Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Gainful employment is a reality for most Druids. This forum is a place to discuss challenges and opportunities facing Druids in the workplace.
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Morchid
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Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Morchid » 16 Oct 2007, 16:59

I know people have touched on this subject within different posts but I want to ask what your views about "coming out" as a druid so to speak, to people who you work closely with at work.
I, personally haven't told anyone yet about practicing druidry, apart from close friends and my boyfriend - I introduced it to him.
I haven't told my parents yet, but I plan to. I don't really talk to my parents about serious things, religion etc. much at all, but I am going to, and I want to learn more about the seasonal celebrations first before I tell them (So they know that I'm taking it seriously - I don't think they even know what druidism is!).
As for my workmates, I don't think that I am going to tell them. It's not that I'm embarrassed or anything, it's because I don't want to be treated differently because of it.
As for my situation at work - I work in a close environment with 4 people, we don't really talk much because we need to concentrate (I don't know much about them as individuals), but our supervisor is abit nasty at times. I don't think she'd understand. All 4 of the people I work with aren't Christian as such, but they celebrate Christmas, easter, Halloween - as I used to, without believing in God/Jesus, or any christian stuff.
When I ask about time off I can have for Yule, I just call it christmas to save the questions.

Am I being a traitor towards my beliefs?? :shrug:
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Fiacharrey » 16 Oct 2007, 18:51

I wouldn't worry about it. Being a druid doesn't mean you have to shout about it from the mountaintops. (Well, unless I just haven't gotten to that gwers yet. :) ) Spirituality doesn't seem like something you really need to get into with those folks. I was raised that you don't talk about religion or politics in "polite company."

As far as calling Yule, "Christmas," I consider that just speaking their language. They know what "Christmas" means and don't necessarily know what Yule is. It's basically the same thing, a religious holiday near the end of December, so to keep it simple, I don't see a problem.

I still call it "Christmas" most of the time, even though I'm a "devout Pagan" and talking to other pagans. It's what I called it all my life, and no since getting all confusing with people, or myself, now.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Art » 16 Oct 2007, 19:21

I think to some degree it depends on the work environment. I worked for thirty years in management for a multi-national corporation and in my particular workgroup(s) discussions of things spiritual, religious and philosophical did come up from time to time. I never felt constrained to either hide or advertise. I would suggest however that the environment in which I worked was significantly different from that in a smaller, less diverse workplace or the case of a sole proprietor doing business in a predominantly one-religion community. Our company was well salted with folks from multiple religious backgrounds and practices around the world.

With that said, I do encourage folks to be true to themselves and be as open as they feel they reasonably can be about Druidry. I do think that it is important to be well versed in the history and evolution of contemporary western paganism before engaging in in-depth conversations. Otherwise the better part of valor is simply to say you’re “exploring, looking into, or studying” and be quite candid in saying that you don’t know when in fact you don’t know.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby plaidcat » 19 Oct 2007, 17:00

I do not bring up the topic at work. I wear a pentacle fairly openly (pendant shows between my polo shirt's buttons), but i am rarely asked about it. If i am, i give an appropriate, brief explanation, and shift the conversation back to work. I work at a national pet retail chain where i am a dog trainer. I work with one other fairly open pagan, who will discuss things a bit more at length and occasionally bring up topics a bit more than i prefer to entertain.
I live in Houston, Texas, and even though it is a large city, Texas is Texas, and many of the younger employees at my place of employment are very youth groupy, but the majority of the older (not high school... 20+) are quite generic and do not mention religion.

I subscribe to the "avoid politics and religion" train of thought about polite conversation. I'm bound to light a fire somewhere if i stray from that! :roll:
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Briar21 » 22 Oct 2007, 12:34

i agree, i dont feel i need to tell eveyone about my religion, however if someone asks me about what i believe, as a few have done, i will answer honestly and they're usually fairly interested
i work in a large store and ive found you can usually be quite open there, dont know about other workplaces though

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Twyrch » 22 Oct 2007, 12:45

I think it's different for each person and each environment. Don't consider yourself a traitor to your beliefs simply because you don't broadcast it or wear it on your shirtsleeve for all to see. I've found that actions speak louder than words anyway and should a person notice your actions being different from someone else and ask you about it, search your feelings to decide if this person sincerely wants to know about your beliefs or is setting you up for a trap of some sort.

Personally, I have only two people in my workplace... my boss and another co-worker. I don't think it's anyone's business but my own, what I choose to believe. As long as I don't violate my own code of ethics, I don't feel I am a traitor to my beliefs.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Stormcloud » 29 Oct 2007, 18:18

I never felt constrained to either hide or advertise.
That hits the nail on the head for me. It's just not something that really comes up. I do occasionally wear my pent like today, but people don't comment, and I don't think they'd care either way. I think the majority view to religion of any kind I've come across in this country is apathy. My parents for example just think its a bit silly, they neither approve or disapprove. The occasional colleague/friend has been curious about it, but only in a passing way. I wouldn't worry too much about it personally.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Creirwy » 29 Oct 2007, 22:12

my workmates probably know i'm a little odd. Spent 9 months in the same office week in week out, you tend to get an idea if someone is abit of a hippy lol.

But I do no instigate conversations about it.. and when something on those lines, such a reiki, spiritualism, healing etc come up, some are very vocal about how they dont believe in it. Now I could stand up and rant... but it wouldnt change their minds, wouldnt do me any favours. They are valid to speak their truth just as much as I am valid to keep my truth silent.
Offices have enough politics of their own, without adding 'hi i'm a druid' into the mix lol.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Aylyn » 01 Nov 2007, 12:41

In my previous two jobs, my colleagues knew. It usually comes up when they ask about the weekend and I tell them I was at a ritual...

