Social Question

KateTheGreat's avatar

Should I report my boss? (see details)

Asked by KateTheGreat (13615 points ) June 19th, 2011

I was quietly working to myself the other day and doing my job very well (I have a small part time job at a fast food restaurant.) My boss, who is about as intelligent as a rock, thought he was funny and said “hey, you’re a homemaker, you can do this work.” He had no room to give me a “pep talk” or any of that other shit, because I was doing my job and getting things done. Also, he was not joking. He completely meant what he said. Personally, I found it quite insulting. As a hard working and ambitious woman, I take it to heart when someone insults me like that.

Should I report him for making insulting comments like this? Or am I just taking things too seriously? He has done this numerous times and I am at a breaking point.

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34 Answers

athenasgriffin's avatar

It really depends. If you report it, then you will probably have to deal with if more in the future. You might not make any friends by reporting him.

On the other hand, he deserves to be reported for being such a jerk. Maybe other females at your work will come forward too, after seeing your bravery.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@athenasgriffin I don’t care about making friends. He has been that way to all of the women at my job and we’re all very sick of it.

athenasgriffin's avatar

@KatetheGreat If it happens all the time then you should certainly report him.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m afraid I don’t see what the insult was.

athenasgriffin's avatar

@Jeruba He was insinuating that because she is a woman, she should be doing a better job at preparing food. I would also find it slightly insulting.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Jeruba I found it particularly insulting because my boss, who knows that I am in college and I am working very hard at 3 different jobs, implied that I could do better because I was a woman and we’re supposedly better at making food because we sit around home all day and do womanly things.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@KatetheGreat, I always recommend talking to a supervisor and an honest attempt to build rapport before going to senior management.

But as @Jeruba asked, I am now unclear as to the offense as well. Had you mentioned in the past that you had experience doing similar tasks as the one he was requesting you do? I have supervised large groups of people in the past and I am now reviewing my conversations with the women who have worked for me, to see if I may have made a similar slight by accident.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought I’ve never mentioned any real past experiences that relate to my job at all. He just implies that since I am a woman, I am obviously a homemaker. I just find it insulting because I have been working all of my life to not be a homemaker (no offense to those who are, it is just not my thing).

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@KatetheGreat, I am sitting here thinking, if one of the young women who worked for me came to me privately and said ‘Its annoying when you assume I know how to do (x). It makes me think that you just assume because I am a woman, I know how to do (x)’ I would be horrified at my own thoughtless behavior, apologize, and spoil her at work for a few weeks until it got off my conscience.

If he responded in another way, I would then report him.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I think perhaps @Imadethisupwithnoforethought is right. Maybe you should just talk to your boss about your concerns.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought I did blatantly tell him that it was insulting and he completely ignored me.

jonsblond's avatar

Your views about homemakers sound just as insulting as your boss’s.

I wouldn’t report him, I would talk to him about how you feel.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@jonsblond Oh dear, I don’t mean to sound insulting. There is nothing wrong with being one, but it’s just not something I could do. I just find it insulting that he would group all women into that same category. Forgive me.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@KatetheGreat I think you are awesome. I am not there in the situation. You have just prompted in me a great deal of self reflection about dumb things I may have said to women who I had been in a supervisory role over.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Thanks guys. I’m currently on the phone with my boss and trying to discuss things.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Here is the thing: any person reported will have to be involved in the research of the actual scenario. Put yourself in the place of the business owner or human resources manager. They are not about to take any risks without hearing both sides of the story. This means that they are going to talk to the person who made the comment, as well as any witnesses that might have been in the area.

Please consider @Imadethisupwithnoforethought‘s advice and talk to the person directly and privately. I have done so on with almost every supervisor I have had and have never been fired. In fact, now that I think about it, it has benefited both of us and built a better working relationship, except for one, and she eventually got the boot. Managers are, after all, humans with the ability to make stupid blunders, too.

If you desperately need this job and are not willing to take a risk, which doesn’t sound like you, then just take up a sport that will help you to work off the frustration.

BarnacleBill's avatar

The interesting thing about fast food managers is that very few people who are fast food managers aspired to the job. They usually ended up there because there was no place else to go. Their days are filled with managing people who make minimum wage, don’t show up for their shifts, and quit without notice. You’re in college, and your life will not be dependent on that fast food restaurant job. His will never change.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@BarnacleBill I never thought about it that way. Thank you. :)

Jeruba's avatar

My question was pretty much covered by @jonsblond. I didn’t see why being seen as a homemaker was such an insult, especially if you are one. (It wasn’t clear from your details, but I thought you were saying you were.)

I think it was just a dumb remark, myself. People make dumb remarks. It isn’t against the law to be dumb. I agree that talking to him is the right thing to do, but you should realize that it may make no difference. I second @BarnacleBill‘s wise point that this dead end is his and not yours.

WasCy's avatar

I’m with @Jeruba and @jonsblond in not seeing the issue to be offended by. It’s not as if being a homemaker is a meaningless, bad or shameful thing.

