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to think that yes, you actually were racist...

(60 Posts)
pamplem0usse Wed 27-Feb-13 20:11:35

john Lewis...
Massive muck up with order...
Guy who I spoke to on Saturday didn't call back on Sunday as promised.
Spoke to a manager who said 'I dont mean to be racist Mrs Fostee but did the person you spoke to have an Indian accent?

John Lewis only have British call centres.


twilight3 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:29:55

hmm.... I wouldn't think it was racist if he hadn't started the sentence with "I don't mean to be racist". I don't see HOW it is racist, but usually, when people start a sentence with "I don't mean to be racist/rude/inappropriate etc.", is because they're planning to do exactly that in the rest of that sentence.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 27-Feb-13 20:31:49

Racist? Why? How?

They may only have England based call centres but.....Indian people do live it England you know?

He was obviously trying to track your order and trying to find the right person.

ubik Wed 27-Feb-13 20:33:19

Jesus i remember NF marches up our high street in the 1980's and BNPare atill getting votes - and mumsnet is worrying if some random shop assistant is racist or not

twilight3 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:36:20

random shop assistants and random people in the street are the people who vote and the people who march for whatever cause they favour... So "random" people are NOT irrelevant to the general public opinion on racism

WildEyedAndHairy Wed 27-Feb-13 20:43:32

Pre-facing any sentence with "I'm not being... but..." usually means the person is going to do or say exactly what they said they weren't. On the basis of that I think the OP is NBU.

Small insidious incidents of racism. OP is told to get a grip and other posters wonder why people are still voting for the BNP. I'm sure there is absolutely no connection whatsoever hmm

Isityouorme Wed 27-Feb-13 20:53:06

FFS .....

catgirl1976 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:55:57

Not racist but odd. Not odd to ask if the person you spoke to had an Indian accent, but very odd to preceed that with "I don't mean to be racist but.."


ErrorError Wed 27-Feb-13 21:32:32

Agreed catgirl He probably wasn't being racist, but could have done without clarifying his non-racism as it's made OP all discombobulated and thinking he was being racist. Because often "I'm not being racist but..." sometimes leads to a racist comment. Unless he was so non-racist that he was terrified of being thought of as a racist that he had to make clear he wasn't, thus implying he was!

I was giving a statement to the police once describing someone as having "darker skin than the rest of them with black hair and a different accent. I hope that's not racist?" If I had said "The asian one" I might have saved myself a lot of faff but was caught up in my own PC discombobulation!

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Wed 27-Feb-13 23:38:56

" Unless he was so non-racist that he was terrified of being thought of as a racist that he had to make clear he wasn't, thus implying he was!"


ffs, OP, Get a grip.

thebody Wed 27-Feb-13 23:42:15

Well I have awful trouble phoning sky.. Call centre in Scotland and I can't understand a bloody word they say.

I am brummie though so its a two way puzzle..

Owllady Wed 27-Feb-13 23:49:22

i am from the west midlands and i can understand scottish accents

ErrorError Wed 27-Feb-13 23:49:39

That long winded ridiculous sentence was supposed to illustrate how ridiculous the issue is. Not making fun of the OP, but clearly she thought it was important enough to make a thread about when most people wouldn't have given it a second thought.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 27-Feb-13 23:49:49


Phone John Lewis back and ask if they could include an extra large grip with your order.

Owllady Wed 27-Feb-13 23:53:25

I tend to agree with errorerror
someone who is racist says I am not racist I once had a friend from pakistan
and then says something racist

I overheard someone in the school playground the other day who said the man who bought sars into the country came in from a flight from pakistan so they were obviously one of those indians

which is racist. I didn't know whether to laugh (and point out the geography) or cry

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 28-Feb-13 00:21:36

Absolutely, Error. Problem is, you are spot on.

This is what is happening. And it makes me sad.

firesidechat Thu 28-Feb-13 07:58:54

Can't see how that was racist. He was probably trying to track down who you spoke to and, because it was a phone conversation, an accent was the only identifying feature.

As for the "I don't mean to be racist" this was probably a result of over sensitivity to mentioning race at all. Poor man was just covering his back.

NamelessHereForEvermore Thu 28-Feb-13 08:09:52

What if he'd asked if the employee had a French accent? Would that be racist?

Well no - of course not - because 'French' is NOT a race.

YAB ridiculous OP and perhaps spending a little time with a dictionary until you've figured out exactly what 'racist' means will ease the terrible burden of worry from what passes for your mind.

BinksToEnlightenment Thu 28-Feb-13 08:37:38

I don't understand why mentioning people's accents is racist.

Orwellian Thu 28-Feb-13 08:57:16

YABU. Not racist at all. If he had said "was the person you spoke to a woman" would you think he was sexist? He was probably trying to find out which call centre you had spoken to.

skratta Thu 28-Feb-13 09:44:29

Definitely not racist. He was just looking for an identifying factor, to see who messed up in the call centre (therefore trying to help you) and because it was over the phone, the only thing you could describe would be accent (and therefore, in some cases such as an Indian accent, what they look like) and male/female voice, but sometimes that can be a bit hit or miss. If they asked you if they had a Scottish accent, would you consider it racist.

Yes, a bit odd that he prefaced it with 'I'm not racist, but...' But maybe it's because of exactly this situation!

WorraLiberty Thu 28-Feb-13 09:47:15

FFS I'm beginning to think a disturbingly high proportion of people have no idea what the word 'racist' actually means.

Look it up in the dictionary OP and educate yourself.

EssexGurl Thu 28-Feb-13 10:33:18

Not racist - just trying to identify the person. Would you say that if they had asked if they had a Scouse accent or a Welsh accent? I always make a note of who I talk to so I can give a name if I complain. Without a name, how else are they going to find out who it was you are complaining about?

LadyBeagleEyes Thu 28-Feb-13 10:38:43

Did he have an Indian accent though, Op? grin

SoleSource Thu 28-Feb-13 10:41:04

Are you that bored?

DeWe Thu 28-Feb-13 10:42:54

Well replace it with "did the person you spoke to have a Newcastle/Cockney/B'ham accent?" and would you think "racist"?

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