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She is a bestselling author with a healthy bank balance, but Chocolat writer Joanne Harris found herself shunned by sales staff at Harvey Nichols in London - because she wasn't smartly dressed.

The writer, 52, whose novel was turned into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche, took to Twitter this afternoon to blast the retailer, saying she'd encountered 'intense snoot' from staff 'unused to contact with people in hoodies'.

Eventually she turned up and gave the helpful kitchen worker a large tip, while everyone else had to stay late and keep the place open while they concluded their meeting.

When she wrote Chocolat – a mesmerising tale of a young mother, Vianne Rocher, and her daughter who set up a chocolaterie in a remote French village during Lent – Joanne was a full-time schoolteacher living in Barnsley.

The rise of the internet and other technology has made information more easily-accessible than ever before.

While this has had the positive effect of equalizing access to knowledge, it also has lowered the bar on what depth of knowledge is required to consider oneself an "expert." A cult of anti-expertise sentiment has coincided with anti-intellectualism, resulting in mass The rise of the internet and other technology has made information more easily-accessible than ever before.

This surge in intellectual egalitarianism has altered the landscape of debates-all voices are equal, and "fact" is a subjective term.

When challenged, non-experts resort to the false argument that the experts are often wrong.

Though it may be true, but the solution is not to jettison expertise as an ideal; it is to improve our expertise.

A spokesperson for Harvey Nichols told Mail Online: 'We pride ourselves on welcoming customers from all backgrounds and we aim to provide everyone with an outstanding customer service experience.

We are very sorry to hear that Joanne Harris’ experience fell short of our expectations; we will address this urgently to ensure it does not happen again.'To further prove her point, the author recalled waiting in a cafe for the award-winning actress Juliette Binoche who starred in the film adaptation of her book Chocolat.

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