Author Topic: should I tattle-tale my coworker's xenophobia?  (Read 4080 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

whiterose

  • From the good old US of A!
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4438
Re: should I tattle-tale my coworker's xenophobia?
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 07:33:19 PM »
If it had stayed at the level of "I wish people moving to this country would learn to speak English", I would give her the benefit of the doubt.

However, wishing for people to go back to wherever they came from simply because of the way they speak is just plain wrong. It would not be tattling. It would be reporting a wrongdoing.
I have pet mice!

DavidH

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1665
Re: should I tattle-tale my coworker's xenophobia?
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2013, 08:10:16 PM »
I think it depends on what you want to have occur. 

If your goal is to no longer hear her comments, the first step would be to say to her that she may not be aware of how loud she is sometimes and that your clients can hear her complaining about other clients when they call you.  Could she please try to keep it down.  You could also add that some of the comments are not really appropriate for the workplace, let alone for your customers to hear.

If you want to raise this as a larger issue with HR, then you should go to your supervisor or HR and describe the specific comments you have heard, citing specific times you or your customers have overheard them (not just general but things like last Tuesday, Customer A heard Coworker B say, "...") and go from there.  A general, she sometimes says things like this and sometimes customers overhear is very difficult to do something about since there isn't a specific incident to refer to. 

onikenbai

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1146
Re: should I tattle-tale my coworker's xenophobia?
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2013, 11:46:51 PM »
I think the real issue is her exclamation that they should go back to wherever they're from.  That's just not right and it should be brought up to HR as an intolerance issue.  I wonder if your co-worker's ancestors jumped off the boat fluent in English themselves or should they have turned around and sailed home?

On the flip side, just today I was wishing out loud that a particular client's English was better as he sends me emails that are completely garbled, and even after requests for clarification I still have no idea what he's instructing me to do because of limited language skills.  But he still has every right to be in this country.  I can understand language frustrations as I'm from Toronto where a decent proportion of the population doesn't speak English at all.  Of course, to be granted Canadian citizenship you have to prove a reasonable fluency in either French or English so good chance my client is working on his English, at least I hope he is for my sanity's sake.

Oh Joy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1307
Re: should I tattle-tale my coworker's xenophobia?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2013, 05:34:59 AM »
I may be splitting hairs a bit, but I think it's very important to distinguish between your coworker's feelings and her actions.  She is welcome to like or dislike anyone she chooses, and it is simply not your business to 'tattletale' to your employer.

However, her actions while at work are your concern.  Leave the xenophobic diagnosis out of it, and talk to your supervisor about the phone slamming and disparaging comments, both from the tone it sets in your workplace and the likelihood that your callers can hear it.

Best wishes.

Pen^2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Re: should I tattle-tale my coworker's xenophobia?
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2013, 11:02:29 AM »
I may be splitting hairs a bit, but I think it's very important to distinguish between your coworker's feelings and her actions.  She is welcome to like or dislike anyone she chooses, and it is simply not your business to 'tattletale' to your employer.

However, her actions while at work are your concern.  Leave the xenophobic diagnosis out of it, and talk to your supervisor about the phone slamming and disparaging comments, both from the tone it sets in your workplace and the likelihood that your callers can hear it.

Best wishes.

Exactly.

Part of having a job is appearing and acting professional. This means that one cannot spout one's opinions, especially unflattering ones, in front of clients. At any rate, the employer should be made aware that she is complaining about her clients in front of other people's clients, and that this is a bad image for the company. It is frankly unprofessional. She can complain during the lunch break, not during the hours when she's being paid and has a responsibility to have some semblance of professionalism.

Since you've said that your clients can hear her on the phone, can we assume that someone has said something to you?

"Supervisor, could you have a few words with Coworker? Throughout the workday she says unflattering things about our clients loudly enough that other clients hear her. They've commented to me about this, and I'm concerned that it isn't making the company look good. It might be worth speaking with her about professional language and expressing her opinions during lunch or after work instead of when the clients can hear her. Thanks!"

She is welcome to all the opinions she wants, but it is immature to express them whenever she feels like it. That is what etiquette and professionalism are all about.

MyFamily

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4553
Re: should I tattle-tale my coworker's xenophobia?
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2013, 12:12:59 PM »
I believe that you should mention the racist comments.  It doesn't have to be overly dramatic, but for many reasons, it is important to let the boss know that she is making you uncomfortable with her comments.  I"d suggest language such as:
Supervisor, I need to share with you that coworker is making comments such as "fill in with a specific example" after she gets off the phone with some clients.  Unfortunately, she is very loud and not only am I able to hear what she says, but some of our clients who have heard her have expressed to me that they are uncomfortable hearing these types of things.  Thank you."

Don't offer solutions - not your job, that is the job of the supervisor.  If the supervisor asks if the comments make you uncomfortable and if you want to file a complaint, that is up to you, but since they do make you uncomfortable, I'd strongly advise you to be honest with the supervisor. 

Yes, people are allowed to have their opinions, but when they are sharing those opinions in such a manner in the work-place, different rules apply.  It may be that you are not the first person to go to Management with this, it may be that Management doesn't care (in which case, honestly, I"d reconsider working for such a company, personally), but you need to let them know. 


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol