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Shelby

Restaurant bill labels diners as "fat girls"

23 posts in this topic

If the receipt had said "brunettes" would it have been as bad?

What if it had said "obese women" or "corpulent women"? Both are more neutral terms rather than the (usually perceived as) more judgmental "fat".

What if it had said "Hispanic women"?

Yeah, it's not nice being called fat, and I'm fat (or at least chubby), so I know. But here's the thing--I am fat. Should I be angry that someone describes me as I am?

(I'm also SE Asian, so if someone were to describe me as "that Asian chick" I probably wouldn't be insulted. If someone called me a "chink", I would be offended because it's an established racial slur, and also because I am not Chinese.)


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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http://www.huffingto..._n_2267805.html

I've never eaten at Chilly D's and I never will.

Why was this person not fired? And, really? Only half off their bill?

Terrible.

Repulsive behaviour, I'll agree. Worse, there will be all kinds of special pleading to excuse this kind of claptrap, must be the 'improved and humane' world we live in...

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I'm with you Shelby -- to me this should have been a fireable offense. And to Prasantrin - I don't see how obsese woman would be any better. Sadly in our culture being overweight as a woman is inextricably tied to judgment and public shaming. This is what table numbers are for -- there is no need to refer to a customer by any kind of physical characteristic -- hispanic, asian, brunette included -- let alone one that is in essence a cultural slur.

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(I'm also SE Asian, so if someone were to describe me as "that Asian chick" I probably wouldn't be insulted. If someone called me a "chink", I would be offended because it's an established racial slur, and also because I am not Chinese.)

But what if you got labeled this way?

http://www.huffingto..._n_1146266.html

I'm still not either of those, and those are not words in the language of either of my immediate forebears. In one of the languages of my immediate forebears, those words don't even exist.

I would with Emily_R but take it further by saying that being overweight (not just as a woman, but as a person) "is inextricably tied to judgment and public shaming." But you are only shamed if you allow yourself to be shamed. "Fat" is only a bad word if you interpret it as such. It only has a negative judgment if you allow it to have one. So if you think being fat is a bad thing, and if you perpetuate those inferences, then yes, what Jeff wrote on the bill was wrong.

However, I do not agree that referring to people by physical characteristics is wrong. Perhaps on a restaurant bill, there should have been other less controversial ways of describing the table (such as table numbers, but it's possible this particular restaurant didn't use table numbers), but in life in general, I challenge anyone to go throughout a week without having to describe a person (at least once) by using physical characteristics of any kind. There is nothing wrong with it unless you happen to be one of the people described by George Carlin in his definition of euphemisms. Then you'll find everything wrong with it.


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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I can't wrap my head around those of you that don't have a problem with this.

A good person...and a good restaurant.. does NOT call someone fat or obese or anything else. I don't care how you keep track of who's at what table, but it better not be like that.

It goes along with the customer is always right.....only it's more than that. The customer should expect to be able to go out and eat a meal with being insulted. Period.

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Like I said, it's only an insult if you perceive it as such, otherwise it's merely a statement of fact. Clearly those three women were insulted by it, so for that they were owed an apology.

Had they been refused service because of their size (ethnicity, gender, religion, etc.), it would have been a far more egregious offense.

And as someone who has experienced both types of offenses (slurs as well as actions) because of her ethnicity, I'd rather save my anger/indignation/self-righteousness for the latter type rather than the former. It's all about frame of reference, I suppose.

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Like I said, it's only an insult if you perceive it as such, otherwise it's merely a statement of fact. Clearly those three women were insulted by it, so for that they were owed an apology.

Had they been refused service because of their size (ethnicity, gender, religion, etc.), it would have been a far more egregious offense.

And as someone who has experienced both types of offenses (slurs as well as actions) because of her ethnicity, I'd rather save my anger/indignation/self-righteousness for the latter type rather than the former. It's all about frame of reference, I suppose.

It is your right to not be insulted, but, dang it, you SHOULD be insulted if someone calls you fat etc. What happened to good old fashioned manners?

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My guess is that you've never lived in, or been a part of, a culture where people are far more direct and are much less concerned about covering up the obvious. "Fat" isn't an insult in all cultures (words have different connotations in different languages). And like I said, I'd rather expend my energies over things that are more important to me. Mountain. Molehill. At least in my world.

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Whether or not someone personally feels badly about being fat doesn't take away the fact that the term is inescapably used with the intention of insult in our culture. It is the server's implied intention of belittling someone that makes its use such a problem in this restaurant case. Just because someone isn't personally offended doesn't mean they weren't insulted. And that's the problem here -- waitstaff insulting their customers.

