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Confronting the things that challenge us, off-the-charts stress levels and money matters. By Roxane Gay. Send questions about the office, money, careers and work-life balance to workfriend nytimes.
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I work for a prominent classical music organization. I am the only nonwhite person on my team. I have tried to raise awareness around having a structured equity, diversity and inclusion plan in place. I am the sole person on my team who has been vocal for change. I recently had an argument with a close colleague, who I trust and who is white. I exclaimed that no one cared about diversity and inclusion at our organization. What can I do to feasibly enact change, both with my colleagues and at the institutional level?
Why are friends so important?
It is lonely to be the only nonwhite person in almost any situation. In the workplace, this means that you and your white colleagues do not have the same job. They get to focus solely on their work while, all too often, you have to do the work for which you were hired and the work of diversity, equity and inclusion, a specialized field you probably have no training in. And I imagine it is very lonely being the only person who is willing to do this work. Unfortunately, there is little that we can do to make people care about these issues. Of course you feel resentful.
Looking to build new friendships? these tips can help you meet people, start a conversation, and cultivate healthy connections that will improve your life and well-being.
This is an absurd situation and one that you should not have to deal with. As for your colleague, it is the height of privilege to be able to avoid the discomfort of discussing difficult issues. So much important work toward change happens in the uncomfortable moments where we are forced to confront the things that challenge us.
People of color both create and consume classical music. I would suggest starting small with the change that you want to see. Perhaps you can organize programs for your colleagues that can help educate them about classical musicians and composers of color, like Scott Joplin, Florence Beatrice Price, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and George Bridgetower, and contemporary artists, like Lara Downes, Wynton Marsalis and Jessie Montgomery.
That said, you can do only so much and, frankly, you have done enough. You may well be surrounded by people who are unwilling or uninterested in living in the real world where diversity exists.
A few weeks ago, my manager asked everyone at a meeting to say what our stress level is, on a one to 10 scale. I said the truth: I considered this to be a public shaming of me and one colleague who also self-reported a high level of stress. Do all bosses do this?
Your manager is passive aggressive and has some toxic ideas about work culture.
2. are you holding each other back from getting healthy?
But who cares what she thinks? Most people are. Your manager is just being petty. Ignore her silly provocations. You can see the light at the end of the employment tunnel. You can and will get through this. If you have the energy for it, you can certainly look for new employment. Or you can just stick it out.
You can be great at your job without being a workaholic. Keep doing your best, but find other things outside of work to put some of that intensity into. She impressed us all in the interview process.
We made her an offer and she verbally accepted. Then she sent us some questions about details of the offer. We sent some benefit details and vague info on our growth s, given the nondisclosure agreement she ed. The day her acceptance was due back, she phoned human resources — not me, the hiring manager — to say she had another offer at a startlingly high salary.
2. a fearless adventurer
I really doubt the level of the second offer. What do I do with this feeling? Your new employee is not taking money out of your bank. Why are you so pressed about her negotiating tactics or how much she is being paid?
It sounds as if she was savvy, did her homework and shot her shot.
Let go of the feeling that she lied and circumvented your authority. She has hustle. She will, hopefully, bring that hustle to the job every day and be a great employee.
If not, you will handle the matter accordingly. Nurse the bruise and move on. Write to her at workfriend nytimes. Supported by.