Discrimination in the workplace?
How can we be certain that we live and work in places where people would choose consciously (or unconsciously) not to discriminate against us based on how we look or act?
I mentioned in a comment on another blog that I am lucky enough to work somewhere where people enjoy differences. We laugh and enjoy humour about them in a non-derogatory way. Although my manager does find out British style banter disconcerting at times, as he has spent some time in the US and our interactions can be a little close to the line at times.
Nevertheless I have never felt uncomfortable in my work, to be exactly who I am and share my experiences in life. There maybe those who do not appreciate what my learning of Reiki has brought to my life. However even though to do not understand it they respect the value that I get from it.
In the ultimate Christmas inspired show of this workplace tolerance I wore a set of fluffy Reindeer Antlers for the entire of my day yesterday. This was to mark my last day in the office prior to Christmas. However as I look back now I can see that there is also a lesson here. A gratitude for the atmosphere in which I choose to work. Granted as with all jobs there are difficult times and with some of the stresses I have had over the last few years my family have not always understood why I choose to remain where I am. This would seem to serve as one very poignant reason.
By sharing positivity I gained a few Merry Christmas comments, someone pointed out I may have something in my hair, I also totally confused one of our suppliers in a meeting. Many people said they found it difficult to talk to me seriously but continued the conversation anyway. Not once did I choose to engage in negative discourse, I didn’t ask do I look foolish. I was enjoying the humour of what I was doing. So were many of my friends and workmates. Even my manager made an amusing passing reference but proceeded to interact with me in a business like and professional manner.
At the end of the day someone asked me “Do you know what you look like with that hat on?”, it would be easy to see this as a slight. I however decided to turn this one around so I answered without missing a beat “A reindeer”. This injected the necessary humour into the moment and the person talking to me just laughed. All in all an amusing way to break for the Christmas Holidays.
As I write this I express my thanks to those I work with for the tolerance and understanding they show to me and all other people with whom we interact, everyday.
Posted on 17 December, 2011, in Comments and tagged banter, Christmas, difficult times, discrimination, professional manner, Reiki, Reindeer Antlers, tolerance, workplace. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.