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Old 07-14-2016, 09:46 PM   #1
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Anonymous Submission : workplace woes

Anonymous submission from long time member:

I work in a predominantly white environment, meaning I am the only person in my group of 6 employees that is of visible minority.

We begin our day discussing about yesterday's work, one of my co-worker was telling us about how one manager came to see him at his desk and was unsatisfied with some files. With me listening in close by, he described the manager as that " short stubby Chinaman from down the hall".

That caught me off guard, as I was pretty certain he was aware of my presence. I just did not know at the moment what to think of his comment. Me personally, I was quite upset by the choice of word he used. I found the term "Chinaman" to be quite derogatory.


Later after lunch, me and 3 other employees were to take the company vehicle out to do some audit. I was the first one in the parkade, so I thought I might as well start up the car and wait for the other guys. When the 3 other employees jumped in the car, employee X loudly said,"OMG, why is (My name) driving?!" The way I interpreted that comment was that why is this Asian guy driving us.

Now to wrap the day off, we were back at the office, employee X was in the board room doing some paper work. I walked in to use the computer and he started calling out my name but in a derogatory way. FYI, I do not have what you call a traditional western name, I use my Chinese PingYing name. For example, let say my name is Ching. As I walked into the boardroom, employee X called out CHING! I replied with Hey, then he start to call out CHING DONG CHONG PONG loudly as I was walking towards the computer.

With all these incidents, I did not approach the instigator. I just want some advice on how I should approach? Talk to HR or speak directly to the director?
I do not want to go to my manager as he is friend with employee X and I believe his actions will be bias.

Thank you for reading.



any insights would be appreciated in dealing with this problem. What would you do in my situation?
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:49 PM   #2
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that is completely innaproriate, and you answered your own question. if you feel that management/directors will not treat your concerns fairly, go higher up (like off-site HR) and have them perform an investigation. that way low level management doesn't just brush it under the rug
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:56 AM   #3
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So if I'm reading this right, all the racist comments are coming from the same guy, Employee X?

Here's what to do:

Record all interactions with this asshole (dates, times, what was said).

Approach him and tell him that his language is inappropriate and won't be tolerated. If he puts up a fuss, record that as well.

Take it to HR, but honestly, don't expect much as HR's job is to protect the reputation of the company and not it's employees.

If it persists, take his ass to the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:31 AM   #4
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Take it to HR, but honestly, don't expect much as HR's job is to protect the reputation of the company and not it's employees.
I don't think this is a good message for OP.

If your HR dept. doesn't take racist remarks seriously, you work for a shitty company IMO.. I'd expect a lot from my HR, personally.
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:38 AM   #5
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I don't think this is a good message for OP.

If your HR dept. doesn't take racist remarks seriously, you work for a shitty company IMO.. I'd expect a lot from my HR, personally.
I guess I should clarify. By no means should a decent HR brush off your concerns, but if it does come down to a manager or an owner's word against yours, take a guess where the dispute is going to go.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:08 AM   #6
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It's interesting what's acceptable behavior between white and blue collar jobs and how it's handled.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:23 AM   #7
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Take it to HR, but honestly, don't expect much as HR's job is to protect the reputation of the company and not it's employees.

If it persists, take his ass to the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
Seen/heard too many horror stories where HR's job is just to do a cover up so the company's reputation doesn't get tarnished. So unless you're willing to go the whole nine yards as suggested above, here's the answer you don't want to hear. Deal with it.

No idea what kind of person your co-worker is. But if he can be reasoned with when spoken to seriously, talk to him. If he's as immature as you make him sound, find a way to laugh it off. It might not be your cup of tea to exchange insults (within limits), but some people do enjoy getting a rise out of people. And if you're too thin skinned, you'll have a tough time ahead of you. Not just this incident, but for your whole life.
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:03 PM   #8
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If you are going to bring this up with anyone, be sure to document everything. Keep notes on what was said, by who, when, etc.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:23 PM   #9
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It'd be nice to know the overall size of the OP's company -- not just his team. From the way the OP described it, I got the impression that the team he is in has 6 staff members, but it is not obvious how big the overall company is.

Usually, the larger a company is, the more serious these matters will be addressed. Additionally, if the workplace is a union shop, there will be some very formal procedure to pursue this, and you'd want to be talking to your union rep / steward about it.
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