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Author Topic: What would/do you do when insulted for being Steampunk? By a stranger.  (Read 1802 times)
Captain Steele Tear
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United States United States

of the Airship "Skeleton Blue"


« on: June 14, 2018, 05:27:15 am »

 To be clear, I don't wear goggles to work... yet! Nonetheless I was still insulted, at work, for being steampunk.
 I just started working at a restaurant that I worked at for five years but left six years ago. So, I'm comfortable there but still new to almost everyone. It has an open kitchen, meaning all the food is made in front of the whole restaurant, and I'm a saute chef. We have a shelf above the station with a bluetooth speaker on it that faces the chefs so we can listen to music while we work. The servers tend to hang out there, and listen to the music, when their not busy. A couple of the servers, apparently, feel entitled to choose what music is played, even though it's always controlled by a chef's phone, mostly because they 'batted their eyes' and 'shook their tails' at a couple of the younger single chefs. The general rule of thumb, however, is that whichever chef starts work the earliest has control of the speaker; we have staggered shifts.
 
 Here's what happened: I went into work to open the restaurant, about three hours before the servers get there, and I was listening to "The Cog is Dead" radio on pandora. During lunch one of the servers complained, to me, about the music. She actually told me I should turn it down because she didn't like it. Now, as a side note; I tend to be passive aggressive most of the time, always trying to keep things cool but still getting upset about b.s. So, I turned it down feeling pretty uncomfortable about the situation. A few minutes later I was coming around the corner and heard her making fun of my music to someone else and acting like I was a loser for listening to it. It was one of those 'corner of the eye' things, when she saw me she stopped talking and I pretended i didn't hear anything. Which made me even more uncomfortable, but then I got upset. What I thought about telling her was; "Well, some music takes a certain level of intelligence to enjoy". Instead, I went back to my phone, changed it to "Abney Park" radio and turned it up loud enough for everyone to hear.

 So now curious, wondering if any of you have had similar experiences or what you would have done in my situation?
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Kensington Locke
Officer
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United States United States


« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 03:27:17 pm »

The rule of law at your restaurant has been established.  The chef is in charge.  You're the chef.  She carries food.

yes, terribly classist, but you work in a restaurant which is a microcosm of class structure.  You make things.  You're educated.  You got the job because you worked hard and know stuff.  She carries food.  Whatever the sum of her skills and experience, they only enabled her to carry food.

Now maybe, this is a struggling artist or mom, or somebody's who's going to break out of their current situation to something better.  Or just pass through to the next food carrying job.  Because she clearly doesn't have the sense or refinement to appreciate unfamiliar music or keep her mouth shut and respect the hierarchy.  Which really re-establishes her place in the pecking order of your micro-society.  She carries food.

I don't think it's healthy or humble to view everybody in that framework.  But in her case, she hasn't demonstrated any qualities that might elevate her above the job.  She carries food.
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2018, 08:27:33 am »

In my experience, problem workers who pick on other workers have agendas or psychological issues well beyond the particular behaviour you first notice. Her making fun of your music is just one symptom out of many revolving around a much greater hatred she carries inside.

You should suspect something is afoot when you see her making fun of you in front of other employees. That is a bad sign.

If not the music, she will find something else to gripe about you.

~ ~ ~

You see, I have been working at a front desk position as a cashier for 4 years now. For 3.5 of those years I suffered a great deal at the hands of a She-Devil (I will call her that) who had a serious issue with just about everything I ever did or said.

I thought at first she had a problem with my prior station in life. She didn't like my tales or anecdotes from my childhood, and she would fly into a rage if I talked about my house in Mexico City or my school years, or things like that.

Since we're talking about hierarchy in society, then I must say that my family was well to do back then when I lived in Mexico City. I'd have to flat out lie about my previous life at my job to avoid the subject otherwise. So I could understand if she felt I didn't belong in that job. We both lived in Mexico, but in many ways we both came from the extreme opposite sides of society. Perhaps she felt I didn't deserve a second chance when she was able to put her own children through college, the first members of her family to attend college. I to put it bluntly, deserved to die, as life came easy to me.. Or something along those lines.  Undecided

But this is a job, I am an able bodied person and I need to work to survive, I thought. I wasn't talking to her. It was none of her business, and I should not be concerned about her "class warfare issues" or so I thought.

But avoiding the subject was not enough. She would purposefully make fun of my appearance in front of new employees, and always being careful that the boss was not around. She had a problem with my androgynous appearance. She also told new employees that everything I did was wrong. It was a relentless psychological campaign. While customers showered my boss with compliments on my service, the She Devil complained I was incompetent - at everything. The boss began to see a gross disconnect between what customers said and what the She Devil claimed. But he still did nothing about it, even when I complained to him. The She Devil had an iron grip on my boss.