In this job, it has not come up yet, but I am wearing an Awen pendant and have lots of feathers and stones in my office, so it will probably come up at some stage. Them I will let them know...

I do not like tp advertise, as this feels to much of a missionary thing to me, and I had enough of that when I was Christian. On the other hand, I want the Druid path to be acknowledged, so have to confess to what I am :duck:
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby shirley mclaren » 01 Nov 2007, 12:48

One person at work knows. The subject came up when we got to talking about awful vibes we both felt in a particular room when visiting a children's centre. She is a medium and I told her I was a druid. She said "I thought it was something like that". She noted my ash keys and rowan berries etc. by my computer, and the loads of green plants around etc. She has kept it to herself and told me she worked with a druidess once, but by all accounts, that person was very open about her druidry, and some of the things she recounted (that she was told by the druidess) I found hard to believe! Apart from that, the Human Resources office here has "druid" on my personal details file. I do wear my awen pendant a lot and so far the only people who have asked what it means are some young people - students!

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Fox » 01 Nov 2007, 13:52

Like others have said, I don't talk about it much cuz it's my business, but if someone brings up the subject I am happy to tell them. But having said that, there is a look that comes into the listener's face when they are making an initial judgement about whether you are serious or taking the p**s, particularly if they are not "into all that new age spiritual crap" themselves. I just talk about it as matter-of-factly as I can, and that generally diffuses whatever potential tension there is.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Ghostrider » 02 Nov 2007, 06:16

Some of mine know, others don't, but then again, I don't see some of for months. One of the perks / disadvantages of working in shifts.

I wear an Y Ddraich Goch-pendant ( the Red Dragon of Wales ), so I sometimes get questions, which I'm glad to answer.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby luisa » 13 Nov 2007, 23:05

At present only my husband knows.
I too wear an Awen pendant very visibly.
However I prefer not to talk about what I belief although if asked about it I will answer.
I work with lovely friendly people however the few times the conversation at lunch time went to the spiritual or unexplained :poof: the majority started mocking. I can’t work out why they react that way, do they belief in something but rather not admit or do they honestly think I and others like me could be nuts? Humm :thinking:
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby SidheAingeal » 14 Nov 2007, 09:39

I'm not sure how many people at my work know. I don't openly state it but if I'm asked I don't hide it. My Team Leader definitely knows and finds it really interesting and one coworker, who doesn't work on my floor anymore, is also Pagan so she picked up that I was Pagan early on.

At my work, I think it really depends on the person what they would think. I aj pretty sure soe people think I'm a weirdo but the people that know me well seem t like me and might be surprisd by my beliefs but I don't think they'd mock me for it.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Zeb » 16 Nov 2007, 21:11

There are only a few people that I work with who know I'm a druid. I freely answer if some what asks what I believe in. But for the most part I'm pretty quiet about it.

Though the other day another one ended up finding out inadvertantly. It didn't so much seem to bother him as much as it seemed he was kind of confused about some one would be a druid. I was loading up the page to check messages on the boards here and he saw the header Order of Bards Ovates and Druids and he started to make some joke about no geeky fantasy stuff or some such and I just told him that it wasn't some geek fantasy stuff but rather serious religious stuff. That I was a druid. He just kind of shut up looked a bit confused and moved on. :shrug:

It does help some though that most people do know my major in college is Religion/philosophy. So that keeps most people from asking me questions if they see me with books on different beliefs. And once we're back in port won't have to spend so much time around them all and there won't be a problem with people walking by like that.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Ghostrider » 17 Nov 2007, 22:37

:-) :-) Good one Zeb!

I got similar reactions when scoping out the Board at work..LOL
It will be interewsting to see what happens next year.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Zeb » 18 Nov 2007, 18:04

Wow, that's quite the group.

Most of the people I work with are pretty much steriotypical annoying, immature, young americans who don't care about religion, they see it mainly as some thing to joke about. I tend to just ignore most of them.

There's only three people that I've actually talked in depth with about religion, that are on the ship with me, and they are the only people I really consider friends here anyway. Two of those three are Budhist, and the other is basically agnostic.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Tylana Featherstone » 30 Nov 2007, 15:43

I made the mistake of wearing the tree of life necklace I have...

I've had several people why I like Justin timberlake so much but listen to rock music :roll:

As i work with a load of Athiests and the odd christian it rarely ever comes up

Y Ddraich Goch is in my room only, I should get a pendant though...

People usualy look at the rather large flag obscuring part of my bookcase as If i'm kinda crazy... xD
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby bohemian » 30 Nov 2007, 17:39

The hindu guy and the buddhist lady know and were interested.

The others, when this sort of subject comes up, just think I'm just being awkward or trying to be wierd so don't take much notice of what i tell them

I brought the subject up at samhain, organised a party on our break and dressed up, and told them it was my new year... I was hoping someone would ask about it but it never came up 8-)

Anyway, they'll all be getting solstice/yule cards from me this year

I remember looking at the Xmas cards last year with one lady at work, and mentioned yule/holly etc based cards vs Xtian/nativity cards but she just thought I was being stupid and walked off.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Tylana Featherstone » 30 Nov 2007, 17:47

that attitude really annoys me, >.< If some one starts talking about something I don't understand or know anything about, I'll bug the crap out of them untill they explain it to me, or run to a computer and good it for the next hour.

Then you say something that they don't understand and they have no interest in the slightest and just ignore you :roll: It makes me wonder why I bother having convesations with some people when they do things like that.
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