Post # 1
An incident happened at school that really bothered me, and I wish I could do something about it. Any suggestions or words of wisdom would be appreciated!
I help with the screening of the staff at school, so I interact with almost everybody everyday, and I “see” a lot of stuff. There is one teacher who is an older man, who is known to be disorganised, late with his admin, marking, setting papers etc and the HOD has to follow-up. He has been the butt of staffroom jokes before. This morning, he gave his temperature reading as 32 (degrees Celsius). One of the deputies heard and interjected to him that “they want your temperature, not your IQ”.
He ignored her (not sure if he heard her), but I heard her, and I think the other screener did too. I know this colleague is a bit high-maintenance in that we have to follow-up on stuff (when it is easier to do it ourselves), and that he is a little behind with the teaching etc, but I found this comment a bit off? Would you have done anything about it? (If this comment was to someone else who is not often the butt of jokes, I would have definitely seen it as a joke)
(For the record, I have been annoyed by this colleague as well – especially when he wanted me to pick up the online marking for his class when my own classes already keep me busy. But I am trying to be nice to him – there was a moment of reflection when I realised that I could be a nicer person to him, even though he is annoying at times, so I am trying)
Post # 2
That comment is inappropriate in the workplace no matter who it is directed to. You can have a friendly, joking workplace that does not involve jokes that put people down. The coworker who said it is an asshole. This is the type of small shit people let slide all the time that helps create a toxic work environment.
I would have called him out and told him not to be a jerk. And I’d do it in the future for all similar types of “jokes” directed toward anyone.
We all have coworkers who annoy us. Be a fucking adult and treat them with respect and be professional.
Post # 3
I’d would have called the person out, totally unacceptable. I’ve heard similar comments at work, and even if it’s in a light way, someone usually cautions the person from saying certain things. I agree that such comments can blossom into a toxic work environment, where almost anyone would become the victim. Personally, even if I were well-liked, that comment wouldn’t have sat well with me. It’s extremely rude, and I would assume that there was some truth in that person’s jest. It’s important to make sure people know—in a calm, office-appropiate way—that you’re not one to be trifled with. He needs to stand up for himself more, but I wouldn’ve let that pass if I were around.
Post # 4
It was the deputy principal who made the comment – and I am not particularly close to her to bring it up. But then on the other hand…. I don’t really hang out with people who would make comments like this, I guess (or at least I am trying – still a work in progress)
Post # 5
I totally agree!
When people make those little jokes that really are inappropriate but so small they seem not worth addressing, I play dumb and make them explain it.
A simple “what do you mean?” normally does the trick. No one wants to explain they’re being an asshole. If they try to shrug it off, I ask innocently again “no really, what do you mean?”
I continue to make uncomfortable eye contact with said asshole, smile and walk away.
Post # 6
That comment was out of line and I would have called him out on it as rude and inappropriate. How gross and mean-spirited.
Post # 7
I have to say yes, that’s inappropriate. For myself, I don’t think I would have said anything on the spot not because I want to keep quiet. It’s because many times, situations like this one, I am always caught off guard and cannot react immediately because I’m more like, “What just happened?”.
I’m not like some people who are quick to think of a response on their feet. It takes a bit of time for me to digest the situation and formulate an appropriate response. And when I do, I would talk to that person aside (usually one on one). Some people deserve to be called out on the spot especially if it is repetitive behavior.
Post # 8
The fact that this man “has been the butt of staffroom jokes before”, coupled with the comment in question, shows issues with more than just the deputy who made the comment. Sounds like there are ongoing issues in the workplace environment and the deputy in question isn’t the only offender. I think the ongoing jokes and the incident in question should be reported to HR and hopefully they take appreciate action so the toxicity doesn’t continue. None of us are perfect and I don’t think our imperfections should ridiculed by our professional peers. If there are problems with this man’s job performance or otherwise that warrant addressing, it should be handled professionaly. He shouldn’t be the butt end of ongoing ridicule.
Post # 9
This is exactly the kind of hostile environment that breeds active shooters. Just saying, little things add up behind the scenes.
Post # 10
How disorganized or “annoying” this man is is irrelevant. Some people just need a little extra help, and it’s nice you’re there for him. The comment was unprofessional. I would have called the deputy principle out. This poor man is the butt of everyone’s jokes, and someone should stand up for him. Why not you? Maybe people will follow your example.
Post # 11
I find this “joke” insulting and not a joke really. It’s not funny in my opinion.
Post # 12
“Well, that was uncalled for.” “What a mean thing to say.” “That was rude.”
A simple clear but effective call out when it happens both in this instance and in the staff room.
“You guys are being rude.” “I’d hate to hear what you say when I’m not around.” “It’s never funny to put other people down.”
Definitely not a joke but an insult.
If the insulter than says, it was a joke. Respond with, “It wasn’t funny.”
Post # 14
Thanks Bees! I don’t know how I would react if a similar situation arises again (I usually digest the situation first), but I think I am slightly better prepared for the next time.