Author Topic: How could that be an okay thing to say?  (Read 4994 times)

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kitchcat

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How could that be an okay thing to say?
« on: August 28, 2013, 08:05:44 AM »
At my office, a small group of my coworkers and I work in a communal area for us as our work is collaborative. We periodically make chit chat throughout the day while we work. Recently, we were discussing a local news story where a young boy (around 7 yrs) made a gun hand gesture at his friends while playing, said "Bang! You're dead!" and was subsequently suspended. We all agreed that this was a huge overreaction on the part of the school. However, one of my coworkers said something that left me totally gobsmacked. She exclaimed, "It's like they want they to be sissy [3 letter word for a bundle of sticks] pansies!"  :o Coworkers bean dipped.

I didn't say anything because I was so shocked. I am very shocked she would say something so offensive so openly. I have no plans to go HR as otherwise said or done anything like this since I started working there. If she had said this in conversation when it was just the two of us, I wouldn't have hesitated to say, "That is very offensive to me. Please do not say anything like that around me." However, I feel wrong saying something like that in front of all our coworkers.

Without involving HR, is there anything I can say to her about this? FWIW, we are both fairly new to the office and she has no authority over me.
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*inviteseller

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 09:57:16 AM »
I would have immediately, crowd or one on one, said "Co worker, that is extremely offensive and uncalled for."  Not screaming or anything, just a cold no nonsense tone. 

amylouky

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 10:05:31 AM »
Actually, I think your title would fit in there well. Shocked stare, followed by, "How is that an okay thing to say?"

White Lotus

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 11:12:47 AM »
I like what amylouky has said. 
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Cami

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 01:04:58 PM »
It's not an okay thing to say and the fact that she thinks it's okay, tells me that I don't want to know what she's thinking.

In this case, I would have called her on it.  Bigotry does not get a free pass from me in the workplace.

nuit93

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 01:33:08 PM »
I would have immediately, crowd or one on one, said "Co worker, that is extremely offensive and uncalled for."  Not screaming or anything, just a cold no nonsense tone.

Yeah, this.  She might get in a snit over being called out by the PC police or something, but it might be the clue she needs to keep her opinions to herself in the workplace.

bopper

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 02:58:31 PM »
"I understand your feeling about how they handled the issue, but can you do me a favor and not use f** as a pejorative?"

RegionMom

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 06:03:57 PM »
I had to search around some on-line dictionaries to figure out what the 3 letter word was.  I must be rather sheltered!

Pansy is also not a good word, unless you are talking landscaping and flowers.

Sissy is barely passing.

The title of this thread is an appropriate response.  And, be careful how much you interact with this person.  Silence may be seen as acceptance. 

Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Betelnut

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 06:56:56 PM »
Not only homophobic but sexist.  Not all boys care about guns.
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gramma dishes

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2013, 08:01:45 PM »
I had to search around some on-line dictionaries to figure out what the 3 letter word was.  I must be rather sheltered!  ...

Back in cave man days (when I was in high school) that three letter word was a slang synonym for a cigarette!

kherbert05

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2013, 08:46:32 PM »
Not only homophobic but sexist.  Not all boys care about guns.
And some girls are pretty good with them.
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Raintree

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 12:29:20 AM »
Quote
a young boy (around 7 yrs) made a gun hand gesture at his friends while playing, said "Bang! You're dead!"

I have to say that when I was around that age, back in the 70's, they would have had to suspend every boy in our school.

GSNW

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 01:04:38 AM »
"I understand your feeling about how they handled the issue, but can you do me a favor and not use f** as a pejorative?"

This is the appropriate response, IMO.  Learning to "keep her opinions to herself in the workplace" really isn't fair, since *everyone* was sharing their opinions on this particular incident. 

I tell my students the same thing when they say, "that's so gay," to describe something they don't like. 

Mel the Redcap

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2013, 06:23:52 AM »
Depending on my relationship with the person saying something inappropriate, and the atmosphere/other people in earshot, I've used either "Dude. NOT cool!" or
"I do not think that word means what you seem to think it means." (which has the added benefit of being a Princess Bride reference, and thus making me happy!)
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jedikaiti

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Re: How could that be an okay thing to say?
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2013, 01:54:56 PM »
I had to search around some on-line dictionaries to figure out what the 3 letter word was.  I must be rather sheltered!  ...

Back in cave man days (when I was in high school) that three letter word was a slang synonym for a cigarette!

Oh THAT's the word!!! I'd been wondering.

Aside from those coming from areas where that is/was common slang for a cigarette (and used in such context, I can't imagine why anyone would think that was appropriate language anywhere, anytime, much less at work!
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