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"Workplace"
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CSHS79 864 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Fitness Correspondent"

09-12-13, 06:34 PM (EST)
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"Workplace"
I work at a company where developmentally challenged adults can
earn money and learn skills for every day living. They have other employees like me who can work faster and finish the work.

One of the supervisors did something I regard as questionable.
She started calling one of the challenged workers meatball and singing the song On Top of Spaghetti whenever she walked near this person. Most of the other challenged workers started calling him meatball as well when they were at lunch as well as joining in the singing. The challenged worker who was the object of this treatment is fine with it. My question is if you were his family, what would you think of this "supervisor's" behavior?

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: Workplace dabo 09-12-13 1
 RE: Workplace Estee 09-12-13 2
   RE: Workplace dabo 09-12-13 4
       Totally agree moonbaby 09-13-13 5
 RE: Workplace Puffy 09-12-13 3
 RE: Workplace Snidget 09-13-13 6
 RE: Workplace kingfish 09-13-13 7
 RE: Workplace jbug 09-13-13 8
   RE: Workplace SOAR64 09-13-13 9
       RE: Workplace PepeLePew13 09-13-13 10
 Update CSHS79 09-14-13 11
   RE: Update dabo 09-14-13 12

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dabo 25383 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Playboy Centerfold"

09-12-13, 07:32 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: Workplace"
Very uncool. I dub that supervisor eggroll.
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Estee 55259 desperate attention whore postings
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09-12-13, 08:35 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: Workplace"
There's a possibility that he's realized he's being attacked and decided to turn the tables on her by owning it -- but even if that's the case, it still feels like an attack. And if he doesn't realize it -- being unaware of an insult doesn't change its nature.

Is there someone you can report her to?

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dabo 25383 desperate attention whore postings
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09-12-13, 10:51 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: Workplace"
Regardless of whether he realized it, this all had the very real potential of creating a hostile working environment (and maybe did even if he won't make a complaint), and should certainly be reported up the chain of command. Or HR, if there is one.
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moonbaby 17030 desperate attention whore postings
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09-13-13, 10:00 AM (EST)
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5. "Totally agree"
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Puffy 6575 desperate attention whore postings
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09-12-13, 10:00 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: Workplace"
"Meatball" is not kosher.
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Snidget 43902 desperate attention whore postings
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09-13-13, 10:28 AM (EST)
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6. "RE: Workplace"
Just went through harassment training and so this is an interesting situation for me to think about.

Generally the rules have to do with the effect of the behavior, not the intent. But I think it doesn't have to be just the person the "joke" is directed at, so could be about the other people who have to hear it, not just if the two people involved consent to the behavior.

So basically saying it is a joke or was done just in fun doesn't change the effect of the behavior has on other people. (Aaryn, are you listening to this?) It is what the behavior creates, not what your intent was when you said it that matters.

Thinking of the example they gave of a workplace romance. It is OK if the two take a break together and sit at the same table and talk, every break, day after day. But even if their behaviors were consensual and welcomed by both parties, if they were making out at the table or groping each other in the hall all the time that could be creating a hostile work environment.

And when you add in people who either may not fully understand the behaviors directed at them, or may not be fully able to consent to it, or may be in a position where they feel they cannot assert themselves to ask for it to stop...The whole who has power over whom and how they use/abuse the power is also important. While a subordinate can harass a superior, usually this stuff is about power and most commonly flows the direction of the power and so those with actual power over others must be even more careful about their behaviors.

Anyway, I think the supervisor needs to be told to knock it off. Even if any given person doesn't mind any given derogatory nickname creating an environment where that is considered part the workplace culture could be a really bad thing. Especially in a place where you are working with the kind of population you have at work.

