Chit Chat

So I'm an @$$...

A little back story, my co-worker S and I have been working together since I started at my job 3 years ago...we are friends outside of work and generally agree on most topics.

Yesterday S and I were having a discussion about upcoming work at his cubicle.  We were not super loud but it was near the end of the day in a fairly empty office so it wasn't whispering either.  Anyway we started talking about how my job title has changed and how it was basically thrust upon me as a take it or else scenario (ugh this is a whole other post).  This new job is field work and requires working closely with construction crews...which I have done before and wasn't super fond of but its a job and well I need money...

So the topic progressed to how in the past I had some bad experiences with Hispanic workers and sexual harassment in an environment where the management did nothing about it (expect switch my shift and leave him working there as normal).  Needless to say I left said job and was expressing to S my feelings about possibly being put in a similar situation again. Then we continue on to how there is a good chance that I will be working with many Hispanics and how I hope nothing bad happens. (I know maybe not the best topic but like I said we are friends and I was thinking at the time).

So I leave work yesterday everything seems fine.  I come in this AM and the new(ish) receptionist that replaced me when I went into the field last year is a bit cold, doesn't say her usual good morning.  Okay, so maybe its still early.  Then I notice the copier needs toner and since she orders it, I ask her if we have more and she gets snippy...so I ask if everything is okay...its not.

ACTUAL IMPORTANT PART:

She asks if we can step outside to talk and I agree since I have no idea what is wrong and am thinking maybe she is having a problem with another coworker and doesn't want anyone else to hear her.  She then tells me that when S and I were talking she heard me say negative things about Hispanics and "those people" and that it really upset her.  I feel terrible, I start to shake a little as I am horrible with confrontations, especially when I know I fucked up.  She goes on to say that she is partially Hispanic and that she is really offended but doesn't want to go to the boss about it because she is worried about her job and mine.

I apologize to her for any misunderstandings and tell her that I meant no offense to her.  I say that I will not try to defend anything I said as I don't remember and that I felt that back peddling only undermines the point.  Then I said that I am deeply sorry again and that I hope she and I can still work together.  She half agrees and then goes back inside.

Now I feel like shit...I know I was wrong.  I feel like my boss should know that this happened, but she doesn't want me to say anything.  I really didn't mean to be offensive and I understand that our topic of discussion was not work-appropriate...that is most definitely a lesson learned.  I don't know what else I should say or do as I feel like trying to defend myself to her will only make it worse...we haven't worked together much and I am honest and truly not a racist (as was accused) or a bad person...I just said something I shouldn't have and acknowledge that fact.

So, should I still mention this to my boss despite her wishes not to?  She is still being very short and snippy, do you think it will pass?  Is there anything more I should or shouldn't do?

TL/DR: I unintentionally offended a co-worker that is a different race than me while talking to someone else at work (cringe I know!) and she confronted me about it but doesn't want to involve the boss.

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Re: So I'm an @$$...

  • levioosa said:
    You're not racist even though you made sweeping generalizations about a certain race being sexually assaultive? Um......okay, Trump. 

    Fair enough...I guess in my mind it didn't connect, but I can see now how it came across. Thank you for the perspective.  I really did need to hear that.
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2016
    Give her a few days to get over it. This is one of those things that's going to be hard to come back from because, from what you said, it sounds like you were condemning an entire race of people (racism). You've apologized, she doesn't want to escalate it. Maybe go talk to your boss and let him know what happened so that he's at least aware in case she changes her mind. Ask that he not say anything to her and explain that you just want him aware of it. It will be 100% better for him to hear it from you than from someone who's accusing you of being racist.
    OurWildKingdomernursej
  • Yeah even reading your version... Racist. One man of one ethnicity does not make all Hispanics harassers. GTFO. I'm just impressed and proud of the receptionist for standing up to you and speaking her mind. I wish she had gone to HR and your ass would be reprimanded appropriately. 

    GTFO. 

    I am the one who wants to go to HR though and make it right...I admit that I was wrong and even told her as much...
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    You should also be aware that the word Hispanic has negative connotations.
    holyguacamole79scrunchythief
  • You should also be aware that the word Hispanic has negative connotations.


    Well not to sound stupid or ignorant but what term should I be using?  I honestly didn't realize that was offensive as well.

