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I know this is a little bit self serving, but...I just don't know what to do. Since this is the place that has the most brainpower of anyplace I've been lately, I'm turning to you for help, or, at least, an opinion. So let it fly. Give it to me straight.

UPDATE: I'd like to clarify a few things. I do not think for a moment that my company, a large multinational business, nor my local 'bosses' either endorse or accept this behavior. Tonight, after my diary, the midlevel manager spoke to this graffiti to everyone as a group. Apparently, he said that it would not be tolerated, that when/if the perp was discovered, it would be grounds for immediate dismissal-because "some people find it offensive". I say apparently, because I wasn't there, I called in unable to work this evening. Honestly, I was unsure that I wouldn't do as several have suggested below, and did not want to be involved in any altercation, either verbal or physical. What I told my boss when I called in, is "that I was sickened by seeing swastika's at my workplace. You know, swastika's, the symbol of hate & violence." He said he'd put me down as "called in", and that was pretty much it. And then later he gathered everyone together & said what I have related. Needless to say, I feel MUCH better about my workplace. I would quickly add that I did say up front that I do not believe that this crap was a commonly held belief of my co-workers...
I really do appreciate your thoughts and advice. I can certainly feel where you're coming from, and am always grateful to hear what someone smart has to say...you smarties.  One of the wisest(wise-est?) of you hit me hard with 10 words below. You said that this is a time when my true colors will shine through, and you are correct. I shall not be a snitch, and most assuredly not a coward. I will not add to & abet the violence of the symbol I see, not continue the hatred, not stoop down to the level of the ignorant that display it. But, you can be sure I will not allow this to pass by unchecked, or unremarked upon. I fully expect one of my bosses to call me into the office on my next workday, and discuss this in some way. I won't need to even tell him I know who the creep is, since prior to meeting with him, I will speak to the creep. I seriously doubt that he will ever scribble a swastika again in my workplace after I lay the facts on him. I appreciate the concern some of you have voiced as well. I do not think that there is some big underground Neo-Nazi network at my job, or even in the town-well, maybe the town...but at any rate, I have told several people around me about this, as well as who the asshat is. I have told my boss I don't like it, and he responded in a 'reasonable' fashion. So, should 'something' happen to me or my 'stuff', well, it'll be a quick trial for him...

Thank you for your kind consideration, time, wisdom, and words. Now I've got a reason to get outta bed tomorrow...

Oh, my, where to start. Well, I'll dispense with all of the prequel. Here's where I am now. I am in ok financial shape. I really can't see me losing my home-by which you should infer that I own one-along with my buddies at the bank. I probably won't go hungry no matter what. But my happiness, well, that's another thing altogether.

You see, I moved to my present location after my wife passed away at 46 yrs of age from ovarian cancer. My marriage was collapsing, but, she was great. Ask anyone who knew her, and they'd tell you-Melissa was a good person, and certainly didn't deserve her fate. God rest her soul. But here I am, living a whole new life in a whole new place.

It seems that I moved into the Twilight Zone... I currently have a retirement income that pays my mortgage, and pays most of my bills in so far as heat, propane, electric, gas, phone, insurance, etc.. I know I'm VERY LUCKY in that I'm only 48-millions would love to be in my position. I will just say that I came by my retirement income in an extremely difficult & unfortunate way, and that way had nothing to do with my wife's passing. So, I need to work. I would like a vacation someday, and I'll need a new car eventually, and booze-gotta have a drink once in a while, right? So, I work. I am not able to work in the occupation that once was my identidy-an urban paramedic, so I take what I can get. And where I live, that means $10./hr at a good job, $8.00/hr at a bad one... Since this Fella is a lucky guy(HA!), I found a place that pays me only $9.50/hr-BUT, but...it may lead to another position at my employer that pays $30.00/hr, plus 1-4hrs of overtime daily!! Wow!

Here's the rub. I work at a place that has had swastika's showing up, written onto pieces of equipment. I'm neither Jewish nor a gypsy, artist, gay, or any other group slaughtered by Nazi's, but, just the same, it nauseates me to see that shit at my workplace. My bosses know about it, and, honestly, I don't think it in any way represents the common attitude of my co-workers. But, swastika's at work. WTF? Ok, ready to get weirder? I saw the asshole doing the scribbling.