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These girls were on morning televison (I didn't see it, just read about it) claiming they were 'scarred' by this incident. They said it three times.

Really? That bar has just about hit the floor. 'Scarred', sheesh.

Who hasn't asked a coworker a question about those two black guys or that asian girl or the two fat girls? Hell, Steven CALLS himself fatguy. It's not like the two girls don't already know they are fat. I guess it's just that no one else should notice.

I'm with Prasantrin here.

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Whether or not someone personally feels badly about being fat doesn't take away the fact that the term is inescapably used with the intention of insult in our culture. It is the server's implied intention of belittling someone that makes its use such a problem in this restaurant case. Just because someone isn't personally offended doesn't mean they weren't insulted. And that's the problem here -- waitstaff insulting their customers.

This. One of the reasonable expectations of dining out is 'service is more or less polite'.

I'm not disagreeing with the discussion about how one takes a comment, regardless of intent, but it seems reasonable to expect restaurant waitstaff to meet some sort of basline for courtesy, and there's no getting away from the fact that this is not it.

Put it another way: I've worn glasses since I was about nine, and it certainly isn't something that I'm troubled about (or I'd wear contacts much more often), but if I got a bill that listed me as 'four-eyed freak', I'd be annoyed. Not because it is hurtful (it isn't, to me), or 'reduces me to a pair of glasses and freakiness' (see previous), but because, dammit, if I wanted to eat someplace where food comes with a side of snark, I don't want to pay for that, I could just dine with my family!


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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These girls were on morning televison (I didn't see it, just read about it) claiming they were 'scarred' by this incident. They said it three times.

Really? That bar has just about hit the floor. 'Scarred', sheesh.

Who hasn't asked a coworker a question about those two black guys or that asian girl or the two fat girls? Hell, Steven CALLS himself fatguy. It's not like the two girls don't already know they are fat. I guess it's just that no one else should notice.

I'm with Prasantrin here.

We live in a time where people long to take offense. These women should be ashamed for saying that they were scarred. Oh Please! Next a lawsuit?

If they hadn't made a fuss about it there would have been three people who knew they were fat, now the whole world knows.

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We live in a time where people long to take offense. These women should be ashamed for saying that they were scarred. Oh Please! Next a lawsuit?

If they hadn't made a fuss about it there would have been three people who knew they were fat, now the whole world knows.

Isn't that the truth? I made a comment to one of my professors in grad school ages ago that it seemed that we were living on the cusp of people 'feeling' they had the right to go through their lives with no discomfort.

Apparently, that day is come. I hope these two girls remember their shameful words next time they see a wounded soldier.


Edited by annabelle (log)

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but because, dammit, if I wanted to eat someplace where food comes with a side of snark, I don't want to pay for that, I could just dine with my family!

:laugh:


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I feel a Kung Fu moment. John Carradine initially would have told the two customers (grasshoppers) that the server had disgraced herself, not them. But then they went and acted badly themselves. Disgrace all around!

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These girls were on morning televison (I didn't see it, just read about it) claiming they were 'scarred' by this incident. They said it three times.

Really? That bar has just about hit the floor. 'Scarred', sheesh.

Who hasn't asked a coworker a question about those two black guys or that asian girl or the two fat girls? Hell, Steven CALLS himself fatguy. It's not like the two girls don't already know they are fat. I guess it's just that no one else should notice.

I'm with Prasantrin here.

We live in a time where people long to take offense. These women should be ashamed for saying that they were scarred. Oh Please! Next a lawsuit?

With Gloria Allred probably. And next, a TV reality show.

Not defending the insult. But turning this into a national incident? Ridiculous.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I feel a Kung Fu moment. John Carradine initially would have told the two customers (grasshoppers) that the server had disgraced herself, not them. But then they went and acted badly themselves. Disgrace all around!

Heh.

Manager to Server: You bring great shame upon this Chilly D's!

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I think it's hilarious. They'll probably get fired for it - right or wrong I have no idea - but it's hilarious nonetheless.

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When I go out to eat, I expect to not be insulted. And I expect my wife to not be insulted.

Using terms that demean the customer is just bad form and the server ought to be on their way to the unemployment office.

At the same time, they're both idiots for over playing it. Insulted? Offended? Sure. Scarred? Are you kidding me? Put on your big girl panties and grow up.


Edited by Lupinus (log)

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Insulting overweight patrons is probably not a sound marketing strategy for a restaurant called "Chilly D's"

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