Thursday, May 24, 2007

How Would you Handle a Racial Slur?

Today at work we had a new business meeting with a potential new client. The meeting seemed to be going well while we talked about our capabilities and ways we could support their business. In the middle of the meeting, our PNC (potentil new client) was talking about their laboratory in China and this came out, "The Orientals over there...." WHAT? Did I just hear that? The reserved professional that I am kept the same facial expression and tried to focus on what he was actually saying, while trying to ignore the inappropriate and naive comment that was just made.

Not two minutes later, he said the same thing. Again, poker face. Wow, i am getting good at this. Another member of their team started talking about their possible distribution in Hawaii and he said, "The Orientals...." SERIOUSLY? Two different people in the same meeting made the same racial slur? Not possible. Again, my best poker face is played and the meeting goes on.

After the meeting was over and we are all casually chatting, the original social blunder speaker topped his original racial slur with a comment about "a colored fella". Poker face was played yet again for the fourth time today.

After the PNC left we all gathered together to talk about the meeting. Funny thing is we didn't talk about the actual meeting, but of how each of us tried to play good on our poker faces. Really though, how on earth are you supposed to act when someone says something like that? Especially in a work environment where you could be potential business clients? The only thing I knew what to do was to not say anything. But then again, that is true to form. I hate confrontation. I can't imagaine it in a new business relationship.

Question is, how would you handle a situation like this?

5 comments:

Rosie O'Donnell said...

Well, I am telln ya waht...da frek'n nerv of sum peepul using dem racial slurs like dat! Outragical! Send 'em back to antartica or Laska or wherevr the heck they from. Listen hur...I am so sick of dem ignert peepul who are mostly rich republikans...like dem crazy yahoo Texans in them whitehouses making demselfs look stoopid and starting wars in Afganicksktan. Its very negligible and i won't stand fer it! Tell you waht, you try treat'n me like dat and you'l find me eatn a big cup cake and ice cream, not even giving a care... ignoring yer aez!

diania said...

Good thing I wasn't in the meeting. With my black heritage, we probably would have lost the account.

alisa said...

i like that you added the picture. some people are just dumb. well played you on the poker face. that's a sticky situation.

The Hanks said...

Yo dog!!! Well We(Paige and I)have been stalking you for months trying to find your blog and alas we can finally sleep! I'll tell you how I'd handle a racial slur... I'd "doc that chinc a days pay for nappin on the job!!!" That quote is from the movie Blazing Saddles. If you haven't seen it... shame on you... check it out, it will teach you a lot about how NOT to act in the work place.
Well I just thought I'd catch up with my most favorite neighbor from three-doors down. I hope everything is going super-fantastic for you and you should drop us a line sometime! Our blog is jeffandpaigehanks.blogspot.com
totally check it out and don't forget to lock your car if you leave it running in the driveway!
Love ya!!! Jeff and Paige

Lori said...

Wow. That's crazy. I get a lot of people ordering alcohol from me at work and then making jokes about Mormons. Why do they think I'm not "one of them".

Moral: people are a@*$#@!(dumb).