An Employee’s Joke Leads to Another’s Humiliation…Along With a Lesson Worth Re-Learning For the Rest of Us
“hi guys how is every one i think now would be a good time to tell you all that i am gay thank you for your understanding and support”
The above sentence, directly copied and pasted without any editing, was sent out as a joke.
The longer story, an associate of a retail store emailed a customer from her personal Hotmail account some information on her client’s purchase. She minimized the page with her email account still active while thinking she logged off. The assistant manager saw that her email account was still active and sent out an email to everyone in her email account’s address book the above email. He thought it was a joke. Little did he know that the individuals within this account ranged from this woman’s 11-year-old niece and grandmother to her professional contacts within the industry she is currently working.
I received it myself and knew that something was amuck as I know that this woman would never send out an email such as this and much less not punctuate it properly. She later told me the situation. She also reported it to HR and sent out an email to everyone who received the email an apology and explanation. However she spent the next few days angry and scared and humiliated. This woman is not gay, however that was not what caused her the humiliation after the workday. It was that she is passionate about her job, and her superior turned her passion into a flippant joke.
Her story sent me into a spiral of disbelief that someone in a work environment would do such a thing, much less as a joke, especially someone in an administrative position in his late 30’s. I wanted to take this story and this opportunity to reiterate the mission and vision of TheWorkingWardrobe.com. This blog is dedicated to dressing for one’s job – but that goes beyond the suit on your back. The “working wardrobe” is also about one’s attitude and work demeanor that landed him or her that job in the first place; it is about the simplicity of the ethical conscience.
Human Resources will handle this specific situation; but it is good for all of us to remember to appreciate the job we have, the people we work with, and not to take advantage of our positions of authority. And in such a precarious economic time, you don’t deserve your position unless you are willing to work as a team and help one other through to more stable times. It may seem harsh, but as too man of us have heard this past year, that’s business.