Bacon sandwiches are now racist. What race is bacon again? I keep forgetting. “Contractor loses out on his ‘dream’ Â£1,000-a-week IT role after unwittingly saying he would treat his Muslim recruiter to a bacon sandwich,” by Helen Lawson for the Daily Mail, June 15 (thanks to Blazing Cat Fur):
An IT contractor claims an off-the-cuff remark about a bacon sandwich cost him a Â£1,000-a-week job.
Clive Hunt, 58, says he was offered an eight-month NHS contract after attending an interview set up by recruitment firm Reed.
But he says he lost out on the job after he told a recruitment consultant he would ‘get the bacon sarnies in’.
Mr Hunt, from Heywood, Greater Manchester, said he wasn’t aware he had offended Sharika Sacranie, 29, during a meeting at the firm’s city centre office until he received a phone call from a senior manager.
Mr Hunt said: ‘After we shook hands she said that she would come over to meet me on site with the other contractors and take us for breakfast.
‘My parting words to her were “I will buy the bacon sandwiches”.
‘Later, as I was driving home, Ms Sacranie’s manager called me and wanted to know about the racist remark I had made.
‘I said I had not made one and he said I had said that I would get her a bacon sandwich. But I only made the remark because she referred to breakfast.
‘The woman was of Asian appearance. I am not a racist, never have been. I wasn’t brought up that way.
‘Bacon sandwiches are often eaten at breakfast. I didn’t think for a minute this would have caused offence otherwise I wouldn’t have said it.’
Mr Hunt said he was due to take up the NHS role last Monday.
‘I have lost a contract because of an unassuming remark about a bacon sarnie,’ he said.
‘I have been an IT contractor for 30 years and never been subjected to this.
‘I’m really gutted that I’ve missed out on this job. I was over the moon when I got it.
‘I love working for the NHS, I know their systems.’
A spokesman for Reed said: ‘Due to inappropriate comments made to members of our staff during the recruitment process before Mr Hunt started his new role we have unfortunately decided that we do not feel we can represent this client further.
‘A senior manager from the Reed team spoke to Mr Hunt via telephone following an inappropriate comment made to a member of staff before he was due to start in the role.
‘During that conversation, Mr Hunt made further inappropriate comments.
‘At this point it became clear to the senior manager that Reed could no longer represent Mr Hunt.
‘Reed is committed to supporting its staff, clients and candidates and this is not a decision we have taken lightly.’
Mr Hunt said: ‘When the manager called me, I was driving and I got increasingly exasperated as he kept telling me I should admit to my wrongdoing for referring to bacon sandwiches.
‘In the end I told him to “sod off” and put the phone down. They have blown this out of all proportion.’