Posted by: russkieland | September 26, 2008

Wrong Cup Of Coffee

In accordance to the local media, on 28th August, in café “Coffee Nation”, served by Russian-speaking staff, at the Riga Airport, Latvia, a Latvian who was about to board an airplane on his way to see Madonna’s concert live in Berlin, had been denied proper service and received ethnically motivated insults from Russian speaking barmaids after he had asked to be served in Latvian, the official language of the country.

He was told by the female stuff in Russian, that their café is located in transit zone so laws of the country are not in force there (which is not correct), in particular addressing the law which obliges companies to serve clients in the official state language if they require so. Instead he was intentionally served in Russian, with one of the staff members reportedly switching to Russian on purpose to provoke the client. Amongst other things the client got charged for goods he had not ordered, the mistake, which was explained by poor language skills of the person serving him and corrected afterwards. He also claims he was served in intentionally rude manner.

After insisting that he wants to receive decent service which he is entitled to, he finally was called a “Fascist”. At this point the fellow got extremely upset and poured (unintentionally, he says) his coffee at the lady serving him.

Russian TV broadcast of the tape from security camera, which company management is referring to in defense of their position, lacks sound and actually does not contain any scene which could be clearly identified as client attacking barmaid with a hot coffee, despite all the claims of Russian media to the contrary.

After the incident, the client was apprehended by police and had to pay penalty for misbehavior (also missed the plain and lost the ticket). Russian management of the company denies any wrongdoing by the staff and has expressed no regret, instead publicly suggesting that the client is a “lunatic”. The barmaid is not available for comments because of sudden onset of unspecified illness. State Language inspectorate has carried out inspection at the café and, after finding numerous violations of the law, has fined the company.

Latvia has certain problems with integration of Russian speaking people who entered Latvia in large numbers from USSR after WWII, after Latvia was occupied by Stalinist Soviet Union first in 1940 and then again in 1944. Typical problems include refusal to learn and use local language, Russian chauvinist sentiment and clinging to the Stalinist vision of the history and the world.

Here we publish some of the parody cartoons we have received on this topic mocking company logo. If you have any ideas or another picture on the subject, please send them to us:

Wrong Coffee - Blunder

Wrong Coffee - Blunder

Wrong Coffee - Learn Albanian

Wrong Coffee - Learn Albanian



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