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Author Topic: The line between humor and disrespect  (Read 3591 times)

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Offline wolfter

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  • Posts: 5,470
The line between humor and disrespect
« on: August 18, 2012, 10:41:30 PM »
As most of you all know, I work at our VFW.  Obviously, it's a he-man, male macho attitude environment. 

I've been told repeatedly that I'm just too sensitive and need to lighten up with the occassional jokes.  Part of it says they're comfortable enough to joke around with me and part of it feels like it's dissing.  Everyone teases and makes fun of everyone.  It's not always pretty, but it currently is what it is. 

I shared the story about one customer who said repeatedly not to get blood everywhere when I was slicing lemons.  Tonight I heard another person say that he was lucky it wasn't "Greg" who was whisteling at him.  Not in front of me of course, but within earshot.

I'm just wondering what others use as a gauge.  Most of these people are genuinely great people and have respect for me.  It's probably the place where I am being the truest me. 

I think I've already garnered the needed wisdom, just trying to ascertain if I'm viewing it correctly.  Obviously, I'm totally open about my sexuality and it's discussed occassionally but the HIV  topic isn't brought about too often.  There are a few who know so I can only assume that everyone knows.  If more than one person knows something, it's not longer a secret. :o

I think I'm also changing a lot of these peoples' attitudes and beliefs about homosexuality.  I'm sure it's a tough ego blow when I'm the one who repairs their cars, does home repairs or can get dirty to get the job done.  They're probably just as confused when I show up the next day with my sewing machines and help their wives make new drapes.   ;D

I really should be in bed as I worked a double today and am doing so again tomorrow.



Being honest is not wronging others, continuing the dishonesty is.

Offline harleymc

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Re: The line between humor and disrespect
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 08:01:53 AM »
Hi Wolfie,
 that sort of sh!t gets tired really fast. I've been in similar  sorts of workplaces where there's a a lot of low level 'teasing'. It's generally been my experience that's it's not one of those things where it's all neutral and everyone's equal. There always seem to be some people or groups that get singled out for that extra bit of attention.

I'm sure you're able to cope, as are most of us dinosaurs, but some people will also be affected and may be less capable of dealing. As a first step it might be having a quiet word in the ear of the most egregious offenders, if it is good natured then they'll be glad to know where the boundaries are and will tone it down.
If it's not good natured... well they'll still be a$$holes and given that you've raised the issue and not had an effect (keep a diary) then you can take it further, with whoever is further up the chain of command.

Regards Harley

Offline denb45

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  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: The line between humor and disrespect
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 10:06:31 AM »
I've had my share of teasing or we used to call it razing in the work place, although none it was ever said to my face or within earshot, they would still do it, but just not use me in the subject...

I never really let it get to me, and as you know, having those types of jobs, 2 of them to be exact ,I knew that they were all a part of the "good ole boy" profession, so I learned to take it in stride and with a gain of salt....

and if need be, I could throw it right back at them as much as I could take it, it was a lot worse for me tho being the token black-guy, but when you have to eat put food on the table, pay your way thur life you tend to grow a thicker-skin about such things.....


"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline jm1953

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  • Posts: 295
Re: The line between humor and disrespect
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 10:03:06 PM »

First of all I am always impressed to see people who still can work with this illness.  I've been on disability since 1999 unable to work for a wage, but have done a ton of volunteer work.  I miss work though but know my body just can't commit to it.

Try not to get too frustrated with people's remarks at work.  As hurtful as they can be, sometimes it's best to just turn a blind eye to them.  Unless of course they are downright discriminatory and vicious.  Then it's time for action. 

Before I retired from my company with disability, I was putting up with horrible remarks like, why do you look so bad, or why are you losing so much weight.  This was during the 90's where I was living basically from clinical study to clinical study.   I ignored it as much as I could, until this one woman in customer service threw me over the edge and I finally told her I have a terminal illness and to lay off.  I had already given my two week notice so I had nothing to lose.  I still see her face to this day.  Our company was fortunately very gay friendly and AIDS sensitive, but that did not filter down to the employees on the floor.

Hang in there, but don't take shit if it isn't warranted.

Take good care,

Positive 29 years. Diagnosed 10/1987.  Current CD 4: 720: Viral load: almost 100.  Current drug regimen, Tivicay, Emtriva, Endurant, Wellbutrin, Clonazepam, Uloric, Losartan Potassium,Allegra, Ambien, Testosterone, Nandrolone, Vicodin, Benedryl, Aspirin, lots of vitamin supplements.

Offline wolfter

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Re: The line between humor and disrespect
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 09:29:06 PM »
thanks.  I think I'm just putting in too many hours there which subjects me more to the attitudes. 
Being honest is not wronging others, continuing the dishonesty is.

Offline LongTimeSurvivor

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  • Posts: 240
  • I don'no...there may be Zombears...in theres...
Re: The line between humor and disrespect
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 10:49:01 PM »

Never been teased at work. Actually at my current job they were scared to death of me when I first started. The only reason I got the job was my boss wanted me...I got work done.

It's hard to say something about your situation. I'd have to observe it in person to really give a good opinion. One of my straight friends will scream "cocksucker" at people who cut him off in the car. I kidded him about it one time. Does he mean to insult me or demean me...I don't think so. Yes, it does have a negative connotation when said by a straight person but I just can't get that upset about it. Here in New York just about every "bad" word is used in normal conversation.

If I got upset over everything I overheard I'd have to be put away as they used to say.

Maybe pay attention to who is doing the most kidding. Try to figure out where they're coming from. If they truly are just joshing with you...then give as good as you get with them. Just make sure it fits their situation...

Don't know if that helps any. But...best I can do on the information at hand.

Hope you figure it out.
Of course it's important. It's an email...

Offline Theyer

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  • Current ambition. Walk the Dog .
Re: The line between humor and disrespect
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 04:40:55 PM »
Wait for Halloween and splatter them with fake blood screaming death to all you male breeders and see who laughs.
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline konkrypton

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  • Everything works...in theory.
    • Pan/Satyr Lover
Re: The line between humor and disrespect
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2012, 12:18:02 AM »
I'm afraid my response to "don't bleed on the lemons" would have been, "I don't need to, I already peed in your lemonade."
I distrust morning people. I suspect they setup the rules of life while the rest of us slept.


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