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God In The Workplace


ireckinso
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Okay, so I have a lead at work who has just found God as of three months ago. Before then he was what I would call a loud, sarcastic, partying type who always had a smart ass comment to make or would make fun of anyone just picking around. Since then he is still loud but everything he says has to do with God. I mean everything. He now sings at his church (solo) and now sings in the office. Did I mention he is a loud person? I let him leave early yesterday because his church was having a singing revival that he was to sing in to raise money for the church. I told him if he came in early he could leave a little early. That is not a big deal I usually let employees do that on weekends if they have plans. Of course this morning when he came into work that’s all I heard as he talked to others in the office. “It was such a blessed night, the lord really blessed us with the turn out.” “The food was so blessed, it was so good.” (it was hotdogs and chips) Some guy that had been attending his church got up and sang for the first time. “He needs to sing more often and let that blessing out.” A woman in a wheel chair sang…”She was so blessed, that was a real blessing that she could sing that well.” It was a real blessing, everything was so blessed…blessing, blessing, blessing. By this time my annoyance level was at red alert. Then he said how blessed they were because a radio station had come to record the whole event and they were going to sell the CDs that they made to raise more money and what a blessing that was. However, at the end of the night something “popped” and the micro disc player they were using fried as well as the disc that the whole evening was recorded on. He said, “the devil really got us there, he did not want such a blessed event to get out of the church.” This was my cue to get up and go get a cup of coffee. I could feel the “are you f@cking serious” coming to the tip of my tongue. I came back in the room and he was talking about how his fifteen month old baby was born a true holy roller because when they were signing she would clap her hands and wave her arms up and down. All I could think is that poor child. He said god had blessed him and his child because he has already touched her with the faith. So I guess a baby waving their arms and clapping never happens unless they are touched by god, because they never do that. Give me a break.

 

 

I guess I’m ranting because now everything that is the slightest bit good is a blessing from god. If a mechanic here at work troubleshoots a machine issue and gets it running. Then it was god who blessed the machine and the mechanic and showed the mechanic the way to fix it. No recognition for the mechanic who found and fixed the problem. If some thing breaks or goes wrong it’s the devil testing you or trying to ruin your blessed day. It has nothing to do with a bearing with a three year life rating that had been in a machine for five years and finally gave out. That is such a cop-out answer for xtians to use. It just pisses me off that people use this lazy answer for everything. He is one of my dept. leads and now when I ask him what went wrong with this line, he will say “the devil tested us, we had a hot runner go bad, but the lord fought back because we had a spare and we were blessed to be able to replace it.” I’ve told him time and time again, I don’t believe in god, I don’t care what he believes but I don’t want to hear those types of answers. I want to hear, a wire shorted out in the hot runner because it was too short in the initial installation but we replaced it and put in a longer wire. That tells me root cause, and corrective action. Not the devil crap and god bless crap. That shit has no place in the production industry.

 

 

Okay I’m done just needed bang on the keys for a few to vent some frustration.:angry2:

 

 

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Haha, it sounds like he's still "on fire for Gawd", hopefully once the usual shit of life hits him square in the face as it does to all of us he'll drop the whole blessed awestruck demeanor...You have authority over this guy right? I would say if it continues he needs to quit socializing and maybe start working instead of walking around talking about Church revivals and Jeebus.

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I think the biggest issue I have is that it's starting to annoy others and make them feel uncomfortable as well. I actually have to do his annual review this week and I'm trying to come up with a way to convey my concerns without him taking it as discrimination against his religious beliefs. I guess I'm going to have to sit down with our HR manager and discuss this to make sure I don't do or say anything thats non-p.c. Thats the bad thing, everyone sues everyone anymore for discrimination, harassment and so forth.

 

 

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I would say that just for his information, some unnamed employees who don't share his faith are getting annoyed at what amounts to incessant preaching. Just a word to the wise for him.

Maybe he'll get a clue. Just don't intimate in any way that he is prohibited from the Jebus behavior - the information is just for his own understanding of the workplace dynamics.

