Tuesday 6 February 2018

Not a sheep

I might have ended up a lot further in certain workplaces if I just learned to go along with things. I am lacking that particular gene. Especially when it comes to things that I disagree with.

There are a lot of work things having nothing to do with my job that I refuse to take part in. One of the latest is Pink Shirt Day. I received a memo about this. When this became a thing I got a little bit of harrassment about not wanting to take part. Personally I do not see how wearing a pink shirt is going to solve whatever problem it is supposed to solve. Trying to guilt, or bully me, into wearing a pink shirt to mark this occasion contradicts what this is supposed to accomplish. I think it is dumb and I refuse to take part.

I refuse to do things or take part in activities that are embarrassing or just plain stupid. One office I worked in set up a satellite link so that the employees could gather together and sing "Happy Birthday" to the CEO so that he could watch employees from all of the offices sing this in real time. I steadfastly refused when this was requested of me. When asked why I said that beside the fact that I did not know the guy I was not aware I was now part of a cult. If they did not like it they could fire me and if they did I would love to see them explain it to my lawyer.

In reality I am very easy to get along with except when it comes to being asked to do something stupid, demeaning, or against my beliefs. Every workplace loves to support charity. I have volunteered in the past for lots of different endeavours and contributed time, energy, and money. A lot of places automatically assume you will just mindlessly contribute. Years ago I once had a form dropped off on my desk. It was for payroll deduction for the United Way. I glanced at it and slid it into the trash can in my office. I do not believe in the United Way, just my own personal view. Someone later came around to collect the forms and asked where mine was. I pointed to the trash. Then I got the hard sell. I was accused of not being a team player. They even mentioned that the management and directors all supported the United Way. That was nice. I said they are free to do so, I am also free to decline and never noticed being forced to contribute was a condition of my employment. To me charitable acts are their own reward. Who I support is my own business and to me it is a private matter. I declined to discuss the matter further. I think I was the only one that did not contribute.

My father did not give me a lot of advice but he did give me some. When I was in my teens I did something minor where later he told me to be my own person and not be a sheep. I took that to heart. Be your own person. Sometimes you need to say no.


  1. Yep I was always the odd man out in the workplace too.

    1. One of the dumbest things was one workplace that was determined to be "fun". They decided that everytime someone made a sale over the phone that they should do a dance to celebrate. I handed in my immediate resignation.

  2. I agree. Everyone's entitled to their principles when it comes to optional activities in the workplace. I always refused to donate to any charity operated by homophobic organizations such as the Salvation Army or Catholic church. Well, any church really. But I wasn't petty enough to refuse to donate to group gifts for coworkers' weddings or baby showers, even though it seemed sometimes over the decades of my career that getting married and popping out babies were all straight people ever did, LOL.

  3. Ah...A bit of a rebel. I like that in a person.

  4. Isn't it amazing how bent out of shape some people get when you don't play their games?

  5. It's called 'team building'. And yes, if you have a triple digit IQ ... it IS demeaning, embarrassing and degrading. I won't do it either.