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Rus Slater

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Friday afternoon teaser: What would you do if…..


....this happened to you?

The trainer has asked all the delegates to introduce themselves and to share their biggest ambition.

The penultimate delegate in the round of introductions is a Moslem gentleman who declares his primary ambition is to visit Mecca.

On hearing this, the only delegate who has not yet introduced herself, pipes up, "Oh, I know what you mean, my Nan goes to Mecca every Friday afternoon with the Derby and Joan, she loves it!".

The Moslem gentleman, and all the other delegates, stare, open-mouthed, but it is clear that the lady in question is completely oblivious to her faux pas.


4 Responses

  1. I think I would say something

    I think I would say something like:

    "That's great to hear you nan loves her Friday outings.  I believe XXX is hoping to visit the holy city of Mecca – would you like to tell us a bit more about it, XXX"?

    Did this really happen???



  2. true!

    …it didn't happen to me, but two of my delegates told me that it had occured on the last workshop they had attended together in June of this year.


  3. Call me old fashioned but..

    Call me old fashioned but I would have burst out laughing,

    Of course I would then have to explain why, I would have found a flip chart, always one of those floating around, and I would have written the word 'Mecca' at the top and split the board into two. I would then have asked each person to give me a few lines on their understanding of the word.

    I  would then have used the example to explain how easy it is for mer words to cause serious cultural misunderstandings and how nice it is to come across one that is, hopefully unlikely to cause offence and is truely funny.

    I would then suggest that student A take student B to their version of Mecca and visa-versa.

    It's a risky strategy but laughter often takes the wind out of such incidents.

    I doubt all trainers could get away with it though.

  4. I’d agree with Jenny here.

    I'd agree with Jenny here.

    My way would be to ask the Moslem gentleman if that what he meant, and perhaps he could clarify.

    While it's a great opportunity for a learning experience, depending on the subject of the course it could provide a bit of a derailment.



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Rus Slater


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