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There's more than one way to solve that problem. Years ago I worked at a shop where a young mechanic suddenly got on fire for Jesus... and began annoying the hell out of everybody in the service department. And mind you this was in East Tennessee where a big chunk of the population is hard-core Baptist. Even THEY were getting annoyed with his incessant jesus-talk.

 

 

Finally the foreman- who was usually a nice and non-confrontational guy- decided that Justin had to go (this was a union shop, so it would've taken an act of congress to fire the kid). So the foreman started putting Justin on the most difficult jobs that came in, nitpicking everything he did, and documenting every screw-up (which of course multiplied as the pressure on the kid increased). After a couple weeks of that, Justin transferred to the parts department (where incidentally three of the seven employees were baptist preachers). He got along just fine after that- they didn't seem to mind the jesus-talk.

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There's more than one way to solve that problem. Years ago I worked at a shop where a young mechanic suddenly got on fire for Jesus... and began annoying the hell out of everybody in the service department. And mind you this was in East Tennessee where a big chunk of the population is hard-core Baptist. Even THEY were getting annoyed with his incessant jesus-talk.

 

 

Finally the foreman- who was usually a nice and non-confrontational guy- decided that Justin had to go (this was a union shop, so it would've taken an act of congress to fire the kid). So the foreman started putting Justin on the most difficult jobs that came in, nitpicking everything he did, and documenting every screw-up (which of course multiplied as the pressure on the kid increased). After a couple weeks of that, Justin transferred to the parts department (where incidentally three of the seven employees were baptist preachers). He got along just fine after that- they didn't seem to mind the jesus-talk.

 

 

If I were dealing with this insensitive clod, I would be very blunt in personal conversations with him. The moment he began to blather about what went on at his church, I would hold up a hand in front of him and say, "I'm really not interested." If he didn't catch my drift, and began again - "I was only going to tell you about Sunday service...." I would interrupt him again and repeat more emphatically, "I'm REALLY not interested." - and as many times thereafter until he stopped. You are under no obligation to explain why your not interested; your wishes to not get involved in his private life are as important as his wishes to do his religious sales job. You are not required to listen to any casual chit-chat you are not interested in.

 

Further, it might be a good idea to bring your whole work group together for a meeting and emphasize two thngs - first, the reason that everyone was there was to make money for the company and to do their respective jobs, not to facilitate their outside personal activities. Secondly, in general terms, tell everyone that if their is conversation that they do not wish to engage in (whether it is political, personal, religious, sexual, etc.) they are not required to do so; all they have to do is tell the offending emloyee that they do not wish to discuss that issue; if the offending employee persists, it should be reported to their supervisor. Keep it general, and you should be safe.

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There's more than one way to solve that problem. Years ago I worked at a shop where a young mechanic suddenly got on fire for Jesus... and began annoying the hell out of everybody in the service department. And mind you this was in East Tennessee where a big chunk of the population is hard-core Baptist. Even THEY were getting annoyed with his incessant jesus-talk.

 

 

Finally the foreman- who was usually a nice and non-confrontational guy- decided that Justin had to go (this was a union shop, so it would've taken an act of congress to fire the kid). So the foreman started putting Justin on the most difficult jobs that came in, nitpicking everything he did, and documenting every screw-up (which of course multiplied as the pressure on the kid increased). After a couple weeks of that, Justin transferred to the parts department (where incidentally three of the seven employees were baptist preachers). He got along just fine after that- they didn't seem to mind the jesus-talk.

 

 

If I were dealing with this insensitive clod, I would be very blunt in personal conversations with him. The moment he began to blather about what went on at his church, I would hold up a hand in front of him and say, "I'm really not interested." If he didn't catch my drift, and began again - "I was only going to tell you about Sunday service...." I would interrupt him again and repeat more emphatically, "I'm REALLY not interested." - and as many times thereafter until he stopped. You are under no obligation to explain why your not interested; your wishes to not get involved in his private life are as important as his wishes to do his religious sales job. You are not required to listen to any casual chit-chat you are not interested in.

