Is It Me?

We have this tradition, where I work…

Every year, a dinner is organised by the company. Everyone who, in the past year, has reached their 25th or 35th anniversary with the company is invited, along with their partner: Managers of the people attending also go. The company foots the bill, and lays on taxis so no-one has to drive, flowers for the ladies etc etc. It isn’t a right – it isn’t in anyone’s contract that this’ll happen – it’s just a nice thing that the company chooses to do for people.

A lot of people who work there – rather more than half of the total workforce – are Muslims or Sikhs, with the attendant dietary restrictions that they observe. This year, one of the Sikhs who has been invited, recommended an Indian restaurant where he had found the staff to be understanding of these faith-based diets, and able to accomodate them. The people arranging the thing agreed that it would be a nice idea, and made the arrangements.

Needless to say, someone is now whinging that he can’t go because he doesn’t like curry: The fact that Indian restaurants also serve western-style food has been pointed out to him, and has made no impression. He’s taken the matter to his union rep, who is now whining about “discrimination” – what really annoys me is that this particular union rep is a Christian, whom I would have expected to be understanding of people’s need to observe the rules of their faith. Bear in mind that, as stated, this isn’t anyone’s entitlement: Also, each of the invitees will have received a gift of their choosing to a value of 250. Is it me, or does someone round here need a damned good slap?

I just hope that all this childishness doesn’t mean the company stop doing these dinners: On the day I started with the firm, my then boss told me “If you ever get the chance of free food and drink at the company’s expense, take it!”, and I’ve only got seven years to go for my 25-year dinner :-) .

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