Preamble: I am lucky to have a job considering my fucked up work history and, frankly, the fact that I’m a fuck up. This series will focus on the trials and tribulations of my work life. (See biography and full mission statement at end of post)
I work 6-7 days a week because they pay overtime (time and a half) and I am REALLY shitty with money. Like epically shitty. So I always need the money. And frankly if I’m working that severely limits my ability to financially fuck myself.
A nice perk that comes (came now) with working on the weekend is that the company buys us lunch. And usually it is Peruvian style chicken and some sides. It’s delicious. You should try some if you haven’t. We all hungrily line up when the lunch bell rings and go through the trays like locusts through the fields.
Today, one of the supervisors, who regularly wears a Peru soccer jersey to work and is married to a Peruvian woman (and he’s chatty and friendly and these things are well known to all who work here) asked us to pause working because he had to make a quick announcement.
“It’s come to my attention that my joke that we are ‘the chickens are being in flown in from Peru as we speak’ was potentially insensitive and offended someone. Rather than try to explain what I said or offer rationale for it, I want to apologize. Also, we will no longer be providing lunch on the weekends.”
My coworkers were not pleased.
“Who was offended?” One demanded.
“So we don’t get food because one person was offended?” Another asks.
“How about we order American food so no one is offended?” Another sniped.
“Why can’t we just keep ordering the chicken and not make any supposedly offensive jokes about it?” Another grumbled.
The supervisor mumbled an apology, didn’t answer any of the questions, and went back to his office.
Let’s look at this from two angles.
Let’s first grant that the statement made by the supervisor is true.
1. I am sometimes politically correct. When it comes to how a person wants to identify themselves, I’ll happily comply with their preferred term. It costs me nothing and it prevents a potential negative interaction with another human being. Also, I won’t use slurs that refer to marginalized populations in a negative way.
2. It does not matter that the supervisor is married to a Peruvian person. It doesn’t matter that he supports Peruvian futbol. Marginalized people AND the allies of marginalized people can and have referred to the relevant marginalized population in a pejorative manner.
3. This is absurd. It is a G rated joke about a farm animal being flown here for the good of the employees’ lunch. There is absolutely NO WAY anyone with an iota of common sense could see this innocuous joke as a negative or insensitive or offensive commentary on Peru, Peruvians, or Peruvian cuisine.
4. And thanks for fucking us all over and screwing us out of a free lunch because you’re so far up you’re unjustified triggered ass you can’t distinguish between completely benign words and malevolent ones.
5. Fucking asshole.
6. I hope you turn into a chicken in your next life and get turned into chicken nuggets.
7. Fuck you.
Let’s see the other angle: his statement is not true.
1. This is horseshit.
2. This is the same company that wanted its employees, who were hired explicitly and confirmed with a written contract to do data analysis, to start cleaning the bathrooms because they didn’t want to pay as much for cleaning expenses.
3. Fuck that shit.
4. They just don’t want to pay for meals because they literally provide the absolute bare minimum in work conditions.
I wish I could say that I lived in a culture where this insane over sensitivity was impossible. But I’ve seen too many examples of childish high minded outrage that I have to give the story some level of credence. Then again, I do work for a cheap ass company and companies are just legalized groupings of human beings who are, at their core, horrible beings.
But in the end, I have to side with this being simply the company being cheap. I’d put that likelihood at 75%.
As my two readers know, I want the vast majority of my coworkers and supervisors to be eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. This incident has not changed my mind.
Biography: I’ve been working for 28 years. I started when I was 15. I’ve done a lot: retail, bartending, customer service, call centers, web development, auditing and now data analysis. I’ve never liked a single day of work. The best 8 month stretch of my working life when I was kept at full salary to stay home and chill until they found me a project. I don’t climb ladders; I jump from one to another. This has not worked out well for me.
Mission statement: I just wanna sing of my trials and tribulations as a very small cog in the very big machine. I’ve spent all the money I’ve earned so I gotta get something out of the nearly four decades on the grindstone.
Here’s a hidden camera of my coworkers and me (I’m the august one):
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