Author Topic: Boss sharing innappropriate email  (Read 5092 times)

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marcel

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2013, 01:59:25 AM »
I am with Surianne here. I don't see racism here, only makng fun of PD's racism.

I thought that the inapropriet part was that the boss was making fun of PD here.
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PastryGoddess

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2013, 10:12:27 AM »
I am with Surianne here. I don't see racism here, only makng fun of PD's racism.

I thought that the inapropriet part was that the boss was making fun of PD here.

so you are ok with using the n-word?  How is that ok

Sharnita

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2013, 10:25:03 AM »
Either way. it doesn't sound like OP works anyplace where commentary on PD is part of workplace duties so the email would not be appropriate. There is nothing wrong with pointing that out to the boss and I think my opinion of any supervisor would suffer, regardless of intent. 

whatsanenigma

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2013, 11:16:43 AM »
I am with Surianne here. I don't see racism here, only makng fun of PD's racism.

I thought that the inapropriet part was that the boss was making fun of PD here.

so you are ok with using the n-word?  How is that ok

I'm not okay with the n-word, but I think what the motivations are for using it makes a huge difference, misguided though those motivations might be.

If the intent was to say "PD is so stupid that she thinks it's okay to use this word" then that is a different thing from expressing racism. 

I agree that there are better ways to make fun of her and that this attempt, if this is what it was, was clumsy and immature at best.  But if someone is laughing at it because they are laughing at PD, because of just how outrageous and wrong it is to use that word but she thinks she can use it, that really translates to "Racism is bad, and the n-word is an inappropriate thing to say." 

Maybe it's the difference between saying the n-word as part of an original statement, and quoting someone else saying the n-word.  If the maker of the picture was making a statement of their own, "Hey n-word, want some pie?" then that would be very wrong and racist, but if the intent is to quote PD and say she is saying that in the picture (even though I don't think she actually said that exact phrase), that this is something she would say and we are mocking her, then that's anti-racism, in my opinion.

But maybe it's the difference between a censored and an uncensored word, also.  If I put up a printout at work of the LOL cat that says "Scuse me, [see note] are you doing?" that would be perfectly fine and everybody would laugh who likes LOL cats.  But if I put up that same picture with all the words spelled out, it would be offensive and inappropriate and I would probably get fired or at least reprimanded (and rightly so).  My point here being that a word like the n-word or the f bomb is not appropriate in professional settings or in fact, most settings.  The censored word might be but the uncensored one isn't, and that by itself would make the picture inappropriate to share at work.

So, I still don't think it's appropriate for work or in company that you don't know really well.  And I don't personally find it amusing. But I don't think it's necessary to jump to the conclusion that those laughing at it are racist or that they think it's appropriate to go around using the n-word.

Edited because I can't communicate the abbreviation through the filter, but we all know what it is I think.  The classic one with the cat's head tilted to the side.  I was trying to somehow communicate it without going around the filters inappropriately but this is just going to have to do because I don't want to break any rules even with good intentions.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 11:23:05 AM by whatsanenigma »

LadyL

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2013, 12:15:32 PM »
I think it shows a terrible lack of judgement to use such explicit racial humor in the workplace. It may be racial as opposed to racist but it's still a word that makes many people deeply uncomfortable. Not to get legal but I just had to do an ethics training for managers, and offensive humor amongst coworkers based on a person's age, race, etc. Is required to be reported to HR where I work.

Syfygeek

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2013, 10:04:48 PM »
I think it shows a terrible lack of judgement to use such explicit racial humor in the workplace. It may be racial as opposed to racist but it's still a word that makes many people deeply uncomfortable. Not to get legal but I just had to do an ethics training for managers, and offensive humor amongst coworkers based on a person's age, race, etc. Is required to be reported to HR where I work.


If we had an HR department, Boss would have been in trouble when he told one employee she wasn't getting a raise because young man in a junior position to her needed a raise more since he got married and bought a house. But our version of HR consists of the CFO who forwards any complaints back to the person the complaint is about with the comment "fix this".

I applied for two jobs last week, so maybe the end is near? ;D
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DavidH

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2013, 03:19:53 PM »
At the time you were shown it, you could have said something like, whether or not you meant it to be, many people will find that offensive, particuarly at work. 

For your question, how to keep working with them, the answer is separate your personal feelings for them and work,  You don't need to like your co-workers, you need to get along with them profesionally.  That means being polite, efficient, and communicating fully and as needed.  It does not mean you need to eat lunch with them, see them after work, chat at length with them when on a break, or anything like that. 

EllenS

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2013, 03:42:36 PM »
Some people use irony as an excuse for all kinds of inappropriate behavior.  Whether they were racist sympathisers, or cynical/ironic mockers, it is still hugely inappropriate at work, and you personally found it offensive.

When you lose respect for people that you have to work with, you take refuge in a higher level of professionalism.  Be civil and matter-of-fact when you have to deal with them, and avoid them when you don't.  They may not know the rules of good office etiquette, but you do - just follow them to the letter, and let any semblance of buddy-dom fall by the wayside.


