"PROFESSIONALISM NIXS GAY"

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 27, 2008 11:17 PM GMT
    I had a client in my office today, he has been a client about 2 years,we get along well, but don't know each other to a great extent. He brought his partner along and we discussed his affairs and ended up making some changes.
    It was an indepth conversation and I had a number of recommendations. When all was finished we talked a few minutes about their trip to Las Vegas and other plans they have for the summer.

    I've never discussed anything gay with this client other than to acknowledge we have a couple of friends in common (who are gay). A straight coworker of this gentleman had originally recommended me to the client so there is no background. However I can't imagine he doesn't have a very good idea what I'm about.

    I mentioned to a friend at lunch that I had one of my gay clients in my office and he asked me if our mutual
    "gayness" helped me with this client. My friend said, "he probably came to you since your hot." I was kind of put off by this and he seemed amazed that I'd never talked about (or openly acknowledged) the fact I'm gay to this client.

    My response: He relies on me for a professional service. Thats what he's there for and thats the priority. My friend was a little startled, then razed me about being so one sided. I told him.. if it comes up in a conversation, I don't mind chatting with him regarding gay issues or anything else, but my priority is my professional responsibility to this guy.

    Comments?

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    Jun 27, 2008 11:26 PM GMT
    It never ceases to amaze me that straight people think that gay men are all about sex, sex, sex. Of course programs like "Queer As Folk" probably didn't help matters much (remember Brian Kinney taking potential clients who were gay into the washroom for a quickie?).

    I am one of those people that strictly separates my professional work life, from my personal life, including time I spend in the gay community. Just because I am gay has no impact on how I interact with people on a professional basis. Business is business and pleasure is pleasure. Best to keep the two separate.
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    Jun 27, 2008 11:46 PM GMT
    Wow, how ignorant of your friend to make an assumption without knowing anything about your client other than his sexual orientation.
  • inuman

    Posts: 733

    Jun 27, 2008 11:48 PM GMT
    I agree 100% on this. Work is work and pleasure is pleasure. I mean if he asks you if your gay, I'm sure you'll respond but it's not something that should involve your professional life at all. I had a co-worker we hired a few years ago hit on me cause he knew I was gay but I told him that at work I'm not one to act on such things but outside of work and working hours I'm the me that I am and if he's still interested I'll respond accordingly but not in the office.

    You can't mix both work and pleasure cause it'll conflict right away (unless your an escort, then they go hand and hand).

    And that's my 0.02ยข icon_cool.gif
  • acrojock10

    Posts: 71

    Jun 28, 2008 1:42 AM GMT
    I completely agree. Gay is not who I am. It is a small portion of my life and therefore there is absolutely no need to just bring it up at work.

    1. I work In a Bio-Medical Collection facility.
    We collect blood and plasma. Gay men who are admittedly sexually active are not supposed to donate blood/plasma/platelets, etc. On top of this I live in Oklahoma, the clientele that we often attract isn't too awfully educated. I actually had a guy that saw me in public holding hands with my boyfriend at one point, come in and refused to let me stick him because he insisted that I was going to give him AIDS! (Isn't that sad!)

    2. It my PERSONAL Life!
    BUTT THE HELL OUT! No one at work (Co-workers, customers, donors, whatever..)
    need to have their nose in my personal life, unless they happen to be one of the few I've made friends with! AND EVEN THEN IT'S LIMITED!

    Recently, (within the past year) the number of other gay/lesbian people I work with has grown substantially! out of 35 employees; 10 of us are gay!

    I am not one to flaunt my sexuality. I don't talk about my personal life with donor's, and employees have just found out from getting to know me, but generally don't consider me one of them because I don't hang out with them! Most of them are excessively open about their sexuality, and talk about what is going on in their personal lives in front of other employees, customers, and donors.

    I don't want everyone just assuming things about me because I'm gay. If someone directly asks me if I'm gay, I will tell them. But it's not the first thing someone knows about me. I don't consider it necessary. If they know, they do.. oh well! But I don't feel an obligation to walk up to everyone I meet and shove it in their face that I just happen to be queer!

    At work you need to think about WORK!
    Leave your personal life at home!
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    Jun 28, 2008 1:54 AM GMT
    WOW! Sounds like someone jumped the gun and ended catching the bullet with his head. LOL.

    Work is work and that's how it should always stay. Unless your business is pleasure then the two should never mix. Your friend should be feeling like an ass right about now for asking such a question so bluntly and for insinuating that you let you your personal life and sexual orientation govern your work and social life while at work.

    Certain things do not need to be asked or should even be assumed. Some things are strictly on a "need to know" basis and people should learn to respect others privacy.
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    Jun 28, 2008 1:55 AM GMT
    Interesting. At our studio, we all get along and it's relatively pleasant. We're friends, I guess, although I have to make the effort, since none of the rest are particularly gregarious. We never see each other outside of work. And nobody seems to know anything about anyone else's personal life. There's a premium placed on privacy. Or maybe it's just disinterest.

