Not Flexible On The Racism Thing

, , , , , | Working | April 2, 2018

(I have been working at the same family-owned business for over seven years, and am two weeks away from starting a new job at another company. The owners, a husband and wife, both from the Middle East, are notoriously miserly when it comes to wages and benefits, and they have a well-earned reputation for empty promises. This has resulted in nearly constant turnover of staff and extremely low morale among those of us who remain. I am working late to make up a deficit in flex-time, and the wife and I are the only ones in the office.)

Boss: “Are you sure you wouldn’t be able to come in on the weekends for consultations about [Software Program I Administer] after you start your new job, if we have questions?”

Me: *having long had enough of these antics* “I am afraid that won’t be possible. I’ll need to focus on the new job, exclusively.”

Boss: “What are you working on, anyway? Why are you here so late?”

Me: “I have a big deficit on my flex-time, and I want to reduce it as much as possible before my last day so I don’t take as big a hit on my paycheck.”

Boss: “Tell you what; I’ll forgive that deficit if you’ll do some consultation work for us.”

Me: “Sorry. The answer is still no.”

(There is an uncomfortable pause.)

Boss: “You know, I don’t want to believe this about you, but I’ve been hearing around — I don’t want to say from whom — that you’re bigoted against Arabs.”

Me: *standing up and starting to shut down my workstation* “That’s absolutely ridiculous. I had Lebanese in-laws from my first marriage, my late stepfather was half-Lebanese, and I loved them all like family.”

(The boss immediately began back-pedaling, saying she hoped we could at least say hello to each other if we met on the street by chance. I shut down my workstation, packed up, and left for the weekend. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to my last day there at the end of the month.)

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