{ "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

As I get into my 30s, I’ve noticed recruiters focusing more on maternity leave than anything else when I ask about benefits. I know that benefit is important to a lot of women, but as a child free person it kind of makes me uncomfortable that they are just almost assuming I want a baby because of my gender. Maybe just mention it instead of emphasizing it? It also makes me assume that companies might discriminate against me in the job process (which isn’t cool for anyone) over a man.

like

Diversity in advertising is great, however I think it should also include diversity in opinion/political views. Anyone agree/disagree?

likehelpful

There's more diversity in investment banking than funds. At least from my POV...

like

Shameful! Diversity, inclusion, and support is a good start.

Post Photo
likefunnyhelpful

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
likesmarthelpful

Do other firms have an Asian Diversity or affinity group? If so, what are some of the things the networks have done which have been helpful?

Do any firm/office LGBT organizations recognize / incorporate intersectionality in their strategy and initiatives? I.e collaborating with other professional networks such as Latino, black professional networks, etc (overall diversity and inclusiveness) If so - would love to hear how!

like

Hello! I just launched a feminist movement on Instagram to raise awareness on gender inequality in the workplace. It's crucial to have all your help to make it grow. Check the page: @ifiwereaman_

like

The agency’s new Chief Diversity Officer meeting the rest of the C-suite.

Post Photo
likefunnysmart

NYTimes headline this morning: “Firm Behind ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue Underpaid Women, U.S. Says.” Settling out $5mil in a gender/race discrimination lawsuit.

like

I know I want a job change but not sure to what. I actually enjoy strategy and consulting and want to make good money. I can learn and get interested in just about anything and I like diversity in my work. That’s all I’ve got so far. What else do you all consider in a job move?

like

Thoughts on BBDO SF? Specifically on creative diversity?

like

🐳🐬🐡🐟🐠 I love diversity😊

like

We need a contemporary version of Mad Men that reveals how fucked up and unethical our industry can be. Especially when it comes to diversity, social causes, and awards!!

likehelpful

Does strategy have a diversity problem? Any more than any other agency department?

likeuplifting

My work is highly focused on inclusion and today, while driving through the park, I felt bad for laughing at a group of larpers. They have nerf combat gear, too. I tried hard not to be insensitive to them being their true selves but i laughed … hard! And now I feel bad for laughing at them.

Hey, I’ve just started a bowl on diversity in London specifically if anyone is interested - 9qo8f

like

Additional Posts

Has anyone taken one of those online executive courses, like the Harvard Extension School offers? Looking to use my $5k of tuition reimbursement and already have an MBA. Worth it? Best programs?

like

Interviewing for Deloitte S&A consultant. Currently at small boutique and overwhelmed at the work possibilities within that group. Do you agree to a practice line within it if hired? Or is it even determined during the interview process? Thank you.

like

Trying to get into strategy consulting after a PT MBA. All I received are rejections on this campus recruiting cycle. Can’t stop questioning myself as I did put down a lot efforts throughout the process. How do you guys handle rejections and how do you make yourselves feel better? Need some guidance there.

like

How to get into development roles, after compliance with devops certification?

How long do you think you can sit on the bench before quitting when you have another job with a flexible start?

like

Started a new remote entry level job with very minimal training. I am fresh out of school and thinking what is the best way for me to learn my role, duties, and tasks with no training and being remote. How will I succeed if in order to do the job I need to be trained.

like

MBB 🐠: who do you see as your biggest competitors besides other MBB firms? As in, who do you come across most when bidding for work?

like

Senior Associates/Consultants, what was your performance bonus last year? Just started as SA post MBA and am trying to establish my bonus expectations.

like

Just f$&k up so bad in my Meta interview today. Want to kill myself after realizing I made so many simple mistakes in the case. 🥲🥲🥲

like

Looking for some advice on making a career switch. Currently in FP&A for a fintech company making $80k a year with a 10% bonus and options that are exercisable when the company goes public. I have been with this company a little under a year. I just received an offer to join a boutique consulting firm that would draw on my current financial and technical experience. Compensation is $100k a year with a 20% bonus. I love my current company, but is this a no brainer? Should I ask for a counter?

like

What does a writing sample for a transactional position look like (applying to lateral)?

like

COVID WFH: Maama or Maami Thaligai?

like

Any internship leads/opportunities in Process Industries, or Engineering firms for Chemical Engineering graduates pursuing their MS?

like

For those in smaller high growth tech companies, where do you turn for resources on org development, engagement, trends, etc.? I’m moving from a large tech org to a a 150 person company. SHRM does not seem relevant at all. Podcasts, social media followings, etc?

like

Making 100k base with 2.5 YOE as a .Net/Dynamics/Azure consultant in MCOL city. Want to move back to Seattle for a new role. What salary should I be aiming for?

like

Marriage or promotion 😞 I’m on track to make partner at my company. Due to the audit services we sell, we have to disclose all financial relationships, including those of our SOs. I’m engaged to a private investor, and there is no way he is going to disclose/sell investments because my company tells him to (I don’t blame him; I wouldn’t do this, in his position, either). This means I have to quit if I want to marry him 😞 Anyone else experience this kind of compromise / challenge? Any advice?

like

Does anyone ever actually make offers? Just when i get through 3-4 rounds and think it’s gotta be near an offer stage, it’s like oh wait, here’s three more interviews plus a case study and a panel presentation. Then wait an indeterminate amount of time for a decision, or for more interviews. When do offers actually happen? I’ve been going through rounds now for months and months with the same six companies or so. It’s burning me out, like how many more hoops do i need to jump through? 😩

like

My company changed my status from non-exempt to exempt, and gave me a yearly raise of 4¢. Is this a joke? Oh and the health care costs are increasing too.

like

What does an MBA start with in management consulting in Big 4 in the US? Say the person is hired as a Senior Associate.

like

Deloitte BTS layoffs. Any updates?

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