being a bit dismissive, which certainly wasn't my intention. I take your point about racism towards chinese people being more socially acceptable.

One question; you said that chinky refers to a physical feature - I assume you mean eyes - is that the case? I just assumed chinky is a shortening/mangling of chinese (not that I've ever given it much thought, tbh), why would it refer to eyes? confused

Whatmeworry Sat 28-Jan-12 09:41:20

I am a lecturer in FE and if I ,or any of my colleagues, was reported for everything we said in the staff room (not racist but stuff we wouldn't say in front of students) we'd all have been sacked years ago. Can you honestly say you have never said something in private, that if it had been reported, you'd have been in trouble.

I have the same uncomfortable feeling here, and trust between colleagues goes down if snitching starts. Better to comment at the time IMO.

alemci Sat 28-Jan-12 09:50:14

exactly, I don't like snitching either. It is offensive and insensitive but it is not as if she has murdered anyone or embezzled large sums of money. she hasn't said it to someone's face.

It is a bit stupid and ignorant of her especially working in education.

QuickLookBusy Sat 28-Jan-12 09:54:04

Agree with Mauw. Anyone working in an educational environment should know the words she is using are offensive.
This is a professional setting and the manager doesn't deserve a "quiet word" she is in a position of power fgs and it needs to be taken seriously.

I live in a rural community and it astounds me that there are still people living in the uk who think its ok to refer to someone as a "darkie". I have heard this several times and have immediately pulled them up on it.

Morloth Sat 28-Jan-12 09:56:27

'Paki' is NOT OK in Oz.

I have to say I get a bit fed up in these racist terms threads how someone almost always trots out Australian slang for some reason.

It is bizarre, normal non racists Aussies do not use the words Paki, Chink, Nigger nor Mong (which is not short for mongrel) or anything of the like. If you hear anyone saying these words this is because they are an unpleasant person, they may happen to also be an Australian, the two unfortunately are not mutually exclusive.

Aussie is fine BTW.

mauwmauw Sat 28-Jan-12 10:03:24

crabby is that question directed at me? It seems to me thatto some people anyone with slanted, small or hooded eyes is fair game to be nicknamed chinky or anyone with yellow skintones for that matter. Big, wide western eyes are obviously much better than slitty, small 'chinky' eyes. Chinky is not an abbreviation of chinese it is derision of a race. People don't use it as a compliment.

whatmeworry and alemci isn't there an expectation in a workplace also that colleagues should also be professional at all times. Nobody is policing what they say out of the workplace are they? It is not snitching, it is passing on information which is true, I agree that maybe having a word in private may have been better but I can understand OP's reluctance to do so. We can't all be as brave as you two.

QuickLookBusy Sat 28-Jan-12 10:06:07

Alemci are you saying that unless someone has commited murder then you should not report them?

Or that a person can go around shouting "nigger" but as long as it isn't directed to a black person you shouldn't report them?


catinboots Sat 28-Jan-12 10:17:36

tufty - our college has the Investors in Diversity award!!!!!!!!!!

mauwmauw Sat 28-Jan-12 10:22:44

catinboots oh the irony! However i'm sure your colleague isn't at all representative of the college community as a whole.

PigletUnrepentant Sat 28-Jan-12 10:28:07

At least you have a word that has become a tool to report it.

I work with a colleague who takes the very racist assumption that all international students are dishonest little bastards trying to cheat on the university. It makes my blood boil, but as all it is in her attitude rather than her words, I have nothing that could be used to sort the problem without it being dismissed as a simple misunderstanding...

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 10:30:26

Mauw no sorry, the question was directed at cani in connection with her statement
I think if you wanted to argue the toss, shortening the name of a country someone may or may not be from isn't quite as bad as calling them by the physical feature that they most get taken the piss out of for.

I wasn't aware that chinky was a reference to any particular physical characteristic, just that it is used as a derogative and patronising term for people who are chinese, or appear to be to the person using the word (in the same way as a bigoted person might yell 'paki' at someone who isn't of Pakistani heritage, just because they are dark skinned, iyswim).

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 10:31:21

catin is this woman a lecturer, or in regular contact with students?

catinboots Sat 28-Jan-12 10:38:40

Yes she is crabby.

She also had a pastoral role as well as a teaching one

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sat 28-Jan-12 10:46:14

OP I think you have done the right thing.
I once left a comment on a blog where the blogger had written about "going for a chinky" I was absolutely vilified by her friends who left comments saying I was over sensitive and an idiot for suggesting it would have been better if she had written Chinese.

alemci Sat 28-Jan-12 10:52:43

no I'm not Quick but I am trying to get some perspective on the situation. No one is injured or dead. I don't like people 'reporting' and I think it is better if you could have a quiet word.

OOH I can see that she is management and she should set an example and know better.

HardCheese Sat 28-Jan-12 10:54:18

OP, you did the right thing, of course. I am still haunted by one occasion on which I didn't challenge a pottery teacher who read out a racist joke in a text message she'd just received to an all-white class. It made me determined not to let that kind of thing pass again, ever.

The thing that really interests me on this thread is how many people genuinely appeared to think that 'Chinky' was some kind of neutral abbreviation of 'Chinese' or 'Chinese takeaway', rather than a derogatory reference to the shape of eyes with epicanthic folds.

HardCheese Sat 28-Jan-12 10:58:50

Sorry, hit 'post' too soon - so you reporting and then posting about it on here has been a genuine educational opportunity for some Mumsnetters, which is a good thing, surely.

(For the record, I was an adult before I realised that the way characters in LM Montgomery books talked about 'jewing someone down' (in a haggling over a bargain situation) was actually anti-Semitic - for some reason I didn't recognise it because of 'Jew' being used with a lower-case j' and as a verb. blush)

missslc Sat 28-Jan-12 11:01:19

WHen I loved in hong kong the Chinese called white people gweilos......white devils. It was a derogatory term. They were unapologetic about it and it was just their slang.........just an observation. People have slang terms they may not realize are inappropriate. I have heard chink used affectionately......I do not think it has the same history as paki so maybe she just does not realize many would be offended.

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 11:15:29

I already thought (and said) that YANBU, but particularly so because someone with this degree of ignorance and prejudice should not be educating people, imo. If you were just working in an office with someone who spouted this crap, then I think it would be more appropriate to challenge it in the first instance. But this woman is a manager and in contact with young (I'm assuming) people. The only appropriate course of action here, imo, was to report her.

PosieParker Sat 28-Jan-12 11:19:49

Is Brit racist? Like Chink? Where does a racist term start and a friendly nn end? Genuine question and have never EVER used Chink/Chinky.

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 11:21:00

Hard I don't see it as a neutral term at all, but noone has yet clarified for me how 'chinky' refers specifically to eyes with epicanthal folds. confused

HardCheese Sat 28-Jan-12 11:24:25

Why would 'Brit' be racist? It's an abbreviation for British, whereas 'Chinky', as several people on the thread have pointed out is not a friendly nickname for Chinese, but a pejorative description of Asian eyes ('chinky' or 'slitty', not like 'normal' Caucasian eyes with their 'normal' eyelids - please hear my sarcasm here). The equivalent, as someone else said, of calling a black person Fuzzy Wuzzy or Thick Lips.

HardCheese Sat 28-Jan-12 11:27:19

Crabby - make the classic children's 'slitty eye' gesture. You are pulling your eyes into narrow slits or 'chinks'. The most literal meaning of 'chink' is a 'narrow opening'.

mauwmauw Sat 28-Jan-12 11:28:51

Crabby, ok lets give it a go;

The Bank of Chinky

The Great Wall of Chinky

The Chinky Embassy

The Chinky Ambassador

No still fucking offensive.

misslc I understand what you are saying however it is no justification for using the word chinky. If you were to delve deeper into Hong Kong culture you would have discover that the Cantonese dialect spoken is slang in general it cannot be written down in written form without modification. It does not follow the conventions/grammar in written Chinese. Also Chinese people wouldn't shout 'gweilo' at a white person. 'Gweilo' isn't polite but it's nowhere near as offensive as chink. The alternate bat yun or white person would sound extremely odd and would not be understood initially. Actually I find it offensive when my family use the word gweilo or a-taa (southeast-asians) and have made my thoughts clear to them.

What exactly do you mean it has not got the same history as the word paki?

That the history of an offensive word should be considered when using it rather than just accepting that one shouldn't use it.

I have heard the word Paki being used affectionately, should I introduce people to my husband as 'my darling paki husband'?

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 11:32:01

Just because something is an abbreviation, doesn't mean that it isn't racist - hence paki. Not that I'm suggesting brit is a racist term. My point was simply that I assumed chinky would be slang for chinese which is then used about people who appear to be Chinese (especially to people who wouldn't care about the difference between Japanese, Koreans, other East Asians etc) - ie they have eyes with epicanthal folds. The term is not then referring to the eyes, but to people who appear chinese to the person using the term.

It probably sounds like I'm splitting hairs now - it was a genuine question in response to the statement that paki refers country of origin yet chinky refers to a physical characteristic.

I'll shut up now.

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 11:32:30

Cross posted will read your reply now

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 11:36:58

Ok it was mauw's reply I was reading. Why are you telling me impatiently that it's offensive? confused I have acknowledged multiple times that it is offensive and I never have or would use the term. Have you read my posts?

Hard "Crabby - make the classic children's 'slitty eye' gesture. You are pulling your eyes into narrow slits or 'chinks'. The most literal meaning of 'chink' is a 'narrow opening'."

<<slaps hand repeatedly against forehead>> Ok, now I get it! Thank you - that's all I wanted, clarification as to why it referred to eyes. I must be particularly dense this morning. blush

Ok I viewed it as offensive before, but even more so now.

Mimishimi Sat 28-Jan-12 11:40:43

When I was in kindergarten, we moved to a new area and on the first day at my new school, a boy shouted out at the school assembly "Hey look, we have another chinky in our school!" Everyone tittered, I went bright red and have never forgotten it. The funny thing is that I don't have a bit of Chinese in me - my mum is quite Mediterranean looking with dark hair etc - and my dad is very fair with grey/blue eyes which are slanted. So I have olive skin, dark brown hair and almond shaped eyes. A lovely Chinese girl in the sixth grade came over and said "Don't worry- he teases everyone about everything" which was true. He had a very rough, sad home life and tragically died from an overdose at an early age. I didn't forgive him for the first couple of year but we became wary friends later (in that we would say hello and ask how each other was doing but that was about it) The strange thing is that he looked quite similar to me though!

I still look a bit Chinese although less so than I did when I was young and I still get asked about it. Have found my looks very useful whilst travelling though as it means I can blend in just about anywhere without attracting too much attention, particularly if I wear the local clothing. I generally wouldn't report someone unless I thought they were doing it to be offensive.

PosieParker Sat 28-Jan-12 11:47:27

I guarantee most people that use Chink do not know it's anything to do with eyes. Personally I hate abbreviations and therefore would never use Chink, as well as thinking it's racist. But I think it's a wee bit hang wringy to say it's racist.

My sister and I call Chinese (as in take away) a Chy nee..this is because our Italian neighbour called it that and it's rather sweet. Is that racist too?

catinboots Sat 28-Jan-12 11:49:04

crabby I have always assumed it was an abbreviation of 'Chinese' too

PosieParker Sat 28-Jan-12 11:49:21

Paki is known to be racist because people use it to be racist and Pakistani/Indian/Malaysian people are called Paki to be insulting.....But do people call Chinese people Chinks to be racist?

PosieParker Sat 28-Jan-12 11:50:04

I naturally would think it racist too, but I don't really know why.

catinboots Sat 28-Jan-12 11:51:43

TBH if she was a fair and decent person in other ways I may have had second thoughts about reporting her. I may have felt more comfortable challenging her.

There have been other issues with her management and this was the straw that broke the camels back IFKWIM

QuickLookBusy Sat 28-Jan-12 11:58:42

The more I think about it the more cross I feel.

She is a teacher ffs and she uses language like this? Has she led a very sheltered life and so doesn't know these terms are offensive? I don't think so or how would she now be in managerial position? She must know paki is racist??
You did the right thing OP.

Archemedes Sat 28-Jan-12 12:14:39

Would she have listened to a quiet word though? imagine if that 'slip of the tongue' had happened in front of a student.

HardCheese Sat 28-Jan-12 12:17:28

PosieParker, I don't agree about it being 'hand-wringy' to regard 'Chinky' as racist, but surely it's not my call either way, as I'm Caucasian? One or more Chinese people/people of Chinese descent on the thread have explained why they do.

I'm Irish, and I would expect someone to listen if I explained why 'Mick' or 'Taig' is offensive. (Or 'spudnigger', which appears to have been a US slur, back when Irish immigrants weren't quite considered white...)

More generally, on genuinely not knowing something was a racial slur, I remember being baffled that when the TV series Spooks was shown in the US, it was renamed MI5 - an American friend had to point out to me that 'spook' is US racist slang for a black person (black skin makes them blend into the night like ghosts, or something along those lines..?)

HoneyandHaycorns Sat 28-Jan-12 12:28:31

Sorry, haven't read the whole thread. YANBU to find it offensive, YANBU to think it should be addressed but YABU not to have challenged her on it first before reporting it.

I'd have pointed out that it was offensive the first time I heard it, then reported it if she said it (or similar) again. Yes, you shouldn't have to point it out, but I do believe that offices function best when communication is transparent, so I would always let someone know that I was unhappy about something before complaining to a third party.

mauwmauw Sat 28-Jan-12 12:35:09

PosieParker how sweet of you to imagine that no-one would use the word chink to be racist. Are you fucking serious? Hand-wringy say that it's racist? However that's the way it was used and meant to be percieved. Using the word chink/chinky gives the user a sense of superiority over said race. if you can't understand that then I rest my case.

But hey what do I know i'm only a 'chink'.

Crabby sorry if I have misunderstood you rather as it is an issue close to my heart, I may have allowed my emotions to cloud reading the posts clearly, however you playing devils advocate by suggesting that as an abbreviation of China/Chinese is less offensive angered me and I stick to my guns.

Thank you HardCheese for helping to enlighten others.

sittingonthefence Sat 28-Jan-12 13:22:28

Thank you mauwmauw you got in before me.

Posie - yes chink is offensive, along with making the slanty eyed gesture and making sing song noises in what is supposed to be a Chinese accent. I can forgive ignorance - I grew in Britain in the 70s and 80s and so have developed a fairly thick skin but 'hand wringy' is really quite patronising.

