As readers may recall, a few weeks ago I was invited to testify at the House of Commons about the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission. While in Ottawa, I stayed at a certain local hostelry that shall be nameless (the Château Laurier). I don’t like to complain. Seriously. I do so much of it for a living that I resent giving it away for free in private. But my room was unsatisfactory in many basic respects, and, a few days after I drew them to the attention of the gal at the checkout desk, an email arrived from the Assistant Manager, Housekeeping, which I quote in full:
“I would like to extend my thanks for bringing these issues to our attention. We truly appreciate Guest feedback, as it enables us to learn and grow from difficult experiences and truly strive to improve the overall Guest experience.
“We have followed up on the issues you have encountered and would like to apologize for these oversites [sic]. Although you mentioned small [sic], such details are an important component of our mission and serve a company-wide standard of consistency.
“Mr. Styen , thank you for staying with the Fairmont Château Laurier. We hope that we can invite you back in the near future.”
I’d forgotten all about my complaint by this time. But this response from the “Assistant Manager, Housekeeping” enraged me far more than my original dissatisfactions. I’m not saying I hurled my computer monitor through the window into the yard and shot up what was left of it while jumping up and down yelling, “You f****** a******! ‘It enables us to learn and grow from difficult experiences?’ What the hell kind of f****** f****** is so f****** f***** as to think the first thing a dissatisfied customer wants to hear is that he’s helped provide a personal growth experience for you, you ********?” Instead, I hurled the monitor through the window and shot it up while pondering two alternatives:
Either the Assistant Manager, Housekeeping is blameless, and this is some form letter cooked up as an auto-response for Cranky Customer Scenario #73 (b) by the Assistant Manager, Customer Relations Flim-Flam at corporate HQ. Which is a dispiriting enough thought.
Or the decay of human communication into a Mogadon-pumped blancmange of pseudo-therapeutic vacuities is so advanced that people now talk like this entirely naturally. “Such details are an important component of our mission and serve a company-wide standard of consistency”: what does that mean translated from the original bollocks?
A couple of weeks later, Jennifer Lynch, QC (Queen Censor) and Chief Commissar of the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission, came to the House of Commons to offer her own view of Section 13. Facing very specific allegations of abuse of power and conflict of interest, she took refuge, like the Château Laurier, in soothing generalities. Indeed, as with the Assistant Manager, Housekeeping, recent difficulties seemed to have provided a marvellous opportunity for a growth experience: “ . . . just to reassure myself as I can reassure you here today that Canadians can have pride in all of the employees of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the way we carry out our complex mandate.”
“Ms. Lynch, let me stop you there,” said Joe Comartin, the dogged Dipper on the Select Committee. “That’s not an answer to my question. Did you conduct a detailed investigation into these allegations?”
Since the “human rights” racket ran into its little public relations problem with the complaints against this magazine a couple of years back, Commissar Lynch’s technique has been to say at every opportunity how much she “welcomes the debate.” Indeed, she’s been so busy welcoming the debate that sadly she’s had no time to have one. Still, it came as a surprise to see her offer up the same flat bromides to the Parliament to which she is, supposedly, accountable. The Queen Censor spoke to the Select Committee with the same weirdly fixed smile on her face for the full hour. Presumably she fancies this makes her look friendly and reassuring, although movie buffs may find it alarmingly reminiscent of the guy in Invasion of the Body Snatchers who tells you in the evenly modulated voice that the process is completely painless and you won’t feel a thing. Her response to specific questions was to freeze the smile and pause just a little too long before replying, as if the random Form Response Generator was running a bit slow.
Pages: 1 2