Not Deaf, But Definitely Blind

, , , , , | Working | June 11, 2018

(I am arranging a training course for several managers at my office. One manager has asked about the facilities. I reply to her email after a brief call with the venue. About an hour later, I am called into the senior manager’s office. Said manager is also there, and she looks to be furious.)

Senior Manager: “I have had a serious accusation from [Manager] that you referred to her in a way that she believes to be homophobic.”

Me: “Oh?”

Senior Manager: “Yes. I won’t repeat it here out of respect to—”

Manager: “BULLS*** LESBIAN! That’s what you called me. I always knew you were a bigot.” *to Senior Manager* “I want his a**e out of here, immediately!”

Me: “I have never referred to you by that. I don’t know if you know, but I’m gay myself.”

Manager: “Oh, a [lesbian slur]-hating [gay slur]. Just typical!”

Senior Manager: “Okay, let’s just calm down for second. When did he call you this?”

Manager: “On his email!”

(She hands a piece of paper to him and glares at me. The senior manager reads it quietly.)

Senior Manager: “Um, [Manager], BSL stands for British Sign Language.”

Manager: “What? That doesn’t even make any sense.”

Senior Manager: *quoting* “’…and the venue also offers BSL interpreters.’ What part of that was meant to suggest ‘BSL’ stands for ‘bulls*** lesbian’?”

Manager: “I… I guess I didn’t read the email.”

Senior Manager: “So, I take it the confusion regarding homophobia has cleared?”

(She nods.)

Me: “Well, not exactly.”

(I then spoke about her referring to me as a “[lesbian slur]-hating [gay slur],” to which she said I was overreacting and stormed out of the office. Yes, I’m overreacting when you called me a “[lesbian slur]-hating [gay slur],” but when I used an acronym that you misunderstood, it was perfectly justified. In the end, she was threatened with dismissal unless she issued a formal apology. I’m still waiting on it, but she’s on unpaid leave until it is received.)


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