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