Laws and Chances – Dog Abby
For ten years I worked for a good company. I was treated and compensated well, but it wasn’t in the field of my choice. I was recently offered a job in my chosen field at another company, and took it immediately. It was a dream job. Well, at least it seemed that way. As soon as I finished training, though, I was introduced to the owner who was, to put it mildly, a jerk. He made insults about me, disguised as jokes. These included jokes about my race and gender (I am a black woman, by the way). Not wanting to make waves right off the bat, I tried to simply let it go. But it has continued, to the point where I am ready to yell at him to stop.
I am not someone with a chip on my shoulder about being black or female, but I am starting to regret ever leaving my former employer. They never treated me like this! I know they would take me back in a heartbeat, but they don’t offer the kind of work this new employer does. What do I do?
Conflicted in Connecticut
I am not a big fan of Chihuahuas, but I would never invite one into my home and then feel it is OK to insult her! I say this about Chihuahuas because most have been mean to me, not because I am a breadist. I know, it is almost the same thing, but I am still willing to give each one a chance, which is good, because I now have two friends (Faux and Fauna) who are the most amazing Chihuahuas in the world! I do not understand why humans, who share many of the same breed traits, will be mean to each other in big groups just because of the color of their fur. I mean skin.
You said that you are to the point of being ready to yell at him to stop. Do you think that maybe you would be the first to do so? If no one has before, maybe he is just not a very smart man and does not think that he is being a jerk. I remember one time I was playing with my cat, Max, and he got really rough. He bit my ears and I did not like it one bit! I am normally very gentle with my kitties, but this time I let Max know in no uncertain terms how I felt about what he had done. He said he was sorry and did not know that he had been so rough. He never did it again, and we are still best friends. Maybe your boss is trying to be inclusive and does not realize that he is being too rough.
Mom says that people have actual laws to protect each other. She says that she is sad that these laws even have to exist, but in your case, your boss is clearly breaking them. Just like I let each Chihuahua have a chance first, I think you may need to offer your boss a chance first, and see if he takes it. If he does not, then it is time to protect yourself and everyone else who may work for him by letting him know about these laws.
One of two things will happen. The first option is that you will tell him — kindly, gently, and in a confidence — that he is being inappropriate and needs to reign it in, and he does (he may even apologize). You have then done him, you, and his future employees a great service. The second option is that you tell him — kindly, gently, and in confidence — that he is being inappropriate and needs to reign it in, and he does not. If he does not, then begin looking for another job immediately and report him to the people who know more about the laws. You will be doing him, you, and the rest of the company a great service.