Please see the pages above or the section below marked bullying intervention.
Quick preface: “Workplace Issues” is a work of creative nonfiction based on my true story of being bullied. It’s told in a series of open letters.
So, during my first week at the company I carried myself with my typical level of confidence. Apparently a few of you were complaining that I shouldn’t do that because I was, “just a rental agent.”
Now, feeling an inherent need to look down on others in order to feel good about ones self is completely pathetic. Grow up and get some fucking self esteem!
Oh yea, what the perpetrator of the assault was trying his best to make sure that no one found out is that the one thing that I’m as good at as renting apartments is management. Last I checked, that’s the more important skill!
Welcome to this site! Guest posts are extremely welcome. If it’s coherent and legal we will post it. Anyone who would like to volunteer is welcome. Please let us know what you would like to contribute. Feedback about anything at all is welcome! These are complex social issues and ideas are extremely welcome as well! Thanks for stopping by and we hope that this is informative and helpful!
Alise Kobre and Team Members
This isn’t your fault at all and believe it or not I actually feel badly for you. The unfortunate truth is that most professionals have witnessed work place abuse, frequently gender based, and done nothing about it. You didn’t actually witness it but you clearly had reasonable knowledge. I consider it extremely likely that your attempting to handle this in the ethical and legal fashion would have jeopardized your position at the company. It’s quite common that companies retaliate against the victims of harassment and anyone who aligns themselves with them. Since one of your supervisors had reasonable knowledge I feel confident that the corporate culture includes covering things like this up and turning a blind eye. Who knows, maybe they will prove me wrong. But, this wasn’t your fault, even if you were the one who referenced the perpetrators notes.
Honestly, when someone has to choose between their own job security and taking the ethical course of action most will chose their own job security. That is a complex moral decision, not a simple one. And, I’m not saying that’s what did happen it’s just an educated guess. It’s exactly why most people remain silent and turn a blind eye to this type of thing. The bottom line is that one of your supervisors had reasonable knowledge and this isn’t your fault, at all.
Simply put, it isn’t ethical to hate someone or try to ruin someone because they did what is considered normal within their own society. However, as long as the silence continues these tragedies will continue. Some are teenage suicides due to bullying, some are sexual assaults that go unpunished by our legal system and even universities and others are cases of workplace abuse so extreme that they are traumatic be they harassment, assault or otherwise. We are also typically silent about domestic abuse and child molestation, both of which are disturbingly common.
In short, we are silent about abuse of women, other minorities and children. This isn’t okay. I have always been quite passionate about women’s equality and I see no distinction between women’s rights and human rights. If I were to remain silent then I would be an incredible hypocrite. Moreover, these are human rights violations and public health issues. Something must be done. And, nothing will be accomplished as long as silence is the norm. The silence can only be broken one voice at a time. And, every single voice actually does matter.
But, I don’t hate you and I hope that you aren’t used as a scrape goat or ostracized. What you did is considered normal by society and it’s what most people in that situation do. It’s the social norm that is evil and wrong, not you or your team members.
A friend of mine called your firm and asked about me a few years ago. The team member who he spoke with practically hung up on him. If I was actually an insane petty thief who were lacking in aptitude and intellect then you all would have absolutely nothing to be afraid of, now would you?
You do all know the truth already. I can understand exactly why you are afraid.
You have excellent reason to be!
Quick note to readers: “Workplace Issues” is a work of creative nonfiction based on my true story of being bullied. It’s told in a series of open letters.
Dedicated To: Hendric, Morgan and Ashleig
Hey peeps, this is a letter of apology. You were owed a world in which you all can live your lives safely and in peace. Less than fifty percent of you will inherit that. The horrifying truth for those of you who are female is that one in five of you will experience sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in college. You will find a legal system that will not provide you with justice. You are likely to find that your university is more concerned about protecting its reputation than your human rights. They might even try to silence you about the tragedy. Almost all of you will be the target of gender based disrespect or love someone who is. I am extremely sorry that we let you down.
