Don’t you dare try to touch my cake!
Archive for August, 2010
Michelle Fonville went from being pampered to put down, with one swipe of a pen.
When this DeKalb County, Ga., woman received the bill from Natural Nails, a local nail salon, for her manicure, pedicure and eyebrow shaping, there was a $5 surcharge.
“I said, ‘I’ve been overcharged,’ ” Fonville told WSB-TV in Atlanta. “[The manager] broke it down, then told me she charged me $5 more because I was overweight.”
The salon manager, Kim Tran, told WSB-TV that she added the surcharge to compensate for chairs broken by overweight customers. Her pedicure chairs have a weight limit of 200 pounds and cost $2,500 to fix.
“Do you think that’s fair when we take $24 [for manicure and pedicure] and we have to pay $2,500? No,” Tran told WSB-TV.
While it’s debatable whether obesity is a disability protected by the law (it is in health-related cases), on the face of it, there’s not a chance Tran would have been able to know the reason for Fonville’s being overweight. And without that knowledge, any kind of discrimination is a problem and potentially legally actionable.
However, the incident raises practical issues related to dealing with bigger people. When is it unfair treatment for them to pay extra, as opposed to being charged more because they are getting a greater degree of product or service?
Most airlines will give a larger passenger a seat belt extender free of charge, but for the safety of other passengers in an evacuation situation, the larger passenger cannot be seated in an exit row. If the larger passenger cannot fit comfortably between armrests, they will be given another seat, if available, or be asked to pay for a second seat.
Clothing companies like Talbots or Lands’ End that offer their regular apparel in “women’s” sizes (meaning plus or fuller cut) do so at a premium. In spot assessments, prices were 12 to 17 percent higher for plus size versions. But that makes some sense: Larger clothes require more fabric, thread, trims and so on.
A spokesman for the Professional Beauty Association admitted that prices for services like hair straightening or perming are higher for people with long hair; that’s usually the only situation where a different price applies. And it doesn’t condone what Tran did.
“While hair and nail salons are generally free to price their products and services to fit their particular market, the Professional Beauty Association encourages salons to be customer and service focused,” Marissa Porcaro, the PBA’s marketing and communications manager, told TODAYshow.com.
“When considering implementing surcharges or special pricing, salons should really consider the long-term impact on business. A savvy business owner will balance the costs and benefits.”
While Fonville’s weight surcharge was ultimately refunded, Tran told Fonville to take her business elsewhere in the future.
Fonville went from literally crying — “I was humiliated,” she said — to crying discrimination. “The word has to get out there that these people are discriminating against us because of our weight. You can’t do that.”
You know you’re Asian if…
- Your mother has a short-haired, curly perm
- Your dad is some sort of engineer
- Your parents still tried to get you into places half-price saying you were 12 when you were really 15
- You ask your parents help on one math problem and 2 hours later they’re still lecturing
- You have a 40 lb. bag of rice in your pantry
- You shop 99 ranch
- Everyone thinks you’re “Chinese” no matter what part of Asia your ancestors were from
- You’ve had a bowl haircut at one point in your life
- Your parents enjoy comparing you to their friends’ kids
- You’ve had to sit through karaoke videos with scantily clad, ugly Asian women attempting to dance and walk around a temple, forest, or library
- Your parents say, “Don’t forget your heritage”
- You drive mostly Japanese cars.
- You’ve learned to keep bargaining even if the prices are rock bottom
- You’ve had to eat parts of animals they don’t even put in hot dogs
- At least once, you’ve started a joke with “Confucius say….”
- You know what bok choy is
- You’ve gotten little red envelopes around February
- Piles of shoes tend to make it hard to open the front, back, and closet doors
- You hear (your name + eee (optional) + yah!) every time someone calls you (e.g. Jean – ee – yah! or Mary – yah!)
- You have no eyelashes
- Idiot people try to impress you with pathetic imitation Asian languages, like the ever-so-popular: ching chong woo bok chi, etc..
