Monday, June 26, 2006

Hilton fiasco

Ok so here's the story. Two high powered MD's working in finance were at the Hilton in Abuja last week. Both are coincindentally female. They sat down to order their food. Meanwhile, their male colleague was late to join them. After a while, he arrived and made his order. Surprisingly, his order came in first - even though his two female colleagues had been waiting for quite a while. When they questioned the waiter why they were still waiting for their food while their colleague had already been served, they were told, "I served him first because he is a man."

Now, I happen to know one of the women, and she is neither someone who suffers fools gladly, nor would she take one gram of sexist patriarchal BS from anyone. One way or the other, a head will roll.

Meanwhile, a message to women who may be dining at the Abuja Hilton: watch out for the antediluvian attitude from the waiters, and don't take any crap.


Anonymous,  2:01 pm  

The waiter was right in my own opinion, I mean this is Nigeria, why should a woman be served before a man. They are not equals.

ayoke 3:17 pm  

I guess anonymous had to be "anonymous" for such a silly remark. Miss./Mr. Anonymous, why don't you put your name to your comment. What do you know about equality in Nigeria?

Funny, I passed by the Hilton today and the driver of the car I was in kept saying a lot of good things about the place compared to Abuja Sheraton. The waiter is obviously very silly and I sincerely hope the heads roll...

BK,  3:32 pm  

methinks anonymous (1)jests....please God let it just be that.

Akin 3:56 pm  

I think there is greater slight than the ladies reckoned - the impression that it might be the man (a presumed Aristo) invited the ladies to dinner.

It is most condescending and I hope the ladies gave whoever is in charge a good piece of their minds and received a grovelling apology with a good bottle of decent champers - for starters.

Anonymous' comments might be true in a place where civilisation has not pierced into the darkness of their minds.

But, it should never be in an international hotel like Hilton, well, my Hilton card is going into the shredder the moment I get home.

Not before I have had a word of two with some of their people.

Anonymous,  4:04 pm  

Ayoke, lovely name by the way. You can call me Aminu. Like BK said it was a joke. But thinking about it if the whole situation were reversed, would I have noticed the fact that I was being served after a woman even though I was seated before her ? I doubt it very much.

Mimi,  4:24 pm  

@ Anonymous..You fire starter!!!

I hope those ladies handled the situation appropriately

Akin 5:05 pm  

Chivalry is not dead in my book. In my company, the ladies would have held their peace whilst I gave the management what for.

Beyond that, I would expect the best courtesy to be accorded to the ladies from then on and that is if they don't get their accommodation and meals waived when they leave.

I think it was spineless of the man not to have spoken up - to have sat there thinking big of himself is a disgrace - I cannot find the words to muster my disdain for such male chauvinistic pigs that give us all a bad name.

Aminu, I am not impressed, no, not at all.

ayoke 5:20 pm  

Aminu, if you were really hungry, you probably would have noticed.

And it's not the food we're talking about here. For all we know, the man's order may have taken less time to prepare compared to the women's. What is in issue here is the waiter's response. In some countries, we would be talking about a law suit by now. And if it was me, I probably would (considering it's Hilton, I'll get a lot in damages if they venture to take it to trial and not settle out of court because of the resultant negative publicity). Most women may not sue but I probably would. It's what I do for a living anyway.

Gbemi's Piece 5:59 pm  

I experienced gender discrimination at Eko Hotel in Lagos. I think it's safe to say that hotels in Nigeria have a thing or two to learn about customer service in general. I was told to leave because they don't allow 'single' women in their hotel. There's this idea that women who are by themselves or in the absence of men are prostitutes but that's another topic. In your example, I think they were functioning with the 'Men first' mentality. It really shouldn't be a Men first or Ladies first thing, it should be first come, first served.

Olawunmi 12:22 am  

@ gbemi: its not only the hotels, its the whole country that has to learn a LOT about customer service.

i don't really understand why people can still think that they can treat women that way. i hope those women - and that man - gave the hotel management a lesson or 10 in customer service and gender equality.

