7.05.2010

The Future of the Workplace

I started a new job today. I was introduced to everyone as Marcus and I am happy to be working in a place that seems so tolerant and accepting. When I went in to sign all the paperwork today I was handed a folder containing the company's discrimination and harassment policy. I had to sign an agreement that I would read it and abide by all the guidelines within it. I have to say that reading it made me smile and feel kinda hopeful for the future. This is a direct quote and a couple excerpts taken from the discrimination and harassment policy document:

The Employer supports a fundamental principle that all persons are equal in dignity and human rights without regard to race, colour, ancestry, nationality, ethnic or place or origin, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, marital status, family affiliation, political association or belief, or convictions for which a pardon has been granted.

Harassment and/or discrimination will not be tolerated.

This policy applies to all employees, suppliers, and customers. 

Discrimination and harassment takes on many forms including but not limited to:
Failure to consider or hire an individual for a job, or promote an individual, based on... any of the prohibited grounds

How awesome is that? How great is it that when I was completely up front about my transition at my interview, BEFORE I got hired that the discrimination policy was working for me? Um, wow I guess I found a pretty good place to work. I hope that one day ALL employers will have such a broad and protective policy against harassment and discrimination not only from within the company but will stand up with their employees against customers and suppliers who do not respect the basic human rights of everyone.

If I am lucky enough to get on with this company as a permanent employee, I hope that getting time off for my surgery or other doctor's appointments will not be an issue. I may not get on permanently but while I am currently employed I will be a positive and hard working team player. I will set a good example for others with my behaviour and give my co-workers the opportunity to learn about transgender, ftm, gender queer people, to see that we are like everyone else.

Knowing someone, working with someone, learning about their life, can make it pretty hard to hate them for no real reason. And it makes it even harder when that person is a good, kind, hard working member of a small community. That queer plays hockey with all the other teachers, golfs with your neighbour, sits on the board of the SPCA, is friends with your sister's wife, lost his brother to cancer too, loves fishing, curls friday nights with your daughter, and lent your son his last ten bucks. It's pretty hard to hate that fag, or those dykes and their kid, or that person you're not quite sure of when you consider that they are part of your community. Who knows, one night you just might find yourself sitting next to a queer family at a charity hockey game for your sick kid/husband/wife/nephew/mother/gram sharing a thermos of hot chocolate.

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