I want the workplace to be a place which embraces all lifestyles. I want to work with people who don’t have families. I want to work with people who don’t watch football every Sunday. I want to spend my time by the office water cooler next to people who chose not to have kids. People who don’t play the stock market, or wear suits, or have a retirement plan. Is that weird?
When it comes to job qualifications, I feel that the line between merit and identity has been blurred. What this means is that while in theory, people are hired by their ability to accomplish the job well, in practice, people are hired because they fit the mold and personality of what a good worker should be. As a result certain people with certain personalities are excluded from the workplace even though they can work just as hard and do the job just as well.
We all know that in the past, various parts of our society were excluded from doing certain jobs – with the main example being that women and minorities were excluded from jobs reserved for white males. While we have progressed and laws have been put into place to curb this blatant prejudice, the inequalities are still there. While an employer can no longer ask for the sexual orientation and the ethnicity of the prospect, they can still ask questions to identify what they feel is a regular productive member of society – with the image they have in mind for this stereotype being a straight, white, male from a upper-middle class family. That is not fair and I speak for the disadvantage minorities today in the workforce with this following rant.
I don’t care about who won the Steelers-Colts game last Sunday. And just because I do not know the score, I still should be given all the chances that Chad does – such as having lunch with my boss, getting invited to happy hours after work. I don’t find it fair that Brad gets to spend the first hour of the workday discussing with his co-workers the results of the fantasy sports league they are in but I have to document the work I do each hour because when anyone talks to me, it’s about business.
I don’t understand why others look poorly upon my desire to take a day off when I don’t have kids or a wife. Johnny got to get a whole week off because it was his kid’s first days at school and he had to take his wife to a doctor’s appointment. Why isn’t my need to volunteer at a local soup kitchen and to take art classes any less of a need for me? They help in my self-discovery and just because my life goals don’t involve a family doesn’t mean that my life goals need to take a backseat to work.
I may be male, and I may be straight, or maybe I am not, but either way I am not comfortable objectifying women, even if it is in private. I do not mind that Tom and Frank do it behind closed doors as long as I don’t have to hear it, but I don’t see why they should get a promotion over me just because they have better “synergy” from thinking the same things about banging women.
Let’s put it this way, if you are a sharp-looking, business suit, gelled-hair white male but the proper “look” for a salesman was to be a dark-skinned female wearing rastafarian colors and having dreadlocks, how would you feel if you never got hired or promoted even though you did your job just as well?