(And this may just be the PMS talking, so be forewarned....)

If you've ever been around me for more than a few minutes, you'll easily recognize that I am a very organized, logical, ducks-in-a-row kind of person. So when I say that I have a very difficult time dealing with people that are "stupid," it usually means they did something very unorganized, ill-logical, or a very not ducks-in-a-row kind of action.

Exhibit A:

T has been having some issues at work lately. When he was hired back in May, the boss also hired about 5 others. One of these new employees, "Janie", has a disability. She is a little person, which to people like you and me, makes no difference whatsoever. Big deal. I'm going to treat her with the respect she deserves -- as a person -- because every person deserves that respect.

So what's the problem? Everybody. Else.

We live in a small farm town community in a very conservative area. That is not to say that I am not conservative myself because I am. The difference here, people, is that I am open-minded. It must be because I grew up with hippie parents (which I think it totally awesome), but I don't judge people by the way they look -- only by the way they act and treat other people. It's all about the respect! (Did you see that? Can you see the hippie blood running through my veins now?)

Let me start at the beginning. T would come home after work some nights and tell me about how the other employees in the store would ridicule Janie for not learning fast enough and the fact that she had a hard time talking to the other employees and customers. (NOTE: At this point, T hadn't told me yet that she was a little person or had any disabilities whatsoever. As far as I knew, she was normal sized and of average intelligence.) I guess it got so bad one day that the other employees put together all their complaints about Janie and gave them to their boss, with the intent of getting her fired. T didn't participated in this because he had only worked with Janie once so he hadn't had any reason to put complaints in to the boss.

I didn't realize how bad it actually was until we went to T's company party the other night, and all the employees (including the boss) were sitting around the dinner table, making fun of someone or something called "Nugget." I didn't really think anything of it -- I thought they were just laughing about some inside joke at work. I hadn't ever met any of the people T worked with, so I figured it wasn't my place to say anything about a topic I had no idea what they were talking about.

I found out later that night from T that Janie was in fact a little person, wore a hearing aid, and that the employees were in fact calling her "Nugget." (Something about not being a full chicken breast, but only a chicken nugget) I. was. appalled. I can't BELIEVE that anyone would do something so hateful and so discriminatory to anyone. I was pissed.

As T and I got to talking that night, I found out that the reason Janie had such a hard time talking with customers and learning all the products in the store is that no one had taken the time to actually teach her anything about the store...um, well, duh. If you want someone to sell products, they need to be taught (read: ill-logical). And the other store employees were trying to get her fired?? For them not teaching her??? Oh, it gets better.

What frustrates me even more is the fact that T's boss was actually calling Janie "nugget" too. Oh...man....talk about adding fuel to my fire. I am in the military, right? Team leaders just don't do that. You are the leader of your freakin' team, man! Own up and be a friggin' man! Tell off your employees for being utterly disrespectful! Thing is, he HAS to know that what he's doing is discrimination and is punishable by fines starting at $300,000 (T looked that up). Sounds to me like he's just begging to be sued.

Dude, if I was Janie, I'd be all over that man, and not in a good way.

Regardless, this is just one instance lately that has thrown me through the loop of stupid people. Experiences? Stupid people you know? Comment me.


Loralee Choate said...

I gave you an earful of my advice last night but I am still so appalled at all of this.

Especially considering the type of business and community support it gets.

I am itching to just blab their company name all over the internet. GRR!!!

As for what T should do: DOCUMENT. He also needs to submit WRITTEN complaint and keep a copy for his records.

I am not sure if it legally matters if Jainey is aware of the name calling or not, (it certainly shouldn't in my opinion.) However, it certainly creates a hostile work environment for T.


Keep me updated.

Loralee Choate said...


I know I said I would wait to link to you until you had more than a couple of posts on here, but I'm linking today because I'm steamed.

GRR! GRR!! GRR!!! (Tame the beast. Heh)

Zelda said...

