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Tell me, am I being silly by being taken aback by the terminology in these two emails?

(50 Posts)
ghosty Mon 09-Jun-08 10:07:13

This is a bit long winded but bear with me:

We still own our house in NZ and currently have tenants in.
At the moment there is a drainage issue and after a camera going down the sewer it seems that the drain is damaged by tree roots under next door's property. We need to get it fixed and need to ask the neighbours for permission to carry out the work and also see if they will be happy to contribute to the cost.
The problem is that on the next door's property there are 4 houses and we weren't clear as to under which house the problem lies so we have beeing to-ing and fro-ing via email with the agent and tenant to find the marker left by the drainage company who put the camera down the drain so that DH and I can approach the neighbours ourselves.
ANYHOO - it is all very tedious and the agent has been faffing like a trouper .... [yawn]

But then I got two emails today - one from the tenant and one from the agent. I don't know what to think about the terminology they have used but I am very taken aback ... and the issue here is nothing to do with the drainage problem. What do you think? (I copied and pasted by the way so the emails are word for word)

1) Email A: From the tenant
Hi there

It seems that the marker Jane and I were looking at is the boundary marker, rather than problem drain area.

However, looking further this morning I notice a rust coloured marker IN the garden of the Asian’s house (front garden).

2) Email B: From the agent

Hi 'ghosty',

I've just had an e-mail from S, saying that the marker falls within the Asian's property - hope that clarifies things.

Am I being silly thinking that clarifying my neighbours as 'The Asian' is at best a bit odd and at worst totally out of order? Wouldn't 'The people at 56C' or something like that be more appropriate?
Does it matter? I feel it does ...
Thoughts ...?

niceglasses Mon 09-Jun-08 10:08:12

Gawd. Pretty shocking and rude. Is that the norm in er, where are you again?

niceglasses Mon 09-Jun-08 10:08:35

oh yeah NZ. Humm. Is it typical?

cornsilk Mon 09-Jun-08 10:10:15

I would be uncomfortable with that. What a numpty.

OneLieIn Mon 09-Jun-08 10:11:14

Goodness me, that's pretty shocking and v.rude -

MummyDoIt Mon 09-Jun-08 10:11:53

Would you be taken aback if it said, for example, 'the Scotsman' or 'the Frenchman'? It's just a way of identifying the person and 'Asian' isn't an insulting word.

niceglasses Mon 09-Jun-08 10:14:04

I think in this context of a professional letter/email I would still find 'Scotsman' or 'Frenchman' rude. Surely 'the other party' or some such is more appropriate. I still think its rude. Of course Asian is not a rude term in the context of pinpointing someones origin, but it is in this.

Twinkie1 Mon 09-Jun-08 10:14:05

My boss is Australian but was born in India and he is the least PC person I have ever met - from talking about women with children having jobs to peoples race etc - when I pulled him on it he said - hey I come from an Island where we deploy gunboats to keep people we don't want to come ashore away!

Says it all really!

Twiglett Mon 09-Jun-08 10:14:13

In the UK that is unacceptable .. I would have hoped that referring to anyone as 'the' anything was roundly condemned

Twiglett Mon 09-Jun-08 10:15:40

Indian has the caste system though so hardly an argument that he should be more PC than Australians

ggglimpopo Mon 09-Jun-08 10:16:04

IMy little ds wen tto the local greengrocer here to buy some parsley the other day and I said I would pay them later.

When they got out 'the bill' with the amount written on it, the header was 'L'Anglaise'!

I can live with it, it is not hte end of the world. If it had said 'Le rosbif' I may well have said something!

Chequers Mon 09-Jun-08 10:16:07

Message withdrawn

ninedragons Mon 09-Jun-08 10:16:17

Jesus Christ. How stone-age of them.

tissy Mon 09-Jun-08 10:17:00

Is it possible that the family's surname is "Asian"?

Twinkie1 Mon 09-Jun-08 10:17:55

No he grew up in Australia from the age of 4 so he really should be Australianised by now!

I call the guy next door 'the stuck up posh bastard' though so am probably guilty of something!

OverMyDeadBody Mon 09-Jun-08 10:19:35

Where they not just using it to identify which neghbors it was? I don't see how describing someone by where they are from is rude or racist or out of order, unless they and you both new their names.

OverMyDeadBody Mon 09-Jun-08 10:20:53

I refer to my neighbours as 'the American ones' and 'the students'.

nzshar Mon 09-Jun-08 10:23:06

I can understand (not condone) the email from the neighbours but not from the agent. As was already said maybe 56C or even another party but not asian very very unprofessional. Does New Zealand really still have these race issues?? Have been in the UK for the past 14 years thought things may have moved on at least a bit. Then again this is a person who had to explain to her mother that Black history month was not a derogatory term, she still calls them "darkies" !!! Soon put her straight though

littlelapin Mon 09-Jun-08 10:24:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nzshar Mon 09-Jun-08 10:25:44

Why not just "the man at number 56C" though why define somebody by the colour of their skin?

Chequers Mon 09-Jun-08 10:25:45

Message withdrawn

Mamazon Mon 09-Jun-08 10:26:00

its offensive because they are being identified by their race.

I would personally reply with something like
"i think you mean Mr smith who lives at number 42. yes i am aware he is Asian, do you think that his race has a bearing on the drainage issue? if not please do not reffer to it again"

Bumdiddley Mon 09-Jun-08 10:37:21

WTF??? They're indentifying someone by race and you're offended??

They're not as sensitive in NZ.

You assume that because it's a sewage issue and they are referring to their race that it's a racism thing?

Anyway, it's more likely to be a Chinese/ Korean/ Japanese etc Asian as there are a lot in NZ.

Where my parents live there are Catholics, Mormons and Jehovah witnesses in a corner. My mum refers to them as 'the Jehovahs' or 'the Mormons.'

Yes, YABU, you have way too much time on your hands

littlelapin Mon 09-Jun-08 10:40:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bumdiddley Mon 09-Jun-08 10:45:56

littlelapin - you are right. I typed first then thunked later.

Too agressive for AIBU?? Is there such a thing?? [Grin]

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