The Danger When Asking For a Coffee

I was chatting to a member of staff who shall remain nameless about general things going on in and around Cornwall Council. It was when they got onto the subject of Equality and Diversity that it made me take a reality check.

It seems certain words and phrases are now taboo at the Council. Words such as ‘Brain Storming’ have now been replaced with ‘Thought Shower’. What happened to words like consider or the timeless favourite, thinking.

It got better, imagine if your colleague asked if you wanted a coffee, and then asked how you took it. If your reply was White, no sugar, then no problem as that meets all the checklists. Imagine though if it was Black, one sugar? Well stand by for the E & D Police to come crashing through the nearest window and drag you away for ‘reprogramming’. The words you now must use is Coffee, no milk.

Sorry, have I missed the point? Where is the offence in saying black, White, 1 or 5 sugars (I would though worry the healthly living section contacting you to place you on a fitness plan worthly of someone trying to win a Green Beret if you asked for more than 1 spoon of sugar).

How much money is spend in hours thinking of words not to use just in case it might offend someone? I reckon far too many. There is no place in any workplace for discrimination, rudeness or racist comments. They must never be tolerated and dealt with accordingly if they occur.

I will now have to think ( or have a thought-shower) before I answer a question when a collegue asked do I want a coffee and how I take it. Words like I take it ‘NATO’, ‘Julie Andrews’ or ‘Whoppie Goldberg’ must now be a thing of the past.

I shall stop there before I get onto Americanisms or management speak. The later which I have heard is “holistic individualised evidence based person centred care”. That translated to mere mortals is “I will give you the care you need”.

Sometimes, I really feel like banging my head against a wall, but I reckon I might get in trouble for offending, or assaulting that wall.


  • Anonymous

    almost 10 years ago during nurse training i was told that a "brainstorm" is now a "mind map"! I knew that the asylum (am i allowed to use that word?) apologies to anyone who was offended by it; was being run by the inmates, when my son who is now 20 came home saying we have a new nursery rhyme …"moo, cow, juicy cow, have you any milk" instead of "baa, baa, black sheep". we have chalk boards instead of black boards…i have some very good friends who are of African descent, and they think its laughable because, very few people if any have asked them how they feel, it is just assumed…as for me i think i will start drinking water….perhaps its safer?!

  • mynotsofictionallife

    I suggest getting yourself a Dulux paint chart that focuses on their more neutral colours and just point to the shade you want and then ask for milk and sugar as applicable…

  • Amanda

    That is absoloutely ridiculous! The world is getting out of control. Its like the ELC taking the pig out of the farm toy as it offended religions!

  • Anonymous

    how about just asking for a coffee with no milk or swap to drinking chocolate. Much safer.

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