Because I'm a boy and she's a girl, I could not do anything about it either. Not unless you want to be told by your boss that you're fired while the police place you under arrest, and lead you to a patrol vehicle, while wearing shiny shackles.

In the first two years I endured it, but then she started insulting me in person when the boss was not around. My guess is that she wanted to get rid of me.

Finally, enough of her behaviour was made known to me by other employees. In her 8 years of tenure in that business she had picked fights with almost every other employee. Moreover, she'd be successful at angering a co workers she didn't like, to the point there was a physical confrontation (usually with other female workers) and the other workers would get fired.

So it was at that point that I realised that getting rid of me was her real goal. It was a carefully crafted campaign against me, and she hated me the most, because I had endured it for more than two years. The turn over rate at the front desk was an appalling 2.2 months per employee, I calculated. I calculated that number, because, as the boss became aware of my high performance, he gave me the task of training other employees. By the third year I  had trained 16 employees.

But I noticed that slowly she began to turn against other employees I had trained, in some cases successfully ejecting them from the shop. And that is when I saw proof of what other employees had told me about her. That was HER shop and the boss believed everything she said, at least until it became blatantly obvious that her accounts did not fit the facts.

Mind you. My only interaction with her was about *15 minutes per day *that our shifts overlapped! 15 minutes of sheer hell! I joked that I needed a spray bottle filled with Holy Water, so I could keep it under the counter - just in case.

The nightmare ended when my boss, a middle aged gentleman about 10 years older than me retired and sold the business, and the new owner, a middle aged lady, started to pay attention to the employee complaints about her. Perhaps the She Devil lost grip on the new boss, because the new boss was a woman, I don't know.

We just opened a new shop and I was selected to start the new shop during the first month as I was only one of two employees (including the She Devil) who knew both POS sales systems (we will migrate from an old POS to a new one shortly).

As part of my interview for the new job the new boss asked me how I got along with another girl with whom I worked last year. That other employee is an even more senior employee who has been working for 15 years or longer in the company. I told my boss that I got along very well (my co-worker had recommended me for the job), *except for one person *I didn't mention any names... But my boss finished my sentence and said "(insert name of She Devil), right?" so the new boss was well aware of She Devil's shenanigans.

This last month, I had to open the new shop in the evenings, and the She Devil had the morning shifts. Through the last month, she was very muted and respectful about me. I would even call her "defeated"  Grin Only God knows what the new boss said to her. The other senior employee returned from vacation this week, and the She Devil is back where she belongs - far away from me.

~ ~ ~

So I hope you don't go through what I went through, but my impression is that there is a darker motive other than she not liking your music. The correct solution is to figure out her end game, and then expose her game to everyone in the shop. These types of people operate in the shadow, and they don't want the boss to find out the truth. They will have two faces and start turning employees against you. You have to engage those employees so you can disarm (her?) strategy.

How about making friends with the other employees and turn them into Steampunk? When she tries to make fun of you in front of another employee, get a hold of other employees and turn them to your side.

The boss MUST be made aware of what is going on. The employees need to discover they are being manipulated by this bad apple. Trying to tackle this bad apple employee alone by yourself while keeping quiet is not possible.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 09:21:53 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2018, 06:04:34 pm »

Get as many steampunk inclined people as you know to go in when you are on shift, play steampunk music, get them to compliment it and tell the management how much they like it.  Make your restaurant the place for steampunks to go in your area. Managers are always looking to increase customers so they win, and you get to listen to good music so you win; an added bonus is that if the server really hates it she will leave!
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 10:38:40 am »



 Some people can't handle other people's  free thought and  indepents taste and style. It's because they are not brave enough to have their own.
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Captain Steele Tear
Deck Hand
*
United States United States

of the Airship "Skeleton Blue"


« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2018, 06:05:49 pm »

