I need some work related advice.

  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Mar 18, 2011 2:45 AM GMT
    Ok. The following is a company Announcment, followed by an e-mail conversation between me and the owner/CEO of my company. The conversation is nice and friendly, but the timing between messages has me wondering.

    Opinions/Comments?

    EDIT: Due to the advice of a concerned RJer, I have decided to redact the portions of this topic that are quotations of e-mail conversations, given that they loosely regard company information.
  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Mar 18, 2011 3:17 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidFuck that pisses me off.

    This is what is really wrong with the lack of equal rights in the States....it puts people (who, to be fair, are only doing their best) in the position of making decisions based on not "offending" the whole rather than supporting an individual's rights.

    I mean, eleven (FUCKING!!!) years....how many hetros will be there with only a year or two under their belts?

    This is just assinine to me. I really hope this is the turning point for your company, BTP, and they take this opportunity to make a stand towards equality in THEIR workplace (even if all American's won't be legislated to enjoy the same benefits that I sincerely hope you do.)

    Part of me just wishes I could smack Penny..."come on honey, read what you just wrote...how the fuck do you think this is going to make a valued employee feel? --where do you expect his loyalties to lie? --with D&B or with his HUSBAND?"

    Ugghhh. I hope the powers-that-be surprise you with an enlightened response, BTP, I really do.

    Best wishes.

    That would be nice, but the length of time between e-mails makes me think that she is consulting her attorneys for advice on how to keep me out.
  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Mar 18, 2011 4:05 AM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    BeingThePhoenix saidThat would be nice, but the length of time between e-mails makes me think that she is consulting her attorneys for advice on how to keep me out.

    The thought occurred to me as well.

    I never trust when someone from HR makes a bullshit excuse for a delay in replying....it's lies, all lies.

    Eleven years....man, you deserve better. I do hope it turns out okay.

    And if it doesn't, "forgive" but don't forget...I'll bet one of your competitors would LOVE to have you, gay-boy and all. icon_smile.gif

    Hugs!

    Yeah, I've never been one to hold grudges. It just pisses me off a little. Thanks.
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    Mar 18, 2011 4:25 AM GMT
    Without knowledge of the duration and quality of the working relationship that you have with Penny, it is not possible to provide any valuable advice. On their face, as you mentioned, the emails appear to be cordial. Contextual clues would be helpful in providing you with helpful advice.

    PS: Do you work at Dave & Buster's? If so, from an outsider's perspective it would be fun to have the Campout there. Of course if you work there everyday, it would not be the ideal place for a fun getaway with your colleagues.


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    Mar 18, 2011 4:31 AM GMT
    spouse ='s married

    a hetero couple "dating" for 11 years would be required to only attend daytime events based on the response, it's not Penny's fault you can't marry. attend have fun, move on.
  • BeingThePhoen...

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    Mar 18, 2011 4:47 AM GMT
    dsmith123 saidWithout knowledge of the duration and quality of the working relationship that you have with Penny, it is not possible to provide any valuable advice. On their face, as you mentioned, the emails appear to be cordial. Contextual clues would be helpful in providing you with helpful advice.

    PS: Do you work at Dave & Buster's? If so, from an outsider's perspective it would be fun to have the Campout there. Of course if you work there everyday, it would not be the ideal place for a fun getaway with your colleagues.



    Well, Penny owns 32 Sonic Drive-in restaurants. I worked in her flagship store for years, off and on since I was 16. In 2007, I went back as an Assistant Manager at that store, while I was working on my Associates. In December of 2009 I was promoted to General Manager of one of her mid-volume stores. I have worked with this company since I was 16, and never kept my being gay a secret (though I only tell people who ask, so she may have been clueless).
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    Mar 18, 2011 4:49 AM GMT
    i dont see why a boyfriend/girlfriend, regardless of whether it's same-sex, cannot sleep over at this event. what kind of company is this? probably run by a bunch of religious nuts.
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    Mar 18, 2011 4:50 AM GMT
    Really? The wording in the initial email was pretty clear. I wouldn't have even asked for clarification. Now you've created an awkward situation. This is why I avoid most company functions, where you're expected to bring your significant other.

    If you really want to go, then just tell Penny that you and Greg will be sticking around for the daytime stuff, and will be leaving in the evening.
  • BeingThePhoen...

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    Mar 18, 2011 4:54 AM GMT
    canuckguy19 saidspouse ='s married

    a hetero couple "dating" for 11 years would be required to only attend daytime events based on the response, it's not Penny's fault you can't marry. attend have fun, move on.

