Feeling Alienated in the Workplace

Since leaving the world of academia and seeking employment in corporate America, I’ve found myself in environments that lack hugely in the diversity department.

When I say diversity I mean employing people of color more specifically black folk; my last employer in my department, there were two black people including myself, within my current office again two black folk including myself. The last few years have been trying, especially in the case of being black while American.

I feel like majority of the people in my office lack empathy or they just don’t care about situations that they can’t relate to. When the Trayvon Martin murder happened, it made headlines all around the world, we have various newspaper subscriptions here, with the murderer and Trayvon plastered all over it. These people avoided the topic like the plague, not one peep from anyone in the office. I know dealing with anything “race” related is touchy period, especially in the workplace, as is politics but they talk about that shit all the time with one another.

I like many other Americans who have an ounce of empathy were emotional wrecks, the only other person I could talk to was the other black person in the office, and honestly it shouldn’t be that way. Everyone should be able to understand what it feels like to be a victim of something unjust no matter what color of your skin or socioeconomic background. You should be able to relate to or at least understand the anger people felt towards a grown ass man being wrong for killing a fucking kid. Point Blank Period. But I guess when the kid is a black boy mum’s the fucking word.

I felt and still feel like I have to pretend like the environment outside of these doors doesn’t affect me when I cross the threshold. How? It’s impossible. When it comes down to racial or social injustices, in this environment I have to pretend like it doesn’t bother me or better yet it doesn’t exist. And it sucks because the shit bothers the fuck out of me!

Don’t get me wrong I think it’s a great company to work for, I just feel like this office is culturally flawed or these people just don’t give a fuck about anything other money, politics, sports and golf. Either way that’s a flaw if you ask me.

I’m not sure what I can do…probably nothing. It really sucks when you look around and don’t see people you can relate to or better yet people who are interested in trying to relate with you.

T

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4 thoughts on “Feeling Alienated in the Workplace

  1. I think the last time I was in an environment that was truly diverse (culturally and ethnically) was during my first five years of martial arts training (with a particular school). There was actually a good even mixture of asian, black, white, and many other groups. And most of us got along and shared our cultures and experiences with each other. Everyone wanted to know how everyone else felt about major racial and cultural issues. I really do miss those days. Eventually, the politics of the place changed, and (unfortunately) the demographic of student changed right along with it. A lot of the more experienced, more open-minded people left, and we lost our nice big “melting-pot”. I saw a lot of people getting marginalized and leaving. I couldn’t relate to anyone there after that.

    As for the Trayvon Martin incident, I remember feeling very hurt when unsympathetic people made excuses and jokes about why it was okay. And I remember being too afraid to express anger and sadness over people joking about the death of a child, because I might be negatively labeled.

    1. It’s sad really, but I guess that the nature of the world we live in unfortunately. I guess it’s a hard lesson I have to learn most people don’t care about things they can’t related to or that they choose not to relate to.

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