What do I do? Quit? How can I work with people-or even one douche-nozzle who thinks it's ok to put swastika's on work stuff? I can't see turning him in...cuz Dad said I could be anything I want to be, except a coward or a snitch. Make waves about it? Well, I work in a place that pays people $10./hr, and thinks I should be happy to have a job. Trust me, my employer won't miss me when some other clown steps up to take my job. Sue? For what...a hostile work enviroment? Good luck to me-I think my house would be burned down before a jury around here would fix things. I need the money. I can't go without, as I'm already tiring of beans, rice, and tortillas.

While my more base instincts tell me to just kick the little loser's ass in the name of 3 million dead Jews and Poles(I am Polish...), I am adverse to jail time...

So, your opinion please. What the hell do I do now?

Originally posted to Thinking Fella on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:24 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  start with a tip jar (13+ / 0-)

    people tend to wait for that before jumping in with advice or remarks

    Whatever you do, or dream, begin it now.. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. ~Goethe

    by Lady Libertine on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:30:51 PM PST

  •  Gather together some like-minded co-workers (14+ / 0-)

    and confront the twerp as a group.  Tell him to grow the fuck up and knock it the fuck off.  Also remind him that the Nazis lost and will never succeed again.  Rinse, repeat as necessary.

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)

    by MTmofo on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:31:40 PM PST

  •  How about this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiaD, MTmofo

    You know who the guy is who is doing the swastikas.  What would happen if you told him, "Hey, we need to talk in private."  And then, once you were in a quiet, private place, you said to him matter of factly, "I am bothered by your art projects with the swastikas. I don't like it. I'm promising you that if I see one more of these on the job, I and my friends are going to break every single bone in your face.  Do we understand each other?"  

  •  If it's just one guy, your place of work has a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiaD, marykk, Tenn Wisc Dem

    duty to fire him in order to create a 'safe working environment' - However, if it's more than one person doing this, you may be working for some sort of nazi splinter group and should probably quit, or become a nazi.

  •  What about trying to befriend him, and spending a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiaD, moondance, ardyess

    lot of time talking on breaks.  Gain his trust and try to educate him.  Prejudice is fear.  Why is he afraid?  This strategy will require a great deal of patience, but is likely to be more effective in the long run than threats of violence.  No guarantees it will work, but obviously he is being influenced by someone and not likely questioning what he is being told.  

    If you feel uncomfortable addressing the issues specifically, perhaps you could try to teach him critical thinking skills.  You can then hope that he will begin to apply them to the source of his prejudices.

  •  Face him off and tell him that you find that (4+ / 0-)

    offensive.  Jerks like that are cowards anyway.  

    And if he swings on you, then he's gone or else your boss should be.

    Actually, this constitutes workplace harassment.  You could mention to your boss that this could make a poisonous workplace where people will react.  If the boss still doesn't respond, try his boss.

    Behind every great man, there's a woman saying "Stand up straight"

    by captainlaser on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:44:17 PM PST

  •  Report Him (9+ / 0-)

    If he's scribbling ANYTHING on company property and on Company Time he's ripping off his employer!  Plenty of cause for a warning to be issued, and for firing if the behavior continues.

    If your employer condones his behavior...well Personally I'd look for another job.

    "We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart." - Blaise Pascal

    by Dixie Liberal on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:48:31 PM PST

    •  yep, this is the way to go (6+ / 0-)

      Keep in mind, in Germany, displaying a swastika is a criminal offense.  Here in America, it is certainly vandalism to put swastikas on company property, and if you have good reason to believe who is doing it, report it to your HR department at your job.  I don't know why you think you would get fired for reporting it, but if you were fired you would have an excellent lawsuit against your company.

      louise 'hussein' to you! proud donor to "White Dudes for Obama" Endorsed 11/1/07 and never looked back!

      by louisev on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:53:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can think of three options (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess

    As  much as I despise fascism, Nazis and anything related to them, my first option would be...

