Thursday, October 09, 2014

Oh holy sh*tballs, guys, you're not even going to BELIEVE this (now with updates)

So, I was at work this afternoon, sitting at my desk, typing info into spreadsheets, lalala, and I'm still kind of cheesed at my sister and also about some other stuff and my jaw was killing me because stress and my boss and a client were standing in front of my work area, at the (open) door to the outside, as the client was getting ready to leave.

And they're yakking away, blahblahblah, and I'm not really listening because

 (a) They weren't talking to me, and

(b) boring whitemanspeak, no1curr, and the client is going on and on about a cousin of his who's having trouble with the IRS and the federal government and yadda yadda yadda and then

"I've got one thing to say about that," my boss says, laughing, to the client.  "Isn't the n*gger wonderful?"

I sat there, my mouth hanging open, thinking, "Oh no he didn't oh no he didn't"

except he did.

I grabbed my purse and pushed past my boss, who was heading back into the office.

"Are you going somewhere?" he asked.

"Yes," I said.  "I'm going home."

"Is there something wrong?" he asked.

"Yes," I said, "I feel SICK."  and I left.

And now I have to decide if I really want to work for a man who has no problem calling a black man a n*gger.  What. The. Actual. F*CK.

Anybody want to go to Mexico?  Like, now?  Spiffikins, it looks like my schedule is WIDE OPEN. :)

UPDATED TO ADD:  My boss called me at home a couple of hours after I left the office and wanted to know what was going on.  I explained that what I had overheard him tell the client offended me, to the point that I felt sick and had to leave.  I said that I wasn't sure I wanted to work anymore for a man with such cavalierly racist attitudes.  (I have known this man  for many years.  I knew that he had outdated, offensive views, and is an old white man seeing the world as he knows it change around him,  but I also know that what he said upset me deeply.  Would it have upset me as badly if I hadn't already had ten tons of sh*t piled on top of me in the past few days?  I don't know.)  He apologized profusely and said that he would never say such things in front of me again. 

I just ... I don't know, guys.  There is no world I want to live in,  in which it is all right to call the President of the United States a n*gger (or any black man,  as far as that goes), but I also know that small-minded people express small-minded attitudes, and Freedom of Speech and blah blah blah.  And on my end,  I don't know if being tolerant also has to include being tolerant of attitudes that make me want to scream.  I do know that he will continue to be a racist, whether or not he expresses it in front of me.  He apologized for saying something I overheard, not for being a damn racist in the first place.

Am I being oversensitive?  Undersensitive?  I DON'T KNOW.  Will I go back to work tomorrow?  Yes, since he apologized, repeatedly.  Does that make me as bad as he is?  Holy f*ck I do not know.

Come on,  you guys, Mexico is looking better and better.  Let's go!


Domestic Kate said...

Whoa. And no, you don't. Why would anybody think that's okay today?

When I was about 13, I called out my uncle who called Dennis Rodman that when we saw him on TV while we were eating dinner. I flat out called him a racist. I don't regret it. He was a pig.

James P. said...

If you don't find work elsewhere, you have to think how you will feel in the future about your decision to stay. You don't want to be someone who is cowed by a man who offends you (and THE WORLD).....It sounds as though it would be the same type pattern as women who stay with abusive men because the man cried and apologized.....She is left with no self-respect.

Zella said...

What a tricky spot to be in. I also have to say I have MAJOR respect for you for walking out and telling your boss how you feel. I don't know what to say about whether to stay or not - as someone who has been without work for over a year and a half I know sometimes you have to compromise in order to not put yourself in a stinky position (no job, no income) - but then again, maybe you'll find a new job while still at your current position...fingers crossed !

rockygrace said...

I think the thing that gets me the most is that he was *laughing* as he said it. It was supposed to be a *joke*. He thought it was *funny*.


James P. said...

I believe this after watching those people all my life (and being related to a number of them older than I): They honestly think everyone else feels/thinks that same way they do, but we are all keeping it covered up for propriety's sake. Then they are quite irked if anyone challenges them, because they think the challenger is being disingenuous.

bridgett said...

First, good job for having the balls to call him out. What you overheard is unembarrassed white guy bonding on issues of racial superiority. Our President is just an uppitty black man who got out of the lowly position he should be in and rose to an authority that he should not have been allowed to occupy...and now (according to this racist thought process) can be expected to fuck it up and has. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Your boss must have been pretty sure he wasn't going to lose business by letting his racist freak flag fly. He now knows, though, that there are economic and personal consequences (potentially losing a valuable staff member who won't put up with his ignorant shit...) and he might move a little farther toward "I need to shut my cakehole" even if he can't make it all the way to "I genuinely acknowledge and respect African-Americans as humans." He wasn't being professional and that's the bare minimum you need him to be.

It wouldn't hurt to begin looking for other work. You've got valuable skills and it sounds like you've been systematically underpaid by this doofus for a while (though it's gotten better lately).

rockygrace said...

You know, if he had called Obama an a**hole or a jerk or a moron, I would have just shrugged. But to use the n-word, to say that a man is beneath contempt solely because of the color of his skin? OH HELL NO.

I've been thinking for a while that it's time to start nosing around for another job. Looks like I've got some additional motivation now. THANKS, BOSS.

fmcgmccllc said...

Can't tell you how many times I have sucked it up for the job, like to eat and it gets cold in the winter. Does not make it right but I truly believe every job has some of it. Which is better the devil you know or the devil you don't know.

Sucks to work for such an obvious asshat though.

rockygrace said...

fmcetc., yeah, it does suck.

Domestic Kate said...

Stay until you find something else ... I think that's good advice. You don't want this jerk's actions to leave *you* without a job and worse off than before. That's backwards.

I would also make it very clear that this kind of language is discriminatory/harassment (even if you don't belong to that race) and therefore illegal. That should at least shut him up while you find a better environment to work in.

rockygrace said...

Kate, yeah, he also like to throw the f-bomb, so seems like this is a hostile work environment. If necessary, I could always lawyer-up ...

Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

that one word said many years ago (according to testimony) thew Paula Deen under the bus. This man should be ashamed and not only should he not say that word 'in front of you' he shouldn't be saying it ever..

If there is a chain of command above him, I would suggest bringing this to their attention. If there isn't, then the next decision is yours.. and which ever you choose we will understand. Quitting outright can be very difficult.. especially with the economy the way it is. If you choose to start looking, I hope something comes your way quickly.

~~Silk said...

You do understand that men of his ilk have equally offensive names for women, which they don't use in the female presence, but during "bonding" with other men. The attitude expressed by those terms does, however, affect things like, oh, say, salary offered.

rockygrace said...

Tails, it would be difficult to quit. But right now, the atmosphere in the office is so tense (he took umbrage at the fact that I called him on his racism - how DARE I?) I might end up bailing anyway.

and ~~Silk, I'm no delicate flower. I know that people can talk some awful sh*t when they feel "comfortable". And yeah, those attitudes convey into other areas, sadly. I just don't want this rat bast*rd calling people n*gger in front of me. *sigh*