Promise

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2013, 12:16:17 AM »
I find myself intolerant of many people for a variety of reason. I'm sure I have my share of those intolerant of me. I think that we've become so judgmental and have become so concerned with being the thought police that we've lost the ability to laugh, even at our expense of our own race, religion, sex, etc. If we could just not expect so much out of others I honestly think we'd have less "hate" in the world. Think about it. When we start voicing out loud our judgment of what you are doing or saying or thinking it sets us up as adversarial. One side thinks they are right and so does the other. Conflict now exists. If we all just live and let live, our social system would have less anxiety filled people.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2013, 02:53:26 AM »
Using the N-word is never appropriate in a professional setting.  It's one thing to use it in your personal life for whatever reason.  But I think that if a person decides to use that slur, there is no middle ground.  There are many ways to laugh at ones race, religion, and sex.  Using such a slur is not appropriate.  It's definitely not appropriate coming from a supervisor to a subordinate in any way shape or form.

OP that person has told you something very important about themselves.  Believe them and like another poster said, treat them with icy professionalism and nothing else.

whiskeytangofoxtrot

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2013, 08:20:52 AM »
I had a friend who would sometimes send/receive things via her professional account that others would find objectionable. I didn't give my opinion about their nature, but I did suggest that it might be better to use private e-mail instead. I reminded her that should the PTB find out, it could get her in some pretty hot water, and I didn't want to see that happen.

Twik

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2013, 09:59:10 AM »
I find myself intolerant of many people for a variety of reason. I'm sure I have my share of those intolerant of me. I think that we've become so judgmental and have become so concerned with being the thought police that we've lost the ability to laugh, even at our expense of our own race, religion, sex, etc. If we could just not expect so much out of others I honestly think we'd have less "hate" in the world. Think about it. When we start voicing out loud our judgment of what you are doing or saying or thinking it sets us up as adversarial. One side thinks they are right and so does the other. Conflict now exists. If we all just live and let live, our social system would have less anxiety filled people.

I don't think you really mean that you expect us to accept n***** jokes, now, do you? If you do, I think your idea that it will "reduce conflict" is off base.
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cwm

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2013, 12:13:10 PM »
I find myself intolerant of many people for a variety of reason. I'm sure I have my share of those intolerant of me. I think that we've become so judgmental and have become so concerned with being the thought police that we've lost the ability to laugh, even at our expense of our own race, religion, sex, etc. If we could just not expect so much out of others I honestly think we'd have less "hate" in the world. Think about it. When we start voicing out loud our judgment of what you are doing or saying or thinking it sets us up as adversarial. One side thinks they are right and so does the other. Conflict now exists. If we all just live and let live, our social system would have less anxiety filled people.

I don't think you really mean that you expect us to accept n***** jokes, now, do you? If you do, I think your idea that it will "reduce conflict" is off base.

I don't think that's what she meant at all. On the other hand, why is it in our society that we can't even SAY this word, we refer to it as "the N word", but hip hop artists can go around calling each other that and it's not offensive? It's one thing to say a word is always terrible and offensive and we should never say it, it's a double standard to only apply that rule to some people and not others. Or in some situations but not others.

For the record, I DO find that word terribly offensive, but I also fear it. A good deal of that is because I'm afraid of the backlash that would happen to me if I ever used it. I am literally afraid to use a word. There are plenty of other words in the English language that I find disturbing, disgusting, distasteful, and altogether horrible. But I'm not afraid to use them. If the stigma of this word is so bad that people fear using it, it does create a great deal of conflict. And if the stigma is removed and the word is either accepted by everyone or abolished by everyone, the conflict could, and I mean could[/i], be reduced.

LadyL

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Re: Boss sharing innappropriate email
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2013, 12:20:17 PM »
I find myself intolerant of many people for a variety of reason. I'm sure I have my share of those intolerant of me. I think that we've become so judgmental and have become so concerned with being the thought police that we've lost the ability to laugh, even at our expense of our own race, religion, sex, etc. If we could just not expect so much out of others I honestly think we'd have less "hate" in the world. Think about it. When we start voicing out loud our judgment of what you are doing or saying or thinking it sets us up as adversarial. One side thinks they are right and so does the other. Conflict now exists. If we all just live and let live, our social system would have less anxiety filled people.

I don't think you really mean that you expect us to accept n***** jokes, now, do you? If you do, I think your idea that it will "reduce conflict" is off base.

I don't think that's what she meant at all. On the other hand, why is it in our society that we can't even SAY this word, we refer to it as "the N word", but hip hop artists can go around calling each other that and it's not offensive? It's one thing to say a word is always terrible and offensive and we should never say it, it's a double standard to only apply that rule to some people and not others. Or in some situations but not others.

For the record, I DO find that word terribly offensive, but I also fear it. A good deal of that is because I'm afraid of the backlash that would happen to me if I ever used it. I am literally afraid to use a word. There are plenty of other words in the English language that I find disturbing, disgusting, distasteful, and altogether horrible. But I'm not afraid to use them. If the stigma of this word is so bad that people fear using it, it does create a great deal of conflict. And if the stigma is removed and the word is either accepted by everyone or abolished by everyone, the conflict could, and I mean could[/i], be reduced.

This discussion is well beyond the scope of etiquette and will likely get the thread locked. I will say though that if you are not a person of color, you benefit from the historical power imbalance that puts white people above non whites in our society. That power means that when you use a word such as the n-word, it has greater power to be damaging than if someone without power says it. That word and the sentiment behind it has been used to enact discriminatory laws for centuries. It is a totally different thing for you to use it than when a member of a community attempts to reclaim a word to give it less power.

Also see point #1: https://www.xojane.com/issues/wake-me-up-when-people-of-my-race-stop-pretending-they-know-what-its-like-to-be-oppressed-because-of-it