Missic - the use of the word gweilo just confirms my opinion that you can get bigots of every hue and that it still doesn't make it ok.

cat sorry I should have said earlier, you've done the right thing - YADNBU

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 13:44:44

Sorry Mauw I really wasn't trying to play devil's advocate. I do think that calling someone a 'nickname' or slang term based on country or origin would be less offensive than one based on a physical characteristic. However the point for me is that once any term has passed into common parlance as a term of abuse, it is no longer acceptable to use it. So... paki would be fine if it had never progressed beyond the cricket terminology as a shorthand term for the pakistanis, but once it becomes commonly used as an insult, then the word is obsolete as a non-offensive term. Does that make sense? Chinky, however, if it refers to eye shape (as I know can see that it very obviously does - had just never given it any thought before, as don't use it or hear it used), is offensive right off the bat, whether the usage is intended to be or not.

I'm certainly not trying to tell anyone else what they should or shouldn't be offended by. Was just getting it straight in my own head, iyswim.

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 13:46:56

My closest friend, who is of Indian parentage, and has doubtless been called a paki as an insult at some point, uses the term about pakistanis, and I find it just as offensive as I would if she were white (and tell her so!)

There's no skin colour with a monopoly on prejudice, imo.

ChitChatInChaos Sat 28-Jan-12 14:13:33

Growing up for me Paki was only EVER used in relation to cricket. Bit of a surprise fo me when I moved over here. But then it's not up to me to decide it's not offensive and to keep using it. If it's offensive because it's been used as an insult, then it's offensive- end of discussion.

But then, I never personally knew any Pakistanis, there just weren't any where I lived in Australia. I could, however, give you the offensive names for Italians, Greeks, Chinese, and Japanese. I used to LOATH being called a Commie because I had Russian ancestry.

MildlyNarkyPuffin Sat 28-Jan-12 14:15:47

Using Racist language is unacceptable. Full stop. Every time you let it go when it's used in your presence you reinforce it as acceptable in the minds of those using it.

Well done for reporting it.

PosieParker Sat 28-Jan-12 14:20:28

Hang on I've never used it and don't know anyone who would.....but then I'm not really friends with racists. I have never mixed with Chinese people who have been victims of racism, well none that they've talked about/. But then my Chinese experience is mainly in mainland China.

missmartha Sat 28-Jan-12 14:27:33

You are not being unreasonable at all. It's a horrible way to refer to a Chinese person.

I was traveling on the train through Sydney a year or so ago with my father.

We made a stop at a suburban station and as the train pulled out some one in the carriage said "This used to be a nice area until the Chinks moved in".

Everyone in the compartment agreed.....including my father who has lived in Sydney.

I nearly died of shame.

SecretMinceRinser Sat 28-Jan-12 15:38:56

No skin colour has a monopoly on prejudice but when you start to talk about white people suffering racial abuse in Britain and putting it on an equal footing as the abuse suffered by non-white people you are getting a bit close to the rhetoric of Griffin and co for my liking.

mumzy Sat 28-Jan-12 16:55:01

YANBU and you did the right thing reporting her. She is in a position of authority and influence and should know better. I've known since childhood that the following terms: chinky, paki, nigger, wog, whitey are racist and unacceptable. They are terms used in the playground to taunt and upset others by making fun of whatever the victims's racial group happens to be. People who use these terms casually need to be educated that they are offensive.

Hairynigel Sat 28-Jan-12 17:02:01

She probably has no idea it's racist tbh, you would have been better off taking her to the side and letting her know.
I had no idea it was racist, in my childhood town everyone said it. We had 1 family of Chinese people, one of their sons went to my school and his nickname was chink. He didn't have a problem with it and referred to himself as it.

Out of interest, why is it offensive?

pookiecat Sat 28-Jan-12 17:09:45

Any term used in a derogatory way is unacceptable - it is wrong to insult anyone by the colour of the skin, religion , background , disability etc Anyone who thinks it is ago , should be challenged regardless of where they come from , job they do , age etc

MMMarmite Sat 28-Jan-12 17:16:39

Hairynigel - just because the boy you knew didn't seem to mind, doesn't mean that it's okay. I can't speak for him, but it may well be that he didn't feel able to stop it so went along with it.

It's not really the same thing as racism, but at my school "gay" was word people used to mean everything from "a bit rubbish" to "disgusting". Despite being bisexual, I used the word myself for many years and didn't speak out against it until I was in my late teens. I kind of disassociated myself from it, and pretended this "gay" meant something totally different from what I was - it was too painful to accept the idea that the comments I was hearing day-in day-out were homophobic, even though they obviously were.

CrabbyBigbottom Sat 28-Jan-12 18:53:45

Out of interest, why is it offensive?

Hairy you could possibly try reading the thread, if you are genuinely interested. hmm

ilovesooty Sat 28-Jan-12 20:05:41

Yes, it would have been better to challenge at the time, preferably the first time she said it. It ceratainly needs reporting. My workplace has Investors In Diversity status too and any use of a word like that (not that I can imagine it happening) would mean an instant disciplinary - I hope your colleague gets the same.

Hairynigel Sat 28-Jan-12 21:31:55

I didn't say it was ok to say, I just said some people genuinely don't realise some of the terms they use are offensive and need telling.

catinboots Sat 28-Jan-12 22:09:19

Someone in her position/role shouldn't need telling confused

OldMumsy Sat 28-Jan-12 22:49:00


catinboots Sat 28-Jan-12 23:34:53

Twat gringrin

I hope presume you're joking old ?

It is offensive. and YANBU to have reported it. Yes, it wouldv'e been a good idea to confront, but that is not always an easy thing to do. But I am not sure that makes you complicit in the racist act!

My husband is french and our neighbour is constantly insulting him and now his young kids are (BTW his wife is IRish and he goes on at her too) - he is 41. He is an ignorant twat too and it irks me that people think it is ok for a joke.. or just out of plain ignorance. It will be interesting to see what happens as a result of you reporting your line mgr

No of course YANBU. Sounds like it should have been done a long time ago.

What on earth does this woman teach??!

I'M gobsmacked by some of the comments on this thread tbh.

And the reason that the woman wasn't challenged at the time is clearly, as the OP states, that she is unaproachable and aggressive. Not all of us deal with confrontation well.

ilovesooty Sun 29-Jan-12 01:16:58

I'M gobsmacked by some of the comments on this thread tbh

So am I.

yellowraincoat Sun 29-Jan-12 01:31:13

Oh yes Posie, Chink is EXACTLY the same as Brit.

Because Brit is FREQUENTLY used as a derogatory term. "This neighbourhood is full of fucking Brits", "shut up you stupid Brit", "I don't mind Brits but they're so uneducated"...

All things I've heard said about various races in my life with name inserted, including, oh yes, "chink".

Peasandyoghurt Sun 29-Jan-12 11:01:11

YANBU! Definitely not. I actually worked in a similar setting in the past; E&D 'taken very seriously' etc and was outraged by some of the attitudes I came across. You shouldn't have to confront on the spot, I can see how that would be really difficult - you definitely did the right thing. Well done for making a stand!

TuesdayNightClub Sun 29-Jan-12 13:12:39

You did the right thing. Although I went to school with someone whose nickname was "Chink" and everyone including teachers (and himself) called him that. I had never come across the word in any other context and used it freely at school when talking about this boy. I'm only in my late 20's so I used the word until about 10 years ago and never thought anything of it confused I'm pretty sure he had that as his name on his FB profile last time I checked.

DexterTheCat Sun 29-Jan-12 13:48:51

Agree with dust and Secretmince I do think you should have said something there and then. I work in a very PC environment but one term that unfortunately I still hear being used is the term 'coloured'. I have challenged it on a few occasions and the user generally is generally totally unaware that the term is considered offensive (I do sometime wonder what planet they've been living on though!!). In fact on some occasions they thought they were being 'polite' to use that term.

Once it is pointed out they don't use it again. I would only have taken it further if they continued to use it and refused to understand it was unacceptable

PosieParker Sun 29-Jan-12 13:52:36

Just to repeat, I do think it's racist and have always done so..ie never used it. But I thought my reaction was knee jerk as opposed to well thought out decision that it is racist. I'm sure if I heard anyone say it I would point it out too.

StrandedBear Sun 29-Jan-12 17:51:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prizewinningpig Sun 29-Jan-12 18:12:11

I think there are two elements in this, firstly it is just polite to not refer to people by their physical appearance - ie the obese student, the student with the squint. Secondly some people appear to believe that just because a term is used by members of a particular minority it is OK for everyone to use it. I think reclaiming of formerly racist terms often reflects the overall status of the minority group in society. If someone called my father a mick or paddy in the seventies or eighties, it was never an Irishman, it was always aggressive, most of the instances I can remember the words came out of the mouth of a policeman and it was undoubtedly racist. And it happened a lot. When it happens now it is usually an (Irish) friend and now sounds hilariously archaic. I heard it last over Christmas in the pub and I could almost have cried as it highlighted how far the attitude to the Irish in England had changed. I think people of a Chinese or Pakistani background have a good few decades to go before they can take a similarly light-hearted attitude.

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 08:34:11

".. I reported her to the equality and diversity representative. .."

The what?

Whatmeworry Mon 30-Jan-12 08:37:18

".. I reported her to the equality and diversity representative. .."

A non-job. In austere times.....

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 08:39:15

It's a member of staff who is nomiated to be the representative.

That is on top of/extra to their normal position.

It's not a full time paid role

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 09:01:37

So, OP (an employee) has a problem with something said by another employee. Instead of saying something there and then, she trots off to yet another employee to "report her"?

Sounds an odd situation to me.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 09:08:05

How is that odd?? And it wasn't another employee. It was MY MANAGER.

That is what the E and D representative is for confused

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 09:35:06

Your MANAGER is another employee, unless she owns the company.

If she said something that offended you, you should have the courage to say so.

It sounds very odd behaviour to go and tell someone else about it instead.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 09:45:45

Read the thread

BobblyGussets Mon 30-Jan-12 09:46:43

Pendeen and Whatme worry, "the what?" and "a non-job..".

You are obviously both white and have been fortunate enough to never need the help of an equality and diversity rep at work. Count yourselves lucky.

WMW: in austere times, maybe we should cut out all attempts at equality and having a diverse harmonious workplace, allowing racism to prevail? Would you like that?

foglike Mon 30-Jan-12 09:49:15

I don't mind people calling me a Brit at all.

I'd prefer being called English but Brit's ok.

Chink is borderline but as a rule I find a persons name will do.

If you can pronounce it that is.

The lady in the red/yellow/blue jumper will be my next step.

TheParanoidAndroid Mon 30-Jan-12 09:50:12

Fucks sake, silly racist cow deserved reporting, if not firing. Why should OP cause herself grief by having a word with her, when there is someone who specifically trained to deal with it?

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 09:59:22


I work for myself so the question does not arise.

When I was an employee - a year out student and then when I did my Training Year, if I did not like something I said so, politely but firmly and the matter would be dealt with there and then. The question of that person being a manager or partner or whoever was irrelevant.

The situation with the OP was exactly the same: I am offended by something you have said therefore I will go and tell someone else

That, to me, is odd behaviour.

didldidi Mon 30-Jan-12 10:10:03

Just because someone works within an environment which "takes E&D seriously" doesn't mean to say they actually believe in it - you don't have a choice but to toe the party line.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 10:13:35

Pendeen - what a strange view.

I really don't think it falls within my remit at work to remind my manager what is and isn't appropriate language/behaviour.

BobblyGussets Mon 30-Jan-12 10:14:00

I reckon I would have said something too, but the E&D rep will have the appropriate training/authority to stop it properly Pendeen, so not that odd.

IHadADreamOnce Mon 30-Jan-12 10:20:59

I haven't read every post so apologies if this has been addressed. I think refering to a chinese person as chink or chinky is racist, however where I live the term chinky is used for chinese food from the takeaway. It is common and used in reference to the food not the people making it as in 'I'm having a chinky for tea' not a chinky is making my tea. I have never seen it as racists as its the same as chippie for the fish and chip shop etc.....An abbreviation/term for the type of food if that makes sense....so is that racist confused

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 10:21:18


What a strange view.

I really don't think it is your remit to "remind" someone what is or is not appropriate language / behaviour.

If you object to what someone has said then speak to them about it.

BobblyGussets Mon 30-Jan-12 10:24:44

Are you saying you don't think the terms "Chinky" and "Paki" are inappropriate Pendeen? I would like to remind you that they are.

TheParanoidAndroid Mon 30-Jan-12 10:27:49

there are probably rules about how to handle these things, given that they have someone whose job it is.

And I doubt many people would take their manager to task for what they said. Really?

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 10:31:37


Remind away as you please. It doesn't matter what I think of those terms.

The point surely is that if you are offended by someone then it is up to you to say so and not scurry away and tell someone else.

The OP claims to work in education whereas her reaction to the situation makes it sound as if she is actually in educatation i.e. a schoolchild. That is what this tale reminds me of.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 30-Jan-12 10:39:50

I think this talk of the OP snitching and 'telling on' her colleague is very playgroundy.

I might feel differently if the colleague were a peer of the OP's, but as it's her line manager I think challenging her on it would have been difficult, not to mention inappropriate. If you have any sort of problem with your line manager, it's better practice to go to their manager or, if that's not possible or there's a more appropriate person (as there was in this case), someone impartial who is not involved in the line management of either of them.

And OP, no, of course YANBU.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 10:41:23

No Pendeen.

It's not the fact that I was personally offended. It's the fact that someone in her position is using offensive language. It is inappropriate and needs to be addressed accordingly.

Claims? Tale? ARe you accusing me of making this up???????

Xmasbaby11 Mon 30-Jan-12 10:43:01

I also work in education with international students, and no one would dream of using language like that. It's easy to say you could have tackled her, but I wouldn't have known what to do or say either. From what you say, your colleagues will be pleased you have reported her as they are uncomfortable with her behaviour too. I'm sure the E and D rep will tackle it more sensitively and professionally.

It can only be a good thing that we are more aware these days of how choice of words can have an effect on people. I'm in my thirties, and I am mortified to remember using the words chinky (for food) and gypo, not in any way considering them offensive.

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 10:51:08


I agree it does sound a "playgroundy" thing to do.

The OP's manager was not asking her to undertake a dangerous task or work outside her hours or take on extra jobs, where it may be difficult argue. It was nothing to do with her job.

The OP took issue with something another employee has said and slunk away to "report" her to - in this case yet another employee. The class monitor perhaps?

That is quite obviously, "playgroundy".

