Image credit: Twitter/toni_verna
Image credit: Twitter/toni_verna
When I pop into the local supermarket, my biggest concern is generally to avoid the over-zealous free sample people.
I am already trying to remember which 15 items I’ve run out of at home; why do you think I’d want to take your toothpick of obligation which will force me to forever question my choice of lunch time snack?
I don’t expect to have to deal with a thoughtless attack on my humanity. That, however, can’t be said for everyone as a franchisee of Pick n Pay reminded us today.
Mugs are strange items that in many households hold a special place in our cupboards. ‘World’s best Dad’. ‘Mom of the year’. These are some of the special messages we feel important enough to share with those people in our lives.
— toni toni ton'z (@toni_verna) October 30, 2018
However, what happens when a mug is labelled ‘The Gardener’ or ‘The Maid’? What does that say about us? What does it say to the people we’re passing the mugs onto and why do we possibly want to keep such close tabs on which mugs are allowed to be used?
I’ve never visited anyone and got coffee in a mug that said ‘Cheryl’s Mug’ or ‘Unannounced Visitor That Ruined My Quiet Sunday’.
Twitter had a lot of opinions on the matter, and clearly, a few people at this store either did not give this a lot of thought or genuinely thought this was a good idea, which makes me shudder at what other things they might think in their spare time.
In South Africa, domestic labour has a long history of dehumanization and racism attached to it. One method was and still is to deny helpers use of household crockery and cutlery as they were considered unworthy and unhygienic. This labeling encourages that idea.
— Jamil F. Khan (@JamilFarouk) October 30, 2018
The mugs were first spotted by a netizen known as Toni Verna, who tweeted:
“Hi [Pick ‘n Pay] these mugs were on the shelf at your [Observatory] store. Finding them hella problematic.”
Verna also contacted customer care and added that “they should not have been unpacked and displayed. Do better!”
Pick ‘n Pay thanked her for alerting them to the matter and confirmed that the store, a franchisee, was contacted and that the mugs were removed from the shelves. No other stores stock those mugs.
We reached out to Pick ‘n Pay who explained, as they’ve done on every tweet:
“We apologise for causing any offence by having these mugs in our store. The mugs were purchased and put on sale by one of our franchisees without our knowledge. We asked the franchisee to remove them immediately, which he has done.”
In light of their statement, a user wanted to know why this wasn’t picked up before the stock made it to the shelves.
You don't review products before the go to the shelves at your stores? Was this mugs designed at your warehouses? How didn't you know about them before the even reach the shelves?
— Anza Michael Mulaudzi (@De_BigLovE) October 30, 2018
Caucacity reared it’s ugly head once more but not everyone thought the mugs were offensive. Some wanted to know what the issue was, with Neil Kruger adding that there are bigger issues “to go ballistic about.”
To his statement that “people clearly have nothing better or more productive to do,” a netizen simply replied: “We can multi task.”
Is someone going to be held accountable or it's just going to be business as usual. Surely this could have been stopped in the supply chain process, you don't buy stocks without seeing it or examples.
— Sam Magopa (@sammagopa) October 30, 2018