to mention this to someone at work or just leave it?

(47 Posts)
milkandribena Mon 03-Dec-12 23:24:21

I have ummed and arred about this but as I am still thinking about it..

Anyway I was in the office (for once) today and someone was asking me about Christmas in Germany (I'm half German which due to the nature of my work -and my name- it is obvious). At the same time a few contractors were in the office.
So I was telling him and one of the contractors who was near at the time pipes up "didn't realise Nazis celebrated Christmas"

Apart from being shocked he just butted in to the conversion I just assumed he was asking if christmas was celebrated by Nazis in the third reich. I begin to say yes, they did.
But then he continues saying (basically) that it is 'awful that all of you Nazis took christmas and that we shouldn't be allowed to celebrate Christmas'

I must have recoiled in shock. He laughed (like he thought he was really clever) and said 'don't worry love I know the Nazis don't let women in they put them in the kitchen, only good thing your lot do'

But then the collegue, sort of laughed and smiled and said that 'I must get that all the time and that it's sort of funny, isnt it?'

Obviously I told him it wasn't and just walked away. The last time someone called me a nazi I must have been about 13 and doing WWII in school. The teacher went ape-shit. (plus he laughed at woman being in the kitchen)

Anyway. I realise it was today and maybe I should just tolerate it (I know my dad has) but WIBU to go and speak to the colleague tomorrow and actually say something to him about it? or do I just leave it and stay away from that particular contractor?

squeakytoy Mon 03-Dec-12 23:27:37

No you shouldnt tolerate such ignorant comments from anyone. I would most definitely report him.

Redbindy Mon 03-Dec-12 23:30:08

He's a contractor? Report it to your HR, and also his employers.

Doinmummy Mon 03-Dec-12 23:30:40

Yes report him. Disgusting thing to say .

onedev Mon 03-Dec-12 23:30:48

I would say something too - that's shocking.

ilovesooty Mon 03-Dec-12 23:31:25

That's absolutely unacceptable. Report it.

DingDongBelle Mon 03-Dec-12 23:32:03

Make a formal complaint to the contractors company. Totally unacceptable racism, xenophobia and sexism aimed specifically at you in the workplace. Write it down and complain. If you were not German but, say, black and he'd made a comment about that you wouldn't um and ah, you'd complain, and people shouldn't be allowed to get away with this sort of thing. He's entitled to his opinions but you are also entitled to go to work and not have to listen to this. Mention it to your boss and make a written complaint to the contracting company.

Sorry you had to hear that. Some people are such bigoted idiots.

SquirtedFrankinScentsInStable Mon 03-Dec-12 23:33:17

I would say something, tbh.

apostrophethesnowman Mon 03-Dec-12 23:33:27

That's totally unacceptable and should definitely be reported.

Nobody has to tolerate offensive language like that. Ever.

Rattitude Mon 03-Dec-12 23:34:09

This is shocking behaviour from anybody, but particularly stupid from a contractor who should be on best behaviour at all times.

I would definitely report him, to your boss and/or HR.

LucieMay Mon 03-Dec-12 23:37:44

Disgraceful comments. Definitely report him.

XandaPanda Mon 03-Dec-12 23:38:42

Certainly not acceptable, I had the 'Nazi' comments all the time when growing up.
It took years for it to be seen as Racism.
Tell your boss & there boss

EllenParsons Mon 03-Dec-12 23:39:41

I would make a formal complaint. Sorry you have had to hear this shit. Disgusting things for him to say and the other one should also be ashamed for laughing and not saying something to pull him up on it.

CoolaYuleA Mon 03-Dec-12 23:40:45

Please please don't just leave it. His behaviour is appalling and should not be tolerated.

I have a German surname (DH's great grandfather was German) and have had similar things said to me, despite me personally having no German ancestry. I have blonde hair and blue eyes and that's been picked up on a lot ("well you'd be part of the master race wouldn't you love!" and other such charmers). Until recently we lived in Germany and it's a wonderful place with lovely people - as my DH is in the Army some people would think we would get treated differently, but the German people we met were a lot nicer and accepting than the man you had the pleasure of dealing with.

This ignorant odious man should not be allowed to speak to anyone in the way he spoke to you. Please report him.

liveoutloud Mon 03-Dec-12 23:42:37

At this day and age these things are absolutely unacceptable. Report the SOB immediately.

EugenesAxeChoppedDownANiceTree Mon 03-Dec-12 23:44:49

If this genuinely happened please have no qualms about taking it further; I'd bypass him and report matter-of-factly to HR or your line manager. It would be grounds for summary dismissal of a perm employee I expect; I would be surprised, and if it had been me, insulted, if he was kept on as a contractor.

Racism, sexism and ignorance in one.... wow. I'm amazed people like this still exist.

procrastinor Mon 03-Dec-12 23:45:27

That is incredibly disgusting. No way in hell should you have to put up with it. In context, think of your reaction to someone saying something equally racist to a black person (for example asking them if they worked on a plantation). Would you expect that person to keep stchum? No of course not. So why should you?

Fwiw I would be pretty fucking peeved at your work colleague too. Because they apparently think its ok for their colleague to take racist shot at work and say nothing. I would have been tearing him a new one.

StuntGirl Mon 03-Dec-12 23:46:13

Disgusting behaviour, definitely report.

CaseyShraeger Mon 03-Dec-12 23:53:12

Don't talk to him - go to HR and make a formal complaint. That's totally unacceptable behaviour.

WilsonFrickett Mon 03-Dec-12 23:57:44

As others have said, don't talk to him. You'd just be giving him another opportunity to make some sort of a dig. Straight to hr or, actually, whatever department has hired this no-mark.

milkandribena Tue 04-Dec-12 00:03:17

I guess that is a clear consensus. Great I'll complain then about the contractor. Don't know what to do with the colleague though? might just mention it to him, normally he is a very nice lad (and he is just out of school and young and still learning and it's his first proper job and I would feel bad if I ruined it for him because he does have a bit of talent)
When you put it in terms of racism towards a black person procrastinor and DingDong I guess you are all right.
isn't it! Coola some of the things people manage to relate to nazism and the war is bizarre sometimes.

I get war comments all the time (well not all the time but a fair amount) but you take that sort of part and parcel and have to laugh that of a bit. But this somehow.... (sorry you got it a lot xanda)

Report the contractor, have quiet friendly but firm word with your colleague.
Let us know how you get on. You shouldn't have to put up with this $hit.

RyleDup Tue 04-Dec-12 00:37:07

Crikey. No, you need to complain. And have very strong words with your colleague.

auntpetunia Tue 04-Dec-12 05:44:37

Definitely complain with to your boss and the contractors boss disgusting behaviour. And a strong word to young colleague along lines of he wants to keep his job he shouldn't be racist

RawShark Tue 04-Dec-12 06:29:04

COmpletely unacceptable behaviour from contractor and puzzling behaviour from colleague.

As others have said - complain about the first and have a word with your colleague about the second

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