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 30-Jan-12 11:01:26

Pendeen, issues of equality, diversity etc are all taken very seriously in almost all workplaces, to the extent that they're usually explicitly written into company policies and training is offered. They are most certainly 'to do with' the jobs of everyone who works in a given environment. This issue is particularly pertinent in an environment where there are people of many backgrounds and ethnicities. The OP didn't slink away. She reported a pertinent and sensitive issue to the correct individual (she states that the E&D representative is there explicitly to deal with this kind of issue). She was following company procedure.

ohrubbish Mon 30-Jan-12 11:42:14

I am quite shocked at some of the responses. I work in the same field and I think it is a key point that this term was used in regard to a student. Where I work that would be a massive problem. It would be bad enough if this was a term which had been used more generally (to refer to someone on the street for example) but to use it about a student is a big issue. Working with students, regardless of age, entails certain responsibilities and treating them with respect is a big part of that. Issues of equality etc will be part of her contract and should have been part of her training. My point here is that this is not a "playgroundy" disagreement about what terms may be considered acceptable. It is a serious work issue and as such, should be dealt with on a professional level - which means that the OP had a professional responsibility to report it to the appropriate person.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 30-Jan-12 11:53:06

Maybe I'm misconstruing what posters mean, but I want to make clear that I didn't mean that calling someone a Chink is 'playgroundy' or that it's a childish issue. I meant that some of the responses here strike me as playgroundy e.g. bullying and childish – the ones where the OP is accused of telling, or snitching, or running to someone else to tell tales. And I quite agree, ohrubbish, that the OP 'had a professional responsibility to report it to the appropriate person.'

OldMacEIEIO Mon 30-Jan-12 13:33:21

I dont understand what the fuss is about in the first place. There are too many people who like to get insulted or offended on someone elses behalf. Calling some one a chink is not racist, calling someone inferior because they are a chink IS racist, and is wrong

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 13:36:21

OldMac confused


yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 13:59:00

Oh so I suppose you go around saying "nigger" to all the black people you meet, eh OldMac?

OldMacEIEIO Mon 30-Jan-12 14:03:09

I dont actually yellowraincoat. but then again, I am educated
I know the difference between an insult and a racist comment

windsorTides Mon 30-Jan-12 14:09:09

OP you did the right thing.

I'm also shocked by some of the responses, but not in the least bit surprised when I see who's writing them.

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 14:10:31

So, I'm obviously not that educated then, since I can't see the difference between "nigger" and "chink".

Zhen Mon 30-Jan-12 14:37:02

What a depressing thread.

A long time ago when I was working in a lab, there was a manager who regularly made jokes about how I shouldn't be there, but was better suited in the local laundry or perhaps the nearest restaurant or takeaway. At the time I was only a teenager, and hyper-sensitive to racism (my family has been subjected to racist violence). I told him I didn't like it. It only made him do it more to wind me up. It got the point of tears for me, and my line manager did nothing to prevent it, even though I raised it explicitly with him. To this day the one thing that I think of him is how utterly, utterly spineless he was.

It got to the point where I didn't want to go into work, and it ended up being mentioned to HR, who gave the perpetrator a slap on the wrists, and a personal apology to me. The perpetrator never spoke to me again, made a point of freezing me out until I left. Everyone in the team felt really awkward.

I bloody hated that place.

Mind you, the perpetrator always maintained he was not a racist, and that he took the piss out of people based on what he knew were their insecurities.

If you have ever worked in a Chinese takeaway or restaurant, the "chink" comments are par for the course. Usually when someone is trying to get away with not paying for their meal or something. When we caught a runner and called the police on him, at least half of the customers on other tables were muttering the word under their breath, in-between telling us, the staff, why we should let him and his mates go. Often preceded by some expletive or other. They all slunk back to their tables when the police arrived though grin.

Just because it's common doesn't make it not racist. When these threads pop up on MN, it's depressing seeing MNers willing to defend their human rights to call a Chinese person a chink, and a Chinese meal a chinky sad. I don't know one Chinese person (here in the UK) who doesn't have negative associations with the word but hey-ho.

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 14:49:44

squeaky have you really met people from Pakistan that refer to themselves as "paki"
I have, mainly Asian teenage lads round my way do.

A few years ago we took a group of kids on a residential to YMCA Lakeside.
The group of Asian lads were running to the wood cabins were we were stopping and we shouted to them ' Hey lads!. There's only six in a room, there are plenty of cabins for you' One shouted back 'Don't worry Upahill!! We are Pakis, we're used to it!!' (He meant too many people in a building . I was shock as I had never heard anything like that as it was the first time I had worked with exclusively with young male Asians.
Since then I have heard it loads, as part of normal lanugage and it is said with pride.
I guess it is along the lines of N.W.A.

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 14:56:35

I do think in the first instance the OP should have said 'Pardon?' what did you say? Given the line manager a chance to apolgize or the opportunity to be told she was in the wrong.

It's alright saying you don't know office dynamics but you are adults. There would have been nothing confrontaional about that statement but instead you say you all sat there frozen to silence.
Come off it!

Sure if it continued I would report but I would have the balls to say something.

In my previous job I would have said ' What the fuck are you on about?Chinky? Is it the 1970's)

My job now, nobody swears but I can hear the other workers words in my office. One would have said 'Chinky?' in a confused tone.
Another would have said (loudly) I'm sorry but WHAT DID YOU SAY THEN!!'

I can't see why as a professional adult that you couldn't have said something to have shown your disapproval.

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 14:58:24

It's shit you've had to deal with that, Zhen. Not sure how old you are, but have you noticed a difference in attitudes over the years? Are people more/less inclined to say racist things these days?

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 15:00:50

upahill, people respond to things in different ways. If I'd heard someone say that, I think I'd have said something, because where I work, it's more or less common for me to have to deal with that so I'm used to it.

However, I'd probably report a member of staff for saying that too, as well as confront them. So at the end of the day, the result would probably be the same. Racist comments in the workplace aren't just a sort of "oh you can't say that" thing. They need to be dealt with from the top in my opinion.

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 15:07:05


I agree with you. Did you ever have to do that?

Interesting that there are very few on here who accept understand that the best response to a comment which one finds offensive is to deal with it there and then.

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 15:07:32

Like I said I would report but I would give someone the chance to see the error of their ways in the first instance.
It didn't have to be confrontational. Even a quizzical look or the phrase repeated back would have got the point accros and given the person a chance to apolgize and see that they got it wrong.

Second time I would be at HR.

Zhen Mon 30-Jan-12 15:08:06

I think people are more aware that it's unacceptable, but it doesn't always mean they will stop - some of the posters here on MN are testament to that!

My dh comes from a place where chinky is common parlance for a Chinese takeaway. He used it once, unknowingly, when we were first together. I set him straight, just by telling him I didn't like it, did he understand why it was offensive, etc. The second time, he started saying it without thinking, but stopped halfway through. I took him to the computer and made him read a forum where UK Chinese shared their experiences with the word. He was truly contrite and has never said it again (in front of me, and I hope he doesn't use it with his friends from home).

My MIL though, doesn't use words like paki when speaking to me, but I have heard her use them in conversation with dh. Don't know whether she would use chink with him. So she obv knows it's offensive, but doesn't feel as if she should stop using them, except in certain audiences.

My best friend uses the word chinky, I guess in an attempt to reclaim the word. I can't. It just sets me on edge every time I hear it. Too many bad memories.

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 15:11:34

I didn't have to do it over racist language but once I was in charge of co ordinating a borough wide resisential.
I was in a meeting with my line manager about it and we were talking about the jobs to be done.
THe subject of cooking came up and I jumped the gun and said ' If you think I'm going to be stood peeling spuds all weekend you can fuck off now!!'

My manager looked at me and said ' who was on about peeling spuds!!

I just had say that I thought I was going to lumbered doing the 'women's' stuff because I was the only female on the team that was in quite a male dominated field!! I still blush

SecretMinceRinser Mon 30-Jan-12 15:12:00

But just because some young Asians may want to reclaim a hurtful term it doesn't mean everyone should use it. Some black rappers use the word nigger but I wouldn't greet my black neighbour in that way.

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 15:13:10

I didn't say it was right.
I said it was within my everyday expierence that it was used.
It was in response to another poster.

Zhen Mon 30-Jan-12 15:13:43

I might have lost my point there blush, yellowraincoat.

Yes, there has been a difference in attitudes over the years. Not so much overt racism, so I'm hoping my children won't be subjected to the old Ching chong chinaman taunts in the playground, or that any such taunts will be allowed to go unpunished.

I don't know if the implicit racism has lessened though.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 15:16:34

pendeen - do you not think that disciplinary action needs to be taken against this woman??

I think it does.

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 15:19:27

That's what I was thinking, Zhen. I think the majority of people know not to use racist terms. But I think a lot of people are racist in other ways.

Saw a post (not sure if it was on here, think it was another forum I use) where someone said something like "a group of black lads got on the bus, and I was really scared, but then they spent the trip entertaining my child".

To me, that's the kind of racism that still exists in Britain - that you even feel the need to reference colour because for example "black" still means "thuggish" to many people.

Zhen Mon 30-Jan-12 15:20:31

I do remember at primary school though, a teacher taking a pupil out of class and giving him hell for calling another child a paki, and my own teacher pointing me out in a lesson about prejudice, and making the point to my classmates that there was nothing different about me smile. Didn't stop the chicken chop suey comments in the playground though!

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 15:22:36

OK OP you think the line manager needs to be disciplined and you have made sure that she will be by reporting it. Fair enough

What did you want from AIBU thread then.
You know your not, you have done something about it. It can't be undone now.
What else?

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 15:24:11

I just wanted to see if people agreed with me or not.

To see if I'd done the right thing.

It seems a lot of people do agree with me.

SecretMinceRinser Mon 30-Jan-12 15:25:05

It was indeed - SqueakyToy I think and she was implying that the fact some Pakistanis use it means that it's not racist unless I've got the wromng end of the stick entirely.

I don't think it was really up to the op to be getting into a war of words with her boss over this. She isn't paid or trained for it whereas HR will be and will be able to, hopefully, offer her manager the further training she clearly needs. One of her staff suggesting that saying Chink isn't on is unlikely to carry the same clout.

I don't feel sorry for the woman at all - she is entirely responsible for what she says. If she doesn't want to be 'grassed on' for using racist terms then she can always not use them. If she has been living in a hole in the ground all her life and is unaware that Chink and Paki are racist terms then getting a formal speaking to rather than the opinion of another colleague will let her know for certain that they are unacceptable terms to use.

SecretMinceRinser Mon 30-Jan-12 15:29:59

Also if the op's manager didn't take kindly to her slut being pointed out to her she could hold it against the op personally. Presumably hr will not mention it was the op who raised the issue. They will also deal with it privately which wouldn't be the case if the op had challenged it at the time. I really don't see what she did wrong.

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 15:30:16

I agree with you to a point which is what I said before.
I don't think you need to get into a war of the words as the next poster was saying.

I do think it is spineless in not saying anything there and then especially as a few of you were there and thinking the same.

If she is a domininering as you say it would have given your team more power against her if one of you had said 'I'm sorry, did you say 'chink' then?'
You are working women and not a gawpy teenagers with 'your jaws hitting the floor'

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 15:31:30

Maybe it's spineless and maybe it's not. People deal with things differently, don't they?

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 15:32:49

Indeed they do.
We have in this case an office of workers whose jaws have dropped to the floor that they can't speak up!

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 15:35:18

To be honest, I'd be pretty shocked to hear someone say that. I work in higher education as well, and all of our students are from abroad. If someone came out with "chinky" it would be so bizarre that I can well imagine it rendering me speechless.

I spend half my day trying to get my students to not be racist against each other, so to have to take that to the staff room would be monumentally odd.

SecretMinceRinser Mon 30-Jan-12 15:36:50

The op shouldn't have to get on the wrong side of her boss though - she has done nothing wrong. Her boss needs speaking to for using the language she did about a student. And it's much better for everyone if it's done officially imo. The boss (assuming she didn't know the words she used were racist as some have said) will find out that they are totally unacceptable rather than thinking that the op is some pc gorn mad type and getting unnecessarily offended when she has done nothing wrong.
Also assuming the manager would be horrified that the words she so innocently uttered could be considered offensive she may well prefer for the conversation about it to take place discreetly in an office rather than in front of the rest of her team.
On the other hand if she DID know she was being racist and uses the words anyway she deserves it to be noted formally rather than getting a ticking off from one of her staff.

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 15:38:27

Sorry My mistake their jaws didn't fall to the floor, That was another poster.

But being frozen to silence. All the colleagues? Really? No one had the balls to say something.
Who is this boss Keyser Söze?

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 15:39:53

I don't think it's about having the balls. I think some people just need a little more time to think of a response.

It's great that you feel you can respond well in every situation though, upahill.

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 15:40:49


My opinion of whether she should have been disciplined or not is not relevant.

You were the one who took offence at what she said therefore you should have said something there and then. Do you not have the courage of your convictions?

Going away to complain to someone else was - as has been said above - spineless.

SecretMinceRinser Mon 30-Jan-12 15:42:41

I would imagine confronting your boss publicly about something like this would be quite an intimidating prospect. And there would be an element of shock if you heard one of your superiors use that kind of language about a student.
The op has done the right thing reporting it imo. I don't see why you are determined to make her the guilty party in this when it is clearly her manager in the wrong.

Wittsend13 Mon 30-Jan-12 15:42:51

I actually know someone who is called Pakkie. That is his real name. I would love to see what people in the UK would say if he ever came over! Op I don't think you're BU to feel offended however, I would have spoken to the co worker about it rather than hot footed it to the manager. That's just me. If I said something I wasn't aware was offensive, I'd hate to think someone I work with, would grass me up which could result in me losing my job. I think that was nasty.

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 15:44:27

I don't respnd well always but if it is something I feel strongly about like the OP does I would deal with it there and then.
It wasn't just the op that was there either, there were others who apparently felt the samebut EVERYONE froze!

SecretMinceRinser Mon 30-Jan-12 15:47:09

I notice that the people insulting are also the same people who fear they could be 'grassed up' themselves!

I doubt she will lose her job. Particularly if she pretends she didn't know what she said was racist.

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 15:48:54

SecretMinceRinser eh? confused
Whos is frightened of being grassed up?

SecretMinceRinser Mon 30-Jan-12 15:59:55

A lot of people have posted on here saying that they would much prefer something 'unintentionally offensive' they have said to be raised with them rather than them be 'grassed up'.

phoebeophelia Mon 30-Jan-12 16:02:35

The suffix "stan" means homeland and is used in moslem countries.

People from Afghanistan are properly referred to as Afghans.
Those from Kurdistan (not yet a country) are properly referred to as Kurds.
Those from Pakistan are properly referred to as Pakis or possibly Paks.

The only reason the term "Paki" grates is because it is assumed that some use the term demeaningly. Where does that leave the rest of us who want to use the term, without being demeaning, but simply because it is the correct word?