Thanks everyone for the comments. And wow Wilhelm, what a sad story. I'm glad you have gotten away from her, at least for the most part. I don't think I will experience the same thing you have, like Locke pointed out, servers are a dime a dozen. In three months only 10-20% will be the same ones they are today. If she is one who lasts I will eventually win her over with my cheery disposition. And if I don't, well, her position is easy to fill. I work the hardest station in the restaurant and I do it well. The store manager is the same one from when I worked there before, actually I worked with her eight years ago when she was promoted to store manager, so we have a long history and get along very well. If this server causes any type of hindrance to the job I'm sure it will be her getting reprimanded, not me.
On the Steampunk front, I just moved back to this fairly small town, 35,000 population, so I don't know any Steampunks yet, or if any others are here. The largest sub-culture here is, unfortunately, hippies. I know, they should have been gone by at least the 90's but, there's still a lot of them here, sitting around smoking the same old stuff and doing the same old nothing.
I completely agree with Annie, this was the first time I stepped out with my steampunkness in a completely non-SP environment, and I'm glad I didn't let that server shut me down. Since that day I continue to listen to whatever music I want and others have been interested in it, and find it a welcome change to what their used to hearing at work. So, even though it's quick at work moments, I've been able to answer questions about the music and tell people a little about SP. Who knows? Maybe I will find a new SP to hang out with, or maybe someone else will have the courage to step out a little. I don't know, I'm not trying to convert people or anything; I just wanted to listen to music I like at work.
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chicar
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Chicar556
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2018, 05:47:58 pm »

Please Excuse The Pop Music Intrusion But This Song Resume My Opinion On The Subject:
https://youtu.be/ovw_00tYYcw
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''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
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SolarCenturion
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Stand a little less between me and the sun


« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2018, 09:52:45 pm »

People have made fun of me my entire life. For my choice of entertainment, for my dress, for my... me.

I thought it would get better once I was in the adult world but I discovered that people never actually grow up. If they made fun of you in high school, they'll make fun of you as an adult.

Two things have changed now that I'm in my 50's.

1. I learned how to defend myself for those occasions when it goes beyond "making fun". It's very funny to me that I've never had to use it. Once I learned to fight, nobody wanted to fight me.

2. In conjunction with #1 is my self-confidence and self knowledge in who I am. I have done amazing things. I have seen amazing things. I have been to amazing places. I have an amazing Wife and for almost a decade after marriage we lived a life of pure adventure before our kids came along. Now I have two amazing kids and that's a whole new adventure of it's own. I am no longer ashamed of being different and weird. I am embrace my weirdness. I know who I am and I love who I am and no jibes or behind my back whispers can diminish that. I could give a damn what anyone else thinks or says about me.
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Prof Marvel
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learn from history, or be doomed to repeat it


« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2018, 07:17:37 am »


>>     What would/do you do when insulted for being Steampunk? By a stranger.

choose one.

A) fire up the flame-shooting bagpipes

B) remove my shirt, put on an Air Calvary hat

  and switch the music to "Ride of The Valkeries".   
  real loud

C) Stop what I'm doing. Put whatever is in my hands down.
      Stare at them .
      Not speaking, not blinking.
      Just stare.

if you are not arrested
you won.

yhs
prof marvel

ps: in all seriousness, good luck on your situation :-(

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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2018, 02:37:50 am »



Being arrested  could be  the raging  success  of freedom of expression and reaching the boundaries of societal limits.
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Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2018, 04:35:42 pm »

Of course quite often it's not unexpected insults one receives but unexpected compliments.  The other day I was wearing 'soft' steampunk (you know the sort of thing - back-laced jacket, almost ankle length skirt, frilled blouse, but not bustle or corset), I was wearing a bowler hat, and a lady chased us down the street just to say how much she liked the outfit. This happens fairly often and always brightens the day.
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2018, 05:35:11 pm »

Of course quite often it's not unexpected insults one receives but unexpected compliments.  The other day I was wearing 'soft' steampunk (you know the sort of thing - back-laced jacket, almost ankle length skirt, frilled blouse, but not bustle or corset), I was wearing a bowler hat, and a lady chased us down the street just to say how much she liked the outfit. This happens fairly often and always brightens the day.

 Its those spontaneous reactions of others  and vicarious admiration  that make the effort worth while
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Hez
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Canada Canada


aka Miss Primrose C Leigh


« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 01:17:12 am »

I met 2 friends for lunch and one brought another person I hadn't met.  I can't remember how it came up that I was a steampunk but the stranger's response can be summed up as a distainful how childish/sad/nerdy.  Before I could speak my 2 non SP friends jumped in with how cool it was and what interesting things I made and wonderful costumes etc. 
I have good friends.
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Kensington Locke
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2018, 04:56:04 pm »

I met 2 friends for lunch and one brought another person I hadn't met.  I can't remember how it came up that I was a steampunk but the stranger's response can be summed up as a distainful how childish/sad/nerdy.  Before I could speak my 2 non SP friends jumped in with how cool it was and what interesting things I made and wonderful costumes etc. 
I have good friends.


You do indeed have good friends and a good reminder for us all to say nothing when you've got nothing good to say and to speak up when somebody hasn't practiced that.

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