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working with the woo

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Lilli
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Lelani Stolp
« on: September 16, 2010, 08:37:09 AM »

I have a very serious problem. As many of you know, I don't spend all too much time pondering the existence of god - frankly, I couldn't really care less whether she exists or not. Current evidence indicates that there's no such thing as god, but I'm not about to say the possibility doesn't exist - and if it makes you feel better to explain things by the 'god-did-it' philosophy, then so be it.
The company I work for is VERY religious. Seriously, we open office meetings with bible-reading and prayer. This is usually where I sit quietly in the corner, keep my mouth shut, and sing a song in my head. I know that its bullshit and I shouldn't have to tolerate such crap and its unconstitutional and what-not, but I really do enjoy the work, so I can tolerate the woo-ness, if it means continuing with the work I do. Until yesterday. One of the women who work here, her son is very ill, and the doctors can't seem to figure out what is wrong with him. She is, understandably, very stressed out. So, my boss called a meeting where he told us all to stand together, hold hands and take turns to pray for the kid's health and the mom's sanity (OK he didn't word it like that, but that's basically what we were supposed to pray for)
I do not want to hold hands with anyone from my office. And I will certainly not pray to a god that most likely isn't there.
While I obviously want the kid to get better, and would do all I can to support the mom during a time that has to be tough for her, there is no way in hell, heaven or earth that praying's gonna help anyone. Just none. Now the boss-man wants to have a 'chat' with me because I didn't stand in their prayer circle. FML.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2010, 08:47:09 AM »

Oh Lilli - it must be tough. Hang in there girl - we will pray for you  Evil
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Lilli
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Lelani Stolp
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 09:00:21 AM »

As long as you don't want to bloody touch me while you do it - pray forth  Wink
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Michael Meadon
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2010, 09:01:09 AM »

That's utter bullshit! Wow. I can only imagine how uncomfortable you must have been...

The good news is that they certainly can't fire you for not wanting to pray. I suggest (for fwiw) being honest: say 'I don't believe in God' (or whatever). Hopefully the dude won't be a total dick about it...
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GCG
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 09:35:32 AM »

if said dude wants to be a dick about it, then you go to the ccma.
allso, when the discussion happens, you simply say that personal issues should be kept out of the office environment, and that you are here to work, not hold hands and pray, and that he is not paying you a salary to pray and hold hands, and that you would rather earn your keep by sitting at your desk grafting.
allso tell him, that praying and reading bibles, wastes company time and money.  and that you werent employed there to pray, and praying and reading bibles isnt part of your job description.  and you would appreceate that he, and the rest of the office, keep religion to sundays, and out of the office.
if its the case of everyone bringing their issues to work, and making it an office debate, then you are going to bring your dog to work when he's got a sore paw, your kid when he's got flu, etc.  plainly tell him, that its not suitable office etiquite, and that you would prefer to keep your work environment profesional.
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Brian
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2010, 09:50:47 AM »

Reminds of a project I got involved some years ago: I became the consultant to a NG Kerk (one of the largest in SA) to help them develop a strategic plan. It took some two years' of Saturday mornings down the tube to do but it was quite an uncomfortable environment for me to work in. I stuck to the technicalities of the process. It all ended well though when they handed me a beautiful leather-bound "Verklarende Bybel" duly signed by the Kerkraad. Evil I actually read it to clarify some issues off and on in my research...but when they prayed I checked them out knowing full well that most of the kerkvaders were absolute skelms and vagabonds and Lilli the more they preached and prayed the more they hide...not that this helps you but we're there in spirit.
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Faerie
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2010, 10:15:12 AM »

Tell them you have aspergers, and a phobia for touching other's germ filled hands, it is generally an accepted excuse. (I generally go for this - truth on both accounts)

You could also go the route of praying in your closet - that your version of god's word instructs you to do your praying in private, and whilst you will show your support by standing around whilst they do their thing, your beliefs dictate that you do it on your own. (Yeah, its lying, but they will leave you alone in future)

I wouldnt open the god debate at work, it might become a problem in the long run.

Good luck.....
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Teleological
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 10:22:07 AM »

I agree, tell your boss you feel very uncomfortable to pray to something you think most likely is not there anyway.
Explain to him that it is like blaspheming to something that you think most likely is not there.
Tell him it makes you uncomfortable because you think it is utterly pointless, irrational and just plain stupid from your point of view to talk in any way or form to or about something you do not think exist.
Maybe he will understand that you would like not to pray or blaspheme out of respect, since that is perhaps the most rational think to do from your point of view and would like to do only rational things (from your point of view) while at work.