Baba Alaye,  7:58 am  

There are more Single ladies in any Naija hotel than Married ladies.
90% of these girls are into Aristo runs or Worse.The waiters see all these atrocious things daily, and it get's worse by the day.I'm not making a case for the Waiters but the girls have thrown feminine dignity to the dogs.I think there are bigger issues. POVERTY needs to be eradicated and fast.Then we can progress to battling Chauvnism, Inequality et al.

(I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing)

ayoke 9:30 am  

"90% of these girls are into Aristo runs or Worse. The waiters see all these atrocious things daily, and it get's worse by the day. I'm not making a case for the Waiters but the girls have thrown feminine dignity to the dogs."

Baba Alaye, pardon me but I think you are arguing from a wrong premise. First, I don't agree with your 90%. You'll have to give me empirical evidence to that effect. Second, serving a man his food before the ladies does not solve such a problem (if that was indeed the problem at the Hilton - i.e. Aristo runs). If there is such a problem, the hotel management should handle it on a case-by-case basis. If a man complains of being harrased by woman, then the management can ask the woman to please leave their premises. It should not be up to waiters to refuse to serve the ladies their food.

@ Gbemi: Eko Hotel! That's such a shame. I'm still waiting for the day someone will do that to me. That'll be the day...

The waiter was right in my own opinion. Men and women are not equal anywhere,  10:07 am  

"...But, it should never be in an international hotel like Hilton, well, my Hilton card is going into the shredder the moment I get home..."

Holy Christ on a bike! Hilton card wetin? Pure rubbish...

Akjin, I believe you reside in the neitherlands. Yes? If so, you will be a damn liar to claim never to have had any experience whatsoever where your white female guest were not served before you, whilst you African are made to wait for your starter/soup. That could have happened.

Even here in the US and many atimes in the UK, I have invited my female friends out for a meal, and they have been served before me. Not because, am an African, but because ladies come first in those situations.

Back to Jeremy's post.

This is directed at Ayoke. So what if they served the woman first. Imagine in the UK, a rich yoruba naija man in his mid thirties, visits a very fine and up restaurant in knightsbridge on a friday evening, with his female english lover. And if she gets served first, before the naija dude, I dare the naija dude to complain, they will say nigerians are aggressive.

Jez, you get my drift.

Ayoke, if you were my wife, I would show you that ladies are first after men. After all that is your culture (I believe you are a yoruba girl albeit a very intelligent and pretty one...and am looking for a yoruba wife, pitty I have no blog).

Finally, to those who feel women and men are not equal, I beg the question, what happens in bed, who ought to reach an orgasm first, would you reach it together?

Nothing stated above is intended in any way whatsoever to cause offense.

Akin 11:08 am  

If the last comment had the slightest hint of an identity the diatribe would have been worthy of a response closer to a put down.

Pilgrimage to Self 11:49 am  

YOu can't be serious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FOR REAL??????????????? $%£@~)(*&^~~@:**%$
Can you tell I'm mad?

Baba Alaye,  3:27 pm  

@ Ayoke. I'm sorry i can't give you "empirical evidence" of the 90% but i live in Lagos ....for the most part and you could say i belong in a higher tax bracket(If that makes sense in Naija *tax*?) And i kid u not i can tell you a thousand stories. Our girls are so shameless i'd hate to see what this country will be like in 5 years if things don't change.
We the priviledged few (That includes you Ayoke)do not understand the sheer desperation these girls face when you haven't had breakfast at 3pm,(No she's not dieting) and the last meal she had was yesterday and the prospect of the next meal is slim.And please don't be deceived. They dress well(well sort of)The looks bury the hunger but if you listen hard enough you can hear the Tummy rumbling louder than a Turkish train. Whatever she gets off the Aristo sometimes feeds the Unemployed Pop, Mom, and Siblings.
.....My Tuppence worth

Miss YQ 3:59 pm  

Ok - why's everyone running away with this - talk of orgasm and stuff? The waiter was wrong, firstly for serving the last person first, and then by justifying his action by saying something so blatantly sexist. Never have I heard such nonsense. If I'm paying my money, same as the blasted Naija guy, why on earth should he be given preference, just because he's a man? The hotel is well known for its business use - surely its employees should have been trained to treat people equally. This is a throwback to the dark ages. The waiter was wrong. Period.

