Wendy and I had an experience while on holiday last year in Cyprus that proved, racism can be extinct in a month – if only – there was the will to do so.
We planned a 10 day getaway to a resort that ticked all our boxes; best sea view room, awesome weather, beach, pool, pergolas and walking distance from nearest town.
Our resort has 3 a la carte restaurants – all exquisite dining experiences. We chose the Bistro on our first evening. The greeting by concierge was out of this world; then our waiter turned up with the racism.
Long story short, he brings our bill to our table at the same time as our main course. That was the final straw. I lowered my voice and said – you are making us uncomfortable. Needless to say he denied (as all passive aggressive racists do) that was his intention and said he will get the manager.
The Assistant Manager arrives and began with an apology, then stopped and asked us what was our experience. So I explained, he grew increasingly uncomfortable.
He immediately said, “no worries. You will have new waiting staff, your drinks and food are on the resort”.
He left and took the waiter with him; while we were upset, it was good the situation was being handled.
Before we finished our meal, the manager arrived, sat with us and genuinely apologised for his employee’s actions. He acknowledged the waiter‘s actions was despicable and insisted it wasn’t his resort’s policy. He said this – you will not see him for the rest of your holiday; I have sent him home.
We had a fantastic holiday all other staff made us feel welcome. We made friends with the manager as he travels to London regularly.
On another day the manager visited us and during the convo said to us, “I understand racism exists but I will not have racism of any kind in my hotel. You are free to go anywhere on this property; use any equipment and expect the highest service from all our staff. I guarantee you”.
I believed him.
Racism relies on people in control allowing bad behaviour they would not accept for themselves.
That manager rejected bad behaviour and didn’t try to explain it away or condone it. If more people in every walk of life took the same approach, racism would be extinct in a month. But they won’t.