Know When To Say Goodbye!
When I was dealing with and fighting back against race-based retaliation at work, and was starting to be hit with some scary health consequences (high blood pressure, etc.), I had to finally ask myself a tough question: Why am I staying at a job that’s killing me? When I thought about it, I realized there were many answers:
· I didn’t do anything wrong, so why should I be forced out?
· I don’t want to quit! I want to leave on my own terms!
· I don’t want them to win!
· I don’t want them to do this to someone else!
· I don’t want to be weak/break! That’s what they want—the ultimate prize!
· Why should I be the one to resign? Why don’t they fire the racists, the harassers, and the instigators?!
And, then I thought of a mega- reason not to leave my job. Damn it! I just don’t feel like going on interviews. What’s the point?! White people everywhere are all the same. It’s just going to be more of the same old bullsh*t. Or, it could be worse.
And, you know what? That last great thought of mine was a load of sh*t! No people are all the same. I know that. And, yes, I could end up at a job with more prevalent racism, but MAYBE NOT! Regardless of the prospects, THIS job was killing me and I knew I had no choice but to...
It wasn’t about winning or losing. It wasn’t about being weak or strong. I had to focus on myself and not on the racist, the harassers or the company. I realized that I didn’t have to stay at the company to fight for my rights. I could file a government complaint and then I could…MOVE ON!
Guess what? After a few months out of that job and forcing myself not to be consumed by hatred each day, my blood pressure began to drop and the threat of a lifetime on medicine was gone.
If you are experiencing health related problems at work, you need to stop and think about the lifelong consequences of subjecting yourself to that daily torment. Don’t worry…you can still file a complaint with the EEOC, the Office of Human Rights or with an attorney in order to vindicate your rights.
You don’t have to put yourself into the hornet's nest in order to bring your employer to justice.
You can walk away, repair your health, and STILL fight to make a change. Don’t consider that weak. Consider that smart. If you were to die at your desk or at home from a heart attack or stroke, what good would you reporting to that harmful job each day have done to you or your loved ones?
If you want to pursue the many options available to fight back against race-based misconduct at work, you can do that outside of the job. You don’t have to stay at the company in order to prove wrongdoing. Sometimes you have to walk away in order to have the strength for the fight and to be in the fight for the long haul.
Before you go, if you decide to leave, be sure you have a copy of every important document that is relevant to your case and of every document that may be relevant to your case. Don’t leave without having everything you need to prove your case.
And, always get contact information for the coworkers, who witnessed your abuse. They aren't guaranteed to cooperate in the investigation, but at least you will be able to pass their information along to an investigator or lawyer. How they behave is however they decide to behave! You don't control that, but you can set yourself up in a better position by allowing someone else to attempt to get the real deal from witnesses.