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.