How do I deal with racism at work?
September 6, 2004 10:08 PM Subscribe
Workplace racism and etiquette advice. MI.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Let us say I have two co-workers, P and Q.
P is very competent, but has English as a second language. He and I work together closely on the same project.
Q is a newly-appointed project manager to whom we both report. Q and I are both members of the local majority. Q is located in another office, so communication is by email and phone.
Q has taken to double-checking P's statements and work with me, despite my repeated insistence that he can answer her questions better than I can. She has also sent out emails announcing things that P has just announced, as though she felt they were unintelligble (they were quite understandable if not perfect).
I was on the point of telling her I thought she had a problem, but matters have taken their own course today when P caught me in mid-phonecall to her. Since he has already seen the bizarre cc'ed emails from her, this sealed it.
P is upset, feeling that his competence is being called into question. I think Q doesn't want to put the effort (minimal to my ear) in to understand P and hasn't realised how insulting she's being. I think there is a significant amount of stereotyping (though not ill-will) on Q's part.
P doesn't want to take it up with Q, and has asked me not to either.
I really, really want to intervene before this gets out of hand. It is excruciating to have P apologise to me for causing trouble when in fact I feel that I have been aiding and abetting Q. Is it ok if I disobey P and explain to Q that she needs to apologise and change her behaviour? If I leave it to P to stew on, the workplace atmosphere is going to get poisonous. Advice very welcome.