Ash Wednesday Slur Costs Hotel Manager His Job
March 26, 2009
A New York City hotel executive was fired for making a curse-laden demand to a Catholic employee to remove ashes from his forehead on Ash Wednesday, reports the New York Daily News. The slur was considered such a serious infraction that Niklaus Leuenberger, the managing director for the New York Palace Hotel, was removed from the job personally by the head of the London-based corporation that owns the hotel.
"We take the well-being of our employees extremely seriously and that is why our CEO, Mr. Cowdray, went to New York in person to deal with this matter," the company said in a statement. Leuenberger was a 45-year veteran in the luxury-hotel business.
On Ash Wednesday, Catholics receive a cross of ashes on their forehead from their priest to commemorate their own mortality. Mike Murray, bell captain of the hotel and an observant
Catholic, said that his priest had liberally applied the ashes that day to his forehead.
"Get that fu...ing sh.. off your face!"
He couldn't have been ignorant of this custom, could he? In downtown Manhattan? If you see someone with a dark smudge on their forehead you assume it must be Ash Wednesday! Good riddance to him! I bet his employees are rejoicing.
Did any of you Catholics ever cheat when you were a teen and put cigarette ashes on each others foreheads? Or am I the only one going straight to hell?
The bellman, Murray, says he has no plans to sue.