  • Yeah even reading your version... Racist. One man of one ethnicity does not make all Hispanics harassers. GTFO. I'm just impressed and proud of the receptionist for standing up to you and speaking her mind. I wish she had gone to HR and your ass would be reprimanded appropriately. 

    GTFO. 

    I am the one who wants to go to HR though and make it right...I admit that I was wrong and even told her as much...
    That's not the fucking point. You want to go bc you're scared she's going to change her mind and rat your racist ass out to your boss, NOT because you realized on your own that you were so fucking wrong for everything you said and want to be reprimanded appropriately. You just want to cover your racist ass. 

    I'd  leave it and her alone and maybe try to learn how to not be a fucking racist. 
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    InLoveInQueensMairePoppy
  • Yeah even reading your version... Racist. One man of one ethnicity does not make all Hispanics harassers. GTFO. I'm just impressed and proud of the receptionist for standing up to you and speaking her mind. I wish she had gone to HR and your ass would be reprimanded appropriately. 

    GTFO. 

    I am the one who wants to go to HR though and make it right...I admit that I was wrong and even told her as much...


    How can HR make it right, though?

    You didn't accidentally door-ding her car and now you give her your insurance to fix it.

    You offended her with your racist sweeping generalizations. There isn't a bandaid for this.


    I see your point...I don't know, I guess maybe I just feel like I already fucked up so I should at least own it, and by keeping the boss out of the loop and "leaving it between us" doesn't allow for that?  I'm also concerned of this escalating at some point and would rather have it be known now in the early stages that I admit to be insensitive and wrong.  I deserve whatever happens, termination or otherwise, and I just feel like I owe her more than an I'm sorry.

  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    @redwoodoriginal & @cowgirl8238 From what I've seen some people find it offensive and would prefer to be called Mexican, Ecuadorian, or whatever their country of origin is. Others find the term Hispanic perfectly acceptable. I found this article explaining my comment. 
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natalie-vie/hispanic-and-latino-mean-to-me_b_8178162.html
    cowgirl8238
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Um. Wow. I don't even know what to say. I have typed and retyped.

    You sound extremely racist. This is more than just saying the wrong thing. The things you were saying are racist beliefs. 
    sparklepants41InLoveInQueensSTARMOON44kimmiinthemitten
  • Yeah even reading your version... Racist. One man of one ethnicity does not make all Hispanics harassers. GTFO. I'm just impressed and proud of the receptionist for standing up to you and speaking her mind. I wish she had gone to HR and your ass would be reprimanded appropriately. 

    GTFO. 

    I am the one who wants to go to HR though and make it right...I admit that I was wrong and even told her as much...
    That's not the fucking point. You want to go bc you're scared she's going to change her mind and rat your racist ass out to your boss, NOT because you realized on your own that you were so fucking wrong for everything you said and want to be reprimanded appropriately. You just want to cover your racist ass. 

    I'd  leave it and her alone and maybe try to learn how to not be a fucking racist. 

    I could argue this a million times and it won't change the fact that I feel like I should be upfront and honest about it...but you're right I'm just a racist bitch.
  • edited July 2016
    @redwoodoriginal & @cowgirl8238 From what I've seen some people find it offensive and would prefer to be called Mexican, Ecuadorian, or whatever their country of origin is. Others find the term Hispanic perfectly acceptable. I found this article explaining my comment. 
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natalie-vie/hispanic-and-latino-mean-to-me_b_8178162.html
    Interesting. But how is everyone supposed to know what country you are from? That's seems like overkill, coming from a self-proclaimed Hispanic. That's like saying "please, I'm not Caucasian I'm Irish. I'm not an American, I'm a NYer." 

    Hispanic is a perfectly fine term to use if you're not using it as a racist asshole. IMO. 

    - a Hispanic. 

    ETA: I'm not saying you're wrong but for many people it's not a loaded negative word. That's one girl writing an article. She didn't do a study to analyze how people view the word. It's just bizarre to mebc I know many Hispanic people who use the term themselves and many educated, easily offended, and active in minority communities that don't find the word offensive. 
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    ShesSoColdshort+sassykmmssg
  • levioosa said:
    I think you want absolution for what you said and did....but you have to realize that you don't really deserve to feel better about it.  You said some shitty things.  Own it.  Stop saying those things.  If you notice you're having thoughts in the same vein, realize it, and stop them before they fully develop.  Educate yourself on privilege and racism.  That's really all you can do now.  