On the other hand, if you’re not a homemaker, or have never been one, and he keeps calling you that (even after, I presume, you’ve tried to correct him and tell him “I am not, nor have I ever been a homemaker”) then like @Jeruba said, he’s simply dumb and can’t think of a better way to relate or start a conversation or compliment your work.

So take it easy; he’s probably not intending to be insulting, and being called “a homemaker” if you are or have been one certainly isn’t a degrading comment, or even untrue (in that case).

Obviously, if you’re only working this job part time while you finish a college degree, you’re going to aspire to higher things soon, too. And you might still be a homemaker (since I’m not sure if you are one now or not in the rest of your part time). And it still won’t be a slur on you that you are. It’s not an insult.

6rant6's avatar

I don’t think “homemaker” is a protected class. Nor is “you know better how to do this” an insult. I can’t imagine that any supervisor would have any reaction other than, “Oy. This is a total waste of time.” So if you want anything to happen, just say he took out his penis.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Since it happens frequently I would put a dictaphone in my pocket and capture the exchanges, then it will have more teeth if you report it.

_zen_'s avatar

I don’t think I can add much to @Jeruba and @BarnacleBill – they were spot on.

JessK's avatar

Just sharing something about the homemaker-insult. My mother has been a stay-at-home mother since I was a child. I personally believe that she has a hard time with this same concept. She is a textile artist and actually makes a lot of money, but her studio is at home. She rebels at the concept of being a ‘homemaker’ because she loves her children, but still wants a life for herself. She was heartbroken when she discovered she couldn’t play french horn in the symphony and be a good mother at the same time. She has this piece hanging up that says,

“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and neighborhoods?”

Ah… men. It’s a man’s world. Some people (including your boss) need to change their attitude regarding women and the homemaking life.

WasCy's avatar

I like your mother’s attitude, @JessK. A lot.

Haleth's avatar

I hope talking to your boss cleared things up, @KatetheGreat. If not, you could start writing down all the things he says that make you uncomfortable, with the date and time. That way if you need to report him to a higher-up you will have his exact words. It sounds like you’ve already talked to the other female employees there and they feel the same way.

I agree with people upthread who say there is nothing insulting about being a homemaker. But I understand why this remark made you uncomfortable. Your boss was singling you out for being female and implying that women belong in certain roles. That remark would have made me uncomfortable, too. Good luck!

Mikewlf337's avatar

Reporting it is easy but proving it is not. I believe that you are telling us the truth but I don’t think there is much they can do to him if you report him. You would be wasting your time. If he is as dumb as you say he is then you shoudn’t take it to heart. He is might be too stupid to understand that he offended you.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’ll play Devil’s Advocate here. Who would you report him to and what is the allegation you are making that he did with the remark? Are you saying it was sexual harassment?

mattbrowne's avatar

Clearly, no. Reporting should be used for extreme cases only. Think of a smart way to talk to him. Tell him how his comments make you feel.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jonsblond Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought homemakers put a shitload of work into being good at their jobs. If the only reason @KatetheGreat would be good at it is because she has a uterus, and she hasn’t spent any time acquiring those skills, then I’m actually surprised you aren’t insulted by the insinuation that your job is so easy.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@KatetheGreat So…what happened when you talked to the supervisor? That was two days ago.

jonsblond's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I gave you a good answer because I agree with you. I never said I wasn’t insulted by his comments, I said her views were “just as insulting”. They both imply that being a homemaker is a menial job.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Have 3 or 4 kids and take care of them while you have to run errands, buy groceries, clean the house, make dinner, etc and tell me that is an easy job. I didn’t think about this question that way until it was mentioned but a homemaker is not an easy or lowly job. It is a hell of alot harder than some overpaid asshole at a desk, in a fancy office, with his/her thumb up his/her ass. Usually a home maker is taking care of the home and kids, It is a full time job. That is what is wrong with people today. They want to have kids and all a big house but they don’t have the time to take care of kids, fix dinner, do laundry, or to clean and maintain a house. They are too busy with their careers to really pay attention to all these things that are important as well. It would be alot easier if one parent took care of the kids and everything else while the other parent worked to provide for the family. The problem is that society has made it where both parents have to work. A hiomemaker is a hell of alot harder than being a manager at a fast food resturant. I bet he thinks he is some big shit for being a manager at a fast food restuarant. He is nothing more than a glorified burger flipper and he couldn’t handle being a homemaker on his best day.

EverRose11's avatar

My mother was a homemaker, Now I believe they have labeled that differently, Like a home engineer or some other quirky title, what I am trying to get at is you seem to feel insulted to be considered a homemaker! Perhaps he was just trying to say he knew you can do this type of work because your a homemaker, Sorry but I think your putting way to much into it, when in reality he may not have meant it as a negative comment at all. If you report him , things could change in a way that will make you even more uncomfortable.

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