I guess the problem for management is even if everyone is OK with this it sets a bad example, and will someone bringing in work to be done want to hire a group of people with these kinds of nicknames being what the management calls the workers? Even if it can't be a harassment issue, it could be a professional conduct issue. It doesn't look good for the business to have people being treated that way. Heck even if you have a childhood nickname you want every friend to call you that is questionable, you typically do not use it professionally if it would reflect poorly on the company, your profession, or your professional credibility.

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kingfish 16143 desperate attention whore postings
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09-13-13, 11:29 AM (EST)
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7. "RE: Workplace"
LAST EDITED ON 09-13-13 AT 01:02 PM (EST)


Way over the line.

In legal terms, that was hogwash (Ok, that's in Alabama legal terms).

Best outcome is that his smiling, seeming acceptance of the disparagement is because he's wearing an audio/visual recording device, and has a lawyer well versed in suing for maximum amounts.

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jbug 16706 desperate attention whore postings
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09-13-13, 01:17 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: Workplace"
I think it's horrible.
has it been going on for a long time?
Is this person singled out? no nicknames for others?

When we were in FL, DH worked for a government contractor. They hired mentally challenged (sorry, I don't know if that's politically correct) to do tasks around the facility.
They were a great bunch of kids (even tho they were adults).

For some reason the guys here come up with nicknames for new guys.
I've heard
cornbread
gravy
peewee (so, ok, his last name was Herman)

Mostly they don't stick; and I don't think the new guys mind. It's sorta like an initiation thing.

But in your place? NO!

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SOAR64 138 desperate attention whore postings
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09-13-13, 03:01 PM (EST)
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9. "RE: Workplace"
My son who is my legally adopted biological grandson is special needs. He is now 23 years old and lives in an assisted living facility. I can tell you that special needs people have the same emotional feelings that those who are not special needs feel. They just don't know how to express their feelings. They understand more than a lot of people think. They hurt and they cry just like we do. If this was my son being called names by a caregiver, I would make it my goal in life to make sure the ignorant caregiver was no longer employed working with special needs people. No one is allowed to treat my son in such a way. What has the world come to when people are allowed to mistreat these special people. God said "What you do for the most needy of people, you do for me". Didn't mean to preach, but it needed to be said.
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PepeLePew13 24746 desperate attention whore postings
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09-13-13, 04:25 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: Workplace"
Agree. The supervisor needs to be gone, pronto.

Apples and oranges, yes, but consider this - a lot of sexual abuse between a person in authority and a child takes place because the child doesn't know how to react to it and is easily manipulated by the older person. Outwardly, they may seem 'fine' and resilient, but it usually explodes later on in anger and personal troubles as the child ages.

Just because the victim in CSHS's post may seem to be fine with it outwardly doesn't mean that there's some resentment or embarrassment building inside. The victim could also want to seem like he's fitting in with everyone else, so he thinks the nickname is a way of doing so.

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CSHS79 864 desperate attention whore postings
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09-14-13, 01:49 PM (EST)
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11. "Update"
I spoke to a company social worker about a different situation that I witnessed one time where a different supervisor spent 20 minutes singing "Mr Fu Manchu someone has a crush on you" to a different special needs worker. I was told some supervisors & workers have known each other a long time and they may have private jokes between the two of them. Not good enough to me.

I tried to speak to the Human Rights Officers in the company about this and was told by the offending parties's supervisor if I'm not happy with the social worker's answer I can leave not just for the day but the job.
I'm glad I'm not the only one to be offended by the women's behavior even if the party line at the company is some workers and sueprvisors have known each other a long time and have private jokes. If it was kept private it's still not right but broadcasting these kind of comments to the area makes it a hostile work area.

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dabo 25383 desperate attention whore postings
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09-14-13, 02:24 PM (EST)
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12. "RE: Update"
Well, that's a shame. There ought to be some established standards for workplace comportment, and HR ought to have mechanisms in place to educate and enforce. Hostile working environments are just unacceptible, someone always gets hurt.

For now I'd just say keep a diary of things you think are wrong or could be improved, look for what remedies you can find that seem reasonable, consider it a longterm project.

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