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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DJ Droood
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby DJ Droood » 10 Mar 2011, 16:32

Goodness DJ Droood...Is this a good cop/bad cop post from you ? How are you?

I'm good!....no bad cop involved...just good! I think this topic sort of implicitly assumes that druid beliefs might be odd or hard to swallow or exotic....and in some cases, they probably are! My most exotic spiritual beliefs aren't any more speculative than any one elses...or any more focused than anyone elses(well, maybe in some cases).....I find people IRL don't talk in declarative messageboard-type points...it is usually more free-flowing and less ardent...that said though, I would never say "I'm a druid!" or "from a druid point of view" at work because it just sounds weird and I would be irritated if the office born again put everything into that context
You know what, I remember one of the OBOD tutors once telling me how prisoners are doing the OBOD course, imagine that ! Tutoring someone who has been banged up. It's a bit of a challenge. :roll:
I have a friend that does prison outreach and I'm pretty sure she does gwers-sharing with at least one inmate.
I like to see all the sides before drawing conclusions... some things certainly need to be heard, I would say.
Well that is a pertinent point, in the sense that by the time you are in the work world, you have probably done some spiriutal and intellectual exploring and have collected and rejected lots of pieces of your worldview....the born again doesn't have to tell me the "good news" because I have heard it and changed the channel....I don't need to go bla bla bla about gods being a relic of the Bronze Age because, presumably, people have already sussed all this stuff out for themselves..as well as their political views, which sports teams they like and what type of music, etc. The common ground in a workplace is really work, and I appreciate it when that is the focus of the hours I have to spend with my non-family/friends 5 days a week.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Ice » 10 Mar 2011, 18:20

Well I don't know about that DJ, I didn't realise that you had any "beliefs" as an atheist AND I'm not sure that I need any labels (such as druid) for myself or for others...exotic or not.
Anyway, flying off.

:tiphat:

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DJ Droood
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby DJ Droood » 10 Mar 2011, 18:43

Well I don't know about that DJ, I didn't realise that you had any "beliefs" as an atheist
If you were my workmate, I would probably just smile knowingly at a comment like that and ask you if you knew where the spare coffee filters were kept (and quietly vow to pressure the office manager to get a reusable filter...or maybe just get one myself, and pay myself out of the pettycash)....you can see how you could waste a good part of your workday/life explaining things to people who probably wouldn't get it anyway....best to focus on making widgets and thank gawd you get to go home in a couple of hours!....oh, and I would also see at the next staff meeting if people would pay an extra 10 cents a cup for fair trade coffee, but I know that will go over like a lead balloon just like last time!
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Ice » 10 Mar 2011, 19:20

Indeed :)

And now I'm off . I am going or I'll be accused of having more comebacks than Frank Sinatra to add to repertoire.

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wolf560
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby wolf560 » 10 Mar 2011, 20:43

... I did "out" myself during a recent job interview though. I was interviewing for an academic post and one of the interviewers asked me about my faith... I knew what they wanted me to say, and Druidism was definitely not it. It didn't take me half a second to decided to state my beliefs and I felt great doing so.
Agreed, Good for you Cerys..!!!

I interviewed for an academic job at a Methodist University and was hired despite my telling them that I was not Christian.
After being hired, my co-workers discovered this fact and we talked almost every day, usually on breaks but not always.
We were perfectly able to continue working and talking without disruption and they appreciated the fact that I was different without ever feeling insecure about my faith.

When it came time to get a better paying job a year later, I kept everyone in the loop and they had ample warning in order to replace me before I departed.
On my last day there I was asked to see the President of the University after the going-away party was over.
He told me that I was one the best assistant Directors he had ever had the pleasure of working with and that he would gladly welcome me back

I was very impressed about the whole affair and was very glad to have had the experience of working with a religious-based institution of learning.

People are people and not everyone is hung up in their faith or lack of it....
...it is this difference that means some people can get along with others at work and not let their differences interfere with the work itself.
.
The Druids wrote nothing down, and memorized everything...
/|\ Mark /|\

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Ice » 10 Mar 2011, 23:51

Well it depends what you are prepared to do to earn a crust, Wolf 560. To take away that most precious gift of life....

I couldn't do that

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby wolf560 » 11 Mar 2011, 17:30

Well it depends what you are prepared to do to earn a crust, Wolf 560. To take away that most precious gift of life....
I'm really not sure what you meant, but I'll detail my experience a little further...
I was hired by this Christian institution to provide director-ship services in their business division, specifically to "streamline their financials" and "recruit more students".
I accomplished this in less than the five years they estimated and had a very lucrative offer working with soldiers on the battlefields of Iraq.
The Methodist University kept in contact with me and even helped me out as I deployed in Pakistan in 2005 to help the U.N. deliver supplies after the 2005 earthquake.
I spent the next eight years in a lot of places doing things most people were afraid to do, delivering supplies all over the world in dangerous places to people desperately in need.

