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    The New York Times CompanyEmi Nietfeld4/7/217 min
    31 reads8 comments
    9.8
    The New York Times Company
    31 reads
    9.8
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    • Jessica
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      4 weeks ago

      The painful reality of harassment, assault, and structuring personal identity is so difficult for many in the work force... and a reality that is often never shared. I hope many people feel less alone after reading this.

      It’s crushing when what we think is our final destination for our hopes and dreams turns out to gift us with another new set of baggage to carry.

      • Pegeen
        ScoutScribe
        3 weeks ago

        Great find Jessica. Thanks for posting.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        3 weeks ago

        It’s crushing when what we think is our final destination for our hopes and dreams turns out to gift us with another new set of baggage to carry.

        Wow, yeah. Very well said!

    • Pegeen
      ScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      I so appreciate articles like this because it’s a different work scenario than I ever experienced growing up in the mid 70’s. There were clear cut rules and regulations, chain of command, responsibilities. My work was separate from the rest of my life. I can appreciate how Google created a utopian “family” environment that would appeal to many who lacked that kind of support. And I clearly see the serious danger inherent in its structure. Unfortunately, sexual harassment was endemic back in my day also. Infuriating!

    • kellyalysia
      Scout
      4 weeks ago

      This sadly doesn’t surprise me. It is maddening to contemplate how common this kind of behavior is though.

      As a tangential one of the reasons I love freelancing and for that matter one of the plus sides of this pandemic I think is likely how much “work play” time and other pointlessness has diminished. For the knowledge sector at least- People can log on, do their job, and log off, without all the absurd company culture “happy hours” that are really just sexual harassment suits waiting to happen bc people are drunk and stupid, and the inane water cooler talk and various other time wasters. Respect and mutual collaboration is awesome but so much of that stuff is completely performative. A lot of my dearest friends are from jobs, but we didn’t forge a friendship at work, we developed a friendship in spite of it—outside of the office and in the many years following. I love not having to pretend friendships or fun with my coworkers/work contacts.

      • thorgalle
        Scribe
        3 weeks ago

        Some good points here!

        Respect and mutual collaboration is awesome but so much of that stuff is completely performative. A lot of my dearest friends are from jobs, but we didn’t forge a friendship at work, we developed a friendship in spite of it—outside of the office and in the many years following.

        I completely agree that work should never pretend to be a one-stop shop for your social and other needs. There's "work" and there's "life", they are separate, and work should recognize that.

        But I do think that work-sponsored fun (and watercooler talk) can have a role in kindling such personal friendships with colleagues, without obligation of participation. I often only got the chance to get to know some colleagues on a more personal level during company-sponsored non-work events, like a company dinner. I value that, especially in a pandemic where it's not easy to socialize with (new) groups of any kind.

        That said, "drunk and stupid" is a real problem. Limiting alcohol and having a strong (and real!) anti-exclusion/harassment culture are ways to mitigate that. But problems can happen in any case. I recall an episode of an annual work-sponsored weekend day-trip by our parent company. I was working for a company in Finland, so there was a sauna at the end of the day (which is normal there). The company culture code demanded wearing swimwear in the sauna, because obviously not everyone's comfortable being naked, so that's the inclusive way of doing things. One guy didn't though, because he wasn't aware. Someone spoke up, and because the guy didn't want to leave immediately (which I consider stupid), it became a heated argument with the group before he left. Not sure what the consequences were for him here, but at least it mattered that someone spoke up and that she got support from the group. I think you can evaluate a company culture with stories like the article, and this one.

    • DellwoodBarker
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      After I quit, I promised myself to never love a job again. Not in the way I loved Google. Not with the devotion businesses wish to inspire when they provide for employees’ most basic needs like food and health care and belonging. No publicly traded company is a family. I fell for the fantasy that it could be.

      I know this feeling super well (to be clear: unrelated to the underlying sexual harassment issue here which is troubling).

      In late fall of 2005, through an exceptional boutique temp agency in the heart of Manhattan I landed a dream gig at Andrew W Mellon Foundation that went from temp to perm very quickly. Once I was permanent (kicking off 2006 quite nicely) AWMF became my first Real Adult Job and for the first time (and sadly only time since which I am working to change currently) I plateaued into a secure space of financial stability - I could pay rent in Astoria, go out and had a swift commute into the Upper East Side all Super Comfortably.

      I Looooved it. Home-y brownstone environment, great co-worker socialization, traveled through the building a lot as mail clerk, gym and incredibly comfy break room upstairs and best health benefits. I was set and I constantly said “I will be here for five years or more.”

      Then....skrt.... let go at the beginning of 2008...due to economic collapse. I. Was. Psychologically Devestated and can remember balling my eyes out in the bathroom.

      I lost that paradise view of work as security and loyalty and fun loving in that experience and it has been Really Really hard to gain back. I am getting there.

      I start a new job tomorrow. In the interview for this job I was concerned that my honesty when answering a question could have damaged my chance. Thankfully it didn’t.

      The question was: “is this a job you can see staying at for long term?”

      I answered that I feel that is not an easy question to respond a simple Yes to because I became disillusioned on the idea of longevity in the work place waaaaay back in 2007 losing that job...and I said that much. Our job market and economic state and post-pandemic sitch does not a conducive long term work climate create. Jobs change sooo face these days. Everything is so fluid. And to be honest, I am not sure this is the kind of job i wish to make a career out of because I want to figure out ways to work and support my lifestyle that are innovative beyond the typical 9-5.

      In fact, my head got fucked with the next day when someone I love and who I know supports me congratulated this new job and added a statement about a career at this job...that freaked me out. Lol.

      This is a long way of acknowledging.....by now, whether it be inexcusable work complaint responses of harassment or abuse; be it layoffs or shutdowns; be it unexpected curveballs like pandemics and shit.... many of Americans are waking up stone cold sober to the fact that even when a job appears to be familial or reliable...at the end of the day I was just a worker; just another disposable number...and so was this author...and so many of us have been.

      I really admire self-starters/employers and entrepreneurs and would encourage any of them with a Vision of co-workers in the future to Treat those in your work environment well with appreciation and gratitude.

      1. Update (4/11/2021):

        Correction: “jobs change so fast”

      • thorgalle
        Scribe
        3 weeks ago

        It was good to read this reflection! Harassment is one awful and important thing discussed in the article, but your deeper dive in the larger theme of social/emotional/financial/... reliance on job stability was worth it. Trust in jobs isn’t easy after such events happen, I can imagine. But fully living without it sounds depressing as well!