Community + Activism / Workplace

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"Hi! I work at BIGCORPORATECOFFEESHOP and recently my boss asked if we could bring our own mugs into work. Naturally, I brought in my Everyone is Gay travel mug. I was quickly pulled aside by my boss and asked to not bring in that mug again because others may see it as offensive. Do I just let it go and bring in a different mug? Or should I have a conversation with her about it since it makes me uncomfortable?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

OH. HALE. NAH.

I would say something if I were you… no, that’s not true.. I would passive aggressively continue to bring in my EIG mug.

BUT THAT’S NOT THE RIGHT WAY TO HANDLE THINGS. If I were you and I had the wits about me, I’d talk to my boss and say ‘Hey, I really love working here and I was a little concerned when you asked me not to bring in my mug, it makes me feel kind of uncomfortable so I was hoping we could talk about it’

If your boss is a decent human they’ll be like ‘sure-zies’ and you guys can talk and you can at least know boss’ reasoning. Boss might be right, I know if I had an ‘everyone is gay’ mug at the BIGCORPORATECOFFEESHOP in my home town it would offend A LOT of people. People would probably report me, make a fuss and stop going to that BIGCORPORATECOFFEESHOP. I’m wayyyy too passive agressive to deal with that and also I don’t deal well with confrontation, so I’d just be crying in a corner.

HOWEVER, I think deep down this isn’t about a mug and it is worth the conversation. Corporate things are weird and there are rules and dumb things and it’s never up to just one human. BUT YOU GUYS, if you have a conversation with your boss, perhaps you can have a convo with your boss’ boss and your boss’ boss’ boss. This is a good thing. Any opportunity to dialogue about issues that are important to you, IT IS A GOOD THING. Talk to boss. Tell boss your feelings and start to make a change in the BIGCORPORATECOFFEESHOP. This one conversaysh could lead to a world of awesome things that BIGCORPORATECOFFEESHOP could do for us gayheads.

Kristin Says:

OMG CAN WE PLEASE START A NATIONWIDE SCANDAL WITH BIGCORPORATECOFFEESHOP? IT WOULD BE SUCH GREAT PRESS.

Sorry, that is totally not the point.

So, here is my question: What is this about? Is it about the word “gay” on the mug, or is it about the implication that “everyone” is gay, and what, specifically is the policy that is being used to enforce you not using this mug? If no one is allowed to have mugs with other company logos, then FINE THEY WIN. If the reason that you cannot have this mug is because CoffeeBoss is worried that people might be uncomfortable with gaythings… then HOLD THE PHONE PEOPLE, NUH-FUCKIN-UH.

I think, if I were you, I would do the following:

1. Temporarily stop bringing the mug.

2. Arrange a meeting with CoffeeBoss, where you explain why you were offended, and where you ask why, specifically, you are being asked to not bring the mug into the store.

3. Get your employee handbook and look up the policies. Is there a policy that is supporting the actions of this boss? My GUT says prolly not – and in that case, you go back to CoffeeBoss and you have a discussion about this, and you PROLLY start bringing in that mug again bc… eff that.

4. If there is a policy that says you cannot bring gay things to work OR if CoffeeBoss still says no without a backing policy, then please send an email to  {drumroll please} SUPER GAY: Everyone Is Gay’s new superhero who can be reached at supergay [at] everyoneisgay [dot] com. We will help you figure it out and right the wrongs.

{high five}

Go team.

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"How can you keep a job from interfering in a relationship?"

- Question submitted by Eric

Dannielle Says:

Oh man, let me tell you IT’S HARD (thatswhatshesaid). It’s especially hard when you love your job more than anything on earth. HOWEVZ, this is a relationship and every relationship requires compromise.

I suggest the two of you sit down and come up with a schedule. The only time I’ve ever had to do this, it literally took me MONTHS to sink into a comfortable routine, but once I got there I was so happy and so was my boo. Give yourself specific time slots where you absolutely WILL NOT work. Even if it’s just an hour every night, or you decide during every meal you won’t look at your phone, or you pick on day on the weekend where you aren’t checking emails. Come up with a slot of time that is for you and your boo ONLY.

And… communicate. If your boo says “i feel like your job is more important to you than I am…” don’t say ‘DO YOU SERIOUSLY THINK I’M THAT MUCH OF A D-BAG!!’ Explain to your boo that you love them soooo much and you love spending time with them and sometimes you just get caught up in work and apologize…I know we hate apologizing, but your boo has valid feelings. You getting caught up in work does not make you a d-bag, but it does require some rearranging, so figure it out together! AND AND AND if you have to break a rule (i.e. you have a late meeting on a date night or your’e waiting for an important call during dinner) YOU CAN ALWAYS BUY YOUR BOO SOME I’M SORRY FLOWERS OR CANDY.

Kristin Says:

Set expectations for yourself, and work to meet those expectations.

Some of us work 30 hours a week, other work 60; some of us leave our job at the office, and others of us have a constant whir of ideas happening at all times in our brains. I happen to occupy the sixty-hour work week / constant brain-whir combination, so I understand how difficult it can be to manage that while also trying to make a life with someone that you love.

Here is a simple list that will break down all of the most important parts of keeping your relationship in check:

1. Schedule: Just like Dannielle said, actual work needs to happen within set hours, except for in extreme circumstances. No emails during dinner, no phone calls when you are having date night, your work needs to occupy a set time in your day, and so does your relationship.

2. Date nights: Have at least one date night a week where work is not allowed, in any form.

3. Communicate: If you are eating dinner with your boo on a non-date night and you find that you haven’t spoken much in the past twenty minutes because you are thinking about your latest work-project, speak up. Say “hey, I am realizing that I am super distracted thinking about work and I want you to know that it means a lot to me to be sitting her eating dinner with you. Can I talk to you about some of my thoughts so that I can try to reconnect?”

4. Shared goals: Your work is important. You have every right to treat it as such, so don’t beat yourself up over being true to those commitments. Your relationship is also extremely important. Work to find a balance, and make sure that your view of balance aligns with your partner’s… if you aren’t working toward the same end goal, ain’t nothing good gonna happen.

Also featured in “The Hook-Up” on MTVAct and MTV’s It’s Your Sex Life

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