Opinion: Cheers

POSTED: 08/19/13 11:44 AM

Last week we wrote about the trial of Terrence Pantophlet. A couple of days later, Terrence visited our office to explain something, and we gladly share this with our readers.

Terrence is a truck driver who delivers Presidente beer for a French-side company. He’s been working at the place since 2008, so he is not exactly a job-hopper in spite of the fact that his colleagues on the other side of the border are not exactly treating Terrence the way a normal employer should treat employees.

Take for instance Eric Kraanen – Terrence provided the name to us. Eric is the supervisor at the Presidente-warehouse. He keeps an eye on the flow of alcohol from the company to its customers, so to speak. Eric also seems to be a bit of a Neanderthaler in the field of human interaction.

During the court case it appeared that Eric was in the habit – for five years, mind you – to treat Terrence to insults that went from monkey, ape and nigger to inbred.

Of course, Terrence complained to Chris Moore and the company’s general manager, a man called Danny of whom Terrence could not immediately remember the last name. The last name is also not that important. What matters is that Chris and Danny – who like to keep staff numbers low at Presidente – did absolutely nothing with Terrence’s complaints. So Eric Kraanen felt free to keep throwing insults at the truck driver for five long years.

Until, as we reported last week, Terrence had a run-in with Eric at the Beauty Crystal Bar in Sucker Garden. We were sorely tempted to think: why did it take him so long? Who on earth is taking racist insults for years without ever lifting a finger?

This is where things become interesting. The prosecutor charged last week that Terrence has a huge anger management problem, that he is aggressive and that he took his frustration out in a way words cannot describe.

Hey, Terrence told us, wait a minute. I am not aggressive at all. I want my customers to know this. Sure I was overwhelmed and I took a wrong decision. That’s all.

That the court sentenced him to a 2 month conditional prison sentence with 2 years of probation, plus 100 hours of community service did not go down well with Terrence, so he is contemplating an appeal.

From the story he told us, we understand where Terrence is coming from and we wish him all the best with the appeal process.

Judge Van de Ven was absolutely amazed last week when he considered the labor conditions at Presidente; he had a hard time believing that this kind of treatment was happening in the twenty-first century.

We don’t agree with people who settle their issues by the use of violence. But we do admire Terrence for the way he took all this for five long years. He still works for Presidente, so we wish for him that racist Eric got the message. Cheers.


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