A delivery driver is believed to have been fired after a woman accused him of leaving her a ‘racist’ voicemail.
Mum-of-one Aisha McConnell, 48, was awaiting an order from Wren Kitchens last month when the worker called to arrange the delivery.
The driver, who has not been named, left a message for Aisha she claims sounded like ‘someone without an Indian accent putting one on’.
Listen to the voicemail below:
Recalling the accent, Aisha, from Billericay, Essex, said:
When I listened to [the voicemail] I thought ‘hmm, that sounds really off’.
It didn’t sound like an Indian person. Even the mannerisms of how they talked – you could hear the repetition. It’s very much what people think a typical Indian person would sound like – but they don’t.
The mother said she immediately felt insulted, believing the message had been ‘targeted’ because the driver had ‘assumed’ she was Indian.
If you don’t know me, you’re going to assume I’m Indian.
I’m actually half Pakistani and half French – but was born and married in England. I consider myself British but it did feel a bit targeted.
They don’t know anything about me but they could see my name. I didn’t feel great.
Would he put on a Japanese voice for a Japanese customer? I don’t know.
The 48-year-old pointed out the recording ended with the sound of laughter, as if it had been left by ‘two guys driving along having a good laugh’.
Aisha played the voicemail for her family, who agreed it was shocking. She phoned Wren Kitchens to inform the company of the situation and sent over the recording as evidence.
The company didn’t respond for a couple of days, but it finally got back to the frustrated customer, informing her the driver ‘no longer works’ for Wren Kitchens.
Aisha pointed out the company didn’t fully offer an explanation or apology for what had happened, so she has no idea whether her suspicions about the driver being racist were accurate.
If they turned around and said ‘you’re wrong, that’s someone who does have an Indian accent’, then I would say ‘okay, I want to meet that person then’, because you could tell it really wasn’t.
[But] I’ve had no explanation.
Wren Kitchens haven’t said he did it – but they have said he no longer works there. I want clarity from them.
The mother said she’d be ‘horrified’ if the company had simply sacked the driver because it would mean ‘passing the problem on to his next employer’. She suggested the driver should have been subjected to ‘education’ or ‘training’ to teach him about what is and is not acceptable.
He could be a really nasty guy, who’s extremely racist and now extremely angry, and knows where I live. I think that’s horrifying. I don’t know anything about this guy but I think it’s terribly racist – it’s a horrible thing to do.
An educated person, who maybe is a bit more worldly, maybe [thinks] it’s racist and wouldn’t do it, but I don’t know.
I don’t want to make an assumption about him or why he was doing it, but to be honest, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just not appropriate to do it.
Wren Kitchens declined to comment on the matter but the company has confirmed the employee in question is no longer working there.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, you can contact the Campaign Against Living Miserably on 0800 58 58 58.
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