The rest stop known as “381” is known to Crees for its ridiculous prices and awful food. Now, it is also becoming known for bad attitude.
Christopher Stephen, CBC reporter from Waskaganish, was pressed for time when he pulled into the 381 gas bar at 11:57 a.m. on Friday, June 20.
He was low on juice and on his way to the La Grande airport where his passenger had to make a flight to Whapmagoostui at 1:50 p.m.
Everthing was under control. Two hours was just enough to drive the 210-kilometre distance.
But he wasn’t counting on gas bar attendant Chantale Mainville.
Mainville was heading out for her hour-long lunch, which technically is supposed to start at 12 p.m.
Our hurried travellers pleaded with Mainville. Stay an extra minute or two so we can gas up, they asked her. After all, the plane was waiting.
Mainville would not be swayed. Instead she grew impatient and rude, complains Stephen.
“She was throwing the F word a lot She said, C’mon, f**k, can’t you f**king wait?! I know it’s her lunch but if it was a white person it would have been probably done,” he speculated. “She refused to speak English but I heard her saying something about Indians.”
Fortunately, Stephen’s passenger hitched his way to the airport and made the flight. But Stephen is still riled up.
He mentioned a young man from Mistissini who had worked at 381 and had to stop because the other workers there were apparently using racial remarks.
“I don’t know if it’s a racial matter or just politeness,” Stephen said.
“But I don’t think she should be allowed to work here if she’s going to act like that. This is our territory.”