Ask Grace: Worry in the Workplace

5 mins read

Dear Grace,

I’m in quite a bit of a predicament here. I’m a (position and employment removed for safety of reader and askGrace) and I have been for about half a year now. I’m not like the rest. I don’t rape or torture (people), I don’t starve them, I don’t senselessly beat them. Being an uncorrupted (title removed) in a corrupt (place) is difficult, especially when the rest of Hathian thinks you’re just like some of the monsters inside the (location removed). I hate working here. I would quit, but the (name and titled removed for safety of reader and askGrace) threatened to make my life hell if I left. (Person previously referenced) wasn’t very specific, but I have a family that I have to think about here. I can’t speak out about (place of employment) either because of what a couple of my superiors threatened to do to me. I’m sure you’ve seen and heard about some of the things (superior) has done, so you can imagine why I’d be hesitant. If you were in this situation what would you do?

Sincerely, Worrie(r).


Dear Worrie(r),

Let me start by saying that before I came to Hathian, I would have doggedly argued that you fight corruption and blow the whistle. Because I came from places where justice eventually prevailed and at the shame and expense of those found to be corrupt.

But after living in this city only a few months, I can now only plead with you to exercise caution, and make your safety and the safety of your family the priority.

That being said. And here I want to be clear in stating that I do not condone vigilantes, however there are things I would do in your shoes.

I’ve spoken with many troubled individuals who feel like their only recourse in this city is to “join them” as “they” seemingly can’t be beaten. Many who feel the need to become a scary monster and have the backing of the scary monsters in order to no longer be scared .. or eaten.

But I would remind everyone, that to become what has hurt or frightened you in the past, is to create more like you. Is to continue the cycle. Soon your children and family and friends will be living in a world of monsters and it will be partially of your making.

But what can you do? You can be the Harriet Tubman. Be the silent and careful man or woman who works beneath, around and past the corruption. Help where you can. Don’t shoulder the burden or all the tasks yourself. Employ others to aid in your underground railroad. Find your “safehouses”. Be creative and cunning. But do not outright engage. Use patience.

This reminds me of one of Aesop’s fables. In it, the North wind and the sun have a competition to see who is stronger. To test their strength, the challenge was to see who could make the passing traveler remove his coat. The wind blew and blew and blew. (And there has been considerable blowing on various social media outlets about many of these controversies.) But that only caused the traveler to pull his coat more tightly around himself. When it came the sun’s turn, the sun gently and quietly brightened and warmed, and slowly the traveler stopped holding tight to the coat. Then unbuttoned his coat. Then finally removed it.

Be the sun, Worrie(r). Bring the heat. Be slow and cautious. Don’t let them know you were trying to get their coat off until it’s already gone.

Good luck,
Ask Grace

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