No, really, excuse me?

What a day.  I’m the first to admit that when I’m sick (like I am now), I’m not the most charitable person in the world.  My already innate personality of “stay away from me” only becomes worse.  Combine that with pouring rain, not being able to move a work schedule around and I’m not exactly the nicest person today.  I arrived at work early (I tend to work early: avoid the masses on the roads) and started at the task at hand.  A few hours later, one of my co-workers drifted in and started yammering about a document we worked on yesterday.  She handed it to me and said “I mean, doesn’t it look like a f-ing illegal re-ard wrote this?”.

EXCUSE ME?

I sorta scrunched up my face and asked her to repeat herself – in that tone/face that says “clean up your language and try again”.  Nope. She repeated it word for word: “I mean, doesn’t it look like a f-ing illegal re-ard wrote this?”  One thing I despise more than almost anything in the world are work place battles, especially over political correctness (I think it’s gone WAY too far in some circles!).  I looked at her and flung back something polite along the lines of “please don’t say things like that around me.”  She looked stunned: which one? All of them.  Her defense? “Everybody says it.”  Now, I’m feeling like my mother: “If everybody jumped off a bridge, would you?” (uh, chances are yes because most people I know would jump for a good reason).

Now I glared: I said “I don’t. And I don’t tolerate it around me.”

Seriously.  It flew above her head – she wanted me to read the document that as filled with typos.  The reason why? It’s in a controlled edit setting: if you misspell anything it can’t be corrected.  Why? We are in a regulated industry and this is a mechanism to prevent changes.  I (somewhat nicely) decided to explain that to her.  Over her head.

The kicker? The person shouting this hatred? A first generation unwed pregnant Latina.  Yup. As if she probably hasn’t hit a few stereotype herself.

Her advice to me? You need to get used to people saying what they want: we are allowed to in this country.

My arched eyebrow reply? You can say what you want out of my earshot but I won’t tolerate slurs of ethnicity, gender, intelligence or race.  If you don’t like it, that’s not my issue.

Seriously.  Wait until she finds out I’m gay.

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One Response to “No, really, excuse me?”

  1. Liz Says:

    When the word “retard” is used that way, then I have a huge problem with it. But I was thinking the other night that technically, we call things “lame” all the time. The word “lame” is used to describe people whose legs are physically disabled, but we use it all the time to describe things that disappoint or embarrass us: “That song is lame,” “Quit being so lame, Mom,” etc. Every word has a different etymology, and I’m tired of everyone being so politically correct all the time when they hardly really think about the words they use on a daily basis. (A lot of people are super offended when they hear the word “cunt,” but if you look up the etymology, it’s actually based off an old, technical word for the vagina.)

    Still, all logophiling aside, your coworker was definitely offensive, and I think you handled it well.

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