2018-02-05 2:46 PM
Question about how you respond to people you know who make sexist, racist or homophobic comments.
Mom and Dad are talking about two men that live on their street. Mom comments that one of them really loves his new boots and was going on and on about how much he loves his new boots. Dad feels the need to day "They are married to eachother, you know".
You are in the break room at work and your boss (who is from India) and your direct report (who is from Russia) and you are talking. The direct report says she was trying to sell some stuff on craigslist and "your people" were giving her a hard time. Boss say "what do you mean 'your people'" direct report says, "you know, Indian people".
What do you do?
(1) I'd likely say to dad something along the lines of: "And what is the relevance of their marital status to his enjoyment of his new boots?" - likely with a raised eyebrow and a bit of a light glare indicating my awareness of the implications of his comment.
(2) Being in the middle of a direct report and a superior is tricky.... here, I might wait a beat to see if Superior is going to speak up him/herself - it is his/her right to respond. I would also be looking to see if Superior seems rattled or not, is going to speak with Report after (and does not wish to do so in a more public break room setting), etc.... micro-cues, I suppose. If I were in sufficient authority over Report to say so, and if I knew I had the backing of Superior/management in terms of the policy statement, I would say: "I do not tolerate use of such language from members of my team in the workplace. I trust you can determine why. Should you have difficulty with that policy or are uncertain why the comments are inappropriate, you are more than welcome to take it up with me directly and I am happy to enlighten you."
Depending on your work relationships, I might be inclined to use humor in the second situation... "What?! No, <big boss> isn't in charge of an entire racial group in the area...only people at this company, like yourself"
I agree with Mickey here, but also might take Arimathea's approach of letting the boss handle it.
1) I agree, ask what his liking for his new boots has to do with his being married to anyone or to a specific person.
2) Very awkward. Keep mouth firmly shut and let boss handle it. Direct report put her foot in it, boss doesn't need anyone else jumping into the situation. Later you can talk to DR and let boss know how you handled this.
2018-02-05 7:30 PM
1. "Yes, I know, they seem like a good couple. Although I'm not sure I agree with his taste in footwear." Normalize it.
2. Agree with Mickey. Very dependent on the nature of the conversation, the intention, prior conversations, etc. As written, I would acknowledge and diffuse "wow, that is a pretty broad statement."
Agree with others on this.
good suggestions from others! The second one is particularly tricky, ugh.
1) SRoo nailed it. I'd have said something along those lines. If I wanted to be more pointed, I might have also said "You sound uncomfortable with the fact that they are married; does it bother you?" Basically pointing out the elephant in the conversation.
2) Ack. Awkward. There is no easy answer.
Personal NRR: this week's update on Dali is that she is improving more than I expected. She is eating better, has more energy and is grooming herself a little more. She is also being bright and affectionate, asking for attention and coming out to sit with us or hang out close to us. Fluids and frequent small meals of tasty foods seem to be helping a lot.
Yay Dali! Glad she is grooming, that's so important for a cat.
Great news about Dali.
My cat would come and sit close to us, but with her back to us.
If we talked to her though, she would flick the very tip of her tail.
I'm glad Dali is improving.
"Hey Dad, buy Mom those boots she really loves them"
Therapy appointment tonight, followed by date night. Interested in how therapy goes. I have realized I need to go no-contact with my biological family, so there is plenty we could talk about. But in a way, making the decision and also having my husband and two of our closest friends see so clearly how my family treats me, and validate what I have been saying I have experienced from them over the years, has been amazingly therapeutic in itself. I feel amazingly peaceful already, and ready to move the f*ck on with my life. Part of me wants to just say "I'm okay now" and skip the appointment. I KNOW there is more to discuss, though, and it will be helpful to go dig into it.
2018-02-07 10:48 AM
MCF and I have been trying to find a way to connect during the week when he works late. So we had breakfast together before I left for work (he's not usually even awake when I leave). It was fun to have that time with him to start my day.
Regarding the questions above. In the first one I said nothing. In the second one I said something like "you mean 'her people' like all of the millions of people from India?" The moment was awkward, and we moved on. I don't know if my boss ever said anything to my direct report.
I probably could say something to dad. I have before, when he made a comment about someone "driving like an oriental"
and I told him I was shocked and that it sounded like something his mother would say. He got it that time.
A really good photographer came out to our swim last week, and brought a canoe and a paddler, and got some awesome photos. I posted the ones of me on FB, and some of the ones of other people are even better, but I don't feel I have the right to share.
Someone... find my motivation to care long enough to generate two sample data sets & run another set of experiments... I am so very much over this!
In good news, I need one more graphic done (that requires two sample data sets & an experimental trial to complete), and maybe 6 more sentences to smooth transitions between things. Oh, and all the edits I don't know about yet from my editorial minions.
Have I mentioned I'm almost done!?
I need "original" signatures from people in two states and two continents for a form .... "Per University policy, the signatures must be original"
But, they ALL need to be on the SAME form.... soooo... I need to send a freaking piece of paper around the damn globe to get signatures "Per University Policy"
And the purpose of this is.... <drumroll> so the signatures are not forged / facsimile. FFS, people, if I'm about to defend my PhD and I'm forging signatures, there is something way more wrong with me than turning in a form with scanned copies of signatures.
I'm shaking, so angry.
Sitting in a planning meeting, the PM running the meeting says she and her peer Caitlyn are going to be working offsite tomorrow. One of my (male) peers says "Oh a spa day?". One of my (male) managers says "oh yeah, mani/pedi day!". I saw both PMs faces fall. I wasn't quick enough with words to respond in the moment. I wish I'd been quick enough to think to say "Wow, that was inappropriate" but I wasn't. I have since circled around to both dudes (and their peer groups so they'd get the message too) that it was inappropriate, that they would never have said that to Joe if he said he and Eric were going to be offsite tomorrow.
My direct report manager has responded that he agrees and will go apologize. My peer hasn't seen my message yet. Why TF do dudes think this is appropriate? These two women work their asses off to make these dudes' lives easier at work, and they cleared their schedule tomorrow to be able to focus and knock out a bunch of things the dudes have been asking for. THIS is how you treat them? We wonder why women don't want to work in tech?!?!?!?