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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Branflakes
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Branflakes » 11 Mar 2012, 02:34

The other day at work on our lunch break, a coworker asked me what I was reading, and I told him "The Book of Druidry." And he said, "Does that tell you how to become a Druid? Do you learn all about Stonehenge?" I just smiled and said, "Something like that." He's pretty cool, though, and he knows I'm pagan. He and I usually have philosophical, deep conversations as we work, anyway, so it wasn't out of the ordinary. lol. I don't bother to tell anyone else unless they ask. Sometimes they do ask, but mostly not.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Whitemane » 12 Mar 2012, 12:18

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.
Quite right, and in the US, saying you wouldn't care if the NCAA disappeared in a puff of smoke will get you hate mail...

Where I work we are very dependent on contractors from the subcontinent, and because we do business with the Federal government, we are very tightly regulated by EEOC legislation. However, this is one woman in our area who insists on wearing a large wooden cross on open display. I'm almost tempted to start wearing something obviously pagan just to see what happens.

Unfortunately, the fire marshal won't let me light candles in my icicle (like a cubicle, only cooler) , even though I'm in the vanguard of our paperless office transition.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Whitemane » 12 Mar 2012, 12:22

Sue: Thanks. I’m just preparing to leave. The unwarranted outbursts of my boss convinces me that I should not be there, so I’m organizing everything for my replacement (whoever that will be). After the convention next week, I’ll hand in my notice and see what her reaction is. I know she’s just hanging on to me long enough so she does not have to deal directly with putting on the education seminars (which oddly enough deal with Civil Rights and Discrimination)….weird eh? :blink: :-)

Lily: I totally agree with you, unfortunately it was my boss that brought it up and I thought that a basic reply about the constitutional rights of all in the USA would be safe. Boy was I ever wrong! :-) Oh well. :shrug:

Thank Gals,
Mike
:gulp:
Sorry to hear that, but if you have a boss having multiple outbursts, then being out of there might be your best option. Hope you can find a better spot soon.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Kima » 13 Mar 2012, 13:34

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.
I don't like this much. I understand the risk of offending people, and I generally don't start conversations about politics, religion, or sex. On the other hand, silence serves the powers already in place. It means that only the majority get to express themselves.

For instance, if I talk about an ex-boyfriend, no one will bat an eyelid. It's completely neutral. Now if instead I was to mention an ex-girlfriend, that would bring up the whole subject of sexual orientation and potentially be a lot more controversial. To me it's just the same thing, but the minority status makes the second statement "a delicate subject" that I am not supposed to express casually in a work environment. Censuring that allows conservative ideas to remain unchallenged.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby DJ Droood » 13 Mar 2012, 14:12

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.
I don't like this much. I understand the risk of offending people, and I generally don't start conversations about politics, religion, or sex. On the other hand, silence serves the powers already in place. It means that only the majority get to express themselves.

For instance, if I talk about an ex-boyfriend, no one will bat an eyelid. It's completely neutral. Now if instead I was to mention an ex-girlfriend, that would bring up the whole subject of sexual orientation and potentially be a lot more controversial. To me it's just the same thing, but the minority status makes the second statement "a delicate subject" that I am not supposed to express casually in a work environment. Censuring that allows conservative ideas to remain unchallenged.
I am of the opinion that work conversations should be primarily focused on work, and some team-building pleasantries, and we shouldn't have to be subjected to, or subject other's to "off-topic" personal news and opinions....not just controversial politico-religious stuff, but yap yap about your cousin's niece. Open up, if you want, at breaks and lunch or after-work bevvies. (or facebook or the DHP!)
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Lily » 13 Mar 2012, 16:44

I am of the opinion that work conversations should be primarily focused on work, and some team-building pleasantries, and we shouldn't have to be subjected to, or subject other's to "off-topic" personal news and opinions....not just controversial politico-religious stuff, but yap yap about your cousin's niece.
Mmh. I've started being careful about making "friends" at work, particularly if they are, or might be one day, your boss.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Whitemane » 14 Mar 2012, 12:20

I am of the opinion that work conversations should be primarily focused on work, and some team-building pleasantries, and we shouldn't have to be subjected to, or subject other's to "off-topic" personal news and opinions....not just controversial politico-religious stuff, but yap yap about your cousin's niece. Open up, if you want, at breaks and lunch or after-work bevvies. (or facebook or the DHP!)
That's perfectly reasonable and appropriate. Sometimes it is better, even for team-building, just to let the yapping run. I don't necessarily want to hear about a 10-year-olds' soccer game, but those kids are often the centre of your interlocutors life, and it is better for the atmosphere and cohesion just to let them talk and listen politely.