I am sure he will understand.
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2010, 10:57:34 AM »

Quote from: Faerie
I wouldnt open the god debate at work, it might become a problem in the long run.


I agree.

Quote from: Teleological
I agree, tell your boss you feel very uncomfortable to pray to something you think most likely is not there anyway.
Explain to him that it is like blaspheming to something that you think most likely is not there.
Tell him it makes you uncomfortable because you think it is utterly pointless, irrational and just plain stupid from your point of view to talk in any way or form to or about something you do not think exist.
Maybe he will understand that you would like not to pray or blaspheme out of respect, since that is perhaps the most rational think to do from your point of view and would like to do only rational things (from your point of view) while at work.

I am sure he will understand.

You're an idiot.
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GCG
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2010, 11:13:21 AM »

some ammo against the woo:

Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


Matthew 6:5

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

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Hermes
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2010, 14:12:43 PM »

Lilli, the best course of action I can think of is to say to the boss that you are uncomfortable with it, which he already knows in any case.   You can tell him that you regard your beliefs as private and do not wish to discuss it at work.

I agree, tell your boss you feel very uncomfortable to pray to something you think most likely is not there anyway.
Explain to him that it is like blaspheming to something that you think most likely is not there.
Tell him it makes you uncomfortable because you think it is utterly pointless, irrational and just plain stupid from your point of view to talk in any way or form to or about something you do not think exist.
Maybe he will understand that you would like not to pray or blaspheme out of respect, since that is perhaps the most rational think to do from your point of view and would like to do only rational things (from your point of view) while at work.

I am sure he will understand.
The author of this drivel is clearly so steeped in a life of falsehood and hypocritical pretense that he can no longer understand how anybody can be uncomfortable with it.   It's that disgusting smirk of deluded virtue again.
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Lilli
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Lelani Stolp
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2010, 15:01:59 PM »

Thanks guys - it helps to know that I'm not the only one who thinks my employers are idiots. (woo-wise, professionally, they are probably some of the best around) Our 'chat' went well, I think. My boss called me in and asked me why I didn't join the circle yesterday, and I told him that I assume a prayer coming from me would mean no more or less depending on my holding hands with my colleagues or not. I told him that I hope the sick kid gets better soon, and offered to cook dinner for the family for tomorrow night so that poor stressed-out tired worried mom can have the night off. He then went on about how important it is to 'be an active member of the kingdom' to which I nearly laughed out loud, but bit my tongue. I replied that I get on very well with my colleagues in a professional capacity, and at work-socials and the like, and that I feel it is entirely unfair of him to imply that I am deliberately not part of the group. To which he agreed, and apologized to me. And thanked me for the excellent work that I do for the company.  Grin
Now if only I can convince him to pay me more...  Roll Eyes
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Hermes
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« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2010, 15:11:04 PM »

Well done!   I wish you more pay and less pray.
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Faerie
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« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2010, 15:14:04 PM »

Great! It worked out well then.
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GCG
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« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2010, 15:27:15 PM »

still, what a douche.... at least he had the balls to apologise.
maybe its time to start thinking about moving away from there, towards a better working environment, and better salary.
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Michael Meadon
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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2010, 18:45:51 PM »

Well done!   I wish you more pay and less pray.

More pay less pray. I like that. It has an almost Marxian ring to it! :-) (No, not Marxist...)
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Lilli
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Lelani Stolp
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2010, 07:29:30 AM »

still, what a douche.... at least he had the balls to apologise.
maybe its time to start thinking about moving away from there, towards a better working environment, and better salary.
I have been looking, I assure you. I've had enough of this nonsense, really. The industry tends to get kinda quiet this time of year though. Still, if anyone knows of any environmental management job openings, give me a shout. 
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Julian
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« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2010, 08:24:30 AM »

some ammo against the woo:

Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


Matthew 6:5

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.



GCG, have you been secretly reading your Bible all this time?  Smiley
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Julian
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« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2010, 08:28:08 AM »

It sounds like some of you have to keep your lack of religious belief a secret at work so as not to negatively affect your careers. Is that true? I'm shocked.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2010, 08:37:45 AM »

I don't have to, and I don't. BUT I work mostly with young-ish techy people, who tend not to take opposing views too seriously. I have been at a place that replaced lunch with a "praise" session (I took lunch, freck 'em). I peeked into one of these sessions and it was quite.... disconcerting.
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Faerie
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2010, 08:39:15 AM »

It sounds like some of you have to keep your lack of religious belief a secret at work so as not to negatively affect your careers. Is that true? I'm shocked.

