Sunday, 25 October 2015

This hotel doesn't take racism seriously


Hello my name is A.J* 

I have been a luggage porter at the Luxury Hotel** for over two years now. I like my job and I am good at it. I'm helpful, I'm attentive, I treat every guest who comes in with respect and I carry their bags to their rooms, into lifts, into their taxis. In films I might be called a 'bell boy'. But my core duty to help guests with directions, and with their bags.

I work closely with the other porters and reception. I am often the first person the guests see as I open the door to them and welcome them. I work any and all times of the day and night.

I am not from this country. English isn't my first language and I am not white. But I speak good English.

I do not have a problem with what I do, but I do have a problem with how I am treated by some of the people I work with.

For years now I have been working with a supervisor who ritually verbally abuses me. Sometimes even in front of guests.

It is as if I am his slave. It is as if I am expected to serve him and not simply work and co-operate with him, which I do.

The way he speaks to me is aggressive and so disrespectful. He has called me many names and compared me to animals. He swears at me in his own language too. He frequently tells me, that I am 'Fucking Stupid' and threatens me, telling me he can get me sacked. There is no need for this kind of behaviour and I tell him, that this is no way of speaking and that this is unacceptable here in work.

I have reported him but still we are put on the same shifts together. I fear work sometimes. I feel his hatred. Because he is a supervisor he uses his power over me to push me down. Other porters are not treated this way. When I receive a tip from a guest, if he has seen this, he will call me in to the office and demand it from me. It is my work, I served the guest, I carried their bags, I should keep the gratuity for it, not the supervisor.

I have complained so many times about his bullying but nothing gets done about it. It is as if I do not really matter here.

Apart from being threatened and insulted by him, another worker, also in a position of authority over me, has even gone so far as to physically assault me.

Again when I was doing just my job. He grabbed me, to make his point aggressively, whether he has a correct point to make or not, he has no right to put his hands on me, he has no right to shake me.

I have also had supervisors tell me that I smell due to the food I eat. This was very upsetting for me and I have never been spoken to like this in all the work I have done in London.

What is worst about all of this is that everything these people have been doing to me, I raise, I bring to higher managers but they do not take it seriously. I have evidence. But they are denying it. Others I work with are shocked. I should not be put on the same shifts as these people. They are attacking me and this goes against equality and dignity at work which we have the legal protection for. What I see though and what I feel is that the hotel does not take racism seriously. They don't take bullying seriously.

I don't want to carry on like this but I have a young family and even one month out of work would have a big impact on us. The tips I make, when they are not taken from me, help me massively. I want my children to have a better life than me. I am doing everything I can to help make a good life for them where they can succeed. I don't want them to be treated like dirt.

*A pseudenym
** A pseudenym

43 comments:

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  4. This isn't a market noticeboard, this a serious post about abuse and racism in London hotels. Peddle your wares elsewhere.

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  6. Today I read all the posts you've made on your blog. I have a Master's degree. I live in a country where crisis as been affecting everyone badly and I've been unemployed most of the time since I finished college. To "help" my situation I fell in love with a Danish guy. He has been asking me to go live with him and I am tempted to leave my country and go. The biggest problem in Denmark is that if you don't speak the language, you'll be "left" with jobs like cleaning or as a waiter if you are "lucky". So I came online and tried to find a blog about the work of a maid in a hotel and I kept reading your posts with tears in my eyes. I hope the union goes well, I hope you can make a positive change in your life and your co-workers.

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  11. I am sorry to read about your experiences. I hope you are looking for roles elsewhere as this is not good for your health. I had a similar thing and lost my confidence and had a breakdown. I am disgusted to hear that this is still going on today. Wishing you well for the future.

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  12. The UK has laws against racial abuse. Of course, you might lose your job if you (secretly) filmed him doing it and went to the police but you would have a cast-iron unfair dismissal case, especially as you've been there over 2 years. I hope things improve for you, but seriously, though you might not believe it, the law IS on your side in this case.

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