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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I have been called A Monkey at work as in the term I would

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I have been called 'A Monkey' at work as in the term I would rather speak to 'the Organ Grinder, rather than his Monkey' could I bring civil action against this person. Thanks

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Were there any racist connotations when this term was used?


I have enclosed a statement if you would kindly read it please Ben


To Whom It May Concern

I am currently DOM Support at Bridlington Delivery Office.


Last Thursday (16th Jan), the manager from Post Office Counters Quay Road, Bridlington, was in conversation with my Manager Mr Joe Leckenby.


During this conversation The PO Manager was heard to say to Mr Leckenby ‘I thought I’d better check with the organ grinder rather than one of the monkeys in here!’


I asked the PO Manager if she was calling me a monkey. To which I received no answer.


Mr David Price (Postman) was also present in the office at the time.

I asked David, did she just call me a monkey, to which David nodded his head.

I asked the lady again ‘Are you calling me a monkey?’

My manager shook his head as if to ask me to keep quiet.

I once again received no answer from the counters manager.

Taking the hint from my manager, I resumed my work.


This type of behaviour from a Post Office Manager is totally unacceptable.

My own manager Mr Leckenby does not speak to me like that – Why should another manager be allowed to use the phrase.


Although I am DOM Support and have attended a series of P.I.C. (Person in Charge) courses on behalf of Royal Mail.

I have been spoken to, previously, by this lady as, when Mr Leckenby is unavailable and I offer to help, ‘Oh, you have no authority’ and ‘you aren’t in charge.’


Because of the current PO’s managers’ demeaning and ridiculing behaviour towards Royal Mail staff over the years, I gave the lady the benefit of the doubt and did not let her ‘undermining’ bother me.


I am now, though, not prepared to accept being called a ‘Monkey’.


Why should I accept being clearly and openly called a ‘Monkey’ in a civilised environment?


Mr Leckenby and I have been on various Bullying and Harassment Courses, along with, Dignity and Respect briefs at management level.

We have both worked tirelessly to completely eliminate any type of Bullying and Harassment from the Bridlington office.


When, was it acceptable in Post Office Counters to be included in the term ‘I would rather speak to the Organ Grinder, than one of the Monkeys?’


This is a pathetic phrase, from the unacceptable shop floors of the 1970’s and 80’s!

I thought that archaic phrases and antediluvian ridiculing were a thing of the past?


Obviously in the eyes of this lady, Bridlington’s Post Office Manager, she, for some reason, needs to refer to hard working Royal Mail employees, who she clearly feels are lower than her elevated status, as ‘Monkeys’.


I would be interested to know why, the lady uses it and, also, so frequently?


I am not prepared to accept the low self-esteem and questioning of my abilities, I have felt over the last week.

I have worked for Royal Mail for over 20 years; I have my own private business activities, of which I have a small number of extremely valued employees.


I know I do not deserve to be referred to as a ‘Monkey’.

I would like to ask, how seriously dealt with, would the term, used by the Post Office Counters Manager, was quoted in a more multi-cultural environment than Bridlington?


I played football in the Durham and Yorkshire area, playing in and against Multi-cultural teams for over 30 years; I worked in the entertainment industry for over 35 years, that to was a multi-cultural environment.

In both walks of life, I did not encounter a coach or manager who used the ‘Organ Grinder/Monkey’ term, a term that is surely well past it’s sell by date and extremely offensive.


It is the type of behaviour I do not expect from a higher ranking officer in the Post Office towards a member or members of Royal Mail.


For this to be used quite openly and confidently, frankly disgusts me.


I look forward to an urgent reply.

Ben Jones :

It is highly unlikely you will be able to make any sort of claim in the courts against the person who made the comment and especially anything that it would be worth your while. This is not something that needs to be dragged through the courts, even if it was not an acceptable thing to say. This is an internal matter which needs to be pursued through the employer's own channels, such as the formal grievance procedure. If you have raised a formal complaint with the employer but they have not responded then you need to press them for a resolution and for them to take this matter seriously - you have the right to expect them to hold a formal grievance meeting and to come to a formal conclusion, which you can then appeal if you are not satisfied with it. But this is not for the courts...


Thanks Ben

Ben Jones :

You are welcome


Wont let me give you a rating Ben - how do I do that?

Ben Jones :

its a bug we get sometimes, you can just type it in here and then we can process it manually, thanks

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