Job postings and corporate ‘About Us’ pages often include a statement about the company fostering an environment where employees can bring their ‘whole selves’ to work. But how often do these claims reflect reality?
At risk of being difficult, I have questions about the premise. For one, why on God’s Fragrant Earth would an employer, or indeed their customers, want employees to drag every last piece of their personal baggage into the workplace and then inflict that inexhaustible tedium on everyone else? If, say, I’m buying groceries, I am as a rule friendly towards the person at the checkout. There’s always eye contact, a smile, and a word of appreciation. However, I rarely have the time or inclination to hear about the cashier’s extensive list of ailments or her difficulties finding a babysitter, or a lover, or a suitable shampoo. Nor do I wish to hear her views on politics. It’s not why I’m there. And ditto her.
Bringing your whole self to your job can be challenging at best and career limiting at worst, specifically for marginalized and racialized peoples.
There we go. At this point, we could, I think, just paraphrase and save a lot of time:
Self-Involvement Not Entirely Practical In The Workplace. Magic Brown People Hardest Hit.
But no. We must push on.