Very much so, I was worked out of my previous position earlier this year because of it. Fortunately found something within the same company with more tolerant co-workers, was an expensive experience though, was penalised heavily with my increase and bonus in Feb, all under the mantle of "being difficult to work with and not forming part of the greater team", aside from the fact that I in every aspect of my work had greater success than the religious lot. Anyway... I'm happy in this position though, and the change of scenery is good for me, coaching and mentoring is easier than counselling, less kak and drama....
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Lilli
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Lelani Stolp
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2010, 08:56:15 AM »

It sounds like some of you have to keep your lack of religious belief a secret at work so as not to negatively affect your careers. Is that true? I'm shocked.
Yes it is rather shocking, isn't it? And even though nobody will ever fire me for my lack of religious beliefs without subsequently hearing from the ccma, there are so many ways to make life difficult for an employee if you happen to disagree with their beliefs or lack thereof. The "you are not fitting into the team" speech is a favourite. And I am afraid the only answer to this problem is to find a more diverse team - if everybody in the office (except you) see each other at church on Sundays, it does kinda make you the outsider. Still, would much rather be the outsider when it comes to this bunch...
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GCG
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« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2010, 09:13:28 AM »

some ammo against the woo:

Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


Matthew 6:5

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.



GCG, have you been secretly reading your Bible all this time?  Smiley

the power of google my friend  Grin
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GCG
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« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2010, 09:58:05 AM »

Employment Equity Act, 1998
Chapter II Prohibition of Unfair Discrimination
6. Prohibition of unfair discrimination
1)       No person may unfairly discriminate, directly or indirectly, against an employee, in any employment policy or practice, on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language and birth.

2)       It is not unfair discrimination to-
a)       take affirmative action measures consistent with the purpose of this Act; or
b)       distinguish, exclude or prefer any person on the basis of an inherent requirement of a job.

3)      Harassment of an employee is a form of unfair discrimination and is prohibited on any one, or a combination of grounds of unfair discrimination listed in subsection (1).
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Julian
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« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2010, 12:08:34 PM »

I guess I'm shocked because this is so far from my experience. I've worked at places with lots of very religious people (Stellenbosch University must have some of the most religious science departments in the world) but have never felt like I needed to keep my own views private. I think I would find it unbearable.

Sorry you guys on the front line have to deal with this. Sterkte.
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Mutton
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« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2010, 16:23:29 PM »

It sounds like some of you have to keep your lack of religious belief a secret at work so as not to negatively affect your careers. Is that true? I'm shocked.

Marilyn Manson's music was cited as one of the reasons why the Columbine shooters did what they did. When subsequently asked what he would have said to them, Manson's reply was:

"Nothing. I would have listened."

Often the best approach?
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Gogtjop
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« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2010, 15:26:40 PM »

Got this mail on Friday:


Hi

I think we should nominate a person from IT to represent us there and I would like to nominate Michael.

Any other nominations and opinions on this from IT?


Regards,
Jacques *******
Tel  : (+2711) 353 ****
Value  -  Teamwork  -  Quality

----- Forwarded by Jacques ******* on 2010/10/08 01:10 PM -----
From:   Kelly *******
To:   HOJHB
Subject:   Prayer Group


Dear All,

A few of us at Head Office have decided to start a weekly prayer group. At the first meeting we will discuss the structure of the meetings and how we feel they should be conducted in the future.

We will be meeting from 12pm next week Friday for 30 minutes at the Tavern.

Please feel free to attend, and bring your suggestions and thoughts to next week's meeting.

We hope to see you there.

Kind regards,

Kelly *******



I nominated Riedwaan, our muslim DBA. Bwehehehe.
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Faerie
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« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2010, 15:33:27 PM »

A prayer meeting at a Tavern.... good one that!  Cheesy
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GCG
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« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2010, 15:34:42 PM »

Quote
I nominated Riedwaan, our muslim DBA. Bwehehehe.
sheer brilliance
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Wandapec
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« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2010, 17:54:04 PM »

Quote
I nominated Riedwaan, our muslim DBA. Bwehehehe.
sheer brilliance
I agree. I laughed out loud!
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