{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My office says they respect diversity, but my manager made a joke or two about me being Asian. Am I being too sensitive?", "post_id": "612922807e74ca001daa4f36", "reply_count": 68, "vote_count": 21, "bowl_id": "55375ce690f5eebe1d2a0f88", "bowl_name": "Tech" }

My office says they respect diversity, but my manager made a joke or two about me being Asian. Am I being too sensitive?

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at
Highlighted IconHIGHLIGHTED

Context is important, but ultimately if it bothered you enough to post here, you should probably address it. Just remember, there is no such thing as a "pure" workplace, so being offended by everything is also not the right play (and probably just means you need to get out). Pick what matters to you the most and establish boundaries early. I'm rarely offended. I laugh with the group when it's clear I'm embodying certain cultural stereotypes and I'm being called on it. I never find it harmful or toxic - we all need to be able to laugh at ourselves. If it turns to exclusionary behavior, I take a very different view.

likehelpfulfunny

I think the mere fact that you're posting it on here means it's impacted you. I have found the best way to handle this type of situation is right in the moment. Call it for what it is but in a casual unbothered way. "yeah, that stereotype is wild right?" "Oh wow, yeah it's crazy how ppl think/say that about Asian people" It's a direct way of making them rethink how they not only speak to you but how they approach those kinds of jokes in the future. The reality is we're at work. It's clear it bothered you otherwise you wouldn't be ruminating on Fishbowl. So folks asking what was specifically said or discussing the manager's intent is meaningless.

like
Recent IconRecent

I'm from a minority (Latino) and I think most jokes are fine! People have gotten waaaay too sensitive. IMO, most stereotype jokes are like caricatures, but instead of highlighting distinctive physical attributes, they highlight distinctive funny human behaviors. Sure, you can see a little bit of yourself in them, but you know they are not a true representation of reality. Obviously, there are offensive jokes that cross the line, but most of them are only a problem if you let them get to you in a personal level. So, lighten up.

like

Software engineer 3, You extrapolated a lot from that one statement. How is constantly guessing someone's intent (hard to really know unless you're a mind-reader) rather than assessing impact on you (something that's easier to figure out as it pertains to ...yourself) lead to grudges and therefore a miserable life? Assessing how something affects you and then decide how to act is how I would hope people strive to live their lives. It's called self awareness. Either way I think folks have given appropriate advice based on limited knowledge to either talk about it with manager, let it go, or look to work for another manager (if this is a pattern, things can add up). I hope OP realizes their feelings about the joke are as valid as any other feelings one may have.

IMO, no. I used to think jokes were just for fun. But I learned at work that they often harbor some beliefs that impact decision-making on people. And if they’re not openly joking about their superiors, definitely watch out.

like

HR videos are useless. I learned from paying attention.

like

I was in this situation before where I confronted my manager about his sexist comments. I thought I was doing the right thing but I got fired a few months later. Here’s what I wish I had done: 1. Document all instances where your manager did this. If there are witnesses, send them a slack and say “I can’t believe he said …” or, depending on the state you’re in, record convos with your manager. 2. Go straight to HR to leave another paper trail. If your company values diversity there should be a way to report these things. If you ever get fired you have more of a case for wrongful termination. 3. Change teams or leave the company when it is safe to do so - you deserve better treatment. It exists out there. PS: those asking what the jokes are or how serious the jokes are have made racist jokes themselves before.

like

I agree, going to HR will not help. Their job is to protect the partners, not you. Also agree with PM1 that there’s no point confronting. If it becomes systematic and offends you, then start building your defenses

like

No, you aren’t being “sensitive,” you’re being a responsible human who should correct your manager. “I know it’s in jest, but race and identity are sensitive topics…” or whatever you think you need or want to say.

like

“Hey. It seems you don’t mean anything with the banter. But I was made fun of and put down a lot growing up because of my Asian heritage, so I’m a bit sensitive to it. I like a friendly tone around the office though, and think it’s important for the team. How can we continue doing that without race?” (delivered with an inquisitive - asking for help - tone of voice and body language)

like

What kind of joke are we talking about? There's a long range of Asian jokes possible from mildly OK to wtf

likehelpful

Your manager is not your office. It’s possible to work for an amazing company with terrible team leadership. As for your question, it really depends. It’s hard to answer, “Am I being too sensitive,” without knowing the entire situation. I’m a minority as well. I try to frame the situation in terms of intentional aggression. Was it observational humor that happened to have a racial component or is this person making fun of my blackness at my expense? You can always talk to the other person. This usually works well if the other person isn’t meaning to be hurtful. Sometimes people get too comfortable without realizing a line has been crossed. Keep in mind that a direct approach can require decent emotional intelligence and tact. You can escalate the issue to someone above you as well. HR is also an option as well, but this is usually the nuclear option. HR isn’t there for you nor the other person. Disciplinary action (be it a minor write up or someone getting fired) will likely be taken. Edit: clarification

like

The depends on the jk stuff is BS. A persons sensitivities should matter regardless. I might not be as offended as some folks, but that doesn’t mean their experience doesn’t matter. It’s shit like this that allows people to think it’s ok to bully Asians. As an Asian male, we’ve always been used as punching bags in American society, and quite literally in the past year. Watch any Coen bros movie (which I love) and you see there’s always one or two Asian jokes and probably not by coincidence. Not trying to victim blame but you’re in the right to speak up as someone who took offense to your managers joke. Otherwise it’ll keep happening. Rep your set!