The waiter was right in my own opinion. Men and w,  6:34 pm  

Further to my earlier comment on the subject of orgasm, may I repeat that nothing I have said or will say is intended to cause offense. Its purely a factual opinion of our current state.

Considering the issue of female genital mutilation or whatever it is called. There are two types we know of: clitoral and internal. I do not think our mothers were able to achieve a clitoral orgasm. Do they have a clit? Our mothers must have been deprived, as a result of such barbaric tradition. no wonder Nigeria is in a mess. I do not think our fathers gave consideration to that. Imagine the psychological damage. Does that mean the African woman is less than human? Does that mean our mothers are mad?

Apologies if this appears ? but how else could it be said.

ayoke 6:48 pm  

Baba Alaye, I hate to have to do this but you are so, so wrong and completely missed the point.

First, are you admitting that waiters are justified to treat people badly because of Aristo ladies? And I still stand by your lack of proof of 90% but that's an aside.

Second, Baba Alaye, and this is off point (‘cos this is not why the blogger put up the post) but I would have people like you know. You do not know me and YOU DO NOT KNOW MY STORY. You think I'm part of the privileged few? Well, I'm sorry I don't think so. People have not eaten by 3 p.m.? Dear, I've experienced worse. And I kid you not. I have gone without food to the point of eating some plant I thought was vegetable and it made me really sick. You want to know more? I have sold "ice water" (not the fancy pure water that people drink now) to bus conductors. Ice water is the one you buy ice block, mix with ordinary water and tie in transparent nylon bags. They don’t sell those anymore.

Don't even tread that path of argumentum ad misericordiam with me. I am yet to see any situation of poverty that you could imagine that I may not have experienced or come close to. I am where I am now simply by the grace of God and HARD WORK. And I can bet you there are more like me in this country. You may have your speculations but I have my facts.

So, just drop the issue and that’s my Tuppence worth! Enough said!

Baba Alaye,  7:35 am  

@ Ayoke.I'm so sorry i rubbed you the wrong way. Sometimes i make rash judgements and wrong assumptions. I totally figured you wrong. I couldn't have guessed yo've ever gone thru all that by just reading your Blog. I'm so sorry about what i said. I take all of it back.
The good part of this is that you've moved on from all those horrendous days to better times and that's a sure sign that Your steps are ordered and you haven't seen your best days yet.
Back to the topic i NEVER said the Waiter was right, and i admitted my Statistics are a bit Wonky. The main Issue for me is Poverty and the need to eradicate it and get people their self respect and sense of self worth back.
Keep your head up.

Monef 4:56 pm  

Interesting comments, but the fact remains that the waiter's actions are indefensible. He is in a customer service role, and his job is to serve and remain neutral while doing so. It is not up to him to judge whether a man or woman should be served first or not. If I was at a table waiting for my food for ages and someone who joined me later got served first, I would and have questioned it regardless of their gender.
If my query is then followed by a response as ridiculous as the one these ladies received, you can rest assured that there will be hell to pay. Excuses about what waiters see on a daily basis do not hold water with me, if you are a waiter at a hotel in Nigeria then you know exactly what you are letting yourself in for. You could argue that Thai hotels would be justified in attempting to exhibit such behaviour, Baba Alaye's suggestions are basically gender profiling.

Tola 8:19 pm  

i want to believe that that did not really happen. I tink if i was one of those women, i would have prefered if he had lied cos i would be forced to slap his face!

Anonymous,  2:59 am  

Okaaaaay! Don't they train their staff before they inflict them on the paying public. How ignorant! No, it's beyond ignorant, it's appalling. Especially at the Hilton too!

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