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Preferred pronoun badges at the Halifax bank.

(305 Posts)
Urmstongran Wed 29-Jun-22 12:53:41

Halifax has told customers to close their accounts if they disagree with its stance on pronoun badges for employees following a raft of online complaints.

They might have misjudged their customer base and shot themselves in the foot!

What do YOU think?

Oldnproud Wed 29-Jun-22 13:06:15

I think a lot of customers will threaten to close their accounts, and some undoubtedly will do exactly that, but I suspect that the majority will moan a lot but in the end do nothing more than that.

I wonder if their staff were given a similar choice: "If you disagree with it, find a job elsewhere."

Blossoming Wed 29-Jun-22 13:08:32

How very strange! Some of their Twitter responses to customers would make me want to close my account because they’re downright rude. I don’t mind their staff wearing whatever badges they choose, but I don’t want to have ‘a conversation around gender identity’ when I visit my bank. I want to talk about money. My money. I don’t bank with the Halifax anyway.

Sago Wed 29-Jun-22 13:09:26

Go woke go broke.

volver Wed 29-Jun-22 13:12:40

Its of little interest to me what any organisation put on their name badges. What is important to me is false culture wars stoked by right wing media. So, with that in mind:

One person on social media said they wanted to close their account and the Halifax explained to them how to do it.

Putting preferred pronouns on their badges was a completely optional thing for staff.

But that's not nearly such an inflammatory story, is it?

NotSpaghetti Wed 29-Jun-22 13:14:13

Putting preferred pronouns on their badges was a completely optional thing for staff.

No. Much too measured volver

volver Wed 29-Jun-22 13:14:44


What do you mean, sorry?

StarDreamer Wed 29-Jun-22 13:17:45

Can someone say what exactly has happened please?

What exactly is a pronoun?

Could I, say, choose

the gentleman/the gentleman's

So, in use, for example,

There is a customer seeking advice. Could you help the gentleman please.


Could you tell the gentleman how much money is in the gentleman's account please.

Zonne Wed 29-Jun-22 13:18:14

Why on earth would I close my account over something that has absolutely zero effect on my life, and may make a big positive difference to someone else’s?

Sago Wed 29-Jun-22 13:18:24

I do not care if “Gemma” identifies as “Geoff” on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Why would I care what gender staff is in a building society.
If I was to engage other than please, thank you then I probably wouldn’t have to use a pronoun anyway.
All I care about is good customer service.

volver Wed 29-Jun-22 13:23:12

Completely off topic. I was once on a flight that got held up because some passengers didn't like the look of another passenger. Thought he "looked like a terrorist". Captain got involved, spoke to the "terrorist", who of course was no such thing. I imagine you can guess what he looked like. Captain came over the tannoy to tell us all that if we didn't want to fly on that plane we were at liberty to get off. I like it when organisations stand up for their principles.

DillytheGardener Wed 29-Jun-22 13:34:14

I’m not bothered. I have she/her on my email signature as a freelance worker for a company I do work for on their behalf. No skin off my nose.

StarDreamer Wed 29-Jun-22 13:38:06

Thank you, volver, for the link.

I did not see your post until after I had posted.

I notice the name badge in the picture includes the word "she".

I don't know whether the following is widespread or not, but a thing that I learned is that a man should not refer to a woman as "she" lest the statement "Who's she? The cat's mother?" is made indignantly at a loud volume by the woman.

So, in a hypothetical situation of needing to refer to a woman, I would say "I was enquiring about paying for a book from an Italian museum in euros and this lady said that I would need to ask you about it" taking great care not to use the word she lest that be thought to be rudeness.

As a side issue, perhaps for another thread, I don't know why the indignation occurs, just that it can do.

volver Wed 29-Jun-22 13:42:42

You're welcome StarDreamer The issue is about whether a person would like to be referred to as he or she. Both are perfectly acceptable pronouns but some people who look like he might prefer to be referred to as she. Its a bloody minefield and I'm not saying any more about it!

If anyone referred to me as a lady I'd be having a word with them. wink

GrannyGravy13 Wed 29-Jun-22 13:46:43

I am more concerned that on average for every £ the male employees earn at Halifax the female employees earn 60pence.

Cannot see why it’s not just the name on the badge, over complicating the issue.

Smileless2012 Wed 29-Jun-22 13:54:53

Never notice what it says on anyone's name badge TBH.

Zoejory Wed 29-Jun-22 13:56:06

Ir's just a thing that we'll g4t used to and not even notice. It's not really a huge deal.

Reminds of of my Grandma. She almost had a fit of the vapours when her hairdresser asked her if she could call her by her first name rather than Mrs Jory. Absolutely NOT!

StarDreamer Wed 29-Jun-22 13:56:47

What word would that be?

Just one? smile

I find your response interesting.

I would have thought it polite of me, in the hypothetical situation of which I wrote, to refer to the person using the word lady.

What would you consider correct if you were the person who had advised me and I was referring to you please?

I looked up pronoun and apparently it means in place of a name.

So I suppose it would be legal argument as to whether specifying "courteous and polite gentleman who enjoys producing original art" would satisfy a demand to declare a pronoun.

FarNorth Wed 29-Jun-22 13:59:33

I think the writer of that article has got this slightly wrong -

"One person backing the decision said: “Of course they do, Honestly "what are your pronouns?" is literally the first thing I ask the customer service advisor when I visit my local branch of Halifax.”"

Zoejory Wed 29-Jun-22 13:59:43

All I am hearing in my head now is that's no lady, that's my wife!

volver Wed 29-Jun-22 14:03:10

OK, right off topic now, but I'll respond.

In the circumstance you quote StarDreamer, why not say:

"I was enquiring about paying for a book from an Italian museum in euros and your colleague said that I would need to ask you about it"

"I was enquiring about paying for a book from an Italian museum in euros and I believe I have to ask you about it"

It really isn't relevant what gender or sex the person is and "lady" is not "polite", it ascribes certain characteristics to the person you are talking about. If you referred to me as a lady I'd just sigh, probably, but let it go. I ain't no lady wink

FarNorth Wed 29-Jun-22 14:27:45

Some people want to be called 'they' and there is a vast array of neopronouns that people might want to be used for them so in theory StarDreamer you could ask people to use the designation you suggest, as your pronoun.

In the scenario you suggested, I would most likely say "I was told to speak to you" rather than specify who had told me.
If I was then asked who told me I'd say "The person at the end of the counter" or suchlike.

StarDreamer Wed 29-Jun-22 14:27:46

Thank you, volver.

Well, yes, I suppose it is assigning certain characteristics.

I had not thought of it like that previously.

FarNorth Fri 01-Jul-22 08:01:11

Spotted on facebook.

StarDreamer Fri 01-Jul-22 08:08:16

grin Supplied by Acme corporation? smile

It is hard to tell whether that is a photograph of a hardcopy badge (which badge might be genuine or not) or whether it is an electronic only image made on a computer.