    At work, I've never been asked a single question about my family, friends, hobbies, likes, dislikes, background, life experience, political or religious views. . . though I volunteer such information from time to time. (Actually rather frequently.) I find it somewhat odd that the other people at work rarely speak of personal matters.

    Ever see the old TV show "Mission: Impossible"? You never had a clue about any of the character's personal lives. It just never came up.

    And you got the impression the characters didn't know anything about each other either. Peter Graves just called them in every week to overthrow yet another South American dictator. . . and then they'd go their own separate ways.

    That's kinda how my workplace is. I guess that's better than dealing with some nosy idiot plundering through your e-mails. But it's a little impersonal, don't you think? Goes maybe just a little too far?
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 28, 2008 2:05 AM GMT
    I wouldn't pick someone because he's hot, but I may pick someone because he's gay if he's good at what does, say personal lawyer or financial guy. I think he may have an easier time meeting my needs in those areas, being able to understand what is unique to my life.
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    Jun 28, 2008 2:31 AM GMT
    acrojock10 said Gay is not who I am. It is a small portion of my life . . .

    I am not one to flaunt my sexuality. . .

    I don't feel an obligation to walk up to everyone I meet and shove it in their face that I just happen to be queer!


    Do you have any idea how much internalized homophobia you're expressing here? You have bought into every right-wing cliche about us.

    Talking about a date is "flaunting" your sexuality? Do your straight co-workers talk about their dates? Are they flaunting their straightness? Are they "shoving it in your face"?

    This is really sad.
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    Jun 28, 2008 2:45 AM GMT
    jprichva said[quote][cite]acrojock10 said[/cite] Gay is not who I am. It is a small portion of my life . . .

    I am not one to flaunt my sexuality. . .

    I don't feel an obligation to walk up to everyone I meet and shove it in their face that I just happen to be queer!


    Do you have any idea how much internalized homophobia you're expressing here? You have bought into every right-wing cliche about us.

    Talking about a date is "flaunting" your sexuality? Do your straight co-workers talk about their dates? Are they flaunting their straightness? Are they "shoving it in your face"?

    This is really sad.[/quote]

    I don't understand why you don't see where he's coming from. Just because I like guys doesn't mean you're gonna see me shirtless and blowing a whistle at a pride parade. Geez how much more in your face can you get than with a fuckn' parade? I'm a proud member of the US military but you're not going to see a US flag flying in my front yard. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeve. I think they are dorks but whatever to each his own.
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    Jun 28, 2008 2:50 AM GMT
    slapaho18 said I don't understand why you don't see where he's coming from. Just because I like guys doesn't mean you're gonna see me shirtless and blowing a whistle at a pride parade. Geez how much more in your face can you get than with a fuckn' parade? I'm a proud member of the US military but you're not going to see a US flag flying in my front yard. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeve. I think they are dorks but whatever to each his own.


    You're missing the point entirely. No one says that he or anyone has to be a walking gay billboard.

    But since when is talking normally about your personal life "flaunting" anything? Or "shoving it in your face"?

    That's what's homophobic. We all get taught this crap early on, but it takes a lot of self-examination to erase it.

    If you say these things, you might as well announce that you don't think you're as good as your straight peers.
  • acrojock10

    Posts: 71

    Jun 28, 2008 8:12 PM GMT
    My problem with it is this.. it's work! CHECK YOUR PERSONAL LIFE AT THE DOOR!
    And the people that I am readily speaking of DO flaunt their sexuality and I personally think that's stupid!
    And if you worked where I worked you would understand it a bit more.. work is not to sit around and talk about your personal life. You're there to work!

    My remarks aren't homophobic. They're true!
    I don't care if people talk about their private life- ON THEIR OWN TIME!
    Work is NOT the place to discuss your personal life...
    And if you feel otherwise, then you have a job where you have more time to speak among you co-workers and aren't readily exposing your personal life to people who don't really need to know about it.
    there is nothing HOMOPHOBIC about being private and knowing when and where is appropriate for said conversation! And when my straight co-workers are doing it I feel the same way!
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jun 28, 2008 8:24 PM GMT
    maybe your friend is not good looking at all?
  • acrojock10

    Posts: 71

    Jun 28, 2008 8:33 PM GMT
    I work in a facility that collects HUMAN SOURCE PRODUCT. (Blood/RBC's/Platelets/Source Plasma/Leukocytes/Specialty Plasma)
    I work in compliance and in the technical more hands on portion..
    I routinely perform phlebotomy. We are a busy facility sometimes processing over 400 units of source product per day..
    When you are that busy you don't need to be discussing your personal life.
    Plain and simple!