    This would seem to be the case, but still I wonder. Most of my peers and superiors in the company are married, but some are "engaged" and I just wonder if their partners will be asked to leave. I don't know, maybe they will be asked to leave, and have been for the past 20 years....it just seems unlikely.
  • BeingThePhoen...

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    Mar 18, 2011 5:02 AM GMT
    xrichx saidReally? The wording in the initial email was pretty clear. I wouldn't have even asked for clarification. Now you've created an awkward situation. This is why I avoid most company functions, where you're expected to bring your significant other.

    If you really want to go, then just tell Penny that you and Greg will be sticking around for the daytime stuff, and will be leaving in the evening.

    Not so much. "Spouse" can be used in referring to Domestic Partners. I really just wanted to use this as an excuse to see some old friends and rub elbows with the bosses, but, I do think I'll be taking your advice if I even go.
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:04 AM GMT
    BeingThePhoenix said
    dsmith123 saidWithout knowledge of the duration and quality of the working relationship that you have with Penny, it is not possible to provide any valuable advice. On their face, as you mentioned, the emails appear to be cordial. Contextual clues would be helpful in providing you with helpful advice.

    PS: Do you work at Dave & Buster's? If so, from an outsider's perspective it would be fun to have the Campout there. Of course if you work there everyday, it would not be the ideal place for a fun getaway with your colleagues.



    Well, Penny owns 32 Sonic Drive-in restaurants. I worked in her flagship store for years, off and on since I was 16. In 2007, I went back as an Assistant Manager at that store, while I was working on my Associates. In December of 2009 I was promoted to General Manager of one of her mid-volume stores. I have worked with this company since I was 16, and never kept my being gay a secret (though I only tell people who ask, so she may have been clueless).


    Your dedication to the company for most of the past 16 years paid off in your 2009 promotion. Although I do not have a good feel for your working relationship with Penny, the last email in your OP ("OK. I will get back with you. I really want you to be able to come.") leads me to believe that she is going to try to work something out. Alternatively, perhaps I cannot read between the lines of corporate-speak.

    I would also guess that the 20-year rule that Penny mentioned is her own and not corporate's (unless corporate subsidizes the annual camp outs). How many of these camp outs have you attended before? Given that you have been with your partner for 11 years, why is this only becoming an issue for this year's camp out?

    Just trying to get a better handle on the situation that prompted you to seek advice.
  • BeingThePhoen...

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    Mar 18, 2011 5:04 AM GMT
    Hunter9 saidi dont see why a boyfriend/girlfriend, regardless of whether it's same-sex, cannot sleep over at this event. what kind of company is this? probably run by a bunch of religious nuts.

    Well, the owners are Republican and Christian, but as I mentioned...I assumed everyone knew I was gay (as most people do) and that they didn't have a problem with it.
  • BeingThePhoen...

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    Mar 18, 2011 5:08 AM GMT
    dsmith123 said
    BeingThePhoenix said
    dsmith123 saidWithout knowledge of the duration and quality of the working relationship that you have with Penny, it is not possible to provide any valuable advice. On their face, as you mentioned, the emails appear to be cordial. Contextual clues would be helpful in providing you with helpful advice.

    PS: Do you work at Dave & Buster's? If so, from an outsider's perspective it would be fun to have the Campout there. Of course if you work there everyday, it would not be the ideal place for a fun getaway with your colleagues.



    Well, Penny owns 32 Sonic Drive-in restaurants. I worked in her flagship store for years, off and on since I was 16. In 2007, I went back as an Assistant Manager at that store, while I was working on my Associates. In December of 2009 I was promoted to General Manager of one of her mid-volume stores. I have worked with this company since I was 16, and never kept my being gay a secret (though I only tell people who ask, so she may have been clueless).


    Your dedication to the company for most of the past 16 years paid off in your 2009 promotion. Although I do not have a good feel for your working relationship with Penny, the last email in your OP ("OK. I will get back with you. I really want you to be able to come.") leads me to believe that she is going to try to work something out. Alternatively, perhaps I cannot read between the lines of corporate-speak.

    I would also guess that the 20-year rule that Penny mentioned is her own and not corporate's (unless corporate subsidizes the annual camp outs). How many of these camp outs have you attended before? Given that you have been with your partner for 11 years, why is this only becoming an issue for this year's camp out?

    Just trying to get a better handle on the situation that prompted you to seek advice.

    I have only been a GM for just over a year. The event is for GMs and up.