BTW, my OBOD CDs sit on my desk in my cubicle, and nobody has said anything yet.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby DJ Droood » 14 Mar 2012, 13:08

I am of the opinion that work conversations should be primarily focused on work, and some team-building pleasantries, and we shouldn't have to be subjected to, or subject other's to "off-topic" personal news and opinions....not just controversial politico-religious stuff, but yap yap about your cousin's niece. Open up, if you want, at breaks and lunch or after-work bevvies. (or facebook or the DHP!)
That's perfectly reasonable and appropriate. Sometimes it is better, even for team-building, just to let the yapping run. I don't necessarily want to hear about a 10-year-olds' soccer game, but those kids are often the centre of your interlocutors life, and it is better for the atmosphere and cohesion just to let them talk and listen politely.
Yes...that is very true....yap yap even makes me more productive, perhaps...when the baby pictures come out, it is a good time to make a supplies run.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby djinn » 14 Mar 2012, 23:28


Yes...that is very true....yap yap even makes me more productive, perhaps...when the baby pictures come out, it is a good time to make a supplies run.
:grin:

baby pictures will do that every time!

I happily yapyap during lunchbreaks, because for us it makes for a relaxed atmosphere and actually helps teambuilding.
Always have avoided discussions about politics, sexual orientation and religion with my colleagues, though.
My views on that are absolutely none of their business.

And this was only fortified after a very unexpected religious catholic outburst (in short: there need to be rules for a good life and catholicism is the only religion that provides them) from one of my colleagues, whom I had figured a little more open to other ways of life. Nice topic for a coffee break!

I asked if he really thought that people who were agnosts or simply not into religion were not able to have a set of rules about right and wrong and an idea about their place and purpose in the world. He was completely convinced that was not possible. Other faiths are perhaps aiming well but erring anyway, but the atheists are simply without basic goodness. And those atheists who happen to have a good set of rules were brought up in religion and swayed later, according to him. Wow.

I very much disagreed with him on the subject, a couple of other colleagues challenged him as well, and for the rest of the day the working space had cooled off remarkably. Not good for results. We have avoided the topic ever since and returned to the yapyap, at least to cement the 'normal' daily routine.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Scatterbat » 07 Aug 2014, 08:05

Yes, most of them know of my beliefs. Well they know I am pagan and proud of it. I did keep it quiet for a long time but it came into the open several years back in a big way.

It was over the fact I wanted to take the winter solstice as a days holiday, so I booked it as a holiday around August September time. All went ok until we got into December and then was told a week before I could not have it as it was too close to Christmas. I explained to my supervisor why I needed to take it but they sort of got ratty with me so for a while I dropped the idea. A few days before the solstice our employer suddenly wanted everybody doing overtime right up till Christmas eve which I refused on the grounds of me originally wanting the solstice as a days holiday, besides they had by then let another person take the day off as it was his wife's birthday or something like that and they were going out shopping. This again lead to the supervisor getting a lot ratty with me and this time dragging in the boss himself who I had a real barmy with. So in a way the whole company came to know from that point on that I was a pagan. Heck I even said that if he wanted I would of even worked Christmas day if I could of just so I could of had the solstice. Still he dug his heels in and I ended up working the solstice anyway overtime and all. What really made me mad was that on Christmas eve he kept everybody working right up till the shift ended then came around wishing every body a merry Christmas. He eventually got to me wished me the same then stopped realized what he had done and stood there silent. I stung back with a cheeky ,Too late to wish me a merry whatever as it's already gone. I also explained to him that for me the Solstice was in a way our version of his Christmas and hoped that he would enjoy his Christmas as much as he had made me enjoy the winter solstice.

So yes most people in work know That I am pagan, but what a way for it to come into the open :o

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Fire oak » 07 Aug 2014, 09:18

Sounds like you didn't have any choice but to ' come out' Scatterbat.

There is a real ignorance about the importance of solstices and other festivals to pagans in general though. I work for myself so don't have the same problem over letting workmates know but in other areas I have had similar difficulties.

I paint with a local art group who always try and hold their summer exhibition around summer solstice. I had to explain that I wouldn't be there and in the end ended up saying that it was like me asking them to have the exhibition on Easter Sunday (I live in a very catholic country). I'm still not sure it really sunk in with many of them to be honest.

I was asked on holiday by someone if I was a Christian. I just said no. It was a pertinent question for the conversation that was going on and I would have explained further but it didn't seem to be needed.

Here I think people know I'm not Catholic so just assume I'm Protestant although no one has actually asked me. If they did then I would tell them I was Pagan. Not sure how it would go down if I said it though, maybe that's why they don't ask!
Last edited by Fire oak on 07 Aug 2014, 15:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Whitemane » 07 Aug 2014, 10:51

We have vacation planning for the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period here, because we have a certain staffing level. I have always taken Thanksgiving week off, but only the federal days off at Christmas, because of family traditions. I just try to fit the Solstice in when I can.

