A few days ago I was told by the IT guy where I work that I was an evil, morally corrupt, Satan worshipping monster. Well, he didn’t say me directly, the guy doesn’t know me or where I stand politically or religiously because I don’t feel the need to wear a tee-shirt that says “I’m and Atheist” and I keep my political views to myself when at work. This man does not know me or my family, in fact he’s never even seen me because I’ve only ever spoken to him on the phone when I have a technical issue. Usually, he’s very nice. So when he started up with his tirade about how all Democrats/liberals are evil and anyone who does not support Trump are against America and anti-everything, I was a little taken aback.
All of this rhetoric I’ve heard before from believers in my family who are on Facebook way too often and refuse to be bothered with facts. It’s annoying and we have openly disagreed on things. The conversation usually ends with a family member telling me they are praying for me and I usually think “OK, I’ll be rational for you” (I never say it out loud to them though. While they don’t seem to think twice about being rude to me, I don’t want to be rude to them. Family.) However, when I heard this from a person I’d spoke with a total of 3 times, it was jarring. The tirade went on for 10 minutes. Everything from liberals hate god and want to kill Christians, Trump is the only one who can save us, Covid isn’t real and is just a hoax created by the liberal media to make Trump look bad (side note: he doesn’t need any help on that one) to Atheists actually are all really Satan worshippers who want to outlaw religion. All of this was said while he was trying to find out why my work computer wasn’t connecting from home. I was in shock. All I could stutter out was a feeble “that’s not right” and “that’s not true” while my head was spinning from the venom he was spewing. I did try to stop him and let him know that Covid19 is real and that he was talking to someone who had actually had it. To that he stopped briefly and said “Oh”, then after a pause started up with the misinformation and outright lies again. When the computer issue was finally fixed and the call was ending, he said something like “Well, if Trump doesn’t win it won’t be pretty”. And that was it, he hung up. I wasn’t offended. I was shocked. And I was pissed. At myself.
I was angry at myself because I didn’t stand up to him. I didn’t point to the facts and tell him proudly that I was one of those “evil liberal Atheists” he hates so much. I didn’t tell him that caring about the environment and fighting for human rights is not evil and that Atheists don’t worship Satan. I’m angry that I didn’t make him really listen to me when I told him that I and other family members had Covid19, that it is not a hoax and it is incredibly ignorant to ignore the facts about this virus. And I’m angry that all I said when he started spewing his reverence for Trump was that I don’t believe he’s anyone’s savior. I didn’t elaborate, I didn’t point out facts as to why I feel this way. I didn’t say that I think Trump is a vile human who is only after power and only courting the Christian Right because he wants their vote. I was quiet. I let this person make me feel bullied. I let this person talk over me. For that I am angry.
I know that by me telling this person who he was talking to it probably wouldn’t change his mind, but I didn’t go there so I can’t say that for sure. You see, I was raised by a father who always lived by the rule that your beliefs are your beliefs, no one needed to hear about them and he raised all of us kids with that mind set. I’m afraid that being silent doesn’t cut it anymore, though. The fact that the IT guy felt so comfortable saying those hateful things to someone he doesn’t know really bugs me. It shows me that he is secure in bullying behavior. It makes me wonder what kind of bile he spews to people he knows. I still feel a bit in shock and I’m just hoping that I have no more IT issues while employed with this company.
My husband said I should go to HR with this, but truth be told, they won’t do a thing about it but make things more uncomfortable. I’ve seen too many people leave their jobs because of similar circumstances when they’ve gotten HR involved. Yes, I am looking for another job. Not because of that guy, I have always disliked the job because it’s incredibly boring and the management makes things much harder than they have to be. Also, lots of office politics and that’s just not something I care about. It’s just not a job for me. However, while I am still at the company, I’m hoping that if there is a next time that I have to speak to this person, and if he starts up again with his garbage, I have the guts to be bold and at least say he needs to shut up, keep his opinions to himself and do his damn job. I need to stop being so damn nice to people who don’t deserve it. It’s getting annoying.