like

I think it depends on the joke. Having equal opportunities, feeling like you can communicate and share your ideas without prejudice, having your work respected by peers, those are crucial to succeeding in your career and certainly part of being inclusive. Friends and coworkers will sometimes make jokes, ideally light-hearted and hopefully funny to you as well. If you feel uncomfortable with the joke they made, whatever the reason might be, let your manager know that you don't find that funny.

like

There are two concerns here. First, micro-racism. Yes, it exists, and yes, it should be handled. Micro-racism is how racist folks generally pretend to be diverse (Biggest cliche example: I have friends of color). Second, sensitivity. If you are feeling uncomfortable, you are never too sensitive.

like

Nah. Seems that maybe human behavior and psychology is not your forte. And what’s funnier is rather than make a counter-argument with some basis, you’d rather insult. So guess I’ll fight fire with fire. Interesting person you are.

like

You need more context on this post and share the joke....

like

How many people on here can possibly be all three: 1. A manager of an Asian employee 2. At Lyft 3. Who has recently made questionable jokes to their Asian direct report And if the manager _is_ watching: Stop making racist jokes at work.

likesmart

What was the joke

like

There's no such thing as "too sensitive" – feelings aren't correct or incorrect, they're not "your fault" for having them, and it's not "your fault" for feeling a certain way or another. That line of thinking just keeps us all paralyzed and permits abuses to continue. If you were Black, would you even be here asking this question? Nope. The fact that being Asian is somehow "jokeworthy" is beyond me. I'm tired of Asians being the only minority that is still "acceptable" to poke fun at. Bottom line: If it made you feel bad, it's worthy of bringing up as a point of discussion. Tactfully. Respectfully. I don't know your manager, and as my mother says, "ignorance can be cured, stupidity cannot." So if your manager is simply the former, you have some hope of enlightening them and making Lyft a better workplace for yourself and other Asians. But if you are bringing it here and feel that you require anonymity to even discuss it, it means that we aren't really at any point of workplace psychological safety where we can feel free to address concerns without having our selves, our careers, or professional growth threatened. What you do about it is up to you, because retaliation does exist, you know your workplace best, but it doesn't make joking about someone's race any less wrong or you "too sensitive" or some other BS defense that just exists to protect the aggressor.

like

Don’t ever confront! He/she will say sorry and build a case against you on sth completely unrelated. You’ll regret it for the rest of your life. 21 century politics is not about man-to-man conversations

like

Is the manager From a minority ?

funny

If it affected you to the point of asking this question, it is worth addressing with the jokester. Addressing doesn’t need to be formal- maybe just a “too soon” or “nah, not cool” or even a prolonged Rock-inspired eyebrow raise. Context is also interesting - was this done in front of a group? In small talk before a meeting agenda item? Finally is this someone with whom there has been enough relationship development over coffee, a meal, or a drink? Each of these steps, in my book, can change the situation a bit.

like

Thanks all, appreciate it so much.

like

Depends on the joke. Lighten up and don’t immediately look at the joke as if the person is trying to get you / offend you.

like

If it’s a joke, it’s usually fine. When malicious acts happen, that’s when you should counter-attack

like

You're not sensitive at all. It's a slimy tactic the majority employs to make you feel small and apologetic. Ask them to explain themselves and submit a complaint to HR. The workplace is for work, not for d-grade open mics.

like

Related Posts

Long story short - my nanny has many conservative values - mom shaming breastfeeding in public, gender specific roles, considering boys better than girls etc. it never bothered me before and I have learned to co exist with her however now my toddler is speaking and understanding more I am worried about him being influenced by her. Further she also has comments against my SO being too involved parent & calling out son as cutie, hugging toddler etc as he is a boy. Contd..

like

Gibson Dunn: What are people’s thoughts on the quality of work, firm culture, diversity, and career opportunities?

like

What’s your gender, age, & city? After dropping your info, respond to others in your area

like
like

Happy International Women’s Day to all the 🐠 on here advocating for gender diversity. Judging from some of the D&I posts/replies lately it’s very necessary. Hope you’re as vocal w/in your firms 💪🏻

likeuplifting

Got denied promotion a 2nd year in a row. Already acting as manager on my current projects and feeling a bit down. Should I try again a 3rd year or just leave now 🧐 Manager : “You fly far under the radar, hit billables, clients like you, coworkers have nothing but good things to say, do good work consistently, but missing the “shine/pluses needed for me to make the business case for promotion”. Let’s work next year to get you there.

