Colleagues and it is just a joke
Colleagues are not your friends, sometimes they become friends, they are not your family, even though some companies mistakenly use the word family for their employees, and still, you spend a lot of time with them. So, what are they really? And when is a joke, just a joke?
Working together, even offline, for 32 or 40 hours together in average, is a lot of time spending with each other, with a shared goal and high performance. There is no workplace that I visit where people state “oh my work is easy, the pace is ‘tranquillo’”. Almost all places feel a high pressure in work productivity and then the atmosphere of the workplace needs to be one where you can breathe and feel safe.
Safety has become an issue that used to be something about soft skills, something women would address. After #MetToo it has become hard core liability, and sometimes leads to overreacting of leadership, without really touching the subject.
Safety can be about physical safety, but more over it addresses physiological safety. All systems of personal analysis, codes of conduct, confidants, are helpful but they avoid having an open debate on what people find acceptable, and how you find out what is somebody’s wish in the way you treat them. Or it is seen as an issue for workers not for leadership.
Having experience with male culture, with hard jokes, and the open atmosphere in it, I find it sometimes difficult and understand men when they say: “I cannot make a joke anymore”. And I’m not talking about those men who use it as an excuse to make bad remarks towards women, of course this should at end. I understand that there are people who find this sincerely difficult to find out what is the line that you can trespass or not?
I myself, will surely have made wrong remarks, I’m not perfect at all, but I hope people feel free to address this, so I can adjust and, or, apologize. Nobody is perfect. But what people are struggling as colleagues, is often with assumptions or prejudice.
One time a man said, “this has to descend in me”. I found this hilarious and stated that this seems to me very painful in a male body. The men were not laughing in the room, silly me trying to make a joke involving a male body. It is not easy to find the road, and to map your words, but to check with others is a nice starting point! We do that as a team always