Unhealthy Workplace

I was in a workplace with some serious workplace bullying by a manager. In my case, it was also racism. I managed to stand up to it though, and when other people (who aren’t Black) saw that I stood up to it, you could see that they felt that didn’t have to deal with the bullying anymore either. Everyone benefitted.
You can have conversations about this stuff with your friends…but when it’s actually happening in the workplace, it’s not good. it’s not healthy. We need to find better ways to talk to workplaces so they can see how unhealthy this is.

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Hiring Practices

Every now and then a new employee would “appear” at work. I would think: that’s funny, I don’t remember a job posting going out. They would just hire from within their circles, just plunk people down. I said something about it, and they would say, well they hired me! I said we had to do something about hiring practices, to make sure these jobs got out to a more diverse group of people. That’s happened, but I wonder why does this have to be this difficult?

 

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It’s about Racism

I’d been working for about a year for a prominent organization, which had decided to take an interest in Black issues. I work specifically with the Black community. I was talking with a high-ranking white person in the organization, and he said he wanted to make the work with the Black community HIS legacy! I was so angry. The Black community doesn’t need a great white hope. That’s not where we are.
This was after a long while of people at work ignoring me, trying to undermine my work etc. A supervisor would tell people I was incompetent, etc. Finally we got a new boss in. He came to talk to me and said “it seems there’s a movement afoot to get rid of you.” He said he’d been told I wasn’t a team player, couldn’t do my job, I seemed isolated, etc. But he’d seen some of my work and talked to people in the community, so he knew I was good at my job. He asked me what it was all about. I thought “phew!” and I said to him “this is about racism.”

 

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Change of Address

Lots of people change their addresses when looking for a job. People find another address that they can use. I know someone who had better luck looking as soon as she changed her address from North Preston to Dartmouth. She said she felt shame about it, but she had to do it. I changed mine once when I lived in public housing briefly, I used my mom’s address instead, to get a job at a place where that shouldn’t be an issue. Someone else I know, when asked where she grew up says “the North End” – she doesn’t want to say Gottingen St. If you say “the Square” Uniacke Square~ people kind of say “oh…you don’t seem like someone who grew up there” if you don’t fit the stereotype. But so many people live there.

 

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