I feel that I have lived up to both my patriotic, spiritual, and druidic duties in helping people from my country as well as people around the world.
I tried to be someone that others could look at and say "he's a good guy for an American" or "maybe Pagans aren't so bad, look at Mark"... or just "Wow, he's not so bad for a (fill in the blank)"

It was never a proselytizing drive but rather just awareness of my Druidic beliefs that I let people know about.
Most of them would sit down with me during lunch and ask about what a Druid really was... and thats not so bad is it?

Just about anything put in a certain way is palatable to almost anyone else...
...it is usually when the first person pushes their beliefs too far that the other side rebels...
.
The Druids wrote nothing down, and memorized everything...
/|\ Mark /|\

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby wolf560 » 11 Mar 2011, 17:36

That sounds like a wonderful example of Coexistent behavior. I’m glad you experienced it. :)
Thanks..!!!
I really think that people can "get along with each other" if someone in a supervisory role really puts some effort into integration.
That was my role usually and others would say that I could anyone to work with anyone else.

I felt as a leader that, if I could do manage to do that,
the productivity would have to increase since the people were no longer fighting...
Sometimes this meant moving people around,
but usually I did that because that person was better suited for the task rather than because they were fighting with someone else
.
The Druids wrote nothing down, and memorized everything...
/|\ Mark /|\

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby wolf560 » 11 Mar 2011, 18:11

Have you ever considered writing an article for NPR or the BBC about your experiences? You would sure cause many people to rethink the prejudices and stereotyping.

What do ya think? :)

I have considered it, some of my stories were taken down by Carol Fleming about three years ago for a book she was writing.
I have looked for the book to actually be sold, but I don't believe she has had it printed yet.

It is a thought worth considering
.
The Druids wrote nothing down, and memorized everything...
/|\ Mark /|\

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Ori Whitedeer
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Ori Whitedeer » 16 Oct 2011, 17:20

I unfortunately can't tell anyone at work, other than personal friends, about my beliefs. While I have not decided yet whether I'd go by the moniker "druid" anything that falls outside of the Abrahamic path automatically gets put in two boxes: "Oh you're not X? What are you a satanist?" or "Oh you're not X? What are you some kind of atheist?"

A lot of people I work with tend...not to be the brightest crayons in the box. But those people I am close with know I'm pagan and they think its really interesting at worst, and really awesome at best :). But I can't really be shouting it from the rooftops, unless I want to make enemies :(
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Skogsvandrare
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Skogsvandrare » 17 Oct 2011, 04:51

In Sweden one does not really talk about religion with strangers, so the question basically never came up.

Well, there was a a few students who asked "do you believe in god?", so I answered "which one of them?".
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby wolf560 » 17 Oct 2011, 16:21

I used to use the moniker "Celtic Shaman"

Something about the term 'Shaman' seems to calm the masses down a bit
.
The Druids wrote nothing down, and memorized everything...
/|\ Mark /|\

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Muddy Fox » 21 Oct 2011, 20:52

What's you all on about everybody peeps? Just be yourself in your work place. Most people will be interseted, some a bit perplexed, others a bit disturbed, some inquisitive. But if you are a warm loving person, people will accept that.
There is only ever something to worry about if you are not being true to yourself, or others. For instance presenting one face to the world whilst hiding a mulititude of sins.That don't go down well with Joe Bloggs, in fact it pees them off.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Naleena » 25 Oct 2011, 01:54

There are many things I have not told my co-workers (including my faith) because I am a private person. I like to keep my personal life separate from my job.
The trees reach out as silent witnesses always willing to listen to your troubled heart. Nature offers her ears to anyone who speaks into the omnipotant silence. There are places that wait for you. You are loved....you are wanted....you are cared for. You are not alone.....you are not alone.....you have never been alone.
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Kris Hughes
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Kris Hughes » 30 Dec 2011, 22:25

It seems to me the questions we should ask ourselves about this are - "Why do I want to share this information?" or "Why do I want to hide this information?"

I think that when you are perhaps new to your beliefs, or very excited about getting more involved with doing something about them, it's very natural to burst out with things to people. This is a good way to get into an argument you aren't ready for, in my experience.