It might be a nice project for some of our legal minds to compile a list of legal protections for minority beliefs in countries with OBODies.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Aphritha » 07 Aug 2014, 16:20

I was always very open about what I was(and just about everything else) at my old job. It was never an issue. I typically had enough vacation time to take off holidays I demanded off(Beltane was always a must), so it didn't matter.
There was a staff who didn't particularly care for me. A new staff asked me what a Pagan was, and before I could explain to her, he interrupted me by saying "she sacrifices chickens on her altar". I replied, "don't be ridiculous! I'm a vegetarian. I sacrifice veggie burgers". We were friends after that.


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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Guybrush Threepwood » 05 Sep 2014, 18:35

I stay quiet because I work in a very traditional corporate environment, and a good bit of gossip or story would be all round the industry before I knew it!

If anyone asks what my religious beliefs are I normally say something like 'kind of spiritual and non-dogmatic' which generally stops people going any further :D

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Davin Raincloud » 06 Sep 2014, 07:43

I don't tell them I perform ritual sacrifice, cannibalism and blood drinking.

But then again, I'm not Christian.

:tiphat:

I don't tell anyone because it's none of their business. Most people would not understand.

I think those who love being all 'pagan pride' and all out in the open, hopefully haven't been systemically bullied all their life.

Serious, my trust has been violated so many times, that I just can't do it anymore.

I prefer to work in private/secret.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Guybrush Threepwood » 06 Sep 2014, 09:53

I don't tell them I perform ritual sacrifice, cannibalism and blood drinking.

But then again, I'm not Christian.

:tiphat:
haha!

As to the rest of your post, I completely agree

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Aphritha » 09 Sep 2014, 16:07

:( I've been bullied, threatened, attacked...though I don't think that was for my religion alone, I'm pretty sure it had a role.
Why bother? Its much safer to keep quiet...
I do it for the times I surprise people and I hear "oh, THAT'S what you believe? That's really nice!" or "you weren't what I thought at all" or...best yet...when you get to them first before anyone else has corrupted their idea of earth based faiths. I hope one day its not an issue, and saying "I'm Pagan" won't be thought of much differently than if I had said "I'm Christian". Its a long shot, but I have to act in accordance with what I want...
I totally understand why people keep it quiet, though. Its all a personal preference/agenda, and the consequences vary so much from person to person. Just giving perspective from the other side. :D


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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby DJ Droood » 09 Sep 2014, 20:52

Is this a US phenomenon? I'm in Canada and my experience is that asking about someone's religious beliefs would be akin to asking what their favourite sexual position is...you'd want to make darn sure you were pretty intimate with the person in the next cubicle or you might be dealing with a harassment complaint.
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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby Davin Raincloud » 10 Sep 2014, 03:46

Is this a US phenomenon? I'm in Canada and my experience is that asking about someone's religious beliefs would be akin to asking what their favourite sexual position is...you'd want to make darn sure you were pretty intimate with the person in the next cubicle or you might be dealing with a harassment complaint.

Definitely in Australia no one discusses religion. It's just not mentioned and would be very weird and uncomfortable if it's brought up.

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Re: Do your workmates know of your beliefs?

Postby DJ Droood » 10 Sep 2014, 04:53

Is this a US phenomenon? I'm in Canada and my experience is that asking about someone's religious beliefs would be akin to asking what their favourite sexual position is...you'd want to make darn sure you were pretty intimate with the person in the next cubicle or you might be dealing with a harassment complaint.
If you mean Faith Based Intimidation; yes it is, but please remember that we(USA people) are just trying to keep up with Israel and rest of the middle east. :whistle: ..... :duck: .... Pretty sick joke, I know.... :whistle: ....It's sadly true though - I can't go a week without my boss trying to manipulate me into some sort of faith based discussion - Heck, even our atheists are militant in the US. It's blessed infuriating. :blink:

We have one lady who is very Christian, and isn't shy about it, but she is cool...you can joke around with her...she has religious knickknacks on her desk and I call it the Grotto of Lourdes (to her face..she laughs)...she swears like a sailor and tells dirty jokes...her attitude is "this is who I am, if you don't like it, bite me"...it might make a difference that I am in a unionized environment with clearly spelled out policies about "inclusion"...we have openly gay people in the office, liberals, conservatives, hippie anarchists, Muslims, fair number of atheists, but the majority belong to the "I don't give a crap, is it Friday yet?" sect. But intel about a persons "beliefs" (religious/political/sexual) sort of leaks out slowly over time, through overheard phone/lunch room conversations, bumper stickers in the parking lot, after work gossipy conversations and the like....direct questions usually have an implied agenda.

But to answer the OP's question directly..do my co-workers know I am a secular humanist Druid? Nooooo.... :blink: (well, anyone that cares probably has intuited the secular humanist part)
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