Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crankier: The Scientific Establishment Bites Back

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Well, I must be not at my best, because the Science Centre honchos have not collapsed in a puddle of contrition over their upcoming discriminatory Community-except-the-Jewish-Community Day this Saturday.

Here’s what they wrote back, and my reply:

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 1:03 PM

Subject: Re: Fwd: Community Day this Saturday

Hello Jennifer,

My name is {bleep}. My position at the Science Centre is Director of {bleep}.

First allow me to say thank you for taking the time to send us your question regarding our upcoming Community Day, Saturday September 25, 2010.

By way of background, the OSC's  Community Day, is held annually on the Saturday which occurs closest to the "Birthday" of the Science Centre, in recognition of our opening in 1969. We select Saturday as the day for the event because it is most accessible for General Public and their families, as the next day is not a school day. 

Please feel free to contact me directly at the number below should you have any further questions.

Yours Truly,

{bleep}

It was nice of him to ask permission before telling me his position, wasn’t it?  But still, what he didn’t do was Answer the Question, which annoys me to no end. 

The unspoken but not-too-subtle “question” in my first email:  “I'd like to know whether we can arrange a free or reduced-price visit on another day…I really hope it will be possible to make other arrangements.”

His answer:  “We’ve always done it on a Saturday!  Thanks for letting me tell you my position!”

So here’s MY reply to HIS reply:

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 2:59 PM

Subject: Re: Fwd: Community Day this Saturday

Mr. {bleep}:

Thank you for your quick reply. 

I'm not sure what your criterion is for "most accessible," but the fact remains that it is completely inaccessible to our family because of our religion.

It seems to me that choosing a Saturday to hold the event (I've never heard about previous Community Days - perhaps because nobody would have told me, given that we don't do things like this on Saturdays) was more or less arbitrary.  The Science Centre chose to hold the event on a Saturday, perhaps because it works best for many families, but as I said in my previous message, I really hope we can work out alternate arrangements - perhaps a free or reduced-price pass valid on a particular Sunday or weekday - that would not exclude our family based on our religious beliefs.

Thanks again!

{moi}

Basically, the first letter didn’t work.  I don’t have high hopes for the second one, either.  I feel like I’m losing my superpowers here, but I suspect what it is is that People Simply Care Less.

It makes my mother crazy because just about every time she shops, she receives less-than-optimal customer service.  (“The cashier was eating her lunch!”)  She keeps thinking the gold standard MUST exist somewhere, but sadly, I fear there is no such bastion of good manners and speedy assistance.

Me, I’m not really looking for common courtesy – just for somebody to acknowledge that I’m being treated differently – in a minor way, badly – because of my religious beliefs.  I must try to Make People Care.

At that point, if my superpowers are intact, everybody’s basic Canadianism kicks in and the Wrong is made Right.

This kvetchy blog post has been brought to you, in the spirit of good graces everywhere, by the ancient and noble British custom of capitalizing Random nouns in the middle of Sentences.

UPDATE:  Email reply #2:

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for getting back to me. I think it's wonderful that you could take advantage of  free OSC admission passes which we offer through the Toronto Public Library's "MAP" program, as part of our commitment to Community Access.

I would be  more than happy to let you know about  other Community Access initiatives which may also be helpful.

I notice that you have provided your telephone number for contact purposes. With your permission,  I would be happy to call and hopefully, help with this, if I can.

{rhymes with Shnob}

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