    As I mentioned, I concede that I may be over thinking this. It just seems odd, but maybe not.
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:11 AM GMT
    One question: Does she know that you're gay and therefore your "boyfriend" would be a man? You even asked about "girlfriend/boyfriends" as if tip-toeing around the fact. Or is gayness the real issue and not the non-married partners thing?

    Usually, a open minded person would make an exception -an she's the person to allow one as CEO, no? -for people who one can reasonably believe would be married if they could. But if she does't know she can't see the whole picture.
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:14 AM GMT
    BeingThePhoenix said
    Hunter9 saidi dont see why a boyfriend/girlfriend, regardless of whether it's same-sex, cannot sleep over at this event. what kind of company is this? probably run by a bunch of religious nuts.

    Well, the owners are Republican and Christian, but as I mentioned...I assumed everyone knew I was gay (as most people do) and that they didn't have a problem with it.


    This doesn't sound like it's going to turn out well.

    Start polishing up your resume.

  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Mar 18, 2011 5:19 AM GMT
    Engineer saidOne question: Does she know that you're gay and therefore your "boyfriend" would be a man? You even asked about "girlfriend/boyfriends" as if tip-toeing around the fact. Or is gayness the real issue and not the non-married partners thing?

    Usually, a open minded person would make an exception -an she's the person to allow one as CEO, no? -for people who one can reasonably believe would be married if they could. But if she does't know she can't see the whole picture.

    I don't know. I'm the only gay person at my level or up in the company, which is why I questioned the word (spouses), which to me is a bit vague.
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:23 AM GMT
    You're from the south, have a good job, is this the hill you are willing to die on?

    I have a very lucrative executive position with a private firm owned by a conservative, religious family. I would not bring my partner to any sponsored event because they do not support my lifestyle.

    I make this trade-off because they pay me. Work and home do not need to mix, there is no "noble" gesture to be made here. Do what will preserve your career.
  • BeingThePhoen...

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    Mar 18, 2011 5:24 AM GMT
    GAMRican said
    BeingThePhoenix said
    Hunter9 saidi dont see why a boyfriend/girlfriend, regardless of whether it's same-sex, cannot sleep over at this event. what kind of company is this? probably run by a bunch of religious nuts.

    Well, the owners are Republican and Christian, but as I mentioned...I assumed everyone knew I was gay (as most people do) and that they didn't have a problem with it.


    This doesn't sound like it's going to turn out well.

    Start polishing up your resume.


    LOL. Well, I'm working on my Bachelors, so that should help if this get out of hand, but I won't be the one to take it there. If it comes down to it, I just won't attend.
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:26 AM GMT
    BeingThePhoenix said


    I have only been a GM for just over a year. The event is for GMs and up.

    As I mentioned, I concede that I may be over thinking this. It just seems odd, but maybe not.


    Thanks for pointing that out. For some reason when I read that staff were invited, I assumed it meant employees at Penny's franchises (but I guess that it applies to those who work in her central office). Perhaps you could speak with senior managers who have attended before to get an idea of how strict the policy on non-spouse partners is. Also, keep in mind that when communicating via e-mails in a business setting, manager types tend to be more careful (you probably do the same when communicating with those that work for you), because such communications could be used as evidence should something happen down the road. Here, I'm referring to corporate e-mail accounts, not private e-mails - I don't know what kind of e-mail accounts you and Penny use.

    Maybe if you speak with Penny in person (one on one, not Republican/Christian vs. gay man), you can flesh out the issue better and with less pressure to be so formal in communication. There's always room for flexibility. In the event that she becomes rigid during your conversation (whether in e-mails or in person), you certainly have the right to ask for proof of the 20-year policy she mentioned, etc. This is a difficult decision to make because you then jeopardize how you are perceived by Penny and your colleagues during your continued employment. Hopefully you will be able to resolve this issue through a rational conversation. If not, it's up to you to decide if your time and energy are best spent "battling" the issue, which you have every right to do.
  • BeingThePhoen...

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    Mar 18, 2011 5:29 AM GMT
    heybreaux saidWhat a shame. I don't like the way she is asking if you can use option B first to see if you will just accept it. It seems like she is trying to ask you to accept a no. (Hold on, let me get the bad taste out of my mouth...)

    Ok so...

    If she is CEO, she should be able to make a decision as to whether you can or cannot do this on her own. In fairness, however, CEO's are often subject to those that they have hired to help them make decisions as they pertain to changing "rules" for human resources; it depends upon how corporate-tized the firm is.