Ooh, this type of situation makes my blood boil. It's truly unfortunate that Janie's coworkers haven't taken the time to give her a hand & maybe even get to know her.

Name calling is the easy way to fast "friends". It makes people who are normally outcasts feel like they are part of the group even if it's at the expense of others. Sad, really.

I hope T is in a position where he can do something about the situation.

Domestic Extraordinaire said...

This is just outrageous! I don't have anything to add but I do agree with loralee.

Allie said...

I would tell, EVERYONE. Better Business Bureau, ADA, Human Resources, and anyone else I could find.
Stupid, ignorant people like that need to be caught. Do it anonymously if needed, but do something. Do it for all the moms who have little kids and don't want them to grow up in a world full of hate. Or at least hate without consequence. Man, this made me furious.

just beth said...

That's just disgusting. And mean. I'm with the others, tell on them. Report them, whatever. And I certainly hope that T will stand up and say something.

grrr. Thanks to Loralee for giving us the heads up.



Connie said...

Well. I'm a pretty opinionated and vocal person. I have been fired for not getting along with co-workers who were not pulling their weight.

Hubby would tell me to keep my mouth shut and mind my own business.

I just can't do that. If it were me....I would speak up. To my co-workers and my boss. I would make it known that I don't agree with how they are treating her and I would go out of my way to help her.

I read this recently and I love it!

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

Good Luck!

Sra said...

It's curious to me that they hired Janie in the first place when they clearly have so much disdain for her. What's that all about?

I agree with Loralee, document and file a formal complaint. There needs to be a paper trail if there's going to be legal action in the future.

I think some places don't understand how to train people properly. I wasn't particularly well trained at my current place of employment, although they did still try to show me the ropes. Much of what I know I gleaned myself through trial and error.

I'm astonished though that they didn't try to teach Janie at all. Where is the motivation in hiring and not training someone they don't really like? I just don't quite get the big picture.

Kasey said...

I am a father of a 6 year old autistic boy and this is my greatiest fear. I dread the day that he is able to look for a job and have to deal with people who just dont understand and don't take the time to understand how to work and get along with people with disability.

Im think I would "go postal" if I found out that kind of stuff was going on to my child, and I wouldn't give a shit if he knew they were making fun of him. Thats not the point the point is people who turn the blind hey and let this shit go.

zeghsy said...

followed loralee's link.

this is appalling. i work for goodwill industries. our particular area (region?) works with people with disabilities and traumatic brain injuries. anyone overheard or caught making references you've described is unceremoniously fired. that's it. kaput. we adore all the people we work with here. they're special, and i don't mean it THAT way.

file complaints, document, and then when he gets fired, sue the pants off of the boss.

Miss Grace said...

Document. I'm all for documentation.

Kasey said...

As a parent of a 6 yr old autistic boy this is one of my greatest fears. The time when is starts wanting to work. It's not the working itself more the fear of ignorant people to don't want to take the time to learn about the person rather make fun and focus on what is "wrong" with them.

I would go postal if I found out that was going on to my son.

Sterkworks said...

In "my" perfect version of a world, I would go all Dexter on them. Those assholes. Hell is reserved for people like that.

jess said...

it's too bad i don't work there...i'd go ape shat on this guy. and i'd make every single person there feel like a total weenis for treating a coworker, a fellow human being, like this. totally an outrage.

LceeL said...

I came here from loralee's site. I am appalled. I don't know that going Dexter on these people would be the right answer either, but something needs to be done. Call them out. File a report with the police or the Labor Board or the State's Attorney's office. Go to your local newspaper. But put a stop to this.

Anonymous said...

How horrible. I would document, gather more evidence and then go to the media. These people need to be taught a lesson.

Chelle said...