Why should decent people have to stop using a word because others misuse it?


catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 16:06:25

This thread has gone bonkers

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 16:08:38

Ah I get you.
TBH I would rather people said something to my face in the first instance as well and no I am not in fear of being 'grassed up' on anything.

I try to treat people with the same way I would like to be treated and I would be horrified if I caused offence. So in this case I definatly would want someone to say something and if I didn't learn pretty quick at what I had done wrong then I would deserve everything coming at me (and I would be pretty thick)

In fact thinking about it about 21 years ago when I was starting a new job I said something and a colleague took me to one side and said 'I'm sorry Upahill, but we don't use that word.' I was blush but thankful because I didn't keep making a mistake and learned something. If they had gone to Personnel (as they were called in them days) I would have been paronoid that some one was out to get me and didn't like me,

To finish the person who took to me to one side became a very good friend and still is! (had a text from them this morning!! grin

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 16:09:52

This thread has gone bonkers

You started it!!!! (joke) grin

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 16:13:29

It leaves us saying "Pakistanis" phoebeophelia.

I know the extra 2 syllables are a strain, but I think most people could probably manage.

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 16:15:07

Bonkers thread? Didn't go the way you were expecting?

Quick resume.

" I reported her to the equality and diversity representative.



Wittsend13 Mon 30-Jan-12 16:16:52

What Pendeen said.

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 16:17:37

Pendeen, why are you being so rude? There are plenty of people who agree with the OP, people are allowed to go about their lives differently you know.

Some people aren't very good at confrontation - why is that such a huge problem? It isn't as if the OP is doing nothing about this racist comment.

SecretMinceRinser Mon 30-Jan-12 16:18:04


There isn't an assumption that some use the term demeaningly. A hell of a lot of people DO use the term demeaningly.

The answer to 'why can't decent people use the word?' is that decent people wouldn't want use it. If there is a word that causes mass offence and a prefectly acceptable alternative then decent people would use the non-offensive alternative.
If you are a decent person wouldn't want to upset someone by upholding your 'right' to use an offensive word.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 16:18:16

Eh actually it has gone the way I expected.

Most professional people on here are agreeing with me.

Only you and a couple of other paranoid bigots are disagreeing with me.

Gooshka Mon 30-Jan-12 16:19:53

Someone in a managerial position shouldn't need a member of their staff to 'have a word with them', they should not be in that role in the first place if they are so thick and ignorant. Good for you for reporting it as many people would probably turn a blind eye.

windsorTides Mon 30-Jan-12 16:20:20

Yes, that's my assessment of the thread too, OP.

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 16:20:22

Oi!! I hope you don't mean me!!
I am not a paronod bigot but I don't agree with the way you did things in the first instance that is all.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 16:20:54

No not you upahill!

ChasTittyBeltUp Mon 30-Jan-12 16:23:17

I think you did th right thing in this instance as only an UTTER fool or an UTTER bigot would say "Chink" in this day and age. So either way you have pointed out one of the above in a position of authority in a place of education...which is not ideal is it peeps..

If she had said something like "I don't understand men who dress as women...I think they're weird." then possibly that would have justified a warning from you rather than the equality and diversity rep...because not a lot of people are aware of transgender and related issues....but "chink"....no. Big no.

Wittsend13 Mon 30-Jan-12 16:23:25

Oh get off your high pony OP.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 16:24:39

No thanks Wittsend. I quite like it up here. Looking down on people like you grin

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 16:25:34

" Only you and a couple of other paranoid bigots are disagreeing with me. "

OK catinboots - how about I try the 'running off to complain' routine?

MN moderator - is a " spineless " on my part worth a retaliatory " paranoid " and indeed " bigot " as well without any evidence of paranoia or bigotry?

upahill Mon 30-Jan-12 16:26:20


Would you let us know the outcome if you get chance.

Do you have equality training courses at your place.

I went on one years ago and it was about Black culture. The guy that took it was really interesting and it covered a lot of Black history and told us words that are considered offensive that are in everyday palance.
Apparently 'nitty gritty' had links with the slave trade. I have to say I found that hard to believe and have actively searched it's origins but not found any evidence yet that this is correct. ( I would be happy to be told the origin and if it was right if anyone knows)

Hope things get easier in your office for you.

OldMacEIEIO Mon 30-Jan-12 16:26:36

Phoebe - well said.
The thought police are out in force today. The language has been twisted and torn and stolen by the politically correct busybodies who go around looking for thing to be offended by on other peoples behalf.
As for the lady who was tormented by a bully, you have my 100% sympathy, but he was looking for a weakness and he found one

Wittsend13 Mon 30-Jan-12 16:28:53

Do note I said pony. Maybe when you've grown up catinboots you can get on a horse. Sadly for you I think it'll be a long time coming.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 16:29:17

upahill - yes we all have compulsary E and D training.

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 16:31:45

Yes, the thought police, the politically correct busybodies...wasn't life SO much better when you could just call people "paki" at will? You can't even smeer racial abuse in your own faeces on someone's door any more without the politically correct brigade jumping down your throat.

Having equality training like that sounds like a good way of raising the issue, upahill. Much better than just saying "you can't say this and you can't say that".

Had heard that thing about nitty-gritty too, but again, I don't think anyone knows exactly where it came from.

alemci Mon 30-Jan-12 16:38:28

some middle ground would be good. Everyone is so scared of saying the wrong thing all the time.

OldMacEIEIO Mon 30-Jan-12 16:46:07

aye alemci.
I would bet £50 that yellowraincoat could not even define what the word racist means. and the trouble with the busybodies is this

if you dont say something wrong or offensive, they are perfectly capable of redefining the language to make sure you ARE in the wrong.

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 16:48:04

It's really quite simple, alemci. You think about what you're going to say, you think to yourself "if I say this, am I going to offend someone?" and if the answer is "yes" you don't say it.

Weirdly, I've never been accused of being racist, probably because I follow this simple formula.

TheParanoidAndroid Mon 30-Jan-12 16:49:14

Nobody is scared of "saying the wrong thing all the time" Don't call people chinky or paki and you're at least half way there already.

I never have to think about the words I say...because I'm not a racist or an ignorant twat. Its really easy.

Wittsend13 Mon 30-Jan-12 16:53:28

To be fair though, I wouldn't call anyone or refer to anyone with a name that could or may cause offence. My point on this thread is that I felt the OP was being mean by grassing up on her work mate. She should have spoken to her before going and reporting her. I still fail to see how I'm a bigot confused

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 16:55:16


She's my boss!

<bangs head on keyboard>

OldMacEIEIO Mon 30-Jan-12 16:55:50

Yellowraincoat, you have never been acused of being a racist because you are not one, irrespective of what words you use.
As long as you keep bumping into inteligent and educated people you will be ok
It's only if you bump into someone like yourself that you may have a problem

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 16:56:53

Yes, you're right, I'm so badly educated.

Behold my MA from a Russel Group university.

The sign of the badly educated.

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 16:57:26

And I'll just say it for you so you can save your fingers, OldMac.

"School of life".

Don't say I'm not good to you.

OldMacEIEIO Mon 30-Jan-12 16:57:32

you can lead a horse to water

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 16:59:07

So, because I don't like to call people "chink", I am badly educated.

That's hilarious, honestly, but I'd love to know how you came to that conclusion.

TheParanoidAndroid Mon 30-Jan-12 17:01:42

"grassing up" "mean" and "mate"

Isn't there an age limit on MN? Because you must be 12.....

MildlyNarkyPuffin Mon 30-Jan-12 17:02:30

I have never seen anyone use the Russell Group as abadge of honour before grin

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 17:03:38

It's not just Russel Group, it's also ancient.

Go me.

alemci Mon 30-Jan-12 17:06:55

yes Yellowcoat. I work in education too so I understand what you are saying. and this silly Manager shouldn't be using this word in her position.

OOH I had to complain about a group of boys in secondary school where i used to work. They were intimidating and used to block the entrance every morining and I felt they were being disrespectful towards other students and myself. They had joined in the 6th form as the neighbouring borough had no 6th form.

They were from an ethnic minority and I told the management what was happening. I had to say to describe them and then was paranoid that what I said was racist i.e. saying they were a certain racial group. That is when it is not so good.

MildlyNarkyPuffin Mon 30-Jan-12 17:07:59

grin I'm sure it's lovely, but you don't need to flash your MA on this thread to prove your intelligence. It shows anyway.

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 17:11:28

God, MildlyNarkyPuffin, it was just a silly throwaway remark purely designed to wind up another poster and her silly remark.

I'm quite proud that I went to a decent university actually. And shall mention it as I see fit. I know that a lot of people on MN would be "wow so what, big deal". Well it is a big deal to me.

alemci, there is nothing racist in describing someone as "Asian" or "white" or "black" in my opinion, if it's relevant. It's just that when someone says "a group of asian lads got on the bus and I was scared" that it starts being a problem.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 17:12:13

I think yellow was just defending herself to oldMac

Boffyflow Mon 30-Jan-12 17:14:31

Ridiculous - this is just another example of what used to be called 'PC gorn mad'.
As stated eslewhere on the thread - 'People from Afghanistan are properly referred to as Afghans.
Those from Kurdistan (not yet a country) are properly referred to as Kurds.
Those from Pakistan are properly referred to as Pakis or possibly Paks.'

I mix with people of all ages and nationalities. 'Paki, Chinky' etc are commonly used in the same way that I have heard white people referred to as 'cracker', 'honky', 'ghost boy' etc by other nationalities.

All nationalities are inherently racist, you are kidding yourselves if you think otherwise.
Walk down any inner city street at night and you will see what I mean.

ChasTittyBeltUp Mon 30-Jan-12 17:19:13

People from Pakistan are not called "Pakis" Boffy they are called Pakistanis.

Paki, chinky, honky are all not acceptable.

ComposHat Mon 30-Jan-12 17:19:45

Ridiculous - this is just another example of what used to be called 'PC gorn mad'

I couldn't agree more. Look at the word 'gay' for an example of how our language has been perverted and misused.

That beautiful word is now used to describe any type of feebleness.

Back when I was a young 'un and it was all green fields round here, it just meant a roaring queen.

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 17:20:08

What the f are you on about Boffyflow? Where did anyone say other nationalities aren't racist? What the hell has that got to do with the thread?

ChasTittyBeltUp Mon 30-Jan-12 17:20:46

As for your drivelly comment about all nationalities being inherently racist...that sounds like the statement of a bigotted racist trying to excuse themself. Most people are NOT racist love. Tell yourself what you like...it just means you're fooling yourself.

ChasTittyBeltUp Mon 30-Jan-12 17:21:49

My last post was to "Boffy"

TheParanoidAndroid Mon 30-Jan-12 17:23:59

You know what is quite offensive..., except when used correctly?


As in, you're a racist cunt if you call people Paki or Chinky.

Surely you won't take offence. That'd be a bit PC of you....

Oh my actual good grief. Where are these posters coming from? Has MN paid for advertising in the Daily Fail or Readers Digest Lite again?

MildlyNarkyPuffin Mon 30-Jan-12 17:32:10

Walk down any inner city street at night and you will see what I mean

You'll also see someone pissing against a wall and buying crack. I don't think that's a recommendation.

Boffyflow Mon 30-Jan-12 17:34:34

Most people are NOT racist love. Tell yourself what you like...it just means you're fooling yourself

Maybe not on this site then, but perhaps that is down to the fact that there are many younger, left-wing people on here?
I don't think it's representative of the general population.

Surely you won't take offence. That'd be a bit PC of you....
Nah, I don't take offence at owt, me - sticks and stones grin

Apologies for going off-topic, but had I been the OP I wouldn't have told tales on a workmate for an incident of that nature.

Is it telling tales then? And I suppose those whistle-blowing on patient abuse or poor practice in other public services are big ol'grassy-pants too?

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 17:39:02

Honestly, I don't meet many racist people in this country.

ComposHat Mon 30-Jan-12 17:43:10

*'People from Afghanistan are properly referred to as Afghans.
Those from Kurdistan (not yet a country) are properly referred to as Kurds.
Those from Pakistan are properly referred to as Pakis or possibly Paks*

How to miss the point spectacularly!

I think what some of the more simple minded posters don't get is that a word is not intrinsically offensive, but acquires that status when it is used to belittle, marginalise another group.

Words like Negro have a respectable origin (Spanish for 'black') but historically has been used to marginalise black people. The meaning of words are not fixed and etymology of the word 'Paki' is largely irrelevant as in contemporary use it is used in a hateful and derogatory manner with the intention of causing offence.

Before the bleating chorus of Daily Heil readers start up, 'what about using 'Brit' or 'Scot' as descriptive words for people from Britain/Scotland isn't that racist?

No it isn't.

If you can't see the difference between that there really is no hope for you. But ask yourself this: when did you hear about anyone going out 'Scot bashing.'

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 17:51:26

Good summary ComposHat. Sadly, you're probably preaching to the converted.

As an aside, the other week my partner had to tell one of his colleagues not to describe the Scots as "our haggis-munching brothers" in an article.

I despair. They work for a national newspaper, so you'd think they'd have a degree of sense.

Wittsend13 Mon 30-Jan-12 18:00:20

TheParanoidAndroid You big, mean, cyber bully!

I shall cry into my egg and soldiers forever more.

Whatmeworry Mon 30-Jan-12 18:12:47

Is it telling tales then? And I suppose those whistle-blowing on patient abuse or poor practice in other public services are big ol'grassy-pants too?

Of course it's telling tales, and that is going to be one cross manager when she is told. If you want to do this thing, you pick your battles and make sure the issue is serious.

As an aside, the other week my partner had to tell one of his colleagues not to describe the Scots as "our haggis-munching brothers" in an article.

And that is just being ridiculous, you take away the credibility of a racism argument by frothing about terms like tat^.

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 18:19:17

Reporting someone for racism is hardly "telling tales". And who cares if she's "cross"? What's she going to do? Shout at the OP?

And yes, it is "serious" ffs, especially in an educational establishment.

Oh, sorry, Whatmeworry, where did I say that "haggis munching brothers" was racism? Cos I can't seem to find that part?

What it is is just stupid and disrespectful. And unoriginal. It's not racist because the Scottish, hello, are not a race. It is xenophobic though.

It's just as likely that the manager would have been 'cross' if the OP had raised her complaint directly but her crossness would have had a very handy focus - the OP herself. And if nothing changed and the OP then reported it to the EDI rep, it would have been absolutely obvious who had complained.
Apart from any moral argument, the OP has done the sensible thing by protecting herself. Following the proper procedures should not be seen as 'telling tales', we're not in the playground.

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 18:28:21

Thankyou Sue

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 18:28:42

I was starting to question my own sanity.

MeltedChocolate Mon 30-Jan-12 18:32:05

If any of you used the "Scottish" (ginger hair and strange hat) smiley the other day on Burns night I think you are hypocrites...

