This Kind Of Thing Needs Reporting

| Working | March 29, 2017

(There are two of us in my department. I am the one in charge while the other handles more clerical work. We have two security guards that need to attend a meeting every other week. They usually come in two or three times a week for a report. Because the other guy is closest to the door, we have always assumed they just go to him because it’s easier. He however doesn’t know how to do the report and doesn’t have the computer privileges to do it, so he simply hands the request onto me and I drop it in their pigeon-hole as I walk past. He has been on holiday for the past week so they have instead been coming to me. Up to now I wouldn’t have thought they had an issue. I am in a store cupboard retrieving some paperwork when they come in. I can hear everything they say, but they cannot see me. This is my coworker’s first day back. He is white, while I am of mixed descent, with my father’s side being black.)

Guard #1: “[Coworker]! Thank God you’re back! We need that report literally now!”

Coworker: “Has [My Name] not been doing it for you?”

Guard #2: “He’s been trying, but you can’t expect [racial slur]s like that do handle something this important. He could barely understand a word we said, and his reports were just drivel. Your work actually makes sense.”

Coworker: “Actually, I have nothing to do with the report. I don’t know to do it and just hand it on to [My Name] after you leave. Every report you have ever had from this department was made by him. If they didn’t make any sense to you then you asked for the wrong information.”

Guard #1: “He doesn’t understand us! F****** foreigners!”

Coworker: “And on that, [My Name] has lived in Manchester all his life. He’s a ‘manc’ just as much as you are. As for me, I’m from Norway, so I’m the ‘f****** foreigner’ here!”

(They left and I came out of the cupboard. My coworker is looking at me, visibly angry.)

Coworker: *says something in Norwegian about them being c***s or something*

(He put in a complaint and we both decided to switch desks to see if that fixed anything. It didn’t, and only caused them to jump the first time seeing me there. They still come in and go directly to him for the report. He instead now directs them to me, and they sheepishly trundle back and quietly speak to me. Instead of them waiting now, though, I just print it right there. They’ve never made any other racist comments to either of us. Nothing else has changed in over a year, so I assume the complaint was either ignored or just resulted in a slap on the wrist. With that being said, though, you would think that after a year they would have taken the hint and just come to me, but no, they still go to my coworker, hoping to only deal with him.)

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