Post # 1
I am a super raving leftist liberal and I am ok with that. I recognize that not all people share my political ideals, thats fine. Our diverse political opinions are part of who we are as a species and I appreciate that. HOWEVER, I DESPISE people who bring up politics in the workplace without being willing to hear another perspective. I work on the MA South Shore and there is a fairly large number of conservatives in this area considering the voting record of Massachusetts. A former employee visiting the school started talking about President Obama with another teacher. They both agreed that “That guy” had “really messed up” and that “he won’t be getting in again”. Thats fine, except that they were talking in front of the students and were just making broad generalizations that had no fact-based evidence (they watch Fox News, so I know they were just parroting what they have heard). I chimed in that I was happy with some of the bills Obama has passed lately and how they has really impacted my life for the positive (which is very true). They shut down and changed the topic.
OK…yeah, it was not my conversation…but if you are discussing politics and bad mouthing our president in front of 7 children with intellectual disabilities, you better be ready to hear another perspective. Its really not an appropriate conversation for our workplace unless you can make it a balenced one.
Sorry, I just needed to get that off me as it was a very frustrating expereince for me. Anyone else ever experience this? How do you deal?
Post # 3
Even when people spout out political talk in my office that I don’t agree with, I don’t comment because it shouldn’t have been brought up in the first place. I usually just let it fizzle. It’s one of my pet peeves, too. I think it’s always best to say, “Well, everyone has an opinion when it comes to politics, and it’s best we keep it to ourselves so that we can respect everyone’s right to their perspective.”
Then again, I’m also not super passionate about politics in general, except for hot-button issues that affect me directly, so I don’t usually have emotional reactions to conversations.
I’m sorry, though. I can’t believe a coworker would bring stuff like that up.
Post # 4
Miss Chapstick, you are so good to just let it go. I feel that I should have too, I have a hard time not engaging in political conversation. I think your comment about personal opinions is excellent. I think I will do that the next time it comes up. It seems like a more mature way to handle such a situation 🙂
Post # 5
Yeah, that’s annoying. I try to be pretty non-political about figureheads though sometimes I’ll talk policy with people on both sides of the spectrum, it usually provides some commonalities and also shows where you have no idea what you’re talking about and need to learn more. I absolutely detest generic sentences that sound like they are pulled off a headline, I always ask why do you say that? and then it gets interesting, not for the worse though usually, but when you ask details, it’s interesting to see what people actually believe.
Post # 6
It happened a lot more at my office, but i think that the offenders got chewed out for it by management. it’s not appropriate. And from my perspective, it’s just a pointless road to go down. Someone that gets all their information from Fox News and Glenn Beck really isn’t going to be able to reason with you. I’m sorry, but I have never met a Glenn Beck viewer that could argue their way out of a paper bag. It’s all emotion based. Give me a balanced arguement and i’m a happy girl – I like considering other points of view, b/c it helps me strengthen my own beliefs or give me more perspective. But if those folks are too busy yelling Baby Killer to really discuss, then what’s the point? I think it’s terrible though that people that were around students would go down that road. it’s unprofessional, and ignorant, and in my opinion, dangerous! Schools should foster discussion and reason and critical thinking.
Post # 7
I just stay quiet…usually one of the guys will say something about “hey EJS, aren’t you kinda liberal?” and I’ll just say something like, “eh, i’m all over the place. Don’t ask unless you want a crapstorm to come your way”. I try to stay vague so nobody REALLY knows how I feel.
But Miss Chapstick’s comment is really the ideal way to handle it. If they’re going to have that discussion between the two of them, they should have it over lunch in the teachers’ room or something, OUT of earshot of children.
Post # 8
Miss Chapstick, I’m so with you. I take the commuter train into work every day, and there are people on the train who I work with. They are all extremely conservative, and they’re constantly bashing Obama. I keep my mouth shut for the most part. There was a time where one of the women said, “Sorry to bore you with this…you never seem to want to participate when we talk politics.” I simply said, “I just happen to disagree with you, but I value our friendship enough to not get into an argument about it.” They don’t usually talk about politics anymore :o)
Post # 9
Miss Chapstick, I have been wondering how to handle this same thing in my office and your idea is perfect! I am very liberal as is most of my office, so typically people say things that I do agree with. However even that makes me uncomfortable because I just don’t think it belongs in the office. I am going to take your advice next time and “let it fizzle.”
Post # 10
I work in a very small office (only 4 of us) and occassionally politics gets brought up. I know for a fact that we didn’t all vote for the same person in the last election, so obviously there’s some political diversity going on in the office. I guess I’m super lucky because even though we don’t share the same political beliefs, we can all chat about it civily. I think we can bring up politics because we all know where to draw the line and stop talking about certain heated issues. It also gives the opportunity for some very interesting conversations and another way to look at things.
On a side note…I’ve heard it several times lately on the boards lately that people who read/watch/listen to foxnews “parrot” what they have heard. I’m not trying to be snarky at all, but that comes across as being a bit snarky to the conservative brides out there. I watch fox news…I like fox news…and sometimes (along with sometimes not) agree with what fox news says. And by no means do I consider myself a parrot. Just because I have an opinion that tends to be a bit more conservative, it doesn’t mean that I just sit there like a zombie and soak in all the fox news goodness without deciding for myself if I believe it or not…it’s just a thought.
