A piece by Richard Fausta posted on the website of Business Review Europe commenting on how Brits should celebrate Christmas in the workplace [click here] has application to Americans this time of year.
Fausta says “Office decorations during the Christmas season is seen as one reason toward the notion that employees can lose focus.” For example, he notes, “Talking with co-workers about Christmas preparations, discussing shopping, parties and decorations can be perplexing to any manager dealing with staff productivity.” I asked our vice president about this. We can’t relate to that, Bernadette Brady said. “Partying is precisely what allows us to focus.”
Fausta advises that “It’s best for employees to keep any highly religious displays inside the walls of cubicles.” We can’t relate to that Brady said. “We all have windowed offices.”
“If one of your colleagues wants to put up a picture of Jesus, but he works next to a Buddhist,” Fausta advises, “there may be some sensitivities involved to deal with.” We can’t relate to that Brady said. “We don’t hire Buddhists.”
Ever sensitive, Fausta observes that “What smells like a beautiful mix of holiday smells of cinnamon, baked apples, and gingerbread may make your Indian colleague keel over in convulsions.” We can’t relate to that Brady said. “We don’t hire Indians.”
“One survey found 85 percent of companies that decorate their offices have had to adjust policies as a result of complaints about the decorations,” Fausta said. “We can’t relate to that Brady said. “We only hire Catholics.”
In other words, to avoid complaints of discrimination in the workplace, be sure to discriminate when hiring. Either that or tell the whiners to get a life.