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 18:35:06

I didn't use it actually, MeltedChocolate.

But I do think there's a massive difference between someone saying shit about themselves, and someone saying it about someone else.

Ref every single rap songer ever where a black person says "nigger".

ComposHat Mon 30-Jan-12 18:36:44

Apart from any moral argument, the OP has done the sensible thing by protecting herself. Following the proper procedures should not be seen as 'telling tales', we're not in the playground

Exactly, those of us who object to this sort of thing aren't doing so because we are sensitive souls, but because it affects everyone in the workplace.

Exclusionary language creates divisions and allows division and bullying. By doing nothing you are complicit with this process allowing it to be the norm.

I wonder if all those people saying it is PC gone mad etc. would be happy working in an environment where derogatory or misogynistic language to describe women was used?


"We need to get some splitarse in this office to do some typing and make the tea"

"Typical axewound, always crying off when they get a period"

Less fun isn't it when you are the target of hate-speech isn't?

First they came for the Jews, but I said nothing because I wasn't a Jew

MeltedChocolate Mon 30-Jan-12 18:53:46

Yellow - I totally disagree with any rapper using the word nigger, whether black or white as it only encourages others.

A lot of people who used it would not have been Scottish so it's not about themselves anyway. Would they have been happy to you a pointy hat smiley with 'slitty' eyes on Chinese NY? I think not...

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 18:57:14

It's totally up to other people to describe themselves as they see fit. I have to go out now, but honestly, you can't dictate to people how they describe themselves.

MeltedChocolate Mon 30-Jan-12 19:01:09

Well, I would agree but you then can't get so upset when people copy if you are not willing to set a good example. Well you can but it seems a bit daft to say the least!

And that was *'used' and not 'you' in my last post.

ChasTittyBeltUp Mon 30-Jan-12 20:37:57

Boffy well what the arse are YOU doing here then? Off you fuck.

Pendeen Mon 30-Jan-12 21:53:23

" Behold my MA from a Russel Group university. "

The wonders of the Internet

yellowraincoat Mon 30-Jan-12 22:14:40

I would totally disagree, MeltedChocolate. I think at the moment we live in a very imperfect and unbalanced world and that a lot of groups that previously had no power are beginning to emerge and hopefully be on an equal footing with others with more power.

Words like "nigger" and "queer" are used by previously persecuted groups specifically to rob the words of their power. Whether that's right or wrong, I don't think it's up to anyone else to dictate how someone interacts with themselves or their race. After all, it's not the word "nigger" that's the problem, but the meaning that's become attached to it.

Maybe one day we'll live in a world where people aren't judged by things like sexuality and race.

Not sure what your last comment meant, pendeen, could you explain?

catinboots Mon 30-Jan-12 23:44:43

I think Pendeen isn't interested in rational discussion. S/he seems intention making inflammatory remarks

MeltedChocolate Mon 30-Jan-12 23:55:25

To me though Yellow, that only goes to make races more separate. It's OK for one race to say something but not an other so we can all be equal?? (Totally respect your views, just don't personally agree btw)

OldMacEIEIO Tue 31-Jan-12 00:28:16

Yellow is right, as we have all been saying for years. people should not be judged by race or sexuality.

what really matters is if they have an MA from a Russel Group university

manicinsomniac Tue 31-Jan-12 01:07:31


Personally, I would have raised it with my boss directly but it very much depends on your work place dynamics and your relationship with your boss. I am a teacher so my boss is only my head of dept and therefore not that far above me in age or rank. He is a close friend, I have both cried on his shoulder and told him to fuck off --(oh, and slept with him)--blush
But I realise that, for many people, bosses are distant and quite scary figures and approaching them about something like that would be very difficult. I don't think ou should be made to feel guilty or a 'snitch' etc.

I find the level of quite blatant ingrained racism in Britain terrifying. I teach fairly young children and have heard the following frightening remarks from children ranging from 6 to 11 years old in schools ranging from a state school in an ex pit village in the North East to a private school in the home counties:

Me: How many children can you see in the picture?
Child: Two white kids, a blackie and a chinky

Child: Why were all those darkies in our school this morning?

Child: There ain't no black in the Union Jack

Me: What things are you afraid of?
Child: Pakis
Me: Why are you afraid of people from Pakistan
Child: Dad says they're going to blow us all up

Child: I saw a gyppo yesterday. I was really scared.

Child: [piece of writing] In South Africa the white people live in big nice houses and the darkies live in dirty shacks.

Me: Can you think of example of prejudice
Child: People at my old school called me slitty eyes
Me: How did that make you feel?
Child: [shrug] Nothing really, I'm used to it.

Me: Can you decide whether or not you can trust someone based on what they look like?
Child: No
Me: Why not?
Child: Well, X is from India but he's actually really nice and you can still trust him.

There's no way children that young developed those prejudices of their own accord

TheBossofMe Tue 31-Jan-12 06:19:53

phoebe "Those from Pakistan are properly referred to as Pakis or possibly Paks."

Oh My God No they are not. They are Pakistani. Not Paki or Pak. Pakistani. Its not difficult. Only a racist or an ignoramus refers to them as Paki or Pak

phoebeophelia Tue 31-Jan-12 07:01:53


So it's Afghanistani and Kurdistani is it?

Whatmeworry Tue 31-Jan-12 07:25:29

Reporting someone for racism is hardly "telling tales". And who cares if she's "cross"? What's she going to do? Shout at the OP? And yes, it is "serious" ffs, especially in an educational establishment.

Organizational politics 101 is you don't go behind your boss's back with impunity, so if you do, do it for something big as you are probably going to be hung out to dry.

Or 'Organisational Politics 101' could be that you don't criticise your new boss to her face and risk making a powerful enemy.

Whatmeworry Tue 31-Jan-12 08:23:13

Either - so pick your battles carefully. This wasn't it IMO.

manicinsomniac - brilliant post.

For the people fixating on how it is 'grassing' and should have been challenged there and then instead of 'scuttling off' to report it, what would you suggest she does the next time...and the time after that... at no point is she supposed to report it further, because if this person shrugs and mutters sorry that's makes it alright does it?

This is a MANAGER who has used the term Paki before. This is a person fully aware of the language they are using, in a educational establishment, who is 'presumably' educated and has signed a contract agreeing to racial equality and gender equality etc when they took the job. It's also 2012 and we shouldn't have to listen to people spouting this shit anymore.

What does this person teach? I asked before. The rantings of Alf Garnet?

TheParanoidAndroid Tue 31-Jan-12 09:53:37

I love threads like this, it makes it so much easier to know who the total knob-ends on MN are.
It's like a UKIP reunion round here.

catinboots Tue 31-Jan-12 09:56:38

Paranoid - I feel we need to start a new spreadsheet wink

Bringback - she teaches on Access courses.

Let us know the outcome cat!

FannyFifer Tue 31-Jan-12 10:07:05

The majority of people in my area would say "I'm having a chinky" and not think much about it.

Kewcumber Tue 31-Jan-12 10:09:44

"Chinky I think is not as loaded a term"

yeah thats what I thought when a drunken yob yelled it at my beautiful mixed race 2 year old, that he really meant it as a term of endearment hmm

"So it's Afghanistani and Kurdistani is it?" - no its Afghan and Kurd but Kazakhstan would be Kazakh or Kazakhstani depending on whether you are referring to ethnicity or nationality.

I love all the "oh but its not a racist insult" - you ^know if it an insult by the reaction of all the normal sane people present. If they wince - its offensive. If you don't have a good grasp of this then look at other peoples reactions and you can follow their cues.

And whilst we're on the subject. Its not for all of us plain vanilla types to decide what is offensive for people who look different. If they find it offensive then its bloody offensive. And chinese/pakistani/black (delete as appropriate) people using it to try and take to sting out of the term or who are worn down and don;t react anymore still doesn't make it OK to use yourself.

Why would you choose to use a term people find offensive? Why? Would you refer to all fat people as fatty? Yes some of you probably would.

Kewcumber Tue 31-Jan-12 10:11:08

Could you email said spreadsheet to me catinboots, it'll save me the bother.

Fanny - would you have called my 2yr old a chinky? Does that sound OK too?

FannyFifer Tue 31-Jan-12 10:16:52

Why would I call a 2 year old child a Chinky?
I said the majority of folk in my area use this term, didn't say I did.
When referring to a type of food it is pretty much the norm here, dont generally hear people calling Chinese people chinkys though, I would correct them of I did hear it.

Kewcumber Tue 31-Jan-12 10:18:24

we are talking about referring to people on this thread not food - that was my point.

TheBossofMe Tue 31-Jan-12 11:18:11

phoebeophelia I refer you to Kewcumber's reply of 10.09. Or indeed any dictionary. Since I have family still living there, I am pretty confident that they call themselves Pakistanis.

On the other hand, the only people who ever called me a Paki when I was growing up were also the same people who used to put dogshit in my school bag and spit in my face.

Boffyflow Tue 31-Jan-12 12:33:12

Consider: 'We need to get some splitarse in this office to do some typing and make the tea.' 'Typical axewound, always crying off when they get a period'

Par for the course in my (male dominated) workplace.
Another favourite is 'they should never have allowed women into this job, it's ruined things for us blokes'.

And so what? Water off a duck's back to me - a bit of banter back re. willies, tweezers and suchlike soon shuts 'em up.
A happy workforce is a productive workforce. This PC nonsense only serves to cause friction and fuel the compenation culture.

You're quite right Boffy, one-upmanship of offensive terms disguised as banter is clearly the way forward. I can't imagine why it isn't in more HR handbooks tbh.

<extra bingo points for PC nonsense and compensation culture, just waiting for Broken Britain for a full house...>

Kewcumber Tue 31-Jan-12 13:05:48

boffy - trying to dismiss offensive bollocks as "pc nonsense" doesn't make it any less offensive bollocks just because you are prepared to put up with it. More fool you.

Personally I'm trying to develop a workplace/life where my DS (or anyone elses) doesn't have to be abused and smile nicely at the buffoon who thinks they have the right.

They don't have that right and thankfully most right-minded people agree.

TheParanoidAndroid Tue 31-Jan-12 13:05:57

they've done a great number on you Boffy, they get you to accept backwards offensive language, and you've gone on to encourage others to accept it too! You must be so proud of your anti-feminist credentials.

TheBossofMe Tue 31-Jan-12 13:09:06

Boffy, please feel free to list all the ways you think Paki can be used that aren't offensive. Because I can't think of any.

Boffyflow Tue 31-Jan-12 13:33:09

they've done a great number on you Boffy, they get you to accept backwards offensive language, and you've gone on to encourage others to accept it too! You must be so proud of your anti-feminist credentials

Not a bit of it! I'm simply not over-sensitive in the way that you people brought up in this PC obsessed world are. I give as good as I get.

As for 'anti-feminist credentials' - I'm 54, I manage a large male workforce with a high rate of positve outcomes. I earn a very good living and my husband (who is Asian) stays home and does all the cooking and housework.
In fact, I have not cooked a meal for the past 20 years grin

No offence to anyone here, but I cannot see how fuelling a culture of snitching, fear and backstabbing (and compensation culture) within the workplace can possibly be a good thing.
It is up to us as individuals, both male and female, to take responsibility and stand up for ourselves.

Boffyflow Tue 31-Jan-12 13:36:09

Look after your staff, enjoy a bit of banter, the workplace runs smoothly and the job gets done.
I admit to having no time for whingers.

Boffy "It is up to us as individuals, both male and female, to take responsibility and stand up for ourselves."

You don't see how the OP addressing racist and offensive behaviour through the proper channels of her organisation and without risking her own relationship with her manager is her standing up for herself?

TheParanoidAndroid Tue 31-Jan-12 13:38:05

its oversensitive to not want to be called revolting sexist and racist names?

I stand by my point. It's just sad that someone who seems intelligent can be so blind. "Snitching, fear and backstabbing"? What planet are you on? It's called basic human decency and not being a nasty twat. You might want to join the 21st century and try it.

yellowraincoat Tue 31-Jan-12 13:53:09

I'm so glad we're on the same page, OldMac.

I am SOOOO sick of hearing people say "all this PC crap" etc.

PC is just a form of politeness, nothing more or less. No-one has cancelled Christmas. No-one is telling you you have to get along with everyone.

I have never seen one person successfully argue why using words like "paki" is ok. It causes offence to people. In the same way you don't say "cunt" in front of a nice old lady, you don't go around using the word "paki". It's not that difficult to understand, and it's not that difficult to follow.

TheBossofMe Tue 31-Jan-12 13:56:54

Boffy, I am standing up for myself when I refuse to accept demeaning terms of address. Calling someone a paki or a chink is offensive, demeaning and derogatory. I'm not going to stand by, like so many of my parents generation did, whilst I'm abused.

Kewcumber Tue 31-Jan-12 13:59:17

"PC is just a form of politeness, nothing more or less." my thoughts exactly yellow - my mother taught me it wasn't nice to say rude things to people. And really its not up to you to decide if its rude, if the people listening to you think its rude then its only polite not to say it confused

I understand surviving in an environment where you live by being rude to each other under the guise of "banter" I don't understand trying to make everyone else live in that environment when they are clearly uncomfortable with it.

(Male dominated industry at times here too and no I didn't put up with the crap boffy described and I've never had a problem with not joining in the put-downs, and also managed to do my job very successfully and kept in touch with many male colleagues)

TheParanoidAndroid Tue 31-Jan-12 14:00:43

Isnt it odd that the people who whine about "PC gone mad" are generally the ones who are just pissed off that they aren't allowed to say paki and poof to peoples faces anymore?
Its a pattern I've noticed.

Kewcumber Tue 31-Jan-12 14:02:12


mind you I am a bit right on, on paper at least - single parent to mixed race child, father unknown grin

Kewcumber Tue 31-Jan-12 14:03:59

out of interest boffy - do you you not object to your dc's (who are presumably mixed race then) being called Paki by total strangers? When it obviously isn't a term of endearment?

TheBossofMe Tue 31-Jan-12 14:16:00

I don't know where in Asia your dh is from, boffy, but let's just imagine he's from Pakistan. Would you call his mother as a paki? I would imagine not. Why would that be then? Yup, because it's offensive. Geddit???

Fwiw, I'm the MD of my company. It's pretty big and leads the world in what it does. We have offices in more countries than I can count on my fingers, toes and nails. In any one of those offices, if you used sexist or racist terms such as paki or chinky, you would be fired as fast as you could say pc gorn mad. We're a pretty productive and happy workplace.

Boffyflow Tue 31-Jan-12 14:23:58

out of interest boffy - do you you not object to your dc's (who are presumably mixed race then) being called Paki by total strangers? When it obviously isn't a term of endearment?

