Selective Sensitivity in the Workplace!

February 27, 2021

Eventually, the freshly indoctrinated leave college for the workplace. The latest batch leaves much to be desired.

Recently a colleague was expressing grievance over a “very important” matter that he believe deserved full attention from Human Resources. One diversity hire and recent immigrant apparently was “guilty” of the egregious infraction when a mildly comedic interaction occurred on the way to the field from the office. As they approached the elevator hurriedly, one colleague said, “no need to run! We can catch the next elevator!” Speaking of a rather heavy set employee the offender blurted out: “No, he’s a big boy, so running is better!”

My ears perked up as I waited for the colleague in the back seat to break from what seemed a Monty Python variety of “act.” But as he went on, it became increasingly clear that he wasn’t joking, and was dead serious that this “event” required some attention from a supervisor to train the young immigrant employer on the nuances of our own “cultural norms.” Furthermore, when a supervisor in the same car made mention of that, he rejected that there might be some cultural “excuse” for this “behavior.”

Once I was done quietly snickering in the front passenger seat, I decided to offer a much more dramatic example of faux pas to put things in context. I explained that a good friend was married to a somewhat older lady, and the two had a young 30-something house guest out shopping.

The shop keep took notice as they approached the register and began her friendly small-talk. “Oh… you’re such a cute couple!” She was appearing to pair up my friend with the young lady that was visiting from overseas, and then removed any doubt with: “Oh! And this must be the mother!” By the stunned reactions and awkward look of my friend she soon realized her mistake, and was so embarrassed for it, she literally abandoned her position behind the counter to allow another staff member to complete the transactions.

Now here’s where things got really interesting. The colleague in the back seat, the same one that was so offended by the “big boy” comment, went on with a litany of, “well that’s what you get when you pair up with an older lady!” and went on to elaborate in a mocking tone “what would they expect!” So now I was able to conclude that the man basically had zero empathy for this traumatic social accident, and that his wild outrage about an innocent “big boy needs exercise!” comment was based on a rather skewed and selective programming.

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