 

Further, it might be a good idea to bring your whole work group together for a meeting and emphasize two thngs - first, the reason that everyone was there was to make money for the company and to do their respective jobs, not to facilitate their outside personal activities. Secondly, in general terms, tell everyone that if their is conversation that they do not wish to engage in (whether it is political, personal, religious, sexual, etc.) they are not required to do so; all they have to do is tell the offending emloyee that they do not wish to discuss that issue; if the offending employee persists, it should be reported to their supervisor. Keep it general, and you should be safe.

 

That is good advice, thank you.:HaHa:

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Do you prefer this employee before or after his conversion? He sounds a little extreme even for a new convert. In my experience, some of those more extreme converts just burn out after a while. Everything is all emotion-related and their whole life is an emotional rollercoaster. Who knows, the thing may run its course sooner than you might expect.

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I think the biggest issue I have is that it's starting to annoy others and make them feel uncomfortable as well. I actually have to do his annual review this week and I'm trying to come up with a way to convey my concerns without him taking it as discrimination against his religious beliefs. I guess I'm going to have to sit down with our HR manager and discuss this to make sure I don't do or say anything thats non-p.c. Thats the bad thing, everyone sues everyone anymore for discrimination, harassment and so forth.

 

 

 

It doesn't matter what everyone else does, if someone is bringing religion into the work place and it makes you uncomfortable, you should definitely tell HR. They'll have a talk with that person and they'll have to stop.

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It creates a hostile work environment for one person to hold others hostage to constantly hearing about his religion. I support both going to HR (because you can never have too much documentation) and letting others in your group that they're within their rights to tell let other know when they're no longer interested in being part of the conversation.

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I've been thinking about this thread since I first read it yesterday morning. At first I wasn't gong to comment, but that guy is really bugging me, so here I am, ready to rant. vent.gif

 

My comment is from a slightly different perspective. Religion in the workplace really pisses me off and I know I'm very bitter about it. But that's just the way it is and I don't think it's ever going to change. If it weren't for religion in the workplace, my husband would not have been brainwashed into born-againism. Some of his co-workers were relentless and he finally gave in. I won't go into all the problems that resulted. But suffice it to say, my whole world, and that of my children, was turned upside down.

 

Some people tell me that it could have happened through some other situation, especially since we live in the south. But I really doubt it. Most of both of our families were lapsed, non-practicing liberal catholics who gave the pope/church/god about as much attention as we'd give a gnat. Fundamentalism/evangelicalism wasn't part of our lives until DFH (DearFundyHubby) was thoroughly brainwashed and started spreading the vileness of the bible and its god throughout our families.

 

So please, don't let that jerk continue. He might infect far more people than you'll ever realize.

 

 

Whew! Thanks for letting me get that out! vent.gif

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Haha, it sounds like he's still "on fire for Gawd", hopefully once the usual shit of life hits him square in the face as it does to all of us he'll drop the whole blessed awestruck demeanor...You have authority over this guy right? I would say if it continues he needs to quit socializing and maybe start working instead of walking around talking about Church revivals and Jeebus.

 

 

Do you prefer this employee before or after his conversion? He sounds a little extreme even for a new convert. In my experience, some of those more extreme converts just burn out after a while. Everything is all emotion-related and their whole life is an emotional rollercoaster. Who knows, the thing may run its course sooner than you might expect.

 

I concur with this general sentiment. I've seen this with born-againers, with newbie Wiccans and pagans of other stripes, AND a few atheists. They have a new outlook on life, they have "shiny new toy syndrome." They run off at the mouth about their new outlook, their new "truth", and want everyone to know about this awesome new shit they have in their life. I've even suffered from it mildly. Most of the time, it goes away, and real life sinks back in.

In case it doesn't, however, I'm with the talk to HR and make general statements about leaving sensitive subjects out of the workplace idea. It's really not proper to rattle on about religion at work.

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Does your company have a standard brief on office etiquette?

 

There's some good ppt briefs online that get into the problems associated with discussing religion, politics, body odor, drinking, etc.. in the workplace.