Fair point. It has genuinely never happened to my son, although we do discuss it. Maybe because we live in a rural area and are accepted as the 'mixed marriage family'. My husband has been the Mayor for a few terms over the years, so perhaps that helps?

My son now works in the same job as me and has never encountered any racism - but again perhaps that's because he can stand up for himself?
He has, however, worked with colleagues who have 'played the race card' to get themselves a transfer. By that, I mean played the race card with no good reason - they were aware that they'd get an easier ride (less physical aggression in the job) in other depts. so trumped up complaints to get a move.
That is my son's words and observations, not mine.

TheParanoidAndroid Tue 31-Jan-12 14:32:49

Wow, so if you can stand up for yourself its all good, however if for any reason you can't (and there are a great many valid reasons) you can fuck off and be dumped on.

How very.....robust of you.

TheBossofMe Tue 31-Jan-12 14:35:15

Objecting to being insulted isn't playing the race card. It's standing up for your rights to be treated as a person, not a colour.

Or are you saying they made up the incidents?

Boffyflow Tue 31-Jan-12 14:46:16

Or are you saying they made up the incidents?

Yes, they made up the incidents in order to facilitate a transfer, knowing that no one dare dispute them for fear of being disciplined and labelled racist.
It's true, scouts honour.

yellowraincoat Tue 31-Jan-12 14:47:18

So you're saying that a lot of people do this, Boffy?

Because honestly, I've worked in a lot of places with a lot of people from all races and I've never once seen that happen.

windsorTides Tue 31-Jan-12 14:48:37

As Boffy's posts prove, it is perfectly possible for people of one racial minority to be racist towards another and for people of the same racial make-up to be racist to eachother, blaming those people for the injuries suffered, rather than the people inflicting the pain.

This shouldn't surprise. We had years of an 'I'm alright jack' attitude from the woman who was in power from 1979-1990. Sometimes people within a disadvantaged group prove to be its most powerful enemies.

TheBossofMe Tue 31-Jan-12 14:48:50

How do you know they made them up?

Btw, your company sounds extremely badly run.

'as Boffy's posts prove' <unladylike snort>

We haven't had this for a while but the plural of anecdotes is not data. Enlightening as I am sure the stories of Boffy's son's colleagues perceived wrongdoings are.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Tue 31-Jan-12 15:03:30

"they were aware that they'd get an easier ride (less physical aggression in the job) in other depts."

It doesn't seem beyond the bounds of possibility that a job which involves your clients/patients (hopefully not your colleagues!) being physically aggressive, might involve a bit of racial abuse too?

But you're certain they made these incidents up...

windsorTides Tue 31-Jan-12 15:07:19

You might need to read my posts on this thread again Sue! I am actually pointing out that someone who likes telling anecdotes about other people of colour 'using the race card' and boasts about how insulting their workplace is and how robust they are, doesn't win any prizes because they are of colour too. And that we should not be surprised.

TheBossofMe Tue 31-Jan-12 15:09:11

Or they could just be in a state of denial. It happens.

My post wasn't just (or even mostly) aimed at you windsor, just that the bit I quoted made me snort. In an attractive fashion, as I mentioned grin

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 02:23:00

Boffy, the more I think about what you said upthread, the more I understand about why your son thinks that he's never experienced any racism.

"Consider: 'We need to get some splitarse in this office to do some typing and make the tea.' 'Typical axewound, always crying off when they get a period'

Par for the course in my (male dominated) workplace.
Another favourite is 'they should never have allowed women into this job, it's ruined things for us blokes'.

And so what? Water off a duck's back to me - a bit of banter back re. willies, tweezers and suchlike soon shuts 'em up."

You've taught him that is not offensive to use words such as axewound and splitarse to describe women. You've taught him that its just banter. You've taught him to accept degredation and insulting behaviour as normal and as part of everyday life. That's what you are doing when you put up with it.

You've taught him not to even recognise racism as offensive and unacceptable when it jumps up and bites you on the arse because you dismiss it as part of making for a happy working environment. If people think its acceptable to use such words to describe women, I really doubt they hold back from using equally such offensive words to describe minority groups.

Ask him a different question. Ask him if he's ever heard anyone in the workplace use terms such as Paki, Chinky, nigger etc. And then ask him if he would consider that racism. Because I simply don't believe that a workplace that tolerates such offensive workplace language about women doesn't also experience similar language used in a racist context. And then consider whether the people who were "playing the race cared" were really making it up, or just objecting to being insulted.

If my mother had taught me to overlook such statements as axewound as not offensive and just banter, I would think she had failed in a core part of her duty as a mother, which is to teach me to be proud of who I am, and to stand up for myself as a woman. Anything else is just weak pandering and weak womanhood, regardless of when you last cooked a meal.

And those men who you think you are bantering with, I guarantee you they are laughing about you behind your back. They're not your friends, they don't respect you, you're just cheap entertainment to them, someone who is too weak to stand up for yourself or other women in the workplace by doing something about it. Shame on you.

Boffyflow Wed 01-Feb-12 02:53:59


You are very wrong on all counts.

I'm well respected by my colleagues. The female staff members who are not respected are the whingers and those who play the 'delicate female' card - who ususally end up having to be transferred to work on another site after they have caused a bad atmosphere for one reason or another.

Workplace mandatory training includes an Equality & Diversity course every two years, for all staff. Every course I have ever attended has staff members rolling their eyes and wishing they were somewhere else. I have yet to hear a positive response to it and I've been going for years. It's compulsory, so we have to attend but everyone would rather not.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think you're looking at this subject from a left-wing point of view. I am well aware that this is the preferred world view of our times and is these days indoctrinated into young people as soon as they start school.

But who's to say what's right and what's wrong? I know many, many people of my age (and much younger) who are of the same opinion as me, ie that we managed perfectly fine before all this PC nonsense (for want of a better expression).
It's clear that I have a different point of view to most posters on this site/forum and that's fair enough. But I honestly don't believe the same ideals apply out there in the real world.
There are many people who would like to see a return to the values of the 60s, 70s & 80s - even those who did not live through those years.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 05:38:44

Dear god, I'm very glad I work for a more enlightened company, and not yours. Because I guarantee that sooner or later, yours is going to get the arse sued off it for allowing women to be called axewound.

There is a middle ground between being a whinger and being a doormat. Its called standing up for common decency. Something you seem to find it hard to do.

Some of the values that I respect are respect for others, hard work, tolerance, equal opportunities and standing up for yourself. Not being held back because your your skin is a different colour and you are in possession of a vagina. Its nothing to do with being left wing or right wing - I know many many rightwingers, including MPs, who would shudder at the thought of the working environment you describe.

Saying that people aren't being racist because they call their colleagues Chinky or Paki, or sexist because they call their colleagues splitarse is just plain dumb. If it quacks like a duck....

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 05:54:53

Oh, and those 1960s, 70s and 80s values you espouse? They are the same ones that saw the following:

1. My parents unable to rent or buy anywhere decent to live because they were "Paki" (never mind, eh, because they bought a house in "black" Notting Hill, so they are the ones laughing now)
2. Me having dogshit put in my schoolbag because I was "Paki"
3. Me getting spat at in the street, along with my Mum and sister, for being "Paki"
4. Being excluded from a school dance performance because the school teacher wanted the girls in the performance to "look the same, it looks prettier"

The list could go on and on and on. Fabulous values, those. What you really mean is you want life to be like it was for you in those decades, ignoring the fact that for others, its was actually pretty shit. Selfish to the extreme.

Thank god for E&D training, because its vastly improved the lot of people with my skin colour. So my DD will never in her life (I hope) have to suffer the same humiliations I did. So I can succeed in my job because I'm well qualified and incredibly good at it, instead of being told, as my father was, we can't promote you because our clients would feel uncomfortable talking to someone with your skin colour - they want to talk to one of their own.
Its nothing to do with playing the race card. Its about ensuring we have a level playing field and the same opportunities that a white person would.

In all honesty, if you were my mother, I would be ashamed of you and your attitude.

ComposHat Wed 01-Feb-12 06:22:50

There are many people who would like to see a return to the values of the 60s, 70s & 80s - even those who did not live through those years.

Yes, these people are known as 'racists.'

catinboots Wed 01-Feb-12 08:04:36

TheBoss. Thank you for your point of view. I agree with every single thing you say, but you have articulated it far better than I could smile

Boffy - can ask what this company of yours does?

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 10:48:35

cat - thank you. I have had years of practise dealing with people like Boffy and her colleagues unfortunately.

catinboots Wed 01-Feb-12 10:52:08

Boss - you have confirmed my sanity ( which I was questioning ) smile

Longtallsally Wed 01-Feb-12 11:00:26

Boss it's posts like yours which remind me why I love MN. Thank you.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 12:01:39

Thank you both, it's good to know that MN is packed full of decent people who are as horrified by prejudice as I am.

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Wed 01-Feb-12 12:32:36

Okay I have finally lost the battle with myself to keep my mouth shut.

Catinboots of course YANBU. I hope your public spiritedness brings the results it should

Boffy, greetings from the real world where the offensive 'banter' which you seem to like so much no longer has any place (or at least it damned well shouldn't! In this regard, it never ceases to amaze me that frequently (not always, obviously) the people who see nothing wrong with the sort of hugely offensive language you describe are the very ones who gather up their skirts and run at the very hint of a swear word!

You obliquley imply that your point of view may be a factor of your age (did you say 54?) and people who may have lived through the 60s and 70s (ah the good old days hmm. ) Well all I can say is that I am a couple of years older than you so my best hope is that you may yet grow out of it (absolutely not meaning to imply here that younger people are racist!)

Boss you are a credit to yourself and your family for your well mannered dignity. I am proud to virtually know you

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 12:32:57

Boss, one post you are the MD of 'your' company, in another you talk about the company you work for

are you sure you are not making some of this up

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Wed 01-Feb-12 12:35:36

OldMac do you mean Boffy ? smile

Kewcumber Wed 01-Feb-12 12:40:50

"Workplace mandatory training includes an Equality & Diversity course every two years, for all staff. Every course I have ever attended has staff members rolling their eyes and wishing they were somewhere else. I have yet to hear a positive response to it and I've been going for years. It's compulsory, so we have to attend but everyone would rather not."

I should ask for your money back - its either really shit training or your staff are too blinkered to learn anything, as they obviously haven't learned anything.

"I think you're looking at this subject from a left-wing point of view" ha hah hah haaaa ha ha ha! grin You are so far from the truth (in my case) that it really brightened up my day! I grew up in the 70's [old gimmer emoticon] it was indeed bloody fantastic with free wine and beer and jobs for only white people and you could call a paki a paki and a nigger a coon if you wanted, aye it was bloody lovely it was [misty-eyed emoticon]. Its bloody irritating having to reign in the offensiveness in public these days, unless you work for your company, when I gather you can be as offensive as you like cos its only having a laff init.

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 12:41:27

no. thebossofme.

the use of lingo just doesnt ring true. I'm a director,
all the boasting about running a happy ship is just PR.

Anyone in a position of responsibility knows that it's all monkeys in a tree

those at the top look down and see a lot of happy faces looking up
those at the bottom look up and see a bunch of @rseholes

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Wed 01-Feb-12 12:52:16

Sorry, my mistake then, but I could have sworn it was boffy who was doing all the happy workplace boasting where everybody was at liberty to be as offensive as they wanted and anyone who objected was playing some sort of card or other.

I'm a director too (of a teeeny tiny little company) and all I can say is if anyone used the sort of language which boffy seems to like so much they would be out of the door before you could say P45

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 12:57:19

i agree. the sneaks dont last long either though

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Wed 01-Feb-12 13:01:04

Say what??????????????????????

Are you seriously suggesting that reporting someone for racist language is the work of a sneak?

I kind of want to say we are all entitled to our opinion but I'm afraid I have to say: you are so wrong!

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Wed 01-Feb-12 13:02:21

Kewcumber I love you too!

Pendeen Wed 01-Feb-12 13:32:20


It's been debated at length above.

The OP was criticised (by me amongst others) for not having the courage of her convictions to object to the 'chink' comment directly but instead went and complained to someone else.

The OP disagreed. I disagreed with the OP. It became a little heated and there that particular sub text faded away however the ebb and flow of discussion seems to have now drifted into more murky waters with claims of 1970s style freewheeling firms still trading, 'Equality & Diversity Courses' (never realised there were such things) and so on.

One point I would make to some of the contributors who seem to think that the terms expressed by boffy are rarely used at work is to visit a few building sites.

yellowraincoat Wed 01-Feb-12 13:34:06

Yes, the working classes are so horribly racist aren't they? The scum.

windsorTides Wed 01-Feb-12 13:41:48

If you've never heard of an equality and diversity course, you must be hopelessly out of touch with the modern workplace Pendeen. As you are with the construction industry. There have been numerous sackings for employees and sub-contractors using offensive language on building sites.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 13:47:15

oldmac I'm the md. I don't own it. Ergo I work for it. I have a CEO and a chairman over me, and we are a ftse listed company. The shareholders own us, and I work for them, ultimately. I have shares of my own, but they are sadly a minuscule proportion of the total number of shares.

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Wed 01-Feb-12 13:48:00

Pendeen yes I think I got that, but surely she was right to go through official channels rather than take her manager to task about it. For one thing it was her manager, and for another, it becomes personal if you argue the toss on ths pot as it were rather than treating it as a workplace equality and diversity issue.

Anyway, as you said, it has been rehearsed earlier

And windsor speaking as one who is hopelessly out of touch with the construction industry I am blinking relieved to hear what you say about sackings for offensive language/behaviour there.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 13:49:28

sarah thank you, but the credit must go to my family who taught me do very much about what dignity means.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 13:49:58

So very much, not do very much blush

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Wed 01-Feb-12 13:50:14

Agreed Boss...but you learned it well grin

catinboots Wed 01-Feb-12 13:51:46


Just had an email from HR asking for a meeting on Friday morning to discuss the E & D issue I raised with the representative......


yellowraincoat Wed 01-Feb-12 13:52:31

No need to be nervous, OP, you're the one in the right.

windsorTides Wed 01-Feb-12 13:58:46

Construction firms bidding for work from large organisations especially, have to provide evidence of an equality and diversity policy and evidence that the policy is not just a 'lip-service' document. The firm's owners are held to be vicariously liable for the behaviour of their employees and subcontractors. Several construction firms lost business because members of the public and individual workers complained about the offensive culture on sites. It became a pragmatic business-led decision to put an end to that culture, but this has led to a safer environment for workers and for members of the public who would prefer to walk past sites untroubled by jeers, catcalls and sexist or racist remarks.

donnie Wed 01-Feb-12 13:59:59

this is interesting. If anyone is cares, I took issue with the term 'chinky' on MN a few years ago and was called all manner of names as a result. I can't do links but its in the Pregnancy section, June 07 and the thread title is 'placenta'. 71 posts long. If ssomeone could link to it I would really like you to read it - I see precious little has changed!

windsorTides Wed 01-Feb-12 14:00:05

Might be worth writing down exactly what happened OP because HR will ask you for a statement. Stick to facts in this and not hearsay from others.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 01-Feb-12 14:01:57

Good luck, OP, and you'll be fine. Just stay calm and professional and be truthful. You have done the right thing. I'm 100% sure that HR agree with you.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 14:08:55

You 100% did this right thing, cat, don't be nervous. Second the suggestion about writing down what happened beforehand, it's easy to get flustered even when you've done nothing wrong.

