I Work with a Bigot

Categories Ape Uprising

Dear Impractical Advice: I’m assigned to a labor crew supervised by hyper-intelligent apes and one of my coworkers uses offensive language every time an gorilla gives him an order. Once the gorilla is out of earshot, Taylor will call him names like “dirty” and a “stinking ape”. I personally avoid discussions on politics and I feel uncomfortable working around someone who articulates these kind of stereotypes. More importantly, I’m scared that the whole crew would face reprisals if one of the gorillas overhears Taylor’s speciesist language.

I’ve tried telling Taylor to keep it to himself for all our safety. He’ll shut up for a while, but then he starts doing it again the next time he gets and order. How do I get this stupid bigot to knock it off before we end up in serious trouble?

– Politically Correct Survivor

Dear PC Survivor,

It seems politics bring out some of the worst behavior in humans these days, but Impractical Advice wouldn’t label someone a stupid bigot…but only because she doesn’t like redundancy.

Regardless of whether your coworker is simply a disgruntled laborer with anger control issues or a full-on species bigot, the bottom line is that he needs to be considerate of how his actions impact the people around him in the workplace.

Find a couple of members of your crew that share your concerns and approach Taylor outside of work for a non-confrontational discussion. Find a place where the supervision by the apes is more low key so you can talk freely. The mess where you eat your food rations or the line for the shower hoses are usually good options for a meeting.

The key is to calmly share the feelings of the group about why Taylor’s language makes everyone feel unsafe without assigning blame. Let Taylor share his feelings with you without judging them. He is likely harboring some resentments toward the apes because of the whole “subjugation of the human race” thing. You want to make sure he knows that these kinds of feelings are normal and shared by some others on the crew. Then emphasize that while his feelings may be legitimate, carelessly articulating them around the apes endangers you all for no reason.

Your goal here is to make him feel like you are all part of the same team. If Taylor feels like you are all working together, he should be more considerate of how his actions impact the rest of the group.

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