Find Me A Stage, I Have Something to Say
September 24, 2018
Boys Will Be Boys
What a weekend of news surrounding the Supreme Court Confirmation hearing! More accusers have stepped forward. My personal take is that everyone needs to step back and vet the allegations before continuing the Confirmation hearing. There are calls for investigations, political accusations being levied and bipartisan criticisms flowing like a river. Toss in the comments on the Tweeter sphere and this is regrettable on multiple levels.
The behavior in question is not just on the national stage. I recently found myself sitting across the desk from a Human Resources Manager of a former employer. I had walked through an open door asking to talk for a few moments. I stated my concerns after witnessing several of the males assigned cubicles in hearing distance from mine mouthing off. In a few months time I had listened to racial slurs, sexist comments, cursing at its best and a round of jokes about the NYC Gay Pride Parade. At first I just ignored it but after a particular week of comments and a reference to women as pigs I had had enough. If I was insulted I felt that others in proximity were possibly insulted too. I relayed my concerns to the HR Manager. What surprised me was the comment I received in response to my concerns, “boys will be boys”. Perhaps she did not hear me; perhaps it was my calm demeanor that generated this absurd response. The atmosphere this group of employees was creating was uncomfortable, not appropriate and of no benefit to the company. At the very least investigate what was going on. By saying Boys will be Boys lead me to believe she was well aware of the said behavior but was not willing to deal with it. I did not follow through with what would be done; it felt like I was not being listened too. I received my answer the a few days later that something had been said. One of the bullies / ring leaders made an inappropriate comment and another yelled out, “Watch what you say”. Wow! Now they were inappropriate and sending me a backhanded insult. Prior to my HR conversation I had witnessed one of the offenders get upset, turn bright red, pound his first on his desk and yell fuck repeatedly. He was forceful and I have no idea what prompted this episode but it left me wondering if this anger could be targeted physically against a coworker. I listened to this nonsense until as a professional I could not put up with such disrespect. This behavior along with a few other factors played into my decision to resign. I have been through Boys being Boys before; I am at a point in my life where I can choose not to put up with it.
My feeling, they should have lost their jobs, apparently this behavior was allowed to be exhibited for years. I was not the first to complain nor am I sure I will be the last to complain. I asked several of my coworkers why they accepted this behavior. Their answers were not surprising, they were fearful of losing their job. How disconcerting that biases behavior boarding on illegal wins out because employees were in fearful. They have bills to pay, they are close to retirement, they have kids to feed, college tuition to pay, and jeopardizing an income was not an option. How could this be in 2018!! We can do better!! The Boys will be Boys atmosphere proliferates. Frustrating but true, why? Now we are seeing alleged Boys will be Boys behavior played out on a national level.
This leaves me feeling what can be done to stop it on a personal level, in the work place and in are elected office as well as in schools. Leaders I feel should lead by example. I do not think there is any one answer to solve this remarkable challenge, the excuse Boys will be Boys should be retired promptly.
Thank you for your time. Hope your level awareness was raised.
The words shared above are my express opinion upon watching the September 24, 2018 morning news shows. My words are meant to raise a level of awareness not malice.