Thursday, June 3, 2021

It's Not Easy to Be Me

I wish that I knew why these things matter so much to me. Life would be much easier if they didn't. 

I work in front of a woman who is a true xenophobe. In the three weeks that I have worked there, she has held forth on her opinions of people from the south (pointing out that she's not racist because she's talking about all of them regardless of race), about Mexicans, about Puerto Ricans. A couple days ago, she was tittering about a gay man. She says it right out loud. 'I hate diversity.' 

I went to the supervisor and said, "I know that she's not a bright woman. This has nothing to do with politics at all, but this is an EEO worksite, and she cannot talk like this on the job." 

The supervisor said, "I know. It is on my radar, and it is going to be addressed."

Today there was a meeting, and the announcement came. "This is an office space. There is talk going on that is not appropriate to work. Watch what you're saying, because people are getting hurt feelings."

And like that, it was clear. The problem is not the woman doing the talking. It is about the woman who insists that she can't. 

I spent most of the morning listening to loud conversation from her. She feels that if she is having a private conversation, people should not be eavesdropping and if they are that rude, it's their own damn fault if they get their feelings hurt, etc. etc. etc. 

I didn't bother to point out that private conversations should not be held in public places. It has been made clear who the problem is. 

18 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I sat in a doctor's waiting room recently and listened to two men "discuss" the Covid vaccine. It's a wonder I still had a tongue by the time they called me back since I was repeatedly biting it. Good thing I was wearing a mask.

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  3. I think it is always irritatig when people speak loudly in confined public spaces about controversial topics. It is downright rude for a start apart from
    it just been annoying for anyone within hearing distance

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  4. What a no no. Air your thoughts to family and friends and be judged by them, but don't inflict your prejudices on others in your workplace. You never know who may be listening and offended.

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  5. Well are you allowed to listen to music through headphones there? That would be my idea if someone was doing that. I know some places don't allow it.

    I know this job is a short term thing and there is only a limited time you have to keep listening to it, but there is only so much of that kind of thing I would be able to take until I spoke up directly to her. :(

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  6. I agree with Snoskred. I would have great difficulty not saying something to her. If she has the freedom to spout off, why don't you?

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  7. Some people don’t know how to behave in public.

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  8. People often try to get me into an argument and I smile and think of something else and even change the subject on purpose.

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  9. The sad thing is even if you become involved in the conversation she will not change her thinking. And if you say something, she will probably be off on another spiteful attack on you. Get those headphones on!

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  10. Aggravating, both the act and the response.

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  11. She hates diversity, but doesn't mind being diverse!

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  12. The supervisor didn't help at all. Can you move to a different desk so you don't hear her? Otherwise, headphones was a good suggestion. Sorry you are stuck in this position!

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  13. I used to work alongside a woman who was horribly racist and bigoted. I was so appalled by her comments about another member of staff one lunchtime that I pointedly picked up my food and moved to the table where the guy she was bad-mouthing was sitting. Years later I bumped into her and her new partner, an immigrant who was everything she used to say that she hated. She was a changed woman. I guess in her case love really did conquer all!

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  14. It sounds like your supervisor tried to address the issue, albeit in a rather clumsy and vague way. What he/she needs to do is call the woman into his/her office and tell her to knock it off. Aren't you glad this is just a temporary situation?!

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  15. Loudmouths are always as insecure as they are forceful - and usually as ignorant too. Stay strong - be better. I'm sure you will.

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  16. In a job many years ago, I sat at a desk directly in front of a man whose wife had a new baby. His life was an open book. No subject was off limits. Every morning he got his cup of coffee (on company time) and began his daily round of calls to brothers, sisters, mother friends….everybody. He gave blow by blow accounts of his wife’s problems breastfeeding. Same story over and over along with any other personal problems or issues they were having. I could overhear EVERY WORD he said as I was only about 4 feet away. After many, many, many days I had had it. I turned around and said in a normal voice, “ I am so tired of hearing about your wife’s breastfeeding problems”. His mouth literally dropped open, but he did not get upset. And his conversations changed in subject, but not in number.

    So, it is not just prejudice that is offensive. Any subject can be hard to take when it is continuously forced on you.

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  17. It’s sad to have to work with narrow minded, racist people who cannot understand their own smallness.

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