Not while I’m watching.

30 Dec

To: Manager of Y
CC: Y, X’s Manager, My manager
Subject: Incident this AM

I was working in [my building] this morning when I overheard Y talking vehemently with the X, the barista. I intervened when I heard the word “bitch” being used several times, and voices raised. When I came to stand at the counter, the conversation continued—she protested that she has never treated a customer badly, and he said that it was the customer’s word against hers. Tensions were high.

Y apologized to me, and explained that he didn’t know I was there, that he was a regular customer, and that he and the barista have had many conversations. He said that he wanted to tell her that this was being said about her.

I told him that it was an inappropriate conversation whether I was there or not. Calling someone a bitch while they are trapped behind a counter—especially if you think they are alone, and are taking advantage of that—is exploiting an imbalance of power. Another way to have achieved that end would be to ask her if she had a moment when she was not working (and therefore free to leave), and telling her “I heard this, and thought you should know.”

Because of Y’s initial belligerence when I interrupted his confrontation, I asked to take a picture of his badge—that picture is attached.

[Manager of Y], I bring this to your attention so that you can address as you deem appropriate. The way Y approached the conversation was in the manner of bullying, and I will not tolerate it. I hope that this was a momentary lack of judgment on his part, and we can all grow from it.




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