An Anonymous Reader Criticizes and Questions Me Regarding this Job
As much as I appreciate your blog and advice this is my comment. Why do YOU work here? What were the signs that told you that this may become another discrimination law suit? It appears there have been problems with your "new" job since you were in training. So do you stick it out, focus on doing your job and fighting racism? Do you help your other coworkers deal with this. Do you monitor, record, make notes to build your case and advise your coworker to do the same. From what you are saying this is a "toxic, disrespectful environment" that nurtures, allows and accepts this type of behavior. As much as I respect what you are doing here, my question to you is with all your experience are you unable to see all of this before you accept working at a place like this. Apparently racism, sexism, and ageism is having its hey day in America. Should your coworker have demanded being treated with more respect? And for goodness sakes what do you do about blatantly racist remarks? Once we call it out as what it is disrespectful and racist, do we continue to participate or do we have respect for ourselves (because apparently this group doesn't) and remove ourselves from the conversation. This place sounds ill.
S. MARY WILLS TO READER:
Anonymous, you remind me of someone in your writing. I hope you aren't who I think you are.
Let me start by saying MOST PEOPLE DO NOT AND WOULD NOT DO WHAT I HAVE ALREADY DONE!
I had to relocate to New York from Maryland because I stuck my neck on the line for a coworker/friend, who was targeted because of race. Out of all the Blacks that worked with us, NO ONE admitted what they saw and heard. I was her sole corroborating witness. And, what did I get?
Run out of my damn job as soon as the determination of guilt was rendered against our employer. I was denied a promotion, denied a transfer that I'd trained and worked for and was the target of the executive/director of my department, my supervisor, and a mid-level coworker. I was documented at every end, set up for failure, and given 2 malicious performance evaluations.
I was about to be placed on high blood pressure medicine. Lost my hair. Slept 0-2 hours each night. Was prescribed Xanax for my nerves, etc.
So, my question to you and anyone else, who wonders about what I do and what I would do...
What the heck have YOU done for yourself or anyone else regarding race at work? I respect your right to speak on the issue, but I take some umbrage to this because I left a huge apartment I loved behind, I left friends behind, I left a life behind in another state because I volunteered to make myself a target of White workplace retribution!
No one can ever ask, what I've done. Not in any capacity, considering what I've already given up. I left without a job lined up and struggled finding suitable and equivalent work. Who supported me? Who gave me money? Who put a roof over my head? My family. I have taken care of myself since I was a teenager!! So, think about the price I paid to fight racism at work.
I am far from a hyprocrite and I will toot my own horn and say that I am braver, in the workplace, then many people who only know how to talk a good game about what they would say or do at work.
I have stuck my neck on the line for many a Black coworker, writing emails, doing research, defending them against attacks, going to see lawyer's, standing up to their attackers--on their behalf, committing things to writing--on their behalf, etc. So, I don't appreciate the premise of anything written by anonymous regarding the questions being asked about how I ended up on this job and why I still work there.
I've actually been working on assignments for about 3 weeks. So, why was "new" in quotes, anonymous? This is a new job.
My next response is to say that when I was told about this phone call, I said, "We need to contact EEOC!" I volunteered to do that. No one else, no other minority, was willing to do that at this point. I was told to hold off FOR NOW.
To your question about with all my experience, did I not see all this coming before accepting work? Let's get real for a minute. How would I see that there would be raced-based criteria for switching assignments before accepting a job? I don't have ESP, do you?
We may all get a vibe from time to time from someone interviewing us for a position, but that person usually isn't the person we report to and may not reflect our experiences, once we are hired. So, what in fact can anyone know about a workplace, before they actually immerse themselves in the experience of working there? The answer is "nothing." Until you work somewhere, you don't know what your personal experience will be.
I obviously did not expect this, especially in a 3 week time frame. Why would I? Just because I write a blog like this doesn't mean I expect to find racism around everyone corner. I try to bring positivity to every experience I have. I don't go around looking for the worst in anyone or any situation, even though I also keep myself ready for the possibility that I will be sorely disappointed in what I find at a job.
It's easy to ask, "Why do YOU work here?" I work because I need money to live, just like you and everyone else. Do you want to subscribe to this blog, so I can generate some extra income?
I put my money where my mouth is. I don't just write this blog to give lip service. I'm not trying to be defensive, however, I value my reputation on this blog as someone who is honest about the realities of racism at work and who is willing to stand up to any challenges presented by workplace racism.
I volunteered to document this incident for my coworker and to sign the document, along with her showing I supported everything written, including that this man was violating Federal law. This is despite the fact that I was not on the phone call and have heard none of this for myself. I am still willing to take her word and the word of the other 2 people I spoke to. I did not try to minimalize or marginalize what they had to say or to try to sweep this under the rug.
I was asked not to get involved, by my coworker. It is not my place to force myself into a situation that she has asked me to leave to her. She is fearful of retaliation, but, again, she wanted to handle this alone because she was the one to take on this supervisor and our coworkers.
She only wanted advice from me. FOR NOW! She knows my offer to speak up and write up remains on the table. So, that's what I did. What would YOU have offered to do?
Am I quitting? No! Not at this point. I have left one job without another lined up and I am not in a position to do that again right now. I have always spoken honestly about everyone making individual considerations about the actions they need to take.
Should my coworker demand respect? Of course, and she has responded demanding respect AND ANSWERS!
We will see how he responds to my coworker, who shared her email with me. It is very specific and doesn't sugar coat what happened. She chooses to respond on her own, despite the fact that she is scared of repercussions, such as retaliation by this manager. I volunteered to sign her email, but she refused. Still, she knows I have her back! Whose back do you have?
So, that is my long-winded response to your post. No, I'm not quitting my job! Would YOU? And, HAVE YOU? I have already done that, Anonymous!! I've spilled some serious blood for the cause and made many sacrifices not shared because they are too personal. Only someone else who's ALREADY made such sacrifices has a right to question me. By the way, no one has EVER put themselves out there for me like I've done for other people.
And, you heard it here!!
Find me another job and we can talk about when I'm quitting!! Until then, I'm documenting everything, like I always recommend.