In 2017, a man named Guillaume Rey was working in a Vancouver restaurant when he was fired for being aggressively rude. He has now filed a complaint with the British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal for discrimination—he’s not rude, he’s just French. Mon dieu.
The Guardian reports that Rey’s complaint is being taken seriously; the restaurant’s management company Cara Operations tried to have it dismissed, but were denied. A hearing is being scheduled, in which it will be determined whether or not Rey violated the restaurant’s code of conduct or if they’re just haters who don’t understand the French habit of being a bit impolitesse.
The restaurant actually agrees that Rey was a good waiter, and according to CBC, he generally got good feedback from customers. However, he was occasionally given a supervisor’s role over other servers. He was terminated after leaving one waiter in tears after “aggressively” reminding them of their “duties.” He was officially fired for violating their Respect in the Workplace policy. Mais non, it is discrimination, says Rey:
In alleging discrimination Rey said French culture just “tends to be more direct and expressive.”
He owes his sacking to his “direct, honest and professional personality”, which he acquired while training in France’s hospitality industry.
Tribunal member Devyn Cousineau is giving Rey the opportunity to explain how his French heritage would “result in behavior that people misinterpret as a violation of workplace standards of acceptable conduct.” If you’ve ever spent time in France or if rudeness is a part of your own PERSONAL culture, you can really see this from both sides.