A Toronto man has filed a complaint against a Canada Post employee for an alleged homophobic incident that occurred in his workplace.
Rick Kopfensteiner says that he boarded the elevator of his Yorkville office complex on June 21 with an on-duty mail carrier and was immediately surprised by the man’s erratic behaviour.
“It was just the two of us, and he . . . seemed intoxicated. I noticed he stumbled getting onto the elevator and then fell backward into the elevator wall.”
But what followed left Kopfensteiner shaken.
“He righted himself, looked at me and said, ‘Do you want to hear a joke? How do you get a homo to have sex with a woman? You fill her cunt with shit.’”
Kopfensteiner informed the postal worker that he identifies as homosexual and that he found his comments to be offensive. “He got off the elevator . . . and mumbled something incoherent and then [said] ‘faggot’ as the doors closed.”
Upon returning to his office, Kopfensteiner checked in with the shipping department, who verified his description of the employee. He then contacted Canada Post.
“We spoke with a very sympathetic customer service rep who said he would file the complaint with the supervisor who oversaw the Canada Post workers in this area. I was then told [they] would follow up with me by Monday, June 24.”
Kopfensteiner has yet to hear from Canada Post.
A representative from Canada Post tells Xtra that the incident is still under investigation and that it “takes complaints of this nature very seriously.” When pressed for information on the types of anti-discrimination training in place within the organization, the rep confirmed that Canada Post requires all new employees to participate in sensitivity and human rights training during the hiring process.
Canada Post has had a tumultuous relationship with the gay community over the years. In 2006, a Vancouver mail carrier was suspended for refusing to deliver a homophobic pamphlet printed by a Baptist mission out of Ontario. Canada Post defended its position by arguing that it doesn’t censor mail but then came under fire that same year for refusing to deliver “sexually explicit” mail from an adult shop and a sex-positive political party.
Eventually, the Canada Post employee was excused and senior management distributed the religious pamphlets.
Kopfensteiner just hopes that there are consequences for the employee’s actions.
“Overall, I was shocked and irritated [by] the experience. The fact that this man thought it was somehow okay to tell that joke to a random person in an elevator at an office in the middle of a workday is beyond me.
“It’s not exactly the behaviour you expect from a uniformed, on-duty Canada Post worker.”