Thursday, December 04, 2008

Moral dilemna

Here's the scenario: you're having lunch with 5 people. Two of them are members of the board of directors for the organization you work for. One of them is your boss. The other two are consultants that you have hired who've come to the board meeting to make a presentation on your behalf. You are the only woman at the table. One of the board members makes two statements: one of them essentially dismisses all of the work that you (and your team) do as inconsequential, and the other one dismisses all women (and especially younger women, and even more specifically younger women with degrees in literature - which you happen to have) as inconsequential. All of the other men at the table chuckle uncomfortably and most of them cast sideways glances at you.

What do you do?
a.) Sit demurely and let him heap on the insults?
b.) Blast him with both barrels and call him out for being an ignorant, narrow-minded, sexist old fart?
c.) Wait for one of the other less-bigoted men at the table to come to your rescue?
d.) Calmly and respectfully put him in his place and point out the error in his statements?
e.) Take the passive-aggressive approach and find underhanded insults to throw at him?

I'll come back later to tell you what I did.


Stephanie said...

Oh, mercy. There's no option for throwing a glass of water at him? How restrained of you.

I would correct him, but I'm not always very good about the calm and respectful part. I usually go the humorously dramatic route ("So, tell us how you really feel about my work?"). It's kind of passive agressive, I suppose. But humor is about the only way I know how to cope with insults.

Can't wait to hear what you did.

andrea said...

What about F? It's a lot like E -- level as many zingers at him and get as many laughs at his expense as you can in the shortest time frame possible. That's what I'd do. Me? passive aggresive? Oh yeah.

mmichele said...

i bet you took d. which is what i would have probably done if b. didn't rear up first.

can't wait to hear what was actually said.

was one of the guys one of the guys that thought he was really REALLY funny?

Pamela said...

call in the big guns: his wife.

karla said...

My inner firecracker would want to do B, but I would pick D, and then make a point of trying to sound light hearted and not pointed or defensive.

Liz said...

I think I would have done b, but I think you probably did d.

Linda said...

I'd accidentally spill coffee on his pants. You are a much classier person than me so I also assume you chose d.

Anvilcloud said...

I'm a guy, so my answer doesn't really count. I'd like to think that I would give some sort of facial-body reaction that would show that didn't sit well with me. I'm guessing for D on your part.

Krista said...

I don't mean to rush you - but the suspense is killing me over here!

Karmyn R said...

I know what you SHOULD do and what you really NEED to do - but what did you do?

In my head I'd be telling him off and grumbling, but on the outside I'd probably just sit there and shake my head. (that is my whole "avoid confrontation at all costs" at work)