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Passenger Complaint regarding Gender

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WestRiding

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Just wondered what the general consensus is regarding this news story, surrounding a member of staff addressing the passengers with Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls?

London North East Railway apologises and promises to deal with conductor who wished passengers a cheery 'good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls' after 'non-binary' LGBT rail union rep said it didn't 'apply to them'​

  • The complaint was made by rail workers' union rep who identifies as non-binary and was travelling on train when manager greeted passengers with the phrase
  • An LNER spokesman said staff should not be using 'language like this' in apology
  • The exchange sparked debate online about whether the term should be banned

In their complaint, Laurence stated: '"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls..." so as a non binary person this announcement doesn't actually apply to me so I won't listen @LNER.

A colleague who was with Laurence at the time and is also believed to be a rail worker defended the complaint.

Jarley wrote: 'Both Laurence and I were customers of the railway - being rail staff does not absolve an operator from the duty of care or responsibility to be inclusive.

'I was sat with Laurence when this tweet was sent. Both of us are non-binary and we were both alarmed and uncomfortable by the lack of inclusion.'

But Twitter users criticised LNER for their apology and said they felt there was nothing wrong with the friendly greeting.
 
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Scotrail314209

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I’m all for respecting pronouns, but it is very easy to forget.

The reply by LNER reeks of sarcasm. Can they seriously reprimand a guard for making a cheerful announcement?
 

packermac

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Without saying something else I am sure the individual would not like I could not possible comment!
 

RPI

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You only have to see the replies on twitter lol
 

PHILIPE

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A big problem is companies and organisations such as LNER giving in and pandering to people who want to change nature which has existed since Adam and Eve
 

Bletchleyite

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I don't entirely understand why the phrase causes offence. It is just a pleasantry meaning "everyone" and does not carry any intention to dismiss non-binary, genderfluid people etc. It's also a useful "filler" to help people "tune into" the voice before it starts on the important information.

I suppose you could say "good morning, everyone" or "all" but that for some reason has a schoolteacher feel about it.
 

mresh91

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I used to work for the same company the person who complained on Twitter works for, and when using the station tannoy I would always address everyone as "customers" for this very reason.

However, the Twitter complaint seems a little too militant for my liking, even though I actually agree with the point raised (regarding inclusion/representation).

Edited: for a schoolboy error! :p
 
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Journeyman

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A big problem is companies and organisations such as LNER giving in and pandering to people who want to change nature which has existed since Adam and Eve
Nah, that's an astonishingly ignorant comment and I'm not letting it lie.

It's not "changing nature", it's acknowledging what has existed for centuries and has been swept under the carpet.

Just say "good morning, everyone". Job's a good 'un. It might seem trivial to you, but it makes a big difference to some people. It's not "pandering" to anyone or anything to ensure people feel welcomed, respected and safe.
 

TRAX

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That’s a lot of hassle to please 0.1 % of the population.
 

Journeyman

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That’s a lot of hassle to please 0.1 % of the population.
It's absolutely no hassle to say "everyone" instead of using gendered terms. A little goes a long way. I know there was no malice involved and it seems a bit much to kick up a stink about, but it does matter.
 

sharpley

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Bit off that an RMT rep has thrown a member of staff under the bus in such a public way. Surely theres a better way to make a complaint rather than on social media.

The person that made the complaint tweeted this in the past as well....


E1SGZZdXsAsJi0D.jpg
Good evening ladies and gents this is the service to London Winterloo
 
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Journeyman

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Bit off that an RMT rep has thrown a member of staff under the bus in such a public way. Surely theres a better way to make a complaint rather than on social media.

The person that made the complaint tweeted this in the past as well....


View attachment 96198
I agree that it's bit of a dick move to use effective public shaming over things like this. However, don't go dragging up things from the past like that to invalidate their point. People and their views change.
 

TRAX

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It's absolutely no hassle to say "everyone" instead of using gendered terms. A little goes a long way. I know there was no malice involved and it seems a bit much to kick up a stink about, but it does matter.
The main hassle is creating problems for the guard for an issue this insignificant. I’m not sure you’d like a reprimand from your boss because you said something that applies to 99.9 % of people.
 

ComUtoR

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I don't entirely understand why the phrase causes offence.

Because you are not on the receiving end. It's hard to empathise and understand how hothers feel if you haven't experienced it yourself.

It is just a pleasantry meaning "everyone" and does not carry any intention to dismiss non-binary, genderfluid people etc.