- Your parents say leaving rice in your bowl is a sin
- The Bio lectures on marine life (seaweed, sea cucumbers, octopii) was last night’s dinner
- Your ancestors 1000 generations back invented the back scratcher
- At least one family member wears black wire/plastic frame glasses
- Your parents hover over your tired, caffeine-drugged body at 12 midnight to say, “In Korea (or other native country), we studied even more.”
- Your parents expect you’ll be best friends with any one off the street in any given area as long as they are Asian
- An Asian woman comes on campus and people ask: “Is that your mother?” Well then, “Is it your sister?”
- Your relatives’ houses smell like incense, mothballs or both
- Your parents say, “Calculus? I took Calculus in 8th grade!”
- Everyone thinks you’re good at math
- Your parents’ vocabulary is filled with “ai-yahs, and Wah’s”
- You like $1.75 movies
- You like $1.50 movies even more
- Your aunts and uncles bring you back adorable clothing from Asia with fuzzy bunnies, vinyl ducks, and English words that make no sense, in great colors like yellow, pink, magenta, orange, and the ever popular lime green
- Your parents insist you marry within your race
- You never order chop suey, sweet and sour pork, or any other imitation of oriental food
- You either really, really want to go to UCI or really, really want to stay away from it
- Your parents have never kissed you
- Your parents have never kissed each other
- You learned about the birds and the bees from someone other than your parents
- “You want a stereo?! When I was your age, I didn’t even have shoes!!”
- People see a bunch of scribbles on a chopstick and ask you to translate
- You have to call just about all your parent’s friends “Auntie and Uncle”
- You have 12+ aunts and uncles
- At expensive restaurants, you order a delicious glass of water for your beverage and NEVER order dessert
- Your parents simply cut the green/black part off the bread and say “Eat anyway. It’s still good.”
- The vast majority of the people related to you wear glasses. Thick glasses.
- You will most likely be taller than your parents
- Your parents have either make you play the piano, the violin, or both
- You get nothing if you do well in school, but crapped on if you don’t
- When going to other people’s houses, you always have to bring a gift
- Your dad still pulls his socks up to his knees, you know, the ones with the blue and pink stripes at the top
- Your family owns a tennis racquet, golf clubs, or both
- Your family always cheers for the Asian athlete on TV (i.e. Michael Chan)
- The furniture in your house never matches the wallpaper, the carpet, the decorations, or any of the rest of the furniture
- You have rocks, sticks, leaves, and strange-smelling, unknown substances in your pantry for use as medicine
- You own a rice cooker or two
- You buy soy sauce by the gallon
- Your family owns butcher knives bigger than your head
- Your parents tell you about how long it took for them to get to school, how horrible the weather was in their native country, and how much they still appreciated going
- Your parents buy you clothes and shoes many sizes too big so you can “grow into it” and wear it for years to come.
These are the top 10 business ventures in India.
10. A chain of “Bhaskar-RaoBins” ice cream stores all over the country, in collaboration with Baskin Robins.
9. Kraft will make “PARAMESAN CHEESE” at Madras, in collaboration with Parameswaran & Co.
8. Kentucky Fried Chicken will open its chain of Indian version, to be named, “KARNATAKI FLY-ED CHICKEN” and will be headquartered at Bangalore.
7. Pizza Hut will open a chain, in the back alleys of all cities, its version, to be named:”PICHHE HUT”. Headquarters: Kanpur. PICHHE = means back-alleys for the uneducated 6
. McDonalds will open its fast food restaurants to be named: “McDosalu”. Hqs. Hyderabad. Main menu: Idli and Dosa.
5. Mr. Submarine will name its restaurants as “Mr. SUBRAMANI”, to be headquartered at Madras.
4. Red Carpets colored with biodegradable (hence environmentally friendly) red PAAN. Juice extracts will enjoy duty-free status in US.
3. Dallas Cowboys will own a new franchise: Dilli’s COW-BHAIS, to teach Indians how to play Football…. with hands.
2. Duty-free import of Ambassador cars into USA, as long as they are not used outside of Demolition Derby.
1. Internal Revenue Service will provide technology transfer of its Tax System software to Indian Income Tax Dept and to be named: “UNCLE SHYAM”.