Post # 11
Ugh. I hate when people do that. This isn’t political, but still along the same lines of annoyance. I was out for fish & chips with my Future In-Laws last weekend and they were talking about how one of their friends had just came out. I mentioned that one of the boys Fiance grew up with just came out as well. FMIL’s reply?? “OH NO!!!!!!” I was shocked! I hate when people are like “I’m not anti-gay, whatever…” But then they say stuff like that. All I said was “I was happy for him. I view it as a good thing.” She shut up and didn’t say another word but know she was thinking crap in her head. It is always just annoying when something like that or political happens.
Post # 12
I don’t work in an office with a bunch of people so its not an issue for me (just me and my boss, and he’s a dem). We did have one incident with my brother’s FI’s family though. My family was helping my brother/his fi move into their new house and her family was there too. Her mom (described by her daughter as a Crazy Racist B*tch or “CRB”… and after we met her a few times we found this title is accurate) is a cop in our town and a VERY outspoken conservative.
Well, we were all taking a break and me, Fiance, mom and dad, bro and bro’s Fiance were all sitting in one room eating while CRB, her two other daughters, and her husband were in another room getting their food together. Then CRB starts ranting. LOUDLY. On and on about how terrible Obama is and how he’s not HER president. How no one she knows voted for him and he wouldn’t have even got elected if it weren’t for all those “west-siders” (west side of cbus is more heavily black area) and how she knows three people who work in the secret service and she’s talked to them and NONE of them would take a bullet for THAT MAN etc etc on and on and on…. so we’re all exchanging looks and getting uncomfortable (i should also mention its about 12 noon and she’s about 4 drinks in)…. so my mother (who is one of the least confrontational people i know) finally got up and walked into the kitchen and says to her “You’re entitled to her opinion but I want you to know that I voted for Obama, I like him, I think he’s doing a good job, and for the sake of peace I think it would be best if you kept your opinions to yourself.” CRB got pissed and stormed off at which point her husband tried to apologize for her and say she just gets carried away or something… to which my mom responds “I just can’t stand to listen to ignorant people.” and walks away. hahahaha. I have maybe never been prouder of her. Fiance actually started clapping from the dining room. Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself, as you did.
Post # 13
I live in a super conservative area, so basically all I ever hear is political bashing of Obama and basically everything liberal. It’s literally like I live around 30,000 Glenn Becks, but more racist. I hate it here (in my city) and usually just keep my mouth shut because they will all gang up on you and start name-calling. It’s lovely. When Obama got elected, my 11 year old brother got his ass beat by a group of kids because he told someone that my parents voted for him.
My parents are planning on moving away in the near future because it can really get out of hand here.
Luckily, my work place isn’t too bad. There is one girl that has very similar feelings to mine and we just stick together. I have asked everyone to stop forwarding me political (and/or racist) jokes, though, because I think it is 100% inappropriate. I don’t know why everyone thinks just because I live here means I think the way they do. Ugh..sorry it’s just so frustrating!
Post # 14
I never discuss politics at work. Part of my office is really conservative, part of it is really liberal, and I have to work with both.
@ JsDragonfly: I think you are right to point out that not everyone is one certain way, and it is unfair to make too broad of statements. From a more liberal perspective (mine) though, there is no liberal version of Fox, the kind of entertainment + opinion + news approach. There is no liberal talk radio system. There are very few famous liberal talking heads, and I can honestly tell you I have never watched an episode of Olbermann or Maddow in my life. So it may be really unfair, but from the outside it looks like a giant echo chamber, and then when the same ideas seem to be on everyone’s tongue all of a sudden, it seems like parroting.
Not that I think you should watch MSNBC of CNN. Cable news, IMO, is just terrible, shallow news.
Post # 15
I am an extreme right wing conservative and I also HATE it when people (I guess, especially left wings) express their views in the workplace, without being willing to hear the other side.
I took one of my brokers (client) to lunch last week and she was ripping into conservatives, saying they were ‘hiding’ positive facts about socialized Healthcare. Now, first of all, I would never talk about this in the workplace. Second, she wasn’t discussing it – she was bashing conservatives. I actually tried to chime in and make some points from teh other side and she wouldn’ thear it. Meanwhile, I am sitting there trying to listen to her point of view (which I agreed with somewhat) but holding my tongue since she obviously didn’t know I’m so conservative and it would have been awkward.
It’s just better if people don’t talk about it at all or at least be open to a real discussion, not just soapboxing their point of view.
Post # 16
@moderndaisy – i agree about having a real discussion w/ no soapbox! From either side. I would love to hear a really well reasoned conservative argument against health care that doesn’t bring in stuff that’s not really in the bill (abortion arguments, lets say) or the emotional stuff, to learn more about the overall issues. I feel like republican arguments are going that way because they really engage a giant chunk of Americans and bring in dollars and votes before elections. But that’s not doing anybody any good, in the end.
I tend to go all left wing, voting wise, b/c my stance is that everybody should be able to make their own choices (i’m pro choice, not pro-abortion, ya know?). That seems like something conservatives are on board with. It’s when you bring in religious stuff (etc) that really throws a wrench in the works.