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To ask if you think this is offensive?

(109 Posts)
Whatisthisfuckery Mon 27-Jan-20 15:16:59

I just called DWP about my PIP application. The man on the phone, who didn’t sound particularly friendly tbh asked me if I have a terminal illness that is expected to end my life in the next six months. I said, ‘no, not that I’m aware of. I certainly hope not.’ Then he launched into me and accused me of joking about terminal illness and threatened to end the call.

I’ve had a really shit day and am a bit depressed atm and it really upset me. He may have someone close to him who is terminally ill and that was why he went off at me, but my dad has severe dementia so it’s not exactly an amusing subject for me either.

Would it have come across as if I was joking about terminal illness? I certainly wasn’t laughing when I said it and it wasn’t intended to be particularly funny. I thought he was being a bit U but happy to be told I’m wrong.

AIBU to think I wasn’t joking about terminal illness and he was out of order to have a go at me?

LaurieFairyCake Mon 27-Jan-20 15:22:24

You did nothing wrong, he's just an utter fuckface.

FudgeBrownie2019 Mon 27-Jan-20 15:23:37

YANBU he is a dick.

iklboo Mon 27-Jan-20 15:24:28

He either thinks of himself as Truly Woke or is an idiot. Even if he does have someone close to him with a terminal illness you do not speak to clients like that. I'd be tempted to call back and speak to his manager.

Brazi103 Mon 27-Jan-20 15:24:47

you said nothing wrong. what an idiot.

BaronessBomburst Mon 27-Jan-20 15:24:55

He was being an officious little prick.

TheRealShatParp Mon 27-Jan-20 15:25:02

If what you’ve written is what you said and you didn’t laugh, then no, I wouldn’t think you were joking about terminal illness.

MrsExpo Mon 27-Jan-20 15:25:06

Maybe he, or someone close to him, is terminally ill and it touched a raw nerve. I suspect the question was a standard one that everyone gets asked. You did nothing wrong.

2020cominatcha Mon 27-Jan-20 15:25:38

He was very odd. Your response sounds quite a normal one for being asked that out of the blue. I think I’d probably have said much the same thing, and I don’t think terminal illness is anything to joke about either.

Whatisthisfuckery Mon 27-Jan-20 15:27:19

Yes, officious little fuckfaced prick was my impression too but just wanted to check my thinking. I don’t like to offend people in general but his response did seem rather nasty.

Ennith Mon 27-Jan-20 15:27:24

While I appreciate you meant no offence you have no idea what he is experiencing in his personal life.

TemptressJosepheen Mon 27-Jan-20 15:28:23

My first thought was 'he's a dick". Then I saw that a pp had said the same.
He was being a bully, threatening to end the call, metaphorically throwing his weight around because you made a flippant remark.

I wonder if he would have said the same to a man whom he deemed his social equal?

Whatisthisfuckery Mon 27-Jan-20 15:28:46

No, I didn’t laugh. It’s not what I would consider to be an opening for a giggle.

2020cominatcha Mon 27-Jan-20 15:31:18

But @Ennith, do you really think it’s an odd reply? Would most people say a straight “No”?

My family is neither religious nor superstitious but I was brought up to believe that there are no guarantees in life - I bet pretty much all of us would say “Not that I know of”. (Not to drip feed but I’ve had a few relatively minor cancer issues, and like the OP my father has dementia, I’m well aware that mortality is A Thing.)

Whatisthisfuckery Mon 27-Jan-20 15:31:26

I guess he might have thought I was making light of the question, but I don’t think so. I wouldn’t say ‘no, absolutely not,’ because I’m one of these people who doesn’t like to tempt fate.

RightEarlobeBreath Mon 27-Jan-20 15:31:34

He probably speaks to people who are terminally ill every day calling up about their PIP so may have found your comment a little too light hearted. Plus I’d imagine it’s easier when people just answer the questions properly so he can get onto the next one.

cstaff Mon 27-Jan-20 15:31:43

What a dickhead - I would say that is quite a common answer (I know I have used it) and if he says that to everyone, he is being way over the top and completely unreasonable.

TemptressJosepheen Mon 27-Jan-20 15:32:02

While I appreciate you meant no offence you have no idea what he is experiencing in his personal life

As he had no idea what the OP was experiencing in hers.

That's why people don't go for the jugular when people make an innocent remark that hits a nerve with us personally.

He was being a bully.

Whatisthisfuckery Mon 27-Jan-20 15:32:20

Xpost 2020.

AlexaAmbidextra Mon 27-Jan-20 15:34:36

While I appreciate you meant no offence you have no idea what he is experiencing in his personal life.

His personal life isn’t relevant to his work. Whatever he has going on, if anything, he has absolutely no right to take it out on clients, or anyone else for that matter.

Ennith Mon 27-Jan-20 15:36:06

@2020cominatcha no I don’t think the reply to OP have was odd at all. What I’m saying is that maybe his response was fuelled by something that is happening in his personal life. When someone has such an over the top reaction to an innocent comment it’s often coming from a place of hurt or sadness rather than just being a dick.

2020cominatcha Mon 27-Jan-20 15:38:20

Quite possibly Ennith but I think he needs to take some time out in that case.

Obviously we have no way of knowing but I do wonder, as a PP said, whether he would have spoken that way to someone he considered to be his equal.

Rosspoldarkssaddle Mon 27-Jan-20 15:39:59

I would call back and ask to speak to either a manager or the training officer. They need to listen to the taped call with training in mind. His response was inappropriate

Weetabollocks Mon 27-Jan-20 15:40:23

He completely overstepped his role. He isn't there to judge your morals. He is there to handle your PIP query.

I could be charitable and believe that he was triggered by your comment as something is going on in his personal life. Still had no right to take it out on you.

RalphWiggumsWedgie Mon 27-Jan-20 15:43:19

While I appreciate you meant no offence you have no idea what he is experiencing in his personal life

Nor he in hers. If he is unable to do his job courteously and professionally despite what might or might not be going on in his life then perhaps he needs a trip to the Job Centre.

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