I am from the town of Moore, Oklahoma. I was born and raised there, and moved away when I was 21 years old. My entire family and most of my childhood friends still reside there. I visit multiple times per year, as I am very close to my parents and will sometimes spend close to 4 weeks per year there. In other words – my hometown is still very dear to my heart.
I live in Texas now. For those that do not know, there is a rivalry going back many, many years between Oklahoma and Texas. This applies mostly to college sports, but it also extends to just general hostility towards one another.
I’ve always thought this was all a bit odd and have never gotten into the rivalry that much – although if forced to choose, it would definitely be my home state. All throughout football season, the jokes around my office are endless and I’ll admit, it get a little old. I take it in stride and just secretly relish the Oklahoma victories in sports.
As most of you know, a massive tornado – the worst tornado in recorded history – hit my hometown of Moore, Oklahoma this week. The devastation is beyond anything I can even describe. I personally know of 3 dozen people from my home church that have lost their homes. The tornado came within just yards of my parent’s house. And these are just the people that I personally know! All in all, 13,000 homes and businesses were destroyed or severely damaged. The worst part of course were those that perished in the storm. This included 10 children that lost their lives. This community has been devastated by this storm.
A girl that I work with is an avid University of Texas football fan. I’ve never quite understood this, since she has never attended college and don’t know why she would have such a loyalty to the school. Her jokes about Oklahoma are constant. I choose to play along during the year with her jokes. I just smile and nod and continue working (I don’t have any Texas jokes to reciprocate and honestly even if I did, I wouldn’t want to egg her on).
Since this terrible tragedy, her jokes have not only continued, but escalated. They are extremely inappropriate and offensive. She is kind of a cut-up at work and wants to make everyone laugh and have an atmosphere of fun. Maybe to my other co-workers, these jokes ARE fun. However, to someone that has just seen the closest people in the world to me barely miss being killed by a massive tornado, these just aren’t funny.
In my opinion, it’s disrespectful.
Jeanne, what do you think? Do you think that her joking is inappropriate at a time like this? Should I ask her to please stop? 0524-13
The next joke, you fix her with a serious, mournful look and say, “Co-worker, people died in Oklahoma. There is a time and place for joviality but now is not that time.” Turn and go back to work. Ignore her and if another co-worker facilitates her jokes with, “HAHAHAHA! Did you hear that?”, you reply, “Hmmm? What? Did she say something? I wasn’t paying attention. Do you have the reports I requested last week done yet?”
I’m sorry your friends and family have had to endure such a tragedy. Ehell has made a donation to the American Red Cross for Oklahoma disaster relief.
Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.