Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Nice When Someone Fights for You!

I've got a couple of young, Black men facing termination at work under "suspicious" circumstances. It's not that neither of these men hasn't brought corporate attention to themselves based on their behavior. For instance, chronic latenesses and carelessness with carrying out their duties. However, both these men are getting nudged over the edge by management. Instead of waiting for the final screw-up, these guys are just being ushered out under less than legit circumstances.

One of the guys is fighting his own battle, although he does have silent support from a couple of managers--the very same managers who were asked to fire him! The other guy has a manager actively fighting to keep him employed because a legitimate accident is being used to terminate him.

And, this is really how it happens all the time. But, I'll tell you, I'd rather be the worker with a manager fighting for me as opposed to the one being told by managers not to stop fighting, while doing nothing to help him.

Management support can be the real difference in keeping your job. The worker with a manager fighting for him is still working and being paid while the investigation is taking place.

The worker, fighting alone, was sent home weeks ago, and must try to get back into the workplace--all without pay!!

The point of this post is to remind everyone to form alliances at work. You never know who will bail on you in your time of need, if it ever comes, but you also never know who might support you.

Try to be a positive worker and you are more likely to receive some level of support, even if it's minimal. But, you may be surprised that someone will put themselves on the line to fight for you.

So, speak to different managers and establish positive relationships. It can't hurt and it may save your career one day!!

14 Comments:

Blogger Fighter said...

It's true but only if the managers are not racists.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Uhura said...

Fighter,

It may have nothing to do with racism. The manager(s) / coworkers may be afraid to support someone who is being treated unfairly because they need their job too.

Just keeping it real: In the movies and on TV, people who "do what's right" and "fight the good fight" suffer a little at first but they usually triumph in the end.

That's not always the case in real life. In real life, people have mortgages to pay, groceries to buy for themselves and their family...Just think why should they openly risk that for me?

7:37 PM  
Blogger Fighter said...

Uhura, You are right, in my many years working I witnessed many cases of bullying which is not related to racism. Whites backstabbing whites. We all have to fight for our livelyhood. I am not a member of the white race, but I have been helped by the whites in my workplace struggles in the past. However, I do want to point out that non-whites do endure more struggles in order to secure their jobs. I am not against all whites. I do not hate all white people. Let me say that some people are ingrained in the believe that non-whites are inferior.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Uhura said...

Fighter,

I think you should consider something you mentioned in your own words. You said you were helped by Whites in the workplace. I am a Black female & I have been helped by Whites in the workplace as well...and I'll also add that my biggest sabateurs & harassers in the workplace were always BLACK (with only one exception).

When that happens, things get difficult. It's a hard sell on the EEO front to prove that Blacks are harassing other Blacks and then to tie that "proof" to an EEO concept. The crabs-in-a-barrel mentality and its resulting actions are not addressed by EEO.

You said that some Whites view non-Whites as inferior. Some Blacks view other Blacks the same way. You may have an American Black who looks down on Caribbean or African Blacks. You may have Black MEN who look down on Black women.

The thing is - sometimes when people think you're inferior, they can still be of use to you in the workplace. They may cut you breaks or help you out because they feel you need it. They may develop feelings of benevolence towards you because they don't see you as a threat. As long as someone likes you or feels warmly towards you, it rarely matters whether they view you as an equal or not. In fact, your interactions with them may be better if they don't view you as an equal (a threat / competition.)

I think that the take away point here is to do your job, do your job well, be a professional, and be a team player ...all the while realizing that co-workers are not necessarily friends...and management may play favorites. Sometimes you will make a friend in the workplace or be in a favored position in the eyes of management and sometimes you wont. Document EVERYTHING either way. You never know what's going to happen or when you may need your documentation. Fianlly, always keep your skills up & be prepared to move on to greener pastuers if needed.

Again, I serve as an EEO Counselor as a collateral duty & sometimes - even when you win an EEO complaint, you lose.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Fighter said...

Uhura, You’ve given good advice here. I am 55 years old I understand & experienced a lot of the things you’ve written here. After battling so many years in workplaces for my share of fair treatment I feel so drained. I have endured depression & anxiety because of my strggles in workplaces over many years. It sucks so much energy out of me, energy that should be put into my work. This blog gives me solace. I come here & find out that I am not alone. Since I discovered this blog I don’t feel so lonely anymore in regards to my workplace struggles. I do not discuss my work problems to my family, no one except my doctor. I diligently document everything happens at work in my work journal (facts only). Sometimes when I read some of the old entries I was amazed I overcome the difficulty. Apart from the work journal I also have my own personal diary that I write about my feelings, what to do, what not to etc. In this blog, Mary is excellent. She gives examples on how to deal with difficulties in a specific way. Many people benefit from this blog. We are here to help & encourage each other. Many people experience far worse situations than I do. That’s life!

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Uhura! said...

That's no way to live.

Can you look for something which doesn't torment you this way?

6:30 PM  
Blogger Fighter said...

Of course I am trying to look for something else Uhura. I think if I just leave my job & become unemployed my mental health will be shattered. I am already on several medications for depression & anxiety & my doctor might put me on high blood pressure tablets as well. Can you imagine my state of mind at present when going for job interviews? It would not be very effective. Collecting unemployment benefit is unthinkable. I come to this blog to get encouragement & I have to carry on for as long as possible.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Fighter said...

Uhura, you wrote: “I think that the take away point here is to do your job, do your job well, be a professional, and be a team player.”
If it were so simple, this blog would not exist. Having said that I’ve always tried to do just that & I am sure most readers do the same.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Uhura said...

Not trying to oversimplify things. Since I have been doing EEO counseling, I have learned that some people are idiots, some are incompetent managers, and & some are truly malicious.

The things about me is ... when things get to a certain point on the job, I make arrangements to bail (aka "transition" *wink*) - quickly.

Good luck to you. I hope you find something soon.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Fighter said...

Thanks Uhura, what do you mean by:
bail (aka "transition" *wink*) - quickly? Please share.

Do come back here often & share your experience as an EEO counsellor. I think we'll all benefit from that. Certain advice might seem common sense but we often forget common sense when we are under so much stress.

Just by talking like this, I am feeling better already. Let's make it a community.

4:18 AM  
Blogger Fighter said...

Why don't we start our own Facebook page Mary?

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Uhura said...

What I mean by "bail" aka "transition" is moving on to greener pastures.

Sometimes, the fight just isn't worth the trouble.

The FB page is a great idea, but it should be prviatized :)

12:45 PM  
Blogger Fighter said...

"bail" aka "transition" is moving on to greener pastures. Oh I see.
Regarding FB page, of course it should be private & we must not use our real names either. I’d like to hear what Mary thinks about the idea. I think she’s just come out of Hospital, according to her latest post.
In this internet age, with social networking, people need not & should not suffer alone.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous John Papers said...

Thank you for this post..
John..

1:51 AM  

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