Re building sites, I used to walk well out of my way to avoid going past a particular building site when I was a girl. It was hideous to walk past, racist jeers, catcalling, spitting, the works. Nowadays, I don't feel that sick feeling, because I just don't experience it so often. Whether that's because people are less racist or just more scared of losing their jobs, I don't know. But I do actually believe its the former. Of course there's a long way still to go, but I for one am extremely glad of the distance we've come from the 1970s.

Obviously not far enough, though, judging from this thread.

donnie Wed 01-Feb-12 14:11:25

BTW BOffy - if you are quite happy to work in an environment where men regularly demean women with sexist abuse then shame on you. What a coward you are too.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 14:14:56

oldmac regarding it being a happy workforce. It's a very competitive and rapidly growing industry, with jobs galore for skilled people across the globe. So if people aren't happy, they just go and find a job elsewhere. We have half the staff turnover rate of the industry norm, remunerate well ahead of the average and have superb benefits and career progression opportunities (eg, I'm currently working out of our Thailand office for a couple of years, which is pretty damn dreamy). It's a happy workforce. And one which is free of racist or sexist "banter". The two go hand in hand. How can it be a happy workforce if half your staff are racist and the others are being regularly insulted?

Of course, I suspect I would be happier living on a sailboat somewhere off Bora Bora, but we all have bills to pay!

catinboots Wed 01-Feb-12 14:15:12

I will tell them when it was said. But do I bring in to the discussion how it personally offends me??

It offends me because it is an offensive term, full stop. But I also have two half Chinese nephews. Do I mention that or is that making it too personal??

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 14:16:44

Notice I am trying very hard to avoid getting offended about being subtly accused of being a liar by OldMac grin

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 14:18:09

I don't think you need to explain why you find it offensive. It's enough to state the facts and point out that it's contrary to your place of employments e&d policies, which is why you are bringing it to their attention.

yellowraincoat Wed 01-Feb-12 14:19:42

I don't think your personal circumstances are important. I don't have any relatives who aren't white and I would be offended by that shit too.

windsorTides Wed 01-Feb-12 14:20:27

No, leave the personal out of it. It would offend most people, regardless of their own race or that of relatives/friends.

catinboots Wed 01-Feb-12 14:22:40


It is offensive whatever. Best not to make it personal. Will come across as more of s professional gripe IYSWIM

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 01-Feb-12 14:24:15

I agree, leave out the personal aspect.

ruddynorah Wed 01-Feb-12 14:32:10

I had a senior manager ask me if a particular customer, who had been rude, was Asian or normal. This was last week. I'm still not sure what to do. She went on to say we do need to try to be polite if they're white.

ruddynorah Wed 01-Feb-12 14:32:47

I am not white by the way. And I'm not Asian.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 01-Feb-12 14:32:51

ruddynorah, report, report, report! That's outrageous.

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 14:34:13

Good luck OP. I may not agree with a lot of this thread, but that doesnt stop me wishing you all the best smile

stick to the facts. tell the truth the wole truth and nothing but the truth.

and remember - the internet never sleeps.

go to google and type in 'chinky education e&d' and this thread will be at the top of that list.

Your HR might be onto that.


sozzledchops Wed 01-Feb-12 14:42:27

paki is common where I come from for the corner shop, same with chinky for a takeaway. People don't usually realise or mean any harm but it should be discussed and pointed out. think the younger generation are getting better hopefully and it will die out with the older folk.

RunnyGrobbles Wed 01-Feb-12 15:04:32

A bit hmm about the people who come on this thread to defend their right to say 'Chinky' or 'Paki'.

Seriously, what is wrong with you? If someone feels that a word is offensive to their ethnic group, why not just stop saying it? If you genuinely didn't understand that the word was a term of abuse and not just a nickname like 'Aussie', just explain that that was the case, no-one will hold it against you. BUT STOP SAYING IT ANYWAY! YOU KNOW NOW!

Presumably some of these racists people come on these threads every single week and say "I had no idea that XXX was offensive, what will the PC brigade think of next?"

phoebeophelia the proper name for people from Pakistan is not 'Paks' or 'Pakis'. Unlike Afghanistan or Kurdistan, the name of the country does not mean 'the country of the Paks or the Pakis'. It means 'land of the pure', ie ideologically islamic, and is also a contraction of the names of the five provinces which formed Pakistand originally. There was never a group of people called the 'Paks' or the 'Pakis' prior to the founding of Pakistan.

But SEE MY POINT ABOVE. If people find it hurtful, regardless of etymology ask them what they want to be called and call them that!

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 15:12:09

you are missing the point runnygrobs

the person(student) did not find it hurtful. the person did not even hear it. it was someone getting offended on someone elses behalf and being oversensitive. imvho

RunnyGrobbles Wed 01-Feb-12 15:20:25

You are missing my point.


I said 'IF PEOPLE FIND IT HURTFUL', by 'it' meaning the word.


Hope this helps.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 15:22:42

Cat found it hurtful and personally offensive, since she has Chinese family members. Not that it matters. An insult doesn't have to be directed at me for me to find it offensive.

Pendeen Wed 01-Feb-12 15:23:19

As regards windsorTides points:

I work for myself so your comment " If you've never heard of an equality and diversity course, you must be hopelessly out of touch with the modern workplace Pendeen. " is rather irrelevant.

I don't deal with large contractors - most of my projects have been built by small firms mostly local to this area so I accept the Kiers and Balfour Beatties of this world may be very different. Do you have direct experience of this?

Although now I think about it, when I was a student and during my year out and 'Part 3' training years I had to visit some large building sites. The sexism was fairly widespread (this was during the early 2000s so not that long ago) but because of the area there were no rascist comments

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Wed 01-Feb-12 15:24:39

the person(student) did not find it hurtful. the person did not even hear it. it was someone getting offended on someone elses behalf and being oversensitive. imvho

Respectfully, OldMac I think it's you who are missing the point. Leaving aside the fact that the student may well have been offended if s/he had heard it, equality, or just plain good manners, should not be based on what you can get away with. OP may not personally have been in the firing line but she has shown strength of purpose by standing shoulder to shoulder with those who were.

Getting offended on someone else's behalf carries far more weight imvho than getting offended on your own (not that that isn't importnat too!)

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 15:26:52

you said ask them what they want to be called, then call them that.

there are a lot of oversensitive people around, many go actively looking for things to be offended by, I suppose it makes them feel good.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 15:29:02

No, mac, being racially abused doesn't make me feel good.

RunnyGrobbles Wed 01-Feb-12 15:33:01

there are a lot of racist people around too.

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 15:34:09

I wouldn't know , I've been abused but never racially. Unless you class being called an English cunt by a scotswoman racial abuse.

yellowraincoat Wed 01-Feb-12 15:34:27

If that was true, OldMac, liberal types would go to BNP meetings constantly, just to hear racist things.

I'm pretty sure that doesn't happen.

Just because something doesn't offend you doesn't mean you have to talk down to people it does offend.

yellowraincoat Wed 01-Feb-12 15:36:54

Oh and OldMac, as to your comment that the student didn't hear it so it's ok? Seriously?

So you think as long as no-one from Pakistan hears the word "Paki", it's fine. What if I'm halfway through saying the word and a Pakistani person come into the room?

"So I was talking to this Pak...oh hi there...this person from Pakistan today..."

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 15:37:46

yellow said
'Just because something doesn't offend you doesn't mean you have to talk down to people it does offend.'

thats true and I have wished the OP all the best. and I wished her well for friday

I have also said that I disagree with a lot thats been said. I think I will leave it there

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Wed 01-Feb-12 15:39:04

many go actively looking for things to be offended by

I think this is an excuse trotted out by people who want to say what the hell they like without being called on it. Like those who use the old chestnut 'PC gone mad' to preface saying something which is in fact hugely objectionable.

Disclaimer : not levelling this at you Oldmac, just a general observation

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 15:39:41

yellow, I was pulling apart a half baked argument.
I was actually making the same point as you, probably not clearly enough

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 15:41:48

lol, level away sarah.
call me an english cunt if you wish
after all, im english, and a bit of a cunt sometimes

yellowraincoat Wed 01-Feb-12 15:42:34

Thank God we have you around for these intellectual crises OldMac.

I really don't know what you think you've pulled apart or what the half-baked argument was. You mean the half-baked argument that you shouldn't call Chinese people "chinky"?

Agincourt Wed 01-Feb-12 15:42:58

I think it's fine to ask someone to stop using a term that is seen offensive and I also agree that alot of people may not even know it's offensive. I have worked in retail management and have often had to pull employees up on their choice of language, retard is a typical one that springs to mind that became popular in recent years hmm It doesn't matter whether it offends you or not either, the fact of the matter is it is offensive and if you work in a public facing role especially, it needs to be dealt with.

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 15:45:49

anyway, i made a serious point ^
about the web
if the op wants to pm me, cat, feel free

catinboots Wed 01-Feb-12 15:51:30


I'm on an iPhone do can't PM. Tried googling the phrase you stated but found nothing

catinboots Wed 01-Feb-12 15:51:54


RunnyGrobbles Wed 01-Feb-12 15:52:51

But seriously, OldMacEIEIO, why can't you call people what they want to be called? Even if there are legions of people falsely claiming to be offended by totally innocuous words (hint: there probably aren't), what is your problem with not saying anything that you know could be taken as abusive?

It seems a little bizarre, not to mention rude, to insist on upsetting people, just because you won't tolerate calling your takeaway anything other than what you have always called it. Why the insistence on such rudeness? I can understand you vigorously defending your right to religious or political expression. But why are the words you use so important to you? What you call 'chips', if you were French would be called 'frites'. Does the meaning change? It is not clear to me why you can't refer to things using a different word which has the same meaning, but is not offensive. Do you disbelieve the several posters above who have written detailed explanations of why they find 'Chinky' to be extremely hurtful and offensive? Do you really believe that they have made these stories up, just to stop you using the language you so badly want to use?

OR could it be just that you are a racist who is routinely seen on threads like this, usually claiming to have been arrested for teaching your children 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'?

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 15:53:13

its top of the list trust me.
I will PM you.

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 16:14:26

I believe in treating people with fairness and respect. That means when they are with you or far away.
I also believe that it is possible to abuse someone, insult them and I believe its possible to racially abuse someone.
I am simply making the point that calling someone a chink is not treating that person with fairness or respect, it is wrong, and it should not be condoned. But it is abuse and an insult, not racial abuse.
Racism is something different entirely

Racism is getting stabbed to death at a bus stop because of the colour of your skin because you are supposedly 'inferior'

thats why I dont like the word being bandied about. lets use the language properly

I am an English cunt - apparently. Thats not rasism, thats insulting. If she had said she was better than me because i was an english cunt - i would have dropkicked her

Whatmeworry Wed 01-Feb-12 16:22:42

I think this is an excuse trotted out by people who want to say what the hell they like without being called on it. Like those who use the old chestnut 'PC gone mad' to preface saying something which is in fact hugely objectionable.

That the term "preofessionally offended" even exists, that there are many quite a few biting satires about the stereotypical person, and that most people would know exactly what is meant by it, tells me that it is not "an excuse trotted out", but a societal reaction to a particular subgroup of zealots.

catinboots Wed 01-Feb-12 16:23:51

Jeez. Racism is only racism if you are stabbed to death at a bus stop?


windsorTides Wed 01-Feb-12 16:26:45

No, it just means that people who've enjoyed privileges in the past because of their race or colour are reluctant to give them up.

In answer to your question Pendeen - yes, I have direct experience of this. Also, are you saying you personally use firms who perpetuate this culture?

windsorTides Wed 01-Feb-12 16:31:17

Incidentally cat, although all the usual suspects have turned up on your thread, bear in mind that Mumsnet is currently being targeted by another site and might explain some of these shocking posts. That site is full of misogynists but as this thread shows, the posters who refuse to see misogyny where it exists often also live in denial of racism, even when it as obvious as the example you've complained about.

RunnyGrobbles Wed 01-Feb-12 16:31:18

OldMacEIEIO [shakes head slowly emoticon].

That the term "preofessionally offended" even exists, that there are many quite a few biting satires about the stereotypical person, and that most people would know exactly what is meant by it, tells me that it is not "an excuse trotted out", but a societal reaction to a particular subgroup of zealots.

Right. And the fact that most people know what a unicorn is, means that they do actually exist.

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 16:31:21

not just stabbed, and not just bus stops.
Anwhere where the belief in racial differences justifies non equal treatment.

just mentioning race doesnt count, even though it might be insulting

Whatmeworry Wed 01-Feb-12 16:33:34

Right. And the fact that most people know what a unicorn is, means that they do actually exist.

No one has satirised unicorns. Unicorn seekers, on the other hand.....

windsorTides Wed 01-Feb-12 16:34:07

Fortunately, the law disagrees with you OldMac and it's the law and the college's own policies that will guide HR when they are dealing with Cat's complaint.

yellowraincoat Wed 01-Feb-12 16:34:58

No, mentioning race in itself is not offensive.

Using the word "chinky" is.

If there was one, say, Japanese girl working in a shop full of white people and I wanted to talk to her, yes, I'll say the Japanese girl. Same as when I worked in Saudi, I was the only white person in my building and people would say "the European girl".

There's no problem with that. But the word "chinky" has been used for years to racially abuse people.

catinboots Wed 01-Feb-12 16:38:09

BTW I grew up just 5 minutes walk from the 'Stephen Lawrence bus stop'

OldMacEIEIO Wed 01-Feb-12 16:44:47

The law disagrees with me ? thats the first time I ever heard that

give me a few minutes while I check that one out.

Technoviking Wed 01-Feb-12 16:55:05

I haven't seen a good in defence of offending people thread in a while.
My mum used to say "you can't say anything anymore". I pointed out that this is because people are less tolerance of the abuse and bigotry spouted by others, my mum included.

