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Bigotry In Workplace - Coping Strategys Required

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by Garek, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    Hey all. Need some help. I need to know how to deal with bigotry in the workplace. In my office one of the manager, a Jamaican woman, openly uses words like 'faggot'. I have reported this to the GM before, but I have only worked here for less than two years and she has been working here for probably near 20. So the company knows what she is like, and as far as I can tell they are not going to do anything about it.

    So I am not sure what to do. The thing is it makes me feel horrible.

    Anyone got any tips? Apart from "find a new job". I am half tempted to march the union in and have them explain the finer points of the law. I shouldn't have to hear shit like this at work.
     
  2. temper_tantrum

    temper_tantrum The beauty of the ride

    Start a diary of incidents, at least. I dunno what you can do with it though. :confused:
     
  3. JWH

    JWH Fnord Fiesta XR3i

    How big is the company? Is it big enough that you have a diversity/equal opportunities/don't be a nasty fucking bigot officer? Is it worth going to HR?

    I have to say I'm a bit cynical and if it's the kind of place where people work for twenty years, I would prepare for nothing to happen.

    Edit: if you have a union, you may as well ask them what should happen and what is likely to happen in practice, so at least you have more information.
     
  4. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat for an independent feline republic of catford

    Stonewall's web site might be worth a look for a start.

    includes
    might be worth talking to the union - many unions do have some sort of representation for lesbian/gay members, which may be at a regional office or some such (and thus be more discreet than taking it to your local workplace rep)

    the obvious potential danger is that she might try and find a way of getting a dodgy disciplinary against you, or maybe even accuse you of racism, and it could all get kinda unpleasant.

    my inner radical says stay put and fight.

    but having been pushed out of too many jobs in the past due to homophobia (albeit before we got any legal protection) the rest of me's inclined to think it's simpler just to get the heck out, as whatever the law says, a fair proportion of it's going to come down to what you can prove. is there any chance that any of your colleagues will back you up? or is there a chance that more will back her up?

    (incidentally, we haven't met so i may be meowing up the wrong tree here - it's still homophobia and unacceptable whether it's aimed at you because you are gay, aimed at you because someone mistakenly thinks you're gay, or if it's in general and you're not. if you see what i mean.)

    best of luck.
     
  5. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    She is HR :D :eek: About 50 people. Core of very long termers, who are all somehow connected (friends, relations, in laws etc.). Rest Polish and other immigrant.

    I am very cynical about how what will happen to. The problem I am finding is that I feel complicit if I say nowt. So should I simply report it, even in goes nowhere, simply on principle. Frankly I have been thinking about this at this weekend and have been trying to decide whether it would be ethical of me to keep a log and put complaints on record simply so that if they ever try and fuck me on anything I have a paper trail to take them tribunal and get quietly paid off. But then isn't that using bigotry for my own ends?
     
  6. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    She's actually breaking the law on discrimination and the company is too if they don't put a stop to it.
     
  7. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    Cheers for the link :)


    That is a danger. But I have enough support from certain key people including my line manager.
    The company would quietly pay me off. They have form here. They don't like a fight because they no they have no clue legally.

    Straight, white and male. So my 'choice' to be bothered, if that can be said.
     
  8. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    I used to voice objections to casual racism and it didn't make me particularly popular. It rarely happens now there's a black and mixed race guy on my section and some of the dead wood have retired.

    It's easy enough for people not in the situation to encourage you to make waves about it but it will have an effect on your job and the way your colleagues treat you if you go down that route. Especially if it's a close-knit outfit. I'd factor that in with any decision you make i.e - looking for a new job.
     
  9. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    Yeah, this is what I am thinking. What's your view on the cynical route I discussed in post 5? Would you regard that as ethical?
     
  10. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    If you get a disciplinary against you I'm not sure they'll buy counter-fire against another employee done in hindsight. Or perhaps they'd give you money to go away quietly, dunno.

    But surely this is about you wanting it to stop rather than personal gain. If it was me i'd probably speak to the person about it or at least drop a hint. Could you get the relative legislation printed off and leave it on her desk? Next step would be to approach her manager. Again, no heavy stuff just ask him/her to have a quiet word in their ear. If that fails and you can't live with it then bring out the big guns and start a grievance process as you've given her ample opportunity to change her behaviour which she has ignored. But prepare to become unpopular. unless everyone hates her. Although you'll also have the fall out of this on your side with any resulting victimisation. And yeah, keep the union informed.
     