Many people feel that they need to hide their non-mainstream beliefs for fear of losing their job, or at least having problems in the workplace. I have to admit, here, that I have been self-employed most of my life, so not in a workplace, as such. However, I had close, long-term relationships with many of my clients, and I suppose I could have potentially lost a lot of business by being too upfront about my beliefs. It was an interesting line to walk, because I taught music, both to adults and kids, and they came into my home. I usually found a way to be authentic without shoving my beliefs in their face, but I always, always answered honestly when questions came up. It never caused me any trouble that I knew about. The fact that I didn't celebrate Christmas was sometimes a talking point, and I made it clear that I had both spiritual and anti-capitalist reasons for that.

At the moment I am not earning, and in the interesting position of having nothing to lose! LOL!! In the past year or two I have become very open about my beliefs, sometimes inviting friends to a meal to celebrate a solstice or something, but keeping it at that, not inflicting any rituals on them or anything! I think it may have scared one friend off, although I'm not sure, but I feel very comfortable with living this way. My opinions of others religious beliefs are not going to get an airing here, but I do believe that something along the general lines of what I believe would do a lot of people good. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't believe it!! I have no intention of cramming it down anyone's throat, or nagging them about it, but if I don't let my light shine (as the Christians say) and I don't give people some inkling of why it shines, that would be a shame.

Kris
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Lai Elya » 15 Jan 2012, 18:55

I am very open with people at work, concerning my beliefs. I am self-employed so don't work with a set group of people, but do have regular small jobs. I DO tell people about my beliefs because I am very proud of them and like people to know the whole package - being Pagan affects how I live very deeply and if I wasn't open with people they may question why I behave in the way I do.

Concerning my deeper beliefs I am less open. I don't tell people about the energies I find in trees or how I structure rituals. I tell people what a Druid is, without forcing my beliefs onto them!

I am very proud of being Pagan and enjoy explaining why I believe what I do. I love being self-employed as I have no trouble getting days off for festivals. I never call Pagan festivals by their Christian names as everybody I know has got used to my coming out with words such as 'Beltane' and 'Imbolc'.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Whitemane » 08 Mar 2012, 15:49

Do your work mates know your beliefs? No and it's a good thing. Get a load of this:

I live in the USA. My boss brought up religion in the workplace. I responded that I believe in the first amendment of our constitution and I gently stated that people should have the right to believe as they wish as long as they do not impose through violence, intimidation or false representation, their beliefs on others. I also said that we should be able to have the intelligence and maturity to share beliefs and ideas without feeling threatened. I was accused of being a “D....... Liberal” and my job was threatened. The other co-workers actually "snickered".

I passed the information on to my lawyer. I guess I’ll be unemployed soon. I’m not shocked at their behaviour, but just ….disappointed. Oh well....

Cheers :gulp:
Whoever this is, they are quite right, and in the US they should have a boatload of legal protections and might want to consider filing a complaint with the EEOC in addition to the lawyer. If they are unemployed soon, they may well be able to buy the company when the courts have finished with it.
May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
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Guide your way on.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Whitemane » 08 Mar 2012, 19:03

Sorry, I think you were just a bit too elliptical for me.

Rather than wishing you good luck, I think you have everything on your side and say that I hope justice is done.

I will however forego my customary comment about hoping that justice involves an iron box with spikes on the inside.
May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on.

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Susanne
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Susanne » 10 Mar 2012, 00:58

Update:

Well I had lovely talks with the EEOC and the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. Both were very helpful and courteous. Unfortunately, the EEOC could not help, due to the fact that my particular work atmosphere is under six people and the Indiana CRC cannot do anything until my employment is actually terminated, as Indiana is a “Right to Employ State”. So, as far as my particular situation stands I have no recourse for now.

Lesson Learned: I really should just work for myself and not have a boss….er….especially during an election year. :blink:

Cheery Pip All,
Mike
:gulp:[/quote]
Ah Michael....my sympathies, hang in there! As a rep. & VP of our nurses union I've unfortunately had some dealings with state labor laws, workplace grievances....
Being in such a small place it must be hard for you to avoid this sort of thing. I'm not sure what kind of work you do & if you are very attached to it. This may be the call for you to find some other place to work with people that may be closer to your ideals.

It's funny that you mention an election year. I got a great email from a friend of mine that was decidedly liberal. I wanted to share it with my coworkers but had to preface it with ..."are there any republicans in the room?" Vermont has quite a political dichotomy among the residents which make it interesting most & a little scary sometimes!
I wish you luck!
Sue

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Lily » 10 Mar 2012, 07:19

A boss, whom I otherwise hated so much I honestly wouldn't mind seeing him burn in hell one day told me this piece of advice:

in a professional situation, there are three topics you do not t talk about: politics, religion, or sex. You have no Idea who you might offend.
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

Lily


"You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into"
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