Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dancing with Old Scratch

Full(ish) disclosure. Time to come out of the bathroom, as they say.

I work for a big box retailer.

Yes, that one. The one in the news so much this last month.

This last month has been difficult to show up for work, knowing how much I despise and find reprehensible their new open bathrooms policy, and having to keep my mouth shut.

And as I said in some comments not long ago I am not discussing politics with friends this election cycle because they are friends and I'd like to keep it that way.

But I'm a 54 year old man with not a whole bunch of options in this town and need to feed my family so I dance with the devil.

Around 9:30 this morning Dean, Juan and I were doing our stockroom work. Dean is like me, early 40s, Pa. Dutch/Irish and very conservative.

Juan is Puerto Rican late 30s and very liberal.

We are all lifelong residents of this county.

And all friends. Or were.

From absolutely out of nowhere Juan starts in on Dean. About how Dean must be really excited at the prospect of having Bill Clinton back in the White House. How he had done such a good job balancing the budget etc.

Dean began countering. How taxes had been raised. How Gingrich and crew had as much to do with balancing the budget as Clinton.

Juan fights back in true liberal fashion. Shouting and yelling and not letting Dean get a word in.

And it is clear Dean is getting angry.

And then Juan comes at me, who thus far has remained silent.

My response is that as far as I'm concerned Clinton was/is a serial rapist.

And that was all it took.

Juan counters with well then Clinton must be Mexican because as we all know all Mexicans are rapists. And how terrorists come across the Canadian border not Mexican. and so forth.

Juan, I said, why the hell are you trying to start a fight today? Why are you stirring things up?

It's my right. Right of free speech. I'm not stirring things up just voicing my opinion  It's my civil right.

He then starts on the bathroom issue. How it is a great idea. How it is the civil rights fight of this generation.

And now I let my opinion known. How it is not the transgenders or gays or lesbians that concern me but the pedophiles and molesters hiding among them.

Juan states there have always been pedophiles etc going into the bathrooms and nobody ever did anything about it why is it such a big deal now.

And then he said

"You're all just a bunch of pussies. grown men afraid of a guy wearing a dress. You're just a bunch of fucking pussies."

And that quickly I was in front of him. Felt my fist clench and shoulder tighten...

And I managed to disengage and walk away. Went to work in another area instead of being further antagonized.

Because, even though he was clearly out to provoke Dean and I there is no way the Big Box retailer would have backed me up.

It's their policy and they have doubled down on it despite the outcry.

My rights clearly don't matter. Nor do yours. Whether you believe it is wrong on religious, moral or just plain safety grounds your rights no longer matter to the Big Box retailer. And mine doubly so as a (former) customer and current employee.

Whether Juan will now take this as a "victim" (of what?) to the next level with management I don't know.

But if it's happening in this store it is happening in others. And if it is happening in this chain it is happening in others. Employees forced to shut up and allow such open verbal attacks with no recourse without contravening company policy.

It happened to my daughter in '08 during Obama's first run.

Nothing has changed.

And although I have no plans on bringing it up again it is now apparent to some few that although I may have to dance with the devil there is a large space between us while I do so.

Talk about fostering a hostile work environment.

This is going to be a very ugly summer.


Pastorius said...

Your story reminds me of this:

midnight rider said...

Actually, after talking with my wife, I've come to consider the possibility that Juan was acting as an agent provocateur, whether for mngmt or for a Soros type funded group I don't know. But his opinions have been known this time around but this was a complete out of the nowhere ambush 3-1/2 hrs into our shift.

And when I confronted him near the end his face showed almost no emotion in it. Like he was expecting what (he thought) was about to come. And was ready for it and even wanted it (which may have been why I was actually able to back off).

If it's for a political group well so be it then we're just random(ish) political targets (no pun intended but that was pretty good, right?)

However, if it is management backed several reasons arise.

First Dean and I are the two who have had our hours most severely cut lately. We're also by far the two oldest in the backroom. They almost seem like they are trying to get us to quit.

But more likely they may be trying to sniff out where there may be trouble. It's no secret our stock has been hemorrhaging this past month and yeah you can try to say there are all kinds of market factors but it remains that it started right after the policy was announced.

So they may be trying to find out where the malcontents are and force them out or force them to fuck up and throw them out.

I don't know. I'm still fucking furious about it (partly because I let Juan rattle me like that) and not sure I'm analyzing it clearly but I know I'll need to watch my step very closely for awhile.

Epaminondas said...

File under: how Trump got elected and nobody voted for him

You just smile and say ... WHATEVER Juan.

Or you can always tell him he is using trigger words

solsticewitch13 said...

Check this out,,,,

The transgender programming of children is child abuse, warns the American College of Pediatricians... chemical castration, genital mutilation and mental illness run amok…

The left and anyone promoting this nonense is a total NUTTER!!! I resent it. Where are my rights to privacy as a woman in the woman's washroom!!!