    I'm currently in nursing school working on becoming an RN- eventually hope to get a masters. I am also a Clinical Laboratory Sciences student.


  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 28, 2008 9:03 PM GMT
    I just finished reading Patrick Lencioni's very enjoyable "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team", and one of his arguments is that a functional team needs to have enough trust and camaraderie that they should be comfortable knowing about one another's personal lives -- not to some extreme level of detail, but frankly the coworkers on my leads' team that I get along best with, I do know stuff about. One had twins pretty recently. Another just got married, and his wife's a foodie and we chat about cooking. Another two are long-time friends of mine. Etc.

    I think the attitude that you can separate your work and personal life entirely and have a successful career only works if you're not on a team, or are on a team in name only (i.e. "we happen to work on similar things at the same times" -- but you don't bother developing strong trust, openness to conflict, personal accountability, etc.)

    It's no secret that high-level executives get a lot of their business done on the golf course. Personal relationships, with the inevitable disagreements, tension, and stubbornness, are a hallmark of the proverbial movers & shakers.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 28, 2008 9:06 PM GMT
    PhxAriz08 saidThat is interesting ;) What you do? Are you a doctor or a lawyer?


    Your on the right track Samer....
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    Jun 28, 2008 9:12 PM GMT
    I would like to think that my work speaks for itself and I am judged on that. If someone connects with me because I am gay it may help in establishing a working relationship. In my part-time job I do find that my gay clientele friends will seek me out more for the fact they will get great service. I know I like to support gay businesses - bookstores, real estate agents, etc. - all this again remains intact if the person is a decent individual. So Handsome not to worry your reputation speaks for itself - people seek you out for the benefit you provide. The fact they may find out that you are on 'the team' is a side bonus that may help make the relationship a little more personal!
    I would hire you in a minute!
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    Jun 28, 2008 9:26 PM GMT
    There is no way to separate professional and personal life for anyone who spends a very significant part of their life working.

    I have always worked for myself and one thing that I realized early on is that what people are buying when they purchase a service from me is me. People write checks to other people, based upon their feelings about those other people.

    I find Acrojock's comments pretty horrifying because the description would make what sounds like a blood plasma facility a bit less intimate than a car wash. There has to be some happy middle ground between behaving like a sexless processing android and living in a perpetual kaffee klatch or a Will & Grace episode.

    When I moved to Italy well-meaning friends told me to keep my sexuality to myself and live discretely with my partner. Uh uh. We are a married couple and we behave like every other married couple. Where I go he goes (if possible for logistic reasons).

    Anyway, I agree with what you have to say 100%. I don't know about the team crap because I kind of think that a team is the consequence of a positive working environment and not an objective in and of itself.

    Terry


    atxclimber saidI just finished reading Patrick Lencioni's very enjoyable "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team", and one of his arguments is that a functional team needs to have enough trust and camaraderie that they should be comfortable knowing about one another's personal lives -- not to some extreme level of detail, but frankly the coworkers on my leads' team that I get along best with, I do know stuff about. One had twins pretty recently. Another just got married, and his wife's a foodie and we chat about cooking. Another two are long-time friends of mine. Etc.

    I think the attitude that you can separate your work and personal life entirely and have a successful career only works if you're not on a team, or are on a team in name only (i.e. "we happen to work on similar things at the same times" -- but you don't bother developing strong trust, openness to conflict, personal accountability, etc.)

    It's no secret that high-level executives get a lot of their business done on the golf course. Personal relationships, with the inevitable disagreements, tension, and stubbornness, are a hallmark of the proverbial movers & shakers.
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    Jun 28, 2008 9:31 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidI had a client in my office today, he has been a client about 2 years,we get along well, but don't know each other to a great extent. He brought his partner along and we discussed his affairs and ended up making some changes.
    It was an indepth conversation and I had a number of recommendations. When all was finished we talked a few minutes about their trip to Las Vegas and other plans they have for the summer.

    I've never discussed anything gay with this client other than to acknowledge we have a couple of friends in common (who are gay). A straight coworker of this gentleman had originally recommended me to the client so there is no background. However I can't imagine he doesn't have a very good idea what I'm about.

    I mentioned to a friend at lunch that I had one of my gay clients in my office and he asked me if our mutual
    "gayness" helped me with this client. My friend said, "he probably came to you since your hot." I was kind of put off by this and he seemed amazed that I'd never talked about (or openly acknowledged) the fact I'm gay to this client.

    My response: He relies on me for a professional service. Thats what he's there for and thats the priority. My friend was a little startled, then razed me about being so one sided. I told him.. if it comes up in a conversation, I don't mind chatting with him regarding gay issues or anything else, but my priority is my professional responsibility to this guy.

    Comments?