This sounds like a digression but it isn’t. I was in high school during the nineties. Before the nineties gay and lesbian rights were virtually unheard of. Open disrespect of gays and lesbians was completely socially acceptable. Prior to the nineties it was dangerous for people to be openly gay because they might become the target of violent hate crimes and they had little to no legal recourse. They lived in fear. I know that it’s hard to imagine now, but it’s true.
There was a lot of activism for gay and lesbian rights during the nineties. Probably the most important part of that was the One in Ten Movement. I was a part of that one. There were three things that I loved about it. A friend of mine is a lesbian so I was helping someone who I love. Also, I was creating important social change. This is the mind blowing one. What you had to do to be a part of the One in Ten Movement was *almost nothing!*
So, I’m creating a model that doesn’t cut into your time for enjoying life because we want to keep our priorities straight! All that you had to do to be a part of that movement was learn to recognize homophobia and correct it when you saw it. And, back then it was so common and intrinsic to the culture that our gay and lesbian friends had to coach us on it and explain it to us. However, it’s now 2010 so I’m just including video clips. When we heard homophobic comments we had to say something like, “I have a lesbian friend and I really don’t appreciate that.” Obviously, around ten percent of you will need to be a little more motivated than that. But, I want to make this as simple and easy for most of you as it was for me.
Thoreau writes that, “Wisdom is not gained but lost with age.” It’s similar to Jay-Z’s, “Forever Young.” Warren Bennis, the world’s authority on leadership, observes that leaders see what, “could be” rather than what is. There is another group who is capable, willing to, and excited about seeing what could be. It’s you! It’s one of the wisdoms that Thoreau refers to. I hope that you all will keep it for the rest of your lives. And I hope that you will use that wisdom today. Obviously, some of you will need to do a little extra work, but for about ninety percent of you creating real social change is as simple as watching a few short video clips and making a few simple decisions.
A world in which one is physically safe and treated with respect is a birthright.
Go claim your birthright!
Yea, neither do I. But, as long as sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence are shrouded in silence they will continue to be common place. We have to talk about them in order to make them stop! The exact same principle applies for bullying in schools, on college campuses and workplaces!
Besides, we are doing it in such a way that we are demanding social change.
That aspect of it can be a lot of fun!
Of course! I make jokes about sex also! Check out my posts tagged comedy. There are plenty of references to sex, I promise. This isn’t about never referencing sex in a workplace or eliminating female sexuality, *at all*, quite the opposite, actually.
It’s about respect of boundaries and eliminating gender based disrespect. Don’t worry, we will keep the humor and eliminate the hate! 😀
One in five women is sexually assaulted during her academic career. One in six is assaulted in America and approximately one in three in the world community. One in three women in America will be the target of domestic abuse, and, approximately one in three the target of harassment. These are human rights violations and public health issues. This is *everyone’s* problem!
The good news is, *everyone* can be part of the solution.
There are plenty of things that we can disagree on. But, the only people who actually want to see these crimes continue are the perpetrators themselves. We can all agree on that, I hope!
Typically liberals get credit for working for women’s rights. I know of one conservative Christian church in Atlanta that is doing excellent work at rescuing sex slaves and preventing human trafficking. I know of another one that is helping poor people, including sex workers who were coerced into the industry and are frequently addicted to drugs. There is excellent work being done on both sides of the political arena.
Moreover, it’s apparent that we have extremely serious issues with bullying in schools and on campuses. This isn’t just an LBGT problem. Bullying can cause post traumatic stress disorder regardless of the nature of the abuse. We also have problems with bullying and abuse be it gender based or not, in our work places. The reason that we have this pandemic problem with bullying in schools is because we are a society of adults who ignore and partake in bullying and victim blaming. This is the fault of adults, not children.
This site and this project isn’t about pro-choice or pro-life, Democrat or Republican or liberal or conservative. It’s about human rights, being a team at preventing hate crimes and making sure that survivors of hate crimes are treated with dignity, respect and have a voice!