    Thank you.  You're right, I am going to work on this aspect of myself.
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Interesting. But how is everyone supposed to know what country you are from? That's seems like overkill, coming from a self-proclaimed Hispanic. That's like saying "please, I'm not Caucasian I'm Irish. I'm not an American, I'm a NYer." 

    Hispanic is a perfectly fine term to use if you're not using it as a racist asshole. IMO. 

    - a Hispanic. 
    Good to know! I truly want to learn stuff like this so that I don't unintentionally come off as an asshole myself! 
    redwoodoriginalscrunchythief
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    edited July 2016
    Yeah even reading your version... Racist. One man of one ethnicity does not make all Hispanics harassers. GTFO. I'm just impressed and proud of the receptionist for standing up to you and speaking her mind. I wish she had gone to HR and your ass would be reprimanded appropriately. 

    GTFO. 

    I am the one who wants to go to HR though and make it right...I admit that I was wrong and even told her as much...
    That's not the fucking point. You want to go bc you're scared she's going to change her mind and rat your racist ass out to your boss, NOT because you realized on your own that you were so fucking wrong for everything you said and want to be reprimanded appropriately. You just want to cover your racist ass. 

    I'd  leave it and her alone and maybe try to learn how to not be a fucking racist. 

    I could argue this a million times and it won't change the fact that I feel like I should be upfront and honest about it...but you're right I'm just a racist bitch.


    The last thing everyone needs is for you to make yourself the victim and feel sorry for you.

    Own your shit. Try not to be what you say your are.

    ETA: Sure you feel like you should be honest and upfront, but you also feel concerned that Hispanic people will assault you because they are Hispanic. Your feelings are what got you into this in the first place and frankly shouldn't be your concern. This isn't about how you feel.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    InLoveInQueenskimmiinthemitten
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Interesting. But how is everyone supposed to know what country you are from? That's seems like overkill, coming from a self-proclaimed Hispanic. That's like saying "please, I'm not Caucasian I'm Irish. I'm not an American, I'm a NYer." 

    Hispanic is a perfectly fine term to use if you're not using it as a racist asshole. IMO. 

    - a Hispanic. 
    Good to know! I truly want to learn stuff like this so that I don't unintentionally come off as an asshole myself! 
    Yeah, the word Hispanic isn't inherently negative.  It becomes negative when you use it in a negative way.  Hispanic just means you are a person of Spanish origin. 


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    InLoveInQueensfloridabride44scrunchythief
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    levioosa said:
    Yeah, the word Hispanic isn't inherently negative.  It becomes negative when you use it in a negative way.  Hispanic just means you are a person of Spanish origin. 
    I've read several articles stating it differently. I guess it's an individual thing like "black" or African-American. Some prefer one over the other. 
    redwoodoriginal
  • You should also be aware that the word Hispanic has negative connotations.
    Uh what? I am Hispanic and refer to myself as such. I have NEVER heard anyone ever say or feel that Hispanic has negative connotations. It's not like the n word. It's not like calling someone a wetback or just calling them Mexican when they're from an entirely different country. 
    Must just be a personal thing. My Salvadoran BIL finds Hispanic to be negative and prefers Latino, as do a number of other friends from Central America. I think the article @DrillSergeantCat explains it pretty much the way my BIL does. I see it as similar to how "Oriental" is perceived by many Asians - many find it racist, but some use it themselves.

    OP, you do sound racist. What can you do now? Recognize that your feelings toward an entire group of people seem to be informed and affected by an incident that happened with one individual (or even a couple of incidents, I don't know). Maybe make an effort to meet/talk to more people of different races so that you begin to see beyond it. 

    Also, I would apologize to the coworker you were talking to about this. If one of my friends started saying the kind of shit you said to me, if I didn't call you out on it (which I would), I would still feel super uncomfortable.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • levioosa said:
    Yeah even reading your version... Racist. One man of one ethnicity does not make all Hispanics harassers. GTFO. I'm just impressed and proud of the receptionist for standing up to you and speaking her mind. I wish she had gone to HR and your ass would be reprimanded appropriately. 

    GTFO. 