    1. Ignore it. Is this person doing or advocating anything, that you know of, that is violent or might have an adverse affect on another person, or is he just being an obnoxious shit? Even assholes have the right to express their opinions. And if the scribbling is all there is to it, it's nasty but not dangerous.

    And then there's...

    1. Try to have a dialog with him. This would be the most adult option. Impossible for me, since I am not tactful or patient with idiocy. But you could try finding out what exactly he thinks he's doing, and perhaps gently attempt to influence his opinions.

    Or...

    1. Find another job.

    This is assuming the bosses tolerate graffiti of any kind on their property. You might find that out first.

  •  then again maybe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thinking Fella, ardyess

    he's a stupid little attention-seeking twerp. Id need more info to make a more in depth assessment (oy) but there is the possibilty... is this person a young... punk or goony or what. Id try to suss out where he is coming from before proceeding with any of the responses suggested so far.

    Re-reading... he's scribbling this onto company owned equipment? Isnt that... several things, but... graffiti-esque and defacing things that are not his property? The company people should care about that, whether its a swastika or a skull or a whatever. They dont care? weird.

    my first guess is that its juvenile attention-seeking.

    anyway, sorry to hear the whole situation for you, between a rock and a hard place... these are times you will discover your own true colors.

    Whatever you do, or dream, begin it now.. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. ~Goethe

    by Lady Libertine on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:54:33 PM PST

    •  I have read (0+ / 0-)

      the last 10 words you have written over & over.

      They are the most sage words/advice here, and I both hear & acknowledge them. I shall act accordingly. Luckily for him, I learned to use my words, not my fists...

      well, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time...

      by Thinking Fella on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:19:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Contact the Anti-defamation League. Have them (12+ / 0-)

    contact your boss.

    link

    You could be stopping something terrible from happening in the future.  It's like the murderer that starts out killing puppies and rabbits.  You never know how this type of behavior will progress.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone

    by DCBlue on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:56:14 PM PST

  •  If this is just some schmuck (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naranjadia, Thinking Fella, ardyess

    that happens to be employed at the same place as you I wouldn't worry about it. Just keep in the back of your mind that you found another idiot in the village.

    You have indicated you don't want to "snitch" but you might discuss his actions with another coworker (not in a position of authority.) At least it would provide you some outlet at work.

    Just a couple of ideas - worth exactly what you paid for them.

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. - President Harry Truman

    by notrouble on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 06:14:43 PM PST

  •  Frankly, in your position, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, luckylizard, hotdamn

    I would move to Belize and become a tour guide of Mayan archeological sites. Alternatively, they probably would appreciate someone with your medical experience in one of their hospitals. Either way, if one can live there on SS like a king, one should certainly be able to do so on a retirement benefit.

    •  I know this was posted in humour, (0+ / 0-)

      but it's a great idea. I have worked in Belize and many other developing countries and they may have exactly what you need: escape. That, and a sense of being truly needed. Docs without Borders, etc etc - go, do some good in the world. You can rent your house for dirt cheap to cover a few expenses, and find a purpose in life that's far far beyond calling out some yahoo over his bad art (and worse identity issues).

      Do some good for others, and you'll feel a lot better about your own life. Truly.

    •  Just between you and me... (0+ / 0-)

      Panama is the place.

      Shhhhh.

      well, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time...

      by Thinking Fella on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:21:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Get peace sign stickers and place them over (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, DCBlue, Im nonpartisan

    the swastikas. You can do it steathily (is that a word?) and the contrast between the two symbols will send a message. If the jerk still doesn't stop then report him anonymously.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix

    by on board 47 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 06:47:37 PM PST

    •  with stealth n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      on board 47
    •  I was thinking large yellow sticky notes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard, on board 47

      perhaps with a large question mark, or even a smiley face.  Maybe even a note that says, "why is there a nazi symbol here?"  I bet after one or two the management will do something about it.

      Or, you can kindly ask the supervisor for a spray bottle of cleaner, get a sponge with a scrubby side, and at a time when everyone will see you, cheerfully clean the graffiti up.  When people see you doing it, without saying a word, they will either help, talk about it, or your boss will make sure it doesn't happen again.

