Sunday, May 20, 2018

I Quit my Job Because of Zero Tolerance

I recently quit my job because of their zero tolerance for violence.

I know that doesn't sound right. "Zero Tolerance" should make me feel safer, but it didn't. Here's my story.

One day I got called in to talk with my supervisor. She told me that I had been "aggressive" with a security guy. II didn't remember getting aggressive with anyone, nevermind a security person. But apparently a couple weeks before, I had been less than effective with the (old and very laggy) sign-in computer. The security guy began pushing my hands from the keyboard in an attempt to help and I had batted his hand away.

I was called aggressive and was reprimanded for this action, told that we were to show the security people "the utmost respect," no matter what. I was even told I could have lost my job for it! (Was that a threat?)

I had not needed his help. I had not asked for his help. His behavior was presumptions and overbearing.. and, dare I say, aggressive.

The next day at our start-up meeting at the beginning of shift, the issue was presented to everyone. We were to treat security personnel with "the utmost respect at all times," as they would be the first to respond if something happened (injury, accident, etc). I couldn't help but wonder why someone's behavior would change how they did their job.

Found on Pinterest, from Tumblr, pulled from a blog somewhere.
Also, incredibly eloquent.
He was in a position of power. I didn't treat him as the authority figure he expected, so he didn't feel obligated to treat me as a human being.

I wondered how far this zero-tolerance went, what was defined as aggression would translate to other scenarios....

I had a transsexual supervisor at this company and I struggled to consistently use the preferred pronouns and references (him vs her, sir vs ma'am, etc). Somehow, my reaction was to use the pronouns and references that applied to the original biological sex-chromosome expression. Would using the wrong pronouns and references be considered "aggression"..? Would I get reprimanded for that? Could I get suspended for it? Could I lose my job b/c of it?

The reality is that I've never been a fan of  "Zero Tolerance" policies- in schools, in workplaces. They just don't take into account reality. I've heard too many stories of a primary aggressor getting away with it, and the recipient of that original aggression gets nailed with a reprimand or other disciplinary action when they defend themselves.

The only place in this country where self defense is not allowed is at "Zero Tolerance" sites. That's ridiculous, wrong, and unfortunately, I don't have answers or solutions.


1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of quitting.

    Often, quitting is an act of self-preservation. I've found organizations like this are just intolerant of change or need of improvement ("zero tolerance") and when you recognize the symptoms and signs, it's time to change and move jobs, jump ship and save yourself from "zero tolerance."