Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.
WHEN A PERSON IS CALLED ON THEIR COMMENTS OR JOKES,
THEIR RESPONSE IS "IT'S ONLY A JOKE" OR “CAN'T YOU TAKE A JOKE?”
A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED WORKPLACE GETS LESS THAN KIND
COMMENTS FROM THE GUYS AND WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT QUIETLY,
SHE SAYS IT DOESN'T BOTHER HER, OR SHE CAN TAKE IT
ASKING A PERSON WHO IS CONSIDERED A "MINORITY"
TO DO TASKS OTHERS ARE REQUIRED TO DO, YET THEY CRY FOUL
EMPLOYEES WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT MANAGEMENT AND MANAGERS WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT UNIONS, GENERALLY
WHEN SEVERAL EMPLOYEES MAKE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT
ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, WHO IS NOT PRESENT, AND OUTSIDE OF WORK
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A JOKE, MOST PEOPLE LAUGH, BUT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY FOR ONE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, BUT NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING
WHEN EMPLOYEES DON'T WANT TO PICK UP THE SLACK BECAUSE A CHRISTIAN EMPLOYEE NEEDS TIME OFF FOR MASS AND WON'T WORK ON SUNDAYS
WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TAKES PART IN REPUGNANT, BUT NOT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS A WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP, OUTSIDE OF WORK
YET NEVER SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING AT WORK
WHEN TWO EMPLOYEES WERE VERY GOOD FRIENDS, BUT HAD A PHYSICAL FIGHT OUTSIDE WORK AND NOW ONE OF THEM WON'T WORK WITH THE OTHER
OVER SOME OPEN FORM OF COMMUNICATION (RADIO OR GROUP EMAIL) AN EMPLOYEE STATES ABOUT ONE OF THE GUYS, "IT MUST BE THAT TIME OF THE MONTH" BECAUSE THIS FELLOW WAS BEING TOO EMOTIONAL
WHEN A WOMAN CAN’T DO THE SAME PHYSICAL WORK
A MALE CO-WORKER CAN DO, BUT IT’S ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE JOB
WHEN A PERSON APPEARS ALMOST RUDE IN EMAILS, BUT IN PERSON THEY COME ACROSS DIFFERENTLY – CONSIDERATE
WHEN SOMEONE WON’T TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER – THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL APPEALS AND PEOPLE DON’T SEE IT HIS WAY
WHEN SOMEONE IS AFRAID TO SAY ANYTHING TO SOMEONE WHO IS “DIFFERENT” FOR FEAR OF A COMPLAINT OR INSULTING THESE PEOPLE
PERSONS LOWER THEIR VOICES WHEN TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS (WHISPER) “BLACK”
People do this all the time. If I’m talking to a friend, colleague or someone I know well enough to have a frank conversation with, I’ll bring it up. I find it a funny quirk and I know where people are coming from. Someone might say to me, “I was speaking with Barry, the black fellow I work with, and…” They lower their voice ever so slightly. It’s kind of like a whisper and is noticeable from the rest of their sentence. If you could see it visibly from their stance, it’s like the person crouches down ever so slightly with that one word. It’s a fear of saying a word that has or has had some negative connotation. Or the person doesn’t want anyone overhearing our conversation thinking they are saying something negative, merely by using a word to describe them. If you haven’t noticed this before, you will because you read this…I think you’ll find it as interesting as I have.
Ask your friend why they lowered their voice when they said “black” or any other word. I’ve found it with gay, lesbian, First Nations, woman, Jew, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and many other times a person is referencing a person who is different. Some will say they don’t know, or will confess that they didn’t want others to overhear them saying something “negative” about that person or someone with similar characteristics or features. Let them know it’s not illegal to use those words and unless their description includes something negative or inappropriate, they shouldn’t have anything to worry about. To be clear, whenever I say anything, I never use judgemental or accusatory language or tone.
“Why did you lower your voice when you said ‘black’ just now?” I’m quite sure Barry knows he’s black and I’m quite sure it’s not a crime to talk about black people or say the word black. By the way, you’re not the first person to do this…since I noticed it, I now hear people doing it all the time. Of course, you can do what you want, because I never hear you say anything negative about the person, but I think it sends a message that there’s something wrong with being black or gay or different in a wide variety of ways.
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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