Sometimes It's Worth the Headache

>> Friday, November 16, 2007

There are times in life that we should let things go. Times we should turn the other cheek. Like getting cut off in traffic. Or when someone bumps into us. When our boss is being an ass. These are times when it isn't worth the headache. It's better for everyone if we just get over it and move on.

However, there are certain occasions when we shouldn't let it go. Sometimes someone needs to stand up and fight. Times when we, or someone else is legitimately wronged. Like crime, bullying, and discrimination. When these kinds of things happen, the right thing to do is stay and try to create change.

When someone is faced with a wrong that they can make right, it is an opportunity that is clearly worth the headache.

I recently observed this happen in a case of discrimination. A boss gave a job to a worker who is disabled and the client refused to work with the disabled person, saying they weren't capable of doing the job. At this point, the boss had a decision to make. He had to ask himself if this was really worth the headache. The headache here could include lost business. On the other hand, this was a golden opportunity to stop discrimination. Even if it meant lost business, it would be for the best possible cause.

What did the boss do? Unfortunately, he did not feel it was worth the trouble. He took the easy way out and told the client he would assign him another worker, causing civil rights to take a small step back. The client learned that discrimination is allowed in this workplace.

Fortunately, the new worker assigned was no dummy. He realized why he had gotten the client and told the boss he wouldn't be a part to it. He said it was wrong to allow the change. He asked how the boss could sleep at night. He told the boss that if he forced him to take the client, he would call a meeting of the higher ups and discuss the whole incident with them. If he was still forced to work for the client, he would do so under public protest.

The boss actually agreed with the worker, but just didn't want the headache. Another worker was assigned but subsequently also refused to take the client. Eventually the boss realized that enough people knew of the situation and decided to save face, albeit late. He told the client the original worker was the right person for the job, period.

Happy ending for civil rights, right? Well, not exactly, after all this, the disabled worker didn't want to work for the client and backed out. So, now no one will work for the client because of his prejudice. This seems like legitimate discrimination, doesn't it?