  11. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    No of course. Fundamentally this comes down a point of principle. I just know I am likely to be on hiding to nothing with this company simply due to the nature of how the place operates and the core of staff I am up against. But then that is rather defeatist I guess.

    I've had a quiet word with her manager before. He said he would have a word but he knows what she is like. He has worked at this place since he was 16. He is in his 40's now and the GM, so not just her manager but the big boss of the whole place.

    I think what I will do is keep a log. Next time this happens I print of the relevant legislation and show it to him. Not aggressively, but I will make clear I find this unacceptable and I do not want to, or indeed have to as backed up the law, come to work and hear this kind of fucking bollocks. Because it makes me feel shit and stressed.

    I'll give the Union a call to.

    (cheers for the advice btw.)
     
  12. JWH

    JWH Fnord Fiesta XR3i

    FFFFffffffffuuuuu......... :facepalm:
     
  13. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    I think I used the wrong face. I really meant :( :( :(
     
  14. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 bifurcaria bifurcata

    I made an informal complaint about some members of staff being homophobic in my last job. I ended up getting fired for some vague reasons. I hadn't been there long, but I didn't want to work in an office with that kind of atmosphere. It probably doesn't help to tell you my situation, but I hope you find a way to make this right, because I know what it's like.
     
  15. Schmetterling

    Schmetterling Morum Fember

    It is just so soul-destroying keeping quiet, isn't it? My current placement is 'nice enough' but very Daily Mail. Gems such as 'Funny how they always have that date of birth, innit?' and 'I mean, you drive past a council estate and all you see is brand new cars!' :facepalm:
     
  16. JWH

    JWH Fnord Fiesta XR3i

    I don't even get that one. :confused:
     
  17. Schmetterling

    Schmetterling Morum Fember

    Because, in general, birthdays are not celebrated in Islam so often 01.01. is chosen as a birthday. Her ‘they’ + the raised eyebrows and knowing smirk is so loaded. Fucking idiot. Sorry; I am in a stinking mood today. Anybody got a good joke?
     
  18. JWH

    JWH Fnord Fiesta XR3i

    Really? That's a new one on me.
     
  19. Schmetterling

    Schmetterling Morum Fember

    The non-celebration of birthdays in Islam or the choosing of that date?
     
  20. JWH

    JWH Fnord Fiesta XR3i

    Both, really.
     
  21. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    On a similar vein you get 'isn't it funny how they're always an engineer/doctor/royalty back in their own country'
     
  22. TruXta

    TruXta Tired of this

    Can't you just tell her that as long as she think it's acceptable to use the word faggot you'll use the word nigger?
     
  23. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    Actually I have had that argument with her in the pub before whilst drunk :oops: She was banging on about how "the races shouldn't mix" and I said her views were racist and proceeded to call her a "nasty bigoted cunt" in front of one of my directors. I then asked her how she would feel if I she were referred to as a nigger and told to fuck off back where she came from. She went sort of quiet at that. I don't think many people in my company get up her face like that. God that was a messy night :(
     
  24. kabbes

    kabbes kah-bus

    How did the roles of office manager and HR manager come to be mixed up? Surely their separation is a pretty basic rule of business?
     
  25. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    Really? Better tell my Muslim mate then, who had a 40th birthday party recently.
     
  26. TruXta

    TruXta Tired of this

    :eek::facepalm:

    Good on you.
     
  27. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    Put in a grievance. Once grievance procedure is exhausted, if still not satisfactorily dealth with, then a tribunal. If you have good evidence, it's likely you'll win. Discrimination on grounds of sexuality is illegal. The individual is culpable, but so is the company if they don't deal with it, once brought to their attention.
     
  28. temper_tantrum

    temper_tantrum The beauty of the ride

    I think you're confusing what Garek's company do with actual business. G's company just provides daily entertainment for a bunch of institutionalised sociopaths who couldn't find work anywhere else if they were released into the real world. It's like some kind of care in the community scheme tbh. (Yes, I do know these people in real life).

    Edit: Blagsta, good advice, BUT ... they don't have a grievance procedure. :rolleyes: (@ them, not @ you, btw!)
     
  29. kabbes

    kabbes kah-bus

    To be honest, I'm not sure that the best way to deal with bigotry in a professional setting is to call someone a cunt (no matter how accurate) and make reference to them being called a nigger. It kind of loses you the moral high ground.
     
  30. kabbes

    kabbes kah-bus

    Sounds... fun?
     

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