As a friend of Loralee and a frequenter of the business where your husband works, I think that T needs to let the owner know that LEGALLY he could be in some trouble. I know that T is steamed, but don't spoil for a fight before you have one. Let the owner know that his actions are wrong, and that as the owner he has a responsibility to train Janie as to her duties, as well as set a different example for the employees. Give him a chance to change the work environment before reporting him, but be clear that you will report him if it doesn't change. I say this because it could end up being a positive learning situation for all, instead of just making everybody angry. Also, have T point out that this could be a big turn-off for customers (like me) and I am sure the owner doesn't want that.

Sizzle said...

There are laws to protect people because of shit like this. How awful! I wonder if she's fully aware of it? And would she feel like she could speak up given that almost everyone there is against her. I feel for her.

That is much worse than the fact that I was recently asked to recruit volunteers to dress as geishas to serve sake and sushi at a fundraiser in a tea house. It totally rubbed me the wrong way to have to do that though.

madamspud169 said...

I think that Jainey does know at least some of what is being said about her after all she is little in height not in intelligence. She's most likely had to deal with nastyness like this her entire life.
I would try to tach her what she needs to know for her work, while documenting all you see. The bonus to this is she will learn more about the job, realise not all her co-workers are nasty & hubby will be in a position to know if she would want to deal with the situation or not.

If hubby decides to complain about it on her behalf then I think he should wait until he has found another job as the employees involved would most likely make his life hell for doing so.

You never know you could end up with a very good friend out of this whole situation. One who has more to offer than most people realise!

Immoral Matriarch said...

I followed Loralee's link as well.
I don't even know what to say, I'll just pissed off and want to punch something. Someone.

I believe you should tell everyone and anyone that will listen and can help.

BTW - love your about. The turn your eyes to the right? Great line. :)

Sparkliesunshine said...

I found this via Loralee and I am SO mad. I really hope that something gets done about this. I live way out in PA, but I would still totally call or write to the company or something. I really have a soft spot for Little People and this just burns me so much. I'm glad T doesn't participate in this. I hope you keep us updated.

little red said...

Thanks for all the support, guys! Yeah, we're working through it. I'll update soon with the new info.

I definitely agree with all of you about the documentation -- I think that's what our next step is. Regardless, I doubt T will be staying with this company for very much longer without leaving with a bang....hehe

Jessica said...

Ok, I HAVE to know where this is. I live in the same town as you and I am racking my brain, trying to figure out where this could be... I need to know if I have been going there, and if so, will be taking my business elsewhere!

little red said...

While I appreciate your support, I think before I disclose to the world where is it that T works, I want to give them all an opportunity to change without affecting their business. I think that a situation like this, although awful, deserves a chance to redeem themselves. Everyone should get second chances, or maybe that's just me.

But don't get me wrong, if they don't choose to change themselves (because heaven knows we can't change them), it's going to be a whole new lawsuit waiting to happen.

Redneck Mommy said...

I agree with Loralee. Document.

But in the mean time, forward me the name of the company and information. I am hell on wheels when it comes to advocating for the rights of disabled people.

I'll show them just what type of friends, their little friend really has. And they won't EVER forget it.


Fear and Parenting said...

This is clearly wrong. It needs to be stopped. Can you contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Board in your county/state to file a complaint? As someone who was fired for a "disability" (yes, they still consider pregnancy a disability these days), I would have had a case if a colleague or two would have vouched for me. Since no one stood up, I got hosed. Big time.

T. said...

Found you via Loralee, as well.

As the mother of two children with High-Functioning Autism/Aspergers, this worries me tremendously. Thing is, not everyone is going to be nice. Our kids need to know that.

Not everyone is going to like you, but they can damn sure treat you with the respect you deserve for simply being human.

I feel for T. If he needs the job, it has to be scary to think of stepping out and calling them on their crap.

But these kind of people, people who prey on those weaker than they, will just continue and increase their vitriole if someone doesn't stand up.

I am sure you both know that. Just wanted to encourage you that though standing up for what is right can be hard, you can ultimately look at yourself in the mirror. That counts for a lot.