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to contact their employer?

(28 Posts)
commutingispants Thu 18-May-17 17:06:18

I commute to work by train. It's a tiny line, one carriage. Almost every day between 3-5 women get on. They're VERY loud.

Over the weeks and months of listening to them I have established where they work, what their jobs are etc. They work in the NHS in patient-facing roles.

My issue is that a lot of their conversation is openly racist, homophobic and generally offensive. They also complain about their workplace and in particular their supervisor who they refer to by name.

I wish that I could confront them but I have anxiety and don't feel I can. I've only got the confidence to use public transport in the last 6 months or so. I have seen others in the carriage look upset.

I also work in the NHS in a different role that isn't patient-facing (laboratories).

Now, if they were saying anything patient-identifiable I would be very confident in speaking with my own supervisor etc about addressing this as it's clearly in breach of the NHS code of conduct. I am just not sure about this- they're not in uniform and are private citizens on their journey to work, but I certainly wouldn't want my mixed-race family members to be looked after by them.

I was thinking of writing to the head of their unit not in my NHS role but as a "concerned citizen" highlighting what I've heard and asking for some sort of diversity training, in the hope that they'd be spoken to and would think twice about speaking like this in public. Would this be unreasonable?

To make it clear, you wouldn't have to listen to them for months to figure out their workplace info- an example of the sort of thing I've heard is "I'll be half-asleep through ** clinic this morning, those fucking p** and their screaming baby kept me up all night"

jarhead123 Thu 18-May-17 17:22:10

Wow that example IS bad.

I'm sure you'll get lots saying YAB but I actually agree with you.

I'd write to their manager/head of department

justkeepswimmingg Thu 18-May-17 17:28:09

Yes people are entitled to what ever options, and lifestyles they choose outside of work. That being said they are loudly broadcasting that they work for the NHS, whilst being racist, homophobic and offensive about the patients. I believe you should report them 100%, and YANBU. Is there any way of listening to get their names on your train journey, for your complaint? Best to name they all personally, and have some quotes they have said. I'd be concerned for family and friends being 'cared' for by people who clearly have no respect for them.

BorpBorpBorp Thu 18-May-17 17:29:43

If you and others in the carriage are upset, is it something that could be reported to the British transport police? (genuine question)

If you do contact their employer, only mention the racism and homophobia. It's OK for people to complain about their workplace and supervisors.

AnnetteCurtains Thu 18-May-17 17:30:36

They may not be in uniform but they have made themselves identifiable
Imagine if it were teachers having a similar conversation
I'd report it too

OracleofDelphi Thu 18-May-17 17:33:33

I would... in a heart beat.... if you can tell all this info in one or two journeys then it is unprofessional, and deeply concerning that they think nothing of being so open in their frankly outdated and unsavoury thoughts. Can you as PP said hear their names. If you could say they were called Sharon, Tanya, Ellie, Sam, and Tina all in this area, got on and X and off at X and clearly work for xx patient service - would that be enough info to have something done? However if you dont have any "evidence" would your branch of the NHS be able to do anything? Horrible for everyone to hear. sad

LadyPW Thu 18-May-17 17:38:07

As you say it's obvious from what they're saying which unit & department they belong to then you would be reasonable because although they're not in uniform, they are identifying themselves as working for that particular bit (as opposed to the NHS generally) and therefore harming its reputation. If you could only identify them as NHS-employees (not the case here) generally then although they're racist I'm not convinced you'd be justified trying to report them because the NHS is too big as a whole for the racism of a couple of employees in their private life to put people off using it IYSWIM (they'd currently put people off their identified section, but not off the NHS as a whole)

steppemum Thu 18-May-17 17:39:10

Be careful about the complaint. The issue is that they have identified their work place and THEN made homophoboc and racist remarks.
If they are just on the bus and you didn't knwo where they worked, thenn they are entitiled to their crap opinions, however bad.

And I echo a PP, you need to write down conrete examples of what they are saying.

scottishdiem Thu 18-May-17 17:47:33

I would probably record them on my phone for a bit (video) just to they cant claim that it was made up.

LonginesPrime Thu 18-May-17 17:48:53

On the grounds they're in the same wider profession as you, it feels like it is your business because they're bringing their profession, which is also your profession, into disrepute.

I guess it depends on their roles and what professional duties they have to comply with as well as general law, but I would think that as public sector workers, they have a duty to be inclusive and not use discriminatory language. I think there's also a duty on other public sector employees to call out discriminatory behaviour, and as PP have said, if you've been able to identify their roles by their conversations, I'm sure you won't have been the only member of the public who has.

I agree with documenting what you e heard first, though, as PPs have suggested.

DailyMailReadersAreThick Thu 18-May-17 17:50:54

I would report, absolutely.

In fact I have in similar circumstances - online racism - don't know the outcome, obviously, but I hope it made a difference.

ParisToLondonMamon Thu 18-May-17 18:18:36

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Tapandgo Thu 18-May-17 18:27:43

Well they might have to be less obnoxious in public - relief all round.

AnnetteCurtains Thu 18-May-17 18:28:54

Perhaps they are in the wrong job Paris

LonginesPrime Thu 18-May-17 18:44:57

Paris, people have every right to be dickheads on public transport (to a degree, at least), but I have a right to be looked after by public health workers who maintain professional standards and who don't believe it's ok to be openly racist and homophobic in public.

People don't lose their jobs for no reason, so if it came to that following an investigation and disciplinary panel, the I wouldn't feel it was my fault for reporting their actions; I would feel vindicated as their conduct would have clearly been unacceptable for it to result in their being fired.

commutingispants Thu 18-May-17 19:36:34

Thank you all. I think I feel more confident in doing something now! The documenting seems like a good idea- not sure I could get away with filming them but I'll certainly make some notes. The example I gave is the only one that's stuck in my head and I could repeat word for word.
I have heard all of their first names. Not 100% sure which one is which. The train is mainly 4-person tables so I have been surrounded by them a few times; next time that happens I'll try and work out who's who.

They definitely look after patients in their day-to-day jobs. They haven't complained about any patients by name, but general stereotypical things.

borp I hadn't even considered the transport police. Would they even be interested in this?

HeyHoThereYouGo657 Thu 18-May-17 19:41:25

God there are a shit load of grasses on here .

More unemployed then .? Christ sake .

isadoradancing123 Thu 18-May-17 19:57:45

You are too cowardly and anxious to confront them but would rather sneakily go behind their backs

LoudestRoar Thu 18-May-17 20:07:45

YANBU and I understand why you would sneakily go behind their backs to report this.
If OP did say something to them, she opens herself up to their comments, which going by what they say already, will probably not be very pleasant. Adding into the mix OP's anxiety, you really think it would be a good idea to confront them?

onalongsabbatical Thu 18-May-17 20:42:20

You are not cowardly, what an awful thing to say to someone who suffers with anxiety.
I do think, on balance, YWNBU to report them. They are abusing the trust and confidentiality of their positions; at the very least, they need some training in respect and empathy.

topcat2014 Thu 18-May-17 20:54:36

The NHS employs a million people (I think) - so all human life is there. I know we are supposed to treat it like the state religion, but it really isnt.

Personally, I don't really care that much about confidentiality (and I have currently got three consultants for various things), but then perhaps that's just me. In my office we all have a regular run down of everyone's health complaints..

Everyone is allowed, within reason, to hold various objectionable views - part of living in a free society.

So long as they are not inciting racial hatred, or whatever, I would leave them to it - they are only embarrassing themselves.

Running to their employer is a bit wierd, if you ask me. I pay my staff for the work during the day - the rest of their life is their own - this isn't secondary school anymore.

UnconventionalWarfare Thu 18-May-17 20:56:39

Mind your own business its not your responsibility to be offended on the behalf of others.

Empireoftheclouds Thu 18-May-17 21:00:46

Why do you care enough to try and work out who is who and complain about them? Just put some EarPods in and listen to your banging tunes in the morning ffs

DJBaggySmalls Thu 18-May-17 21:10:14

They are looking after vulnerable people. Screw anyone who cant tell the difference between grassing and whistle blowing.

twelly Thu 18-May-17 21:10:59

Whilst I understand your point of view and that the discussion this group are having is not what the op or myself might agree with they are entitled to their views. Public sector workers are entitled to personal views, their workplace does not own their thoughts and they are entitled to discuss their views. What if they were quieter and you could still hear them, what if they were speaking at a private event and overheard - my point is they can express their views are should be free to do so.

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