    No disrespect meant but I'm lost on your concerns? I don't know what service you provide to the public but I think your friend was actually complimenting you. So what if a gay client came to you as a resource because you were hot or gay. If that were true you should be flattered and then offer your professional advice. If a client finds comfort in the common thread of you both sharing the same sexuality thats completely understandable. My job offers me the opportunity to come in contact with a HUGE diverse group of citizens within my city. I have specific people requesting my service and some of them feel comfortable with the fact that I am openly gay. I've established a comfort zone for them. Not based on flirting with one another. That would be ridiculous. However, I am highly aware that for some gay men and women they feel at times talked down to or treated "oddly" if someone knows they are gay or even senses they are gay. I offer that comfort zone they might be seeking. I take it as a complete compliment.

    I'll be honest, if I ever needed any type of legal assistance I'd be more inclined to seek out a gay lawyer. As my legal advisor and vocal rep in court he bridges a potential uncomfortable situation should anyone try to attack my character based on my sexuality when it should never be an issue. I mentioned in another thread if I'm looking for a trainer for some fitness challenges I will more than likely look for a gay trainer. Call it instinct but I just feel more comfortable some times with that common thread. We don't even need to talk about "gay things" it's just a common thread.

    So take it as a compliment and don't be concerned. It has nothing to do with your professional approach. You are potentially a safe zone. NEVER complain if someone finds you hot. What a way to get more business. From there it's up to you to establish a professional working relationship. Thats a good thing. Use it wisely icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 28, 2008 9:34 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan said[quote][cite]PhxAriz08 said[/cite]That is interesting ;) What you do? Are you a doctor or a lawyer?


    Your on the right track Samer....[/quote]

    Your profession probably has a code of ethical conduct that has to do with privilege. Whether that privilege be patient doctor, attorney client, or whatever, the limits are those proscribed by that privilege.

    There are situations in which the "gay" issue may be extremely relevant (i.e. it could be very relevant to treatment decisions in a medical situation, or to strategy in a bias suit, etc.). I suppose the majority of situations are sex neutral, at least in theory.

    Obviously, from what you say, the fact that you haven't specifically discussed sexual orientation doesn't mean it isn't an implicit understanding in your relationship. There are many ways to have a conversation and verbally is only one of them.

    Maybe he did come to you because your hot. Is that so terrible? I mean, you are hot. You work on being hot. It isn't an accident of nature or a disability.

    Statistically people who are hot do better. Go figure.

    Anyway, my thought is cut your friend some slack. Listening to what he has to say doesn't change your ethical responsibility or your behaviour behind closed doors with your client one tittle or one jot.

    Terry
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    Jun 28, 2008 9:55 PM GMT
    acrojock10 saidMy remarks aren't homophobic. They're true!
    I don't care if people talk about their private life- ON THEIR OWN TIME!


    I'll try this one more time.

    It is natural to speak of your private life AT WORK. It means when someone politely asks what you did this weekend, you mention what you REALLY did, and with whom. You do NOT tell them details of your sex life--straight OR gay--but you also don't hide.

    And if you choose to keep your life a deep dark secret from everyone, that's fine too.

    The homophobia is shown by the terms you used. "Flaunting". Since when is mentioning that you went on a date with a guy "flaunting" anything? "Shoving it in their face"? This assumes that what you are is SO offensive and SO terrible that you must shield these innocent straight people from the horrifying knowledge of what you do in your private time.

    And as far as people not talking about their private lives at work, welcome to the planet. I've worked in more situations than anyone I know--from factory work to cocktail lounges to the boardrooms of Wall Street, and EVERYONE talks about their private life in passing. Yes, and on "work time" too.

    Oh, everyone except the self-loathing gays, that is.

  • acrojock10

    Posts: 71

    Jul 01, 2008 12:26 AM GMT
    I don't think that anyone here really understands what I'm saying, and they don't know the specific nature of what I'm speaking of. If you know the whole situation maybe you would understand more. I'm speaking on a loose generalization. I'm speaking on terms of when you are supposed to be doing one thing and doing something completely different. I have good relationships with my co-workers, however; I don't feel the need to sit around and chat about what goes on behind closed doors, (ALL day long!) as several of my co-workers choose to do. I'm not saying I don't speak with my co-workers. Just not on the time I'm supposed to be doing something else.
    And when I say flaunting; I mean flaunting. Including flirting for the sheer sake of pissing someone off. It's fine to talk about your private life when client's aren't around unless a client directly asks you a question, that you feel comfortable answering. But you shouldn't spend your day slacking about and chatting about private matters in front of clients.

    Maybe I should have worded myself differently. Forgive me, I "misspoke."
    I'm not self loathing in any way. I'm very politically active, and I'm "OUT."
    But I also don't think there is any problem with keeping your personal life personal, when it comes to clients. I like the idea that people make their decisions about me as an individual, based on what they know about me from my interaction with them.
    If they know I'm gay, FINE! But, there is nothing wrong with a little modesty either.