Cafe Coffee Day or CCD as we call it, recently came into news for all the wrong reasons. Its coffee did not bag the headlines, but cockroaches in the store’s display counter managed to do that. An NLU student went to have a normal cup of coffee, saw the cockroaches instead. Decided to complain to the staff and instead of getting an apology, got a slap.
Yes, that’s right. A slap. When he complained to the staff, a female employee slapped him. And in case you are thinking that’s all, it isn’t. A video of the incident surfaced and a day later the complainant became molester, as a sexual harassment case was filed against him.
This could have been just a case of breach of hygiene standards by the coffee chain, it was corrigible, but because of the employee who refused to accept the mistake, it just turned into a big issue. You add the word sexual harassment to anything and it turns into a storm. As if it means nothing.
For those girls haven’t been a victim of it, fortunately, using this abuse against someone just to have an advantage over them and to malign their name is not how things should be handled. The ordeal and agony of a harassment victim cannot be even imagined by us, and accusing a boy wrongly of the same has irreversible effects. His image is maligned, his confidence in women, whom he used to respect, is shaken and it sends a wrong message to society as well.
Laws have been made to protect victims, not to turn innocent ones into them. The way this employee has used sexual harassment as a tool in order to divert the matter from the main issue, violation of safety standards, has added a whole new dimension to it and given it the publicity which probably it wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. It would have passed as another news in our newspapers and newsfeed.
Another party in this whole case is the backdrop of the incident, CCD. Questions have been raised about the practices of the chain and its reputation has definitely incurred some damage. If the whole slapping thing hadn’t happened, it would have been merely a matter of safety standards, which could have been easier to handle. Now it will be difficult for them to even wipe this whole thing off.
Employees carry the name of their organisation, therefore they should think before they act, particularly before slapping a customer who is complaining about something which is where it shouldn’t be. Apologising eases things, a lot, and we wouldn’t be even talking about it if that would have happened.
By Pragati Shukla