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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Religion at Work

Dear Evil HR Lady,

A young lady I work with is very involved in her church and likes to talk about her beliefs and all the other things that come along with her particular flavor of worship. While I don’t mind her talking about 90% of what she does, sometimes she crosses the line and goes from a friendly conversation/lighthearted debate to some pretty intense, very awkward blaming, condemning, and preaching.

Like I said before, I’m okay with her talking about her beliefs to a point, but it’s coming to the point where her constant preaching is not just annoying, but it’s causing tension to rise in my department. It’s become so bad that my coworkers have begun to ask our supervisor to schedule them so they don’t have to work with this lady.

She’s upset now because the company his having a holiday party and she doesn’t celebrate Christmas.

I spoke with my HR manager about the issues going on, but I think she is hesitant to say anything to my coworker about this because of the religion issue.

I don’t dislike my coworker, but she’s becoming almost unbearable to be around. Everyone has catered to her needs when it comes to her church activities and continues to be sensitive towards her situation. That being said, it’s becoming more and more obvious that she is using her particular circumstance to make everyone else miserable.

Is there anything I can do to keep this situation from getting worse? How would you handle the situation if you were in my shoes?


Religion at Work

3 comments:

Dominique said...

I like to talk to people, so that is exactly what I would do. I would approach this coworker and simply tell her that if she did not stop banging her religion into everyone here in the office there are going to be some severe consequences. Inform her that everyone has the right to serve which ever God they may choose and that's what you guys plan to do. Let her know that she is makeing if uncomformtable for everyone and that she is running people away. If things do not change after this HR needs not to be afraid, but they need to mediate and resolve this situation. If people are uncomfortable they cannot perform their jobs at their best. HR knows that productivity and quality are key to successful organizations. With that being said, they will solve this issue.

Jedi4Pets said...

I went through this in the Bible Belt. I even considered filing a "hostile workplace" complaint with the EEOC.

The manager told me "There was nothing the company could do about it." At that point, I decided that I should pick my fights and that this one wasn't one I could win without heavy loss.

So I had to endure it. To say it undermined me as a supervisor and that it severely damaged my morale is an understatement. I was eventually "administratively terminated" after an injury left me unable to perform the work - But that's another story.

Good luck with this. It may get ugly.

Mike said...

The best way to deal with a coworker is to simply communicate the problem to her directly. Approaching you coworker one on one in a respectful manner will usually give you the best results. If you're not a fan of confrontations or don't want her to know it's you that's annoyed, then there's a website that will send her a letter about the problem for you, yoneighbors.com. Good luck!