Yup, allegedly someone paid to give good customer service – or at least some semblance of service – said that this week. And there was me musing on a new blog post. The plan was to talk about the labels, good and bad, we are given as disabled people, as people with Multiple Sclerosis. I had some fun ideas. “Labelled, Disabled, Dischmabled”, was my working title. I’ll save that for another time.
Then, like a senseless, dribbling troll in a fantasy movie, in blunders a Greene King pub – The Plough in Bloomsbury, London – with the crassest of refusals to serve a lady, (with MS as it happens, Other disabilities are available.) in a wheelchair.
Allegedly, “We don’t do disabled’s.” Now there’s a lovely ‘you are a lesser human being’ label to be saddled with. Just the thing to raise our spirits.
We’ll never know the exact details, but an angry old twitter storm ensued when the story emerged. The pub hastily issued a car-crash of an apology, along the lines of “not our fault guv, some of our best friends are disabled.” I’m paraphrasing it badly, but that’s how poor it was. And it made the situation that bit worse.
Now I get that this was probably an individual franchise pub. And maybe one employee was a twat. And how would this pub know how to properly manage a fast-moving crisis? In trundled Greene King with a tweet which included the line “We are looking into it urgently and will come back to you tomorrow.“ Oh dear. Tomorrow? While the firestorm is raging? Greene King moving there about as fast as me up a steep incline in my wheelchair.
The Mirror provides a good summary of the story as it unravelled here. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/greene-king-pub-turns-wheelchair-16182641
An eventual, very corporate apology appeared from Greene King – though hardly accepting fault. And later, too late, I see via twitter an apology to the family and apparently a mention of some retraining. Retraining?! No-one fired? No-one even disciplined?
I don’t like ranting. I try not to do angry. Stress is bad for Multiple Sclerosis anyway, so I’d much rather be happy-clappy about life with MS. Others do shouty and grrrrrrowly much better than me.. But sometimes, just sometimes I just have to call out the awful inequalities and attitudes out there. And corporations that want to gloss over a bad news day and hope it goes away. What we need is something big like a Prime Minister resigning. Fingers crossed, eh Greene King?