Pendeen Wed 01-Feb-12 20:54:28


" Also, are you saying you personally use firms who perpetuate this culture? "

Drifting a long way OT here - apologies to other contributors - but as you asked...

The building industry does not work like that.

I do not choose the contractors, they are chosen and employed by the client.

My role - if I am involved in the construction phase - is to see that they build in accordance with my design and to the required regulations and standards.

Plus the fact that main factors influencing a client's decision to use a particular firm would not be the workforce's attitudes to equality but instead trifling matters such as price, availability, skills and diligence.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 23:41:42

Cat, the thread comes up if you google the words oldmac suggested. However, the chances of your hr team googling the slightly random combo are pretty low. Even if they did, you haven't said anything that can identify the actual education institute, I don't think. And your employer probably has whistleblower protection policies in place. So three reasons I wouldn't worry about it, you've done nothing wrong in posting the thread.

TheBossofMe Wed 01-Feb-12 23:47:06

Oldmac, it's an offence under section 5 of the public order act. Am on phone now, but will link when online properly.

windsorTides Thu 02-Feb-12 01:11:59

I have no idea what you do for a living Pendeen but I misunderstood your earlier post and thought you were speaking from the client's position, not as an architect/designer.

As a client, I have commissioned several building projects for various premises over the years and I am concerned that people working on my business's premises (and my home for that matter) conduct themselves appropriately, as well as being insistent that they perform the job economically and with skill and diligence. All of these factors as well as others are in the contract of work. All of my business associates operate the same way and one longstanding business contact had no compunction in getting rid of a firm who had breached a contract because of the behaviour of its sub-contractors on site, despite the requisite number of warnings.

TheBossofMe Thu 02-Feb-12 05:48:57

My mistake, its covered under both sections 4a and section 5:

4A Intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he—
(a)uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
(b)displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,
thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.
(2)An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the person who is harassed, alarmed or distressed is also inside that or another dwelling.
(3)It is a defence for the accused to prove—
(a)that he was inside a dwelling and had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation displayed, would be heard or seen by a person outside that or any other dwelling, or
(b)that his conduct was reasonable.

5 Harassment, alarm or distress.

A person is guilty of an offence if he—
(a)uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
(b)displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,
within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.
(2)An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside that or another dwelling.
(3)It is a defence for the accused to prove—
(a)that he had no reason to believe that there was any person within hearing or sight who was likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, or
(b)that he was inside a dwelling and had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation displayed, would be heard or seen by a person outside that or any other dwelling, or
(c)that his conduct was reasonable.

So if I interpret this correctly, you can, in the eyes of the law, use sexist, racist and any other ist behaviour in your own home. Anywhere like a workplace, shop, etc, you are committing an offence if anyone present deems to have been distressed by your language. I think (note, I am not a lawyer and have no legal skills whatsoever!)

TheBossofMe Thu 02-Feb-12 05:50:03

If anyone wants to read the legislation for themselves, its here www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64

TheBossofMe Thu 02-Feb-12 05:56:01

Sarah made a really insightful comment upthread which I've only just spotted, apologies. I think it bears repeating, because for me it has a simple honesty and dignity to it:

"Getting offended on someone else's behalf carries far more weight imvho than getting offended on your own"

I couldn't agree more. It's part of what makes us evolved, isn't it? The fact that we have moved beyond pure self interest. Long may that continue.

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Thu 02-Feb-12 11:07:31

In all my incarnations on MN this is the first citation of one of my posts that has me positively preening (mind you people are usually insulting me grin ).

Simple and honest, yep that's me! Thanks thanks

Good luck tomorrow cat

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Thu 02-Feb-12 11:09:41

btw Boss the thanks is utterly genuine...it might sound a bit sarcastic!!! blush

dontellimpike Thu 02-Feb-12 11:39:24

Excuse me for being a little behind everyone else (different time zone). I have been watching this thread with increasing sadness.

I am British but living abroad. I have Chinese neighbors, Chinese colleagues, Chinese clients and Chinese friends. How do you think they would react if I started referring to them as ‘Chinky’? I would end up with no friends and no job, because they would react to what is a very offensive term. Even those people on the thread who pretend to believe that it is not an insulting term will have to admit that they would not dare use it if they lived amongst Chinese people. You know this, because you know that it is a very offensive way to talk about people. You think that it doesn’t matter because where you live, Chinese people are a minority group and can be talked about in a disparaging way with impunity.

As for ‘axewound’ and ‘splitarse’ – anybody who used terms like this in my company would get their marching orders pdq. What kind of organization allows this?

catinboots – quite right to report it. Your company has a procedure for dealing with this kind of problem and you followed it. Don’t get this ‘snitch her up’ business.

TheBossofMe Thu 02-Feb-12 12:14:03

sarah it didn't sound sarcastic at all. I think we are in danger of forming a mutual appreciation society!

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Thu 02-Feb-12 12:19:14

Just what I was thinking!!! Great minds think alike grin [boak]

TheBossofMe Thu 02-Feb-12 12:47:36


Catinboots, YANBU.

Pendeen Thu 02-Feb-12 15:20:08


Apolgies on this point - I thought from what I had written my ocupation was clear but upon re-reading I can see that terms such as 'Part 3' and 'year out' would be understood by very few outside the profession. My fault of course but I think we all are guilty of speaking in jargon at times.

I understand your position as client and I quite agree you are fully entitled to enforce any contractural criteria that are important to you.

TheBossofMe Fri 03-Feb-12 12:20:36

cat how did today go?

catinboots Fri 03-Feb-12 12:42:52

Hi - was just coming to update.

It was ok. I had to give a statement saying what had happened. The HR woman was very nice but kept it very matter of fact.

She asked why I hadn't challenged my manager - I said I didn't feel it was my place. She asked why I hadn't gone to my manager's line manager. I said that I felt that the E and D rep was a more suitable person to advise me. Also, my manager is friends outside of work with her manager IYSWIM, so that makes it very awkward.

I explained that I personally felt her language was inappropriate and offensive. But that I understood that different people had different boundaries. I explained that I felt it reflected badly on us as a team. SHe was quite sympathetic.

She asked who else was present at the time and I gave her the other staff members names. SHe has now said that she will have to contact them. Everyone will know it was me who raised it as I was the one who expressed my shock first to the rest of the team. I just hope that they are prepared to back me up. I just think people quite often don't want to get involved in this sort of thing, despite it all being anonymous

well done cat.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 03-Feb-12 12:52:32

Yes, well done, and I'm sure that even if your colleagues feel unable to back you up explicitly they will not undermine you in any way.

If possible, might it be worth you letting HR know that you weren't too sure about who to contact? It sounds as though lines of communication/command might not have been made completely clear to you (and presumably across the company as a whole).

TheBossofMe Fri 03-Feb-12 15:33:20

Well done cat and don't be worried, you did the right thing.

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Fri 03-Feb-12 15:43:29

Good on ya Cat

I can't remember the exact quotation (nor the source!) but there is a saying that goes along the lines of...

All that is necessary for evil to flourish is that good (wo)men do nothing.

You have done something. Be proud. Be very proud thanks

Pendeen Fri 03-Feb-12 15:48:25

" I just hope that they are prepared to back me up. "

I suspect we all do because it will be very awkward for you if they do not.

Tis Oscar Wilde Sarah (aren't they all? grin)

That's helpful Pendeen. Why don't you ask her if she's left the iron on and remembered to file her tax return too, just to add to the worry level?

Jins Fri 03-Feb-12 16:42:20

I've read most of the thread and I'm amazed by some of the opinons expressed.

OP you did the right thing. I hope you update us with the decision then it's another bit of evidence to show the less enlightened on the thread that they need to up their game to join the modern world.

catinboots Fri 03-Feb-12 16:49:17

Thanks for your support guys.

And thanks especially to Sarah for my first ever bunch of MN flowers grin

upahill Fri 03-Feb-12 16:57:35

The quote you are thinking of is "In order for evil to flourish, all that is required is for good men to do nothing."

From Edward Burke not Oscar Wilde.

No, I reckon it was Dorothy Parker.

Or possibly Winston Churchill. He said some good 'uns grin

Kewcumber Mon 06-Feb-12 13:22:31

I have a quote too:

"If you're going to behave like a knob and call people offensive names, then expect people to treat you like a knob" - Kewcumber 2012

Pendeen Mon 06-Feb-12 13:54:45


I will leave that sort of thing to you...

As you seem to have not understood - the OP needs to think about what to do if no one backs her up because if that happens the situation could become very messy indeed.

Gosh, you're so wise Pendeen.

You'll leave that sort of thing to me? Why would I say something like that? Given my support of the OP, that makes less than no sense at all.

<gives up on the Wilfully Misunderstanding and Hard of Thinking populating MN atm>

HardCheese Mon 06-Feb-12 20:13:12

Good on you, catinboots. I can't see any reason why your colleagues shouldn't back you up - you were the one who stuck your neck out in reporting, and surely there's no risk to your colleagues collectively in testifying that what you reported was accurate?

TheBossofMe Mon 06-Feb-12 22:57:15

No it won't pendeen, because cat has right on her side, the courage of her convictions, and the law on her side, and I'm sure her employer has whistleblower protection in place, as do most modern employers these days.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 07-Feb-12 09:53:58

What TheBoss said. I'm really disturbed by all the schoolyard language and attitude on this thread. One of the great things about adult workplaces is that structures and procedures are in place to protect against racist or otherwise offensive behaviour and language, and bullying in all its other forms. There need be no fear about whether people will back you up or not, or if you're in the 'right' gang, or if you're 'popular' enough. Thank God, most of us have long left all that rubbish behind.

Pendeen Tue 07-Feb-12 17:27:25


".. Why don't you ask her if she's left the iron on and remembered to file her tax return too, .."

" Why would I say something like that? "

Becoming a tad confused are we? Why would I?

As you are not the only one to not understand my point, I will make this clear ...

The OP raised this particular concern when she wrote "... I just hope that they are prepared to back me up. I just think people quite often don't want to get involved in this sort of thing, despite it all being anonymous ..."

Therefore if the other staff do not confirm the OP's complaint then it is simply one person's word against another's.

Hence my advice that she should think about what to do if this happens.

Honestly, I can't be bothered. You're right, Pendeen, you're the rightest person on the internet. Congratulations.

catinboots Tue 07-Feb-12 18:09:48

There is a whistleblower policy they will protect my identity

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 07-Feb-12 18:15:59

OP, good; I'm glad to hear it. Just to say it again – you did the right thing.

SarahDoctorIndyHouse Tue 07-Feb-12 18:57:57

Ditto LadyClarice et al.

If you are able Cat it would be good to hear how this pans out.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 07-Feb-12 19:01:54

Cat you did totally the right thing. I hope it all gets sorted.

Pendeen Tue 07-Feb-12 20:28:23

Glad to hear it.

charleneanna Tue 07-Feb-12 22:31:00

wtf is wrong with chink/chinky

Bobyan Tue 07-Feb-12 22:38:30

charleneanna stick to dead people Love, they're more on you level.

HoneyandHaycorns Tue 07-Feb-12 22:40:36

FFS charleneanna please just read the thread.

Bobyan Tue 07-Feb-12 22:48:50

Poxy phone!

catinboots Wed 28-Mar-12 10:14:36

OK. I thought I should come back for an update seeing as so many of you were supportive and lovely.

Not good news I'm afraid.

One week after me reporting my line manager for racist language, another member of my team took an official grievance against me for bullying. This girl is a jobsworth friend of the new line manager.

I have been put through the mill. Undergoing a traumatic investigation into my relationship with this girl - who admittedly I have had a personality clash with. Following a lengthy investigation the Vice Principle of the college has found me 'guilty' of bullying this girl. I am now off sick with stress/anxiety and awaiting a meeting with a senior manager to decide if my behaviour constitutes gross misconduct or not.

The whole thing stinks. I had witnesses and witness statements fighting my corner but to no avail. The top ranks are closing in and protecting each other. It just shows how corrupt the public sector is. In the meantime the investigation in to my line manager still continues - no doubt her conclusion will be better than mine sad

I'm cross, so cross, but still feel I was fundamentaly right in what I did. I have the union fighting my corner.....

cat x

TunipTheVegemal Wed 28-Mar-12 10:19:23

OP, FGS get the thread deleted ASAP!

If they find it they will use it against you. In the first post you said she was thick.

catinboots Wed 28-Mar-12 12:31:09

Tunip - I haven't done anything wrong though. Why should I get it deleted? This is anonymous and doesn't identify anyone. Even if they found it (unlikely) they couldn't use it against me.......

TunipTheVegemal Wed 28-Mar-12 12:40:16

They may or may not be trawling the internet looking for things to discredit you, and if they are this would be easy to find, then the fact that they have identified you means that they will argue it is identifiable.
They can then take it out of context ('She called her victim thick on the internet!' to make you look bad.)
Seriously, why give them the ammo? Whether you are right or wrong is neither here nor there, we have already established that they are playing dirty.
Good luck x.

hackmum Wed 28-Mar-12 13:21:50

Catinboots - that is very alarming. If you're a member of a union, I would get in touch with your rep straight away.

Private Eye often carries stories about the hounding of whistleblowers in the public sector. Maybe you should get in touch with them at some point - if you feel it's worth it.

hackmum Wed 28-Mar-12 13:22:20

Sorry, you already said you had the union on your side - doh!

HardCheese Wed 28-Mar-12 14:25:03

Catinboots - I'm so sorry to hear this. I'd like to think it's some consolation to you that your orginal action was more than justified, but I imagine that in all the grimness and stress, it's probably very little comfort. Very best wishes to you as this proceeds, and I hope the union is able to help.

Pendeen Wed 28-Mar-12 14:40:08

"... admittedly I have had a personality clash ..."

"... Following a lengthy investigation the Vice Principle of the college has found me 'guilty' of bullying this girl. ..."

Unfortunate but why do you link this to your original AIBU? Do you really believe you are the victim of a conspiracy?

sairygamp Wed 28-Mar-12 14:41:41

I once discussed a work issue on MN - they did trawl and found it - I very nearly lost everything. Seriously be very careful. sad

alemci Wed 28-Mar-12 14:47:35

oh dear this sounds horrendous for you. I am sorry it has turned out like this. I have had experience of this sort of thing and people close rank on you.

catinboots Wed 28-Mar-12 16:55:58

Yes Pendeen. I do. The complaint about me was made just days after the issue I raised.

flippinada Wed 28-Mar-12 18:54:05


I'm so sorry to read about the outcome of this. It must be horrendously stressful for you.

I would recommend that you get the thread pulled, just to be on the safe side. I know people who have been pulled up for similar. If you still need support maybe start another thread somewhere like OTBT?

Good luck.

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