Just recently my husband called a well-known company to request a refund on an overcharge in our credit card. He was as always polite and respectful over the phone. A male attendant so well-mannered and courteous answered and indicated that he will have to transfer the call.
Background: Before I describe the incident that happened next, let me just tell you a couple of things about my husband. First, he is extremely respectful and fair to everyone. He is a lawyer and a Senior Executive Judge in the Federal Government. Furthermore, he has always been humble and unassuming, and will never make reference to his professional position.
The Unfortunate Incident: Back to the company; the call was transferred, a female answered the phone nicely and asked him how she can help. My husband, who has an accent, begins to explain the overcharge and is interrupted abruptly by this lady in a terribly condescending manner. While he was trying to explain the matter, she kept interrupting and using statements like, “stop talking and listen to me, I said quiet, hear me” and raising her voice at times. Finally, she hung up on him.
As any lawyer would do, he immediately wrote a letter to the president of the company describing the situation. A call from the office of the President of the company was made to him a few days later apologizing for the unfortunate experience. He was sent the full refund of the prior over charge and was offered a free travel service the next time he travels. He expressed deep appreciation for the call, the apology and the refund, but respectfully declined to accept the free service, since it was not the point.
I am telling this story to create awareness of a double standard that at times some ignorant people have to belittle and mistreat others simply because they hear an accent. They presume that a person with an accent is uneducated, worthless and can be disrespected. I truly believe that this would have not happened if instead she would have seen him in person, in his dark suit and tie, briefcase in hand, handsome, but still with an accent. She would have treated him in a different manner.
Lesson to learn: Everyone must be respected regardless of an accent, color of the skin, disability, financial status, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or how they look!
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.