“A man who said he found a homophobic slur printed on his receipt from downtown Portland’s Apple Store wants the company to respond by offering cultural competency training for its employees,” Kelly House reports for The Oregonian.
“Adam Catanzarite, who self-identifies as queer… sparked a widespread social media response after he posted a photo to Facebook Tuesday showing a July 8 Apple Store receipt that bears his name,” House reports. “The photo shows ‘email@example.com’ in the space where the customer’s email should appear on the receipt.”
“In his interview with The Oregonian, Catanzarite said the situation arose after he visited the store to buy a $29 earphone set. Catanzarite said a store employee asked him to provide his email address, but he declined to do so,” House reports. “Initially, he didn’t notice the characters printed on the space reserved for his email address. ‘With most receipts, I just stuff it in my backpack and only pull it out when needed,’ he said. Days later, he discovered the characters, which he interpreted as an anti-gay slur with the letter ‘a’ changed to ‘@.'”
House reports, “Catanzarite said he hasn’t heard from Apple regarding how or why the slur appeared on his receipt but in this case, he said, the employee’s intent doesn’t matter.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: “The employee’s intent doesn’t matter.”
Life must be so enjoyable for the permanently indignant/perpetually slighted wrapped in their warped cocoons of political correctness gone absurdly amuck.
In the words of good parents everywhere: “Son, you need to grow a thicker skin or this world is going to grind you to a pulp.”
If the intent was there and proven, obviously, Apple should discipline the employee. Nobody should be slurring anybody else anywhere. That’s in bold because it overrides everything else in this Take and we want to make sure that the the permanently indignant/perpetually slighted see it (not that it will matter).
But, as far as employee discipline goes, to say out of hand that “the employee’s intent doesn’t matter,” is stupefying. What if the Apple employee just quickly tapped in a random quick entry to fill the field (the “f” and “g” keys are right next to each other, after all)? Does Catanzarite still deserve refunds and the opportunity to lead “cultural competency training” for the store’s staff (see full article)? What’s next, ‘your employee looked at me funny, so I want a refund and a soapbox upon which to stand, so I can teach your employees how to offer everyone innocuous blank stares? (That’ll work for 30 seconds until the next customer complains of the employee’s coldness and callousness and offers to lead classes in compassion.)
Sheesh. This world sometimes. Would that everyone would just chill for a change. Live and let live. TGIF.
Again: If the intent was there and proven, obviously, Apple should discipline the employee. Nobody should be slurring anybody else anywhere.
Addendum: 12:25pm EDT: We certainly agree with the comment from “macmuchmore” (below) that, regardless of the employee’s intent, Apple should apologize to the offended customer. If any customer claims to be offended, a good business should always apologize, even if it was nothing more than a random entry.
It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that Apple should not require an entry in a field for employees to proceed if a customer declines to give optional information like an email address (if that, indeed is how that system works) and employees should be instructed to simply leave optional fields blank.
Addendum: 12:47pm EDT: We’re dealing with a number of issues here:
1. The employee. Unless they confess, there’s no way to proven they meant it as a slur and Apple should not take action against the employee. If Apple did, the employee could sue Apple. This is where the intent matters.
2. Political correctness. Obviously, we’re tired of it. There’s a line somewhere, but some people live to cross it.
3. The customer. Deserves an apology from Apple if they are offended regardless of the employee’s intent. Does not deserve a refund or anything further unless the employee confesses they intended to slur the customer. Deserves a refund and perhaps a lawsuit win if the Apple employee confesses they intended the email address they entered as a slur.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]