likehelpful

Is anyone else having difficulty when teaching pronouns now with non-binary terms? My students insist on the fact that Susan doesn’t have to be she it could be they. Answer key says she. How do we handle this?!?!

likehelpful

Be honest; are you tired of the word "diversity"?

like

Better .com fired their whole diversity and Inclusion team over zoom. Do you think they weren’t seeking the increased profits attributable to D+I that many consulting firms promised?

likefunny

Anyone have first hand experience working at Ryan, LLC? Pay/Culture/Leadership/Diversity etc..

like

As a black person I'm well aware of the belief held that a lot of "us" dont actually belong in the firm..we are here through affirmative action/diversity push. How prevalent is that view do you think?

like

What are the gender ratios at other companies? I’m currently the only woman on a dev team of 21 software engineers... yikes that’s <5%

Anyone ever used a ride share app that employs women only? Really wish it was an option to choose gender on Uber... especially for late night rides

like

How do you promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in your school community?

like

Why do we celebrate diversity and not just people? Celebrating diversity is offensive to 'diverse’ people as they don’t like to be treated as corporate trophies and is discriminatory against white men

likefunnyhelpfulupliftingsmart

I have a full time inclusion teacher in my first period class. Do you have an "inclusion" teacher any of your classes?

like

Does anyone feel like the 'token' diversity person in a room/meeting and how do you deal with it?

like

Next question (based on a great conversation in 1 of the threads): how do gender roles and expectations play into your decisions about work and family?

likesmart

A college hire analyst just threw my Chick Fil A bag in the trash at the airport and lectured me about inclusion. Not sure how to respond right now just went to the other side of the boarding area.

like

How important is diversity to you where you work? How important is it to you to have gender balance? Are you male or female?

likehelpful

Additional Posts

Favorite place a project of yours has been and traveled to weekly?

like

Is it the right time to buy Zoom?

like

Anyone switch from corporate to litigation post-clerkship?

like

Has anyone used the RAPID NYC COVID test tents? I got a rapid test 30m ago but haven’t heard back yet (they say 15m)

like

When will PwC bonuses established at career round table start getting reflected in our pay checks?

like

Trying to determine if I’m off-base: 9ish yrs of exp (7 + 2 post MBA). Focus in healthcare strat and org change/transformation — when folks call I’ve been asking for $175K base but the roles have topped out at $150K base. These are director level roles in industry and health tech. Is $175K too high? I’m currently at a T2 strat firm…

like

Wilson Elser in Los Angeles: comp/hours?

like

What is a good salary for a new np in primary care?

like

27 and an experienced associate. Pursued masters and worked in an engineering role before moving here. Sadly the engineering role was not in same line as current role 😕 Anyone else feel too old in their current position???

like

I recently decided to defer/reapply for the 2Y MBA program. Should I still attend the McKinsey Squad or other pre MBA events given that I’m not matriculating this fall? Should I keep in touch with recruiters?

like

Will Facebook have a hiring freeze due to the recent scandal?

like

Long story short - my nanny has many conservative values - mom shaming breastfeeding in public, gender specific roles, considering boys better than girls etc. it never bothered me before and I have learned to co exist with her however now my toddler is speaking and understanding more I am worried about him being influenced by her. Further she also has comments against my SO being too involved parent & calling out son as cutie, hugging toddler etc as he is a boy. Contd..

like

I had a company offer me a position under the original range and after I’ve turned down the role multiple times they have come back with an offer with a better title and $30k more. This huge shift put a bad taste in my mouth, but wasn’t sure if I was begin too critical because I wouldn’t operate that way as a recruiter.

like

Is it possible to move from mid-tier consulting to MBB? Coming from non-traditional background (but still plenty of experience plus tier 1 MBA) and feeling like I’ve got more to give.

likehelpful
like

What is the situation in India with this new variant? Thinking of traveling to India in January and concerned a bit now. Is it safe to travel there?

like

Current role - Sr Business Development Manager Take Home - 60k What's the best I can get and which companies to target my next joining? MBA + 6years exp

like

Moving from MBB consulting as a consultant or PL/EM/Manager, what are some good industry exit opportunities (outside of PE) where your compensation won't take a hit?

like

Tall folks, do you have a standing desk that works for you? I’m thinking of purchasing one for my father who is 6’6…

like

Considering leaving hectic agency to an in house creative team at a relatively unknown tech startup. I’ll get a significant raise and a better work environment but still on the fence. Thoughts?

like

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
Download Fishbowl to see what others are saying
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

Get realtime notifications and see
what's happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.

{ "isSet": true, "allowed": true }

Sign up for free to view this conversation on Fishbowl

By continuing you agree to Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Already have an account? Log in

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or

General

Legal