The world has moved on and language has evolved. Saying Ladies and Gentlemen isn't inclusive and for those who don't fit into either category they feel left out.

I suppose you could say "good morning, everyone" or "all" but that for some reason has a schoolteacher feel about it.

Something as easy as switching a couple of words shouldn't be hard to do. If a small shift in language is all it takes to make everyone feel welcome then I'm all for it.
 

Journeyman

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The main hassle is creating problems for the guard for an issue this insignificant. I’m not sure you’d like a reprimand from your boss because you said something that applies to 99.9 % of people.
I'm not defending the way this person has handled the issue, certainly. But I do understand their point.

Something as easy as switching a couple of words shouldn't be hard to do. If a small shift in language is all it takes to make everyone feel welcome then I'm all for it.
Exactly. It's not a big ask.
 

PHILIPE

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Nah, that's an astonishingly ignorant comment and I'm not letting it lie.

It's not "changing nature", it's acknowledging what has existed for centuries and has been swept under the carpet.

Just say "good morning, everyone". Job's a good 'un. It might seem trivial to you, but it makes a big difference to some people. It's not "pandering" to anyone or anything to ensure people feel welcomed, respected and safe.

The word "Ladies" and "Gentlemen" are still in the Dictionary so why change them.
 

Journeyman

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The word "Ladies" and "Gentlemen" are still in the Dictionary so why change them.
Because the world has moved on, and that is no longer inclusive language. All sorts of words are still in the dictionary, it doesn't mean using them is polite or considerate.

"Ladies and gentlemen" has sounded incredibly dated to me for years anyway, and I'm really not convinced it's fit for purpose any more.
 

Ianno87

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A big problem is companies and organisations such as LNER giving in and pandering to people who want to change nature which has existed since Adam and Eve

Some people "naturally" feel like they don't fit in their as-born gender. That's why people change gender identity in the first place.

I don't entirely understand why the phrase causes offence. It is just a pleasantry meaning "everyone" and does not carry any intention to dismiss non-binary, genderfluid people etc. It's also a useful "filler" to help people "tune into" the voice before it starts on the important information.

I suppose you could say "good morning, everyone" or "all" but that for some reason has a schoolteacher feel about it.

"Good morning, and a warm welcome to passengers..." works pretty well.
 

LowLevel

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I just leave it at "good morning/afternoon/evening and welcome" or whatever else I need to say is. I stopped using personal pronouns years ago after I accidentally called a lady with a shaved head sir during a ticket check having glanced at what they were holding out where I was trying to do 3 things at once and being shouted at by someone over something else. They rightly called me out on it and since then I've avoided it in all of it's elements.

A far cry from many years ago when I worked for the Government and we were encouraged to challenge callers who didn't sound like a man/woman when that was on their file in case it was a fraudulent call.

I am somewhat surprised at a union rep (who I would fully expect to challenge any issues they come across, like being a manager that's part of their role to some degree) choosing to report it to the company on public social media rather than having a word when it would inevitably blow up and make the national press, and not in a good way for anyone concerned. I would say that was remarkably poor judgement.
 

baz962

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Some people "naturally" feel like they don't fit in their as-born gender. That's why people change gender identity in the first place.



"Good morning, and a warm welcome to passengers..." works pretty well.
I know some women that like to be referred to as ladies , why leave them out.
 

Journeyman

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I just leave it at "good morning/afternoon/evening and welcome" or whatever else I need to say is. I stopped using personal pronouns years ago after I accidentally called a lady with a shaved head sir during a ticket check having glanced at what they were holding out where I was trying to do 3 things at once and being shouted at by someone over something else. They rightly called me out on it and since then I've avoided it in all of it's elements.
It can be a tricky lesson to learn - I've been there myself. It's easy to fix, though, as you've found.
I am somewhat surprised at a union rep (who I would fully expect to challenge any issues they come across, like being a manager that's part of their role to some degree) choosing to report it to the company on public social media rather than having a word when it would inevitably blow up and make the national press, and not in a good way for anyone concerned. I would say that was remarkably poor judgement.
Very much so, especially when the Daily Mail and the more gammony end of its readership pick up on it. That's known as shooting yourself in the foot.
 

Journeyman

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They don't want to be referred to as passengers , specifically ladies and tis why I asked the question.
Most women I know hate being referred to as "ladies". It's seen as a very patronising and outmoded term that has some negative connotations to it.
 
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