    Did you go last year? or for the last 11 years?

    She did say she would get back to you and that she really wanted you both to attend, so you may be surprised at her final answer, but sorry this has to suck for you in the meantime.

    Let us know what she comes back with...


    Well, there are several partners in the company, including her brother and she has to make sure she stays within Sonic Corporate rules, as she is a Franchisee.

    The event is for GM level and up, and I wasn't promoted until after last years event.
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:38 AM GMT
    canuckguy19 saidYou're from the south, have a good job, is this the hill you are willing to die on?

    I have a very lucrative executive position with a private firm owned by a conservative, religious family. I would not bring my partner to any sponsored event because they do not support my lifestyle.

    I make this trade-off because they pay me. Work and home do not need to mix, there is no "noble" gesture to be made here. Do what will preserve your career.


    Well, I agree that Canuckguy19 advice if GAYNESS is the real issue here and you think it would lead to trouble... perhaps in the future you'll leave to greener pastures but I would preserve today's before I know that for sure.
  • BeingThePhoen...

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    Mar 18, 2011 5:41 AM GMT
    canuckguy19 saidYou're from the south, have a good job, is this the hill you are willing to die on?

    I have a very lucrative executive position with a private firm owned by a conservative, religious family. I would not bring my partner to any sponsored event because they do not support my lifestyle.

    I make this trade-off because they pay me. Work and home do not need to mix, there is no "noble" gesture to be made here. Do what will preserve your career.

    I don't know. I guess the fact that we (all employees) are constantly being called "members of the Sonic family" for so many years, both by my company and the corporate franchise kinda made me forget that they really aren't family.

    And, maybe I'm wrong. Time will tell. I may just take the advice of dsmith and talk to her face to face the next time I go back to my home town. Or, I may just let it drop.
    EDIT: It's just a little agrivating that I should not be able to socialize and rub elbows like everyone else in a company that I have spent so much time with and have dedicated myself to.
  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Mar 20, 2011 9:12 AM GMT
    UPDATE: So, I just decided to bail out. This is the latest correspondence.
    REDACTED!!!
    I know...I didn't have the most original ditch line, but it is what it is...lol. Now, I don't even know what to say. I could tell her I'll go, but now it primises to be very awkward. I've already been through high school once. Or, I could just carry on with the, I have something else to do bit, but I may risk coming off as a total dick.

    EDIT: Due to the advice of a concerned RJer, I have decided to redact the portions of this topic that are quotations of e-mail conversations, given that they loosely regard company information.



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    Mar 20, 2011 9:33 AM GMT
    Hmmm you could just ask wether or not she would think that things would be awkward if you went with your partner (and maybe not by email but over the phone, you get one additional aspect to gage the interaction by other than just the words). From what I have gathered you do have some contact with her, so why not just clear the air? Do you plan to/are you going to be working with/for her for a while, if so you might as well find out where things stand.

    This may just all be a poorly timed correspondence with someone who actually has been sick and something has been read into it. Its also possible that its a legitimate blow off or ass cover. Either way I don't see this reaching any form of resolution until you ask the question (again go for the phone or face to face, body language, tone, eye contact and those things can really make a difference). Also people are more expressive in person or in talking and they tend to be as economical in their writing as possible.

    Good luck!
  • BeingThePhoen...

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    Mar 20, 2011 9:46 AM GMT
    JJCrush saidHmmm you could just ask wether or not she would think that things would be awkward if you went with your partner (and maybe not by email but over the phone, you get one additional aspect to gage the interaction by other than just the words). From what I have gathered you do have some contact with her, so why not just clear the air? Do you plan to/are you going to be working with/for her for a while, if so you might as well find out where things stand.

    This may just all be a poorly timed correspondence with someone who actually has been sick and something has been read into it. Its also possible that its a legitimate blow off or ass cover. Either way I don't see this reaching any form of resolution until you ask the question (again go for the phone or face to face, body language, tone, eye contact and those things can really make a difference). Also people are more expressive in person or in talking and they tend to be as economical in their writing as possible.

    Good luck!

    Well, I do know that she has been sick alot lately, so it is totally possible that she just hasn't felt up to responding.

    I've definitely thought of a face to face the next time i'm in town, just to clear the air. I just don't quite know how to start this conversation. I want to keep it as professional as possible, given the subject matter, but I've never been comfortable discussing my personal life to people outside my select "circle". I have been considering moving up in the company and I really don't want this to be an issue.