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This sounds like the kind of guy who needs practical pranks played on him. Nothing serious; just little things here and there. Water on his seat where he likes to sit at lunch (must be "Holy Water"). Turning off the lights and closing the door when he goes for a "Sit-down" in the washroom. Things getting "Mysteriously" moved around. A little crazy glue in his locker's lock. A red laser pointer dot showing up randomly where he can see it (but not pointed at his eyes), you can stand a safe distance away and make use of small gaps in obstructions. Time on a nearby clock set 15 minutes too fast (or slow). Sticky things on the floor where he works. If he uses a computer, that opens the door to so many other opportunities, like tape on the mouse sensor, changing Word's auto-correct to misspell words, and more. Each preaching session needs to result in yet another random prank, and never play the same prank twice. With any luck, he will go insane before you do!

 

Here's some more ideas:

 

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/comedy-goldmine/work-office-pranks.php

 

Just be sure that you never ever do anything unsafe. In a production environment, these are usually best left for break or lunch time.

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Thanks for the replies, I actually couldn't talk to HR because she went on vacation to the beach. Will be back next week. However, I did talk to him about how it can make some people uncomfortable to basically preach in areas where his conversation could be overheard. I know one of the others he talks to is an ordained minister and they can get rolling in the break room sometimes. Since this conversation he has been a little more reserve in his praise the lords. I will still bring it up with the HR manager just to get documentation. Thanks Guys for the suggestions and understanding.:grin:

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This sounds like the kind of guy who needs practical pranks played on him. Nothing serious; just little things here and there. Water on his seat where he likes to sit at lunch (must be "Holy Water"). Turning off the lights and closing the door when he goes for a "Sit-down" in the washroom. Things getting "Mysteriously" moved around. A little crazy glue in his locker's lock. A red laser pointer dot showing up randomly where he can see it (but not pointed at his eyes), you can stand a safe distance away and make use of small gaps in obstructions. Time on a nearby clock set 15 minutes too fast (or slow). Sticky things on the floor where he works. If he uses a computer, that opens the door to so many other opportunities, like tape on the mouse sensor, changing Word's auto-correct to misspell words, and more. Each preaching session needs to result in yet another random prank, and never play the same prank twice. With any luck, he will go insane before you do!

 

Here's some more ideas:

 

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/comedy-goldmine/work-office-pranks.php

 

Just be sure that you never ever do anything unsafe. In a production environment, these are usually best left for break or lunch time.

 

I'm against workplace bullying, for any reason. Don't do stuff like that. Not only is it wrong, and possibly get you in trouble, it'll also send him the message that you're persecuting him, and if there's anything fundies love, it's the idea that they're being persecuted.

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Sounds like a typical attention whore no matter the topic, and the only remedy for that has ever been a ball gag or duct tape. Considered putting valium in his beverage?

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I'm against workplace bullying, for any reason. Don't do stuff like that. Not only is it wrong, and possibly get you in trouble, it'll also send him the message that you're persecuting him, and if there's anything fundies love, it's the idea that they're being persecuted.

 

I am offended at the suggestion that I would condone bullying in any way, shape, or form. The advice I gave was not to suggest bullying as a solution, but merely that ireckinso consider doing the devil's bidding where it is clearly needed. :) Don't get caught, and the workplace preacher might even believe that the god he worships is testing his faith. See, the religious context changes everything. :D

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I've actually never went out of my way to bring up my atheism at work. Sure I would mention it if I was chatting with another employee/friend whom I trust to talk about it with in the work place, but beyond that I kept my mouth shut on the subject, I'm there getting paid to work not talk about religion/beliefs.

 

Definitely talk to HR about it, but bend the story a bit if you think it would turn the tides in your favour.

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Consistancy as a superviser is key. If you need to talk to him in the future, let him know that you would be talking to anyone who was very vocal about non work related topics. If you had an employee that was obsessed with facebook and wouldn't stop talking about it, you would be talking with that person as well. It's not about his religion, it's about him disrupting a working environment.

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