    I am the one who wants to go to HR though and make it right...I admit that I was wrong and even told her as much...
    That's not the fucking point. You want to go bc you're scared she's going to change her mind and rat your racist ass out to your boss, NOT because you realized on your own that you were so fucking wrong for everything you said and want to be reprimanded appropriately. You just want to cover your racist ass. 

    I'd  leave it and her alone and maybe try to learn how to not be a fucking racist. 

    I could argue this a million times and it won't change the fact that I feel like I should be upfront and honest about it...but you're right I'm just a racist bitch.
    Omg, stop it right now with the martyr act.  

    I'm seriously getting the feeling that you don't even know why you were wrong, but you feel bad and you just want someone to pat you on the head and tell you what you said sucked, but it will be okay, and you're really a super duper nice person.  


    @leviosaa, No, I do not want to be a matyr or have people pat me on the head.  I came here for perspective and I got it.  I admit that I was wrong, and I will own that.  I think it is hard to hear that you are a racist when you don't generally consider yourself one, but I'm glad it came out.  I will work on it.

    The last line was more geared towards redwood's comment, as it was a bit harsh (albeit appropriate and necessary) and was more out of anger and frustration then anything.

  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    A friend of mine says all the time, "I'm not racist, I just stereotype people." She got in some serious trouble at work a few years ago for telling a Muslim co-worker that her "friend says you're a towel head and a terrorist" then walking into an HR meeting with her sandal straps under her heels and proclaiming, "I'm sorry I'm coming in here looking all Asian." She almost lost her job over that. It becomes a trust issue. Can you (general you) be trusted to interact appropriately with people around you?  
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    levioosa said:
    Yeah even reading your version... Racist. One man of one ethnicity does not make all Hispanics harassers. GTFO. I'm just impressed and proud of the receptionist for standing up to you and speaking her mind. I wish she had gone to HR and your ass would be reprimanded appropriately. 

    GTFO. 

    I am the one who wants to go to HR though and make it right...I admit that I was wrong and even told her as much...
    That's not the fucking point. You want to go bc you're scared she's going to change her mind and rat your racist ass out to your boss, NOT because you realized on your own that you were so fucking wrong for everything you said and want to be reprimanded appropriately. You just want to cover your racist ass. 

    I'd  leave it and her alone and maybe try to learn how to not be a fucking racist. 

    I could argue this a million times and it won't change the fact that I feel like I should be upfront and honest about it...but you're right I'm just a racist bitch.
    Omg, stop it right now with the martyr act.  

    I'm seriously getting the feeling that you don't even know why you were wrong, but you feel bad and you just want someone to pat you on the head and tell you what you said sucked, but it will be okay, and you're really a super duper nice person.  


    @leviosaa, No, I do not want to be a matyr or have people pat me on the head.  I came here for perspective and I got it.  I admit that I was wrong, and I will own that.  I think it is hard to hear that you are a racist when you don't generally consider yourself one, but I'm glad it came out.  I will work on it.

    The last line was more geared towards redwood's comment, as it was a bit harsh (albeit appropriate and necessary) and was more out of anger and frustration then anything.


    So you're mad at her because you're racist?
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    redwoodoriginalkimmiinthemitten
  • Um. Wow. I don't even know what to say. I have typed and retyped.

    You sound extremely racist. This is more than just saying the wrong thing. The things you were saying are racist beliefs. 
    I had a similar reaction, I can't believe someone would write that post and think that they didn't sound like they were saying really racist things. And then trying to play the martyr card with the "poor racist me" thing.

    Just accept that you said some really terrible things and only feel bad because you got called out on it and maybe be a good person and learn from it.
  • UPDATE:

    HR was already informed about the incident so that is no longer a concern.  I was spoken to and it doesn't make it feel any better.  I now realize that part of why I wanted to say something was to cover my ass...but I did honestly just want to get it out there.  I don't like the idea of keeping such matters away from the higher ups in a company.

    I want thank everyone who took the time to point out that I was wrong, and that my statement was indeed racist and insensitive.  While not easy to hear I will indeed work on this in the future.  I will not try to defend my words and have made my apologies.  I will not continue to dwell on this, and will certainly keep my work discussions more professional (aka only about work and not people/race/religion/politics/etc..) in the future.

    I am not expecting anyone to pat my back and say "good for you" because I am stating my intentions...I just wanted you to be aware that I listened.

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