Sunday, November 8, 2009
The Wrong View May Get You Fired
Here is a recent example of how agendas seem to get in the way of casual discussions. I really think everyone must take time to be civil and understanding of people's beliefs; however, when a personal expression doesn't fit another person's concepts of proper behavior, should that mere expression result in severe consequences?
Many people seem to be willing to take a zero-tolerance policy as their opportunity to champion a cause over any simple diverse opinion. Instead of ignoring the harmless situation or engaging in conversational argumentation, these people bristle at every mention of opposition and even seek retribution. Should we lie even when we disagree? Should we never express a dissenting opinion? Should we work in silence and refuse to talk to our fellow workers in fear of the possible negative consequences?
Joshua Rhett Miller of Fox News (November 7, 2009) reported, "A manager at a Massachusetts retail store claims he was unjustly fired after he told a colleague he thought her impending marriage to another woman was wrong."
Peter Vidala, 24, says he was terminated in August from his position as second deputy manager at Brookstone store at Boston's Logan Airport after a conversation he had with a manger from another Brookstone store who was visiting the location.
Miller reported that Vidala claimed the woman mentioned four times that she had married her partner. "I found it offensive that she repeatedly brought it up," Vidala said. "By the fourth time she mentioned it, I felt God wanted me to express how I felt about the matter, so I did. But my tone was downright apologetic. I said, 'Regarding your homosexuality, I think that's bad stuff.'"
Vidala said he felt "intentionally goaded" by the manager to comment on her relationship and he couldn't personally feel happy about it anyway. Asked why he felt the need to comment on the woman's personal life, Vidala, who has since left the Boston area, said he felt compelled to do so. He believes homosexuals are sinners and need to be told the truth in a "loving way"
The woman reportedly said, "Human resources, buddy -- keep your opinions to yourself," before exiting the store.
Then, two days later, Vidala, who had been employed for just a matter of weeks, received a termination letter citing the company's zero-tolerance policy regarding "harassment" and "inappropriate and unprofessional" comments.
Vidala brings up an interesting point, "You could have a so-called homosexual person hit on YOU-- and you won't be able to say anything because by expressing your belief that what they're doing is wrong, you're harassing them."
(urbaniak.livejournal.com, November 7 2009)
Vidala, who has not hired a lawyer, said he is considering filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity