Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Don't Make Race-Related Excuses That You Know Are Lies!

I've always tried to stress how important it is that people not make claims of race-related biases at work that they know do not exist. I was reminded of how important this is when a coworker recently complained about someone targeting her because she is Black. But, there are problems with this:

1) She's always coming in late and disrupting morning meetings;

2) She's loud and rude to coworkers and customers;

3) She's always wandering off (read: not working);

4) She frequently calls out on days she knows we are going to be busy; and

5) She's already been documented for LEGITIMATE performance issues, so she's well aware that she should be focusing more on puctuality and attendance and on improving her work performance.

It isn't cool for her to run around screaming from the rooftops that she's the victim of racism. This person is a victim of her own poor behavior and a lack of effort. She needs to take responsibility for the corner she's painted herself into and the fact that she is a hair away from being terminated.

We each must be accountable for our actions. When it is not warranted, we have to be sure not to make race an issue because it only serves to do extreme harm to those who are truly being subjected to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

We must also focus on not giving people ammunition to target us for any reason. Just go to work and do your job. After that, just hope that you have a positive environment and that you are surrounded by adults, who will abide by the laws prohibiting racially-biased behavior and abuses in the workplace.

Let's try not to make our work lives harder than they must be!


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