      Is this an all male workplace?  If I worked there it would have been cleaned up already.

      "You don't ever want a crisis to go to waste. It's an opportunity to do important things you would otherwise avoid." Rahm Emanuel

      by Im nonpartisan on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:11:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sort of perplexed (0+ / 0-)

    as to why you would not want to report this.  I know dad says not to be a snitch, but is dad always right?  Okay, he always has been in the past, but this could prove the exception.  Please think carefully and consider this an option.  
    I would think the owners of the business where you work would not want swastikas on their equipment, unless they're Nazis themselves.
    If you engage in dialog with anyone, and somehow management found out that you knew about this, they could possibly - albeit maybe far fetched - fire you for being complicit.  Just what you don't want.  So be very careful.
    Get the lay of the land, so to speak.  Maybe one conversation with someone who has been there for a while and knows stuff about the place that you feel that you could trust, and this would be the best to guide you. Find out information, that is very important.  If you do decide to act, either report soon, or just keep quiet altogether.      

  •  Since ya know the artist (0+ / 0-)

    I think you should enjoy a fringe benefit of your new job and, for fun, even amusement, endeavor to educate this fella about what he's up to, because I seriously doubt he has a clue.

  •  you are mistaken about one thing. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thinking Fella

    you are a human being, which was the central group slaughtered by the Nazis.

    you could send the guy an anonymous note, asking him to please stop.

    personally, i would probably get myself a fat black sharpie, and spend a few minutes every day turning the swastikas into little window panes, or just blacking them out altogether.

    BTW, it's possible, though improbable, that this guy is simply some sort of compulsive, and that for whatever reason, he's fascinated by the swastika. it's a fascinating symbol. that's why the Nazis chose it. don't assume the worst, until and unless you know the full story.

    I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!

    by UntimelyRippd on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:39:47 PM PST

  •  Take some pictures (0+ / 0-)

    Leave copies and a note (anonymously!) for your bosses, saying that if they don't deal with it, pictures will go to the newspaper and local TV station.

    The last thing your bosses want is reporters crawling in looking for a spectacle.

    The W ... it stands for Wrong.

    by nosleep4u on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:03:37 PM PST

  •  It may be to your benefit re promotion if you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karl Rover

    handle this in a way that shows you have both sensitivity and balls. He is defacing company property, and he's wasting company time. (I'm curious if he displays other similar behavior, I mean, is the guy a skinhead?) He is also behaving in a way that others in your place of business find offensive.

    Ask your boss to have a talk with the guy to give him a chance to straighten up (and clean off all his "art"). If that fails, call in the cavalry as suggested above -- Anti-Defamation League, human rights agencies, &c.

    Good luck with your situation, and thank you for speaking up and sharing this with us.

  •  Most of the advice here is wrong. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thinking Fella

    MTmofo is right. Handle it with a group of peers. I'm a little too buzzed right now to explain why, but I'll try.

    You shouldn't ignore it, because you can't. Its effect on you will show. I know this for a fact because Oscar-winning actors earn more than $10 an hour, so you're not one.

    You shouldn't leave, because that's pansy. You're not the one doing anything wrong. I won't respect you if you're a doormat.

    You shouldn't confront him by yourself, because that's stupid. It just sets him up in a position to eliminate the only witness to his perfidy -- you -- before anyone else knows better. I'm assuming that he would "only" use office politics, but whatever. That's only less fatal than being shot, not more fun.

    You shouldn't just go to the boss, because that's unnecessarily risky. I don't know your relationships to your boss, which one of you he trusts more. Besides, non-regulation puts more emphasis on litigation, and sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but sometimes it just gets the boot. A lot of employers would rather just fire the boat-rocker to forestall any drama, instead of dealing with the real problem.

    Work your relationships with your co-workers. If you're not that close to them yet, then play your cards close to your vest while you build those relationships up, inviting them out to lunch one at a time and schmoozing. Once you have some homies you can trust, then get your posse together and confront the bastard as a group.

    I want to live in a civilization.

    by SciVo on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 12:10:06 AM PST

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