The least possible thing

A chap on reddit reports that he got sacked for visibly being a fan of My Little Pony:

I’m a guy in his late 30s who works(or worked) a regular boring 9-5 Job. On my work computer I had decided to set a picture of Applejack as my desktop background, I figured it was no big deal, nobody would see it anyway and it was certainly no different than the other guys in my office using pics of their favorite sports teams or their cheerleading squads. Anyway a few weeks after having no issues with it I got called in by my boss who essentially tells me it’s weird and it makes people uncomfortable that I have a “tv show for little girls as a background” (how did he know about it?) but I acknowledge this, keep my head down and change it back to the standard default background.

The comfort of coworkers evidently was set on a downward spiral at that point:

Which brings us to this past week. On Wednesday, some of my co-workers were talking about it and Brony culture. I tried to talk with them about it and I subsequently got mocked. It was a few guys against me which I thought was weird as I don’t make fun of the stuff they like, but all the sudden it’s cool to make fun of a tv show I like? Then on Thursday somebody (or somebodies?) had told some more people in the office about it and people started making little jabs in the hallway about liking shows for girls and stuff, I did nothing to bring this shit on, but they were letting me have it. Then yesterday my boss called me into his office, told me people were uncomfortable working with me (I do nothing but sit in my little hell-cube and do work all day, I hardly interact with anybody) and that they were going to have to let me go. WTF? Can they even fire me for that?

In most states, they probably can, unless he can demonstrate that there was some form of proscribed discrimination involved, and so far as I know, pony fans are not a protected class under federal or state laws.

Of course, had he been, say, a Breaking Bad fan, I doubt if anyone would have said a word, unless he’d been keeping Walter White™ brand meth at his desk.

5 comments

  1. fillyjonk »

    29 September 2013 · 4:49 pm

    I guess he couldn’t call “hostile workplace” on his co-workers?

    I mean, yeah, we only hear one side of the story and this could be Management’s “convenient excuse” (I’ve seen a few people lose their position for reasons other than the stated reason…), but still….it just seems weird to me.

    I have my wallpaper set to a panel from an “all ages” online comic called Nemu Nemu (it’s about toy dogs). No one’s ever said anything to me, but then again I’m female, and I think we can get away with more stuff these days.

  2. sya »

    29 September 2013 · 6:37 pm

    I don’t think my gender would excuse me of anything. So I’ve personalized nothing in my workspace. The default blue background can only showcase two things. My lack of interest in decorating and my paranoia. Mostly the latter.

  3. McGehee »

    30 September 2013 · 8:03 am

    The background on my computer is a pic my wife took eight years ago when we visited Wyoming. Anybody who could find something offensive about it is probably hiding the bodies of murdered co-workers in the supply closet.

  4. jsallison »

    30 September 2013 · 5:42 pm

    The backgrounds on the several computers I work on have various photos from the Navy archives of the USS Oklahoma, USS Oklahoma City, and USS Salt Lake City. The battlewagons and cruisers, not the subs.

  5. McGehee »

    30 September 2013 · 8:42 pm

    ANTI-SUBMARINIST!

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