Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is my boss picking on me for racial reasons?

Dear Diversity Diva: This may not seem like a diversity question, but I just don’t know. My boss is another race than I am, and she’s always sneaking up behind me, looking over my shoulder, to see what’s on my computer screen. In my gut, I think that this boss is picking on me for racial reasons even though I don’t have any problems with the other supervisors and haven’t really had any other problems at work. So am I just being paranoid? — Snippy About Snooping Bosses

Dear Snippy: You’re right to wonder if your issue is a diversity issue. Diversity, generally speaking, is about different perceptions and treatments and the role of differences among groups in the workplace.

Your case doesn’t seem to really be about diversity because you gave no indication about whether this was happening to anyone else.

It sounds like you’re asking a discrimination question disguised as a diversity issue. And this would be something you need to talk over with another supervisor or a human resources person.

Your gut feeling that your boss is “picking” on you because of your race might be entirely accurate and something that your friends and close colleagues might agree with you on when you talk about it on the sly. But it’s just as likely that your boss doesn’t care for you for any number of other reasons and it has nothing to do with race. But constant speculation isn’t going to make your days any easier, especially if this is the only real problem you have at work.

Either way, bosses have the right to see what their employees are up to when they are supposed to be working.

In a truly diverse world, some people who are different than you aren’t going to like you sometimes, and more times than not, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

In this case, since you suspect that your boss is creeping up behind you because she has some issue with you, regardless of what the issue is, your best bet is to make sure she only sees work when she looks at your computer screen.

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