Mum, 24, ‘humiliated’ by car wash worker’s sexual comments about her on WhatsApp
A furious young mum has hit out at a car wash after catching staff making sexual comments about her.
Emily George, 24, of Truro, Cornwall, says she was 'humiliated and upset' to receive screenshots of messages in a WhatsApp group used by male workers, which included a photograph of her followed by sexual innuendos.
The single mum had booked her car in for cleaning at the Truro City Car Wash, which opened just three weeks ago.
But she was appalled to discover that after booking a valet, staff had been sharing her picture and making disgusting comments such as: “If I was single I’d be smashing it here.”
Another member of staff joked he would make sure he was present for her appointment.
After initially offering her a free car wash, the business has now apologised to Emily, although it claims the comments were "flattering if unprofessional".
Speaking to Cornwall Live, the full-time mum said: “I had messaged them about a valet on my car for yesterday at 1pm, then around 12pm I got a message from someone who happened to be on the WhatsApp group chat with those men, recognised me and thought it was out of order.
“I didn't want to go anymore because I was humiliated and upset and so I told them how it was disgusting behaviour as they are meant to be professional.
“Instead they are going around saving women’s photos who are going and making rude sexual comments. They tried to offer me a free valet when I said I would be reporting it.”
When she complained to the business via Facebook messenger, she was told: “I completely understand how disrespectful the behaviour is although, to be honest, the comments were flattering if unprofessional.”
Although bosses have now apologised to Emily, and have asked her to visit so a further apology can be made in person, she says she would feel “uncomfortable” attending.
“I'm just a normal woman – as a client I didn't ask for any of it," she continued.
“This is borderline harassment. They think it's flattering so it’s okay, but it's not acceptable.”
Truro City Car Wash co-owner Daniel Morris says that the motor trade is a male-dominated area so "can be sexist", but that he is doing all he can to shut it down in his business.
“The guys thought they were commenting in a closed, safe group, not that that’s excusing their behaviour,” he says.
He added that the employees involved have been disciplined and that he held a staff meeting this morning – and that matters are now in the hands of solicitors as some have received texts from people calling them “pigs” and “scumbags”.
"I wanted to have a sit-down meeting with the lady in question so I can apologise in person as I’m very sorry for what happened, but she has refused that," he continued.
"I’ve reached out to the young lady and have told her I’m happy to meet somewhere where she’d be happy, like a branch of Costa.
“The guys – many of them have difficult backgrounds – aren’t used to the corporate world. I hate to use the word ‘banter’…. It was really stupid.
“Change is in the air and men need to stop this kind of behaviour.”
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