Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday Six

I don't usually do the Saturday Six (on Sunday no less), but I liked this week's questions.

1. Considering all possible factors about a person that make us different, like age, appearance, religion, race, origin, sexual preference, etc., with 10 being the most prejudiced and 1 being the least, how do you think you would rate yourself?
I think I would rank myself about a 2. Equality is one of my personal crusades, and the fact that I openly advocate against prejudice and for equality (especially on issues such as racial equality, accepting religious and cultural diversity, marriage as a civil right for everyone, and gender equality) is one reason why I give myself such a low number. But I am not perfect. I have been known to complain on occasion about "old drivers" when an elderly person partakes in some road folly, knowing very well that bad driving crosses all ages. I also admit to my slight prejudice against older, white men. Possibly because as a young professional woman, there have numerous occasions in the workplace I have been treated by mainly older men in a less than appealing way. The only way this latter prejudice shines is the fact that I am more likely to stand my ground and argue my opinion with older men than anyone else. I'm not sure what that ultimately says about me?

2. You’re having a problem with a product or service and you call customer service. You are finally connected with someone who has a thick accent that sounds difficult to understand. What is the first thing that goes through your mind?

Accents never bother me. Working with refugees, I long ago learned that if I have a hard time understanding someone, the problem is probably because I am not actively listening to them. It amazes and disheartens me to see the number of times a person speaking fluent English with an accent is pawned off as being unable to speak the language. Listen, people!!
Anyway, what is most important to me is whether or not a customer service rep can answer my question, not how they sound. If they can't answer my question, I asked to be transferred to someone who can, regardless of whether I am talking to someone at a call center in another country, or down the street. And the very first thing that goes through my mind for all calls to customer service is "Is this person in a good mood?" :)

3. A co-worker you like tells you that his or her church is holding an “open house” and is encouraging people of other faiths to visit. You and your co-worker are of different faiths. How likely would you be to attend?

It depends on the co-worker, and more info about the type of open house. If it is an open house to promote diversity and interfaith dialogue with a coworker who is a friend, I would attend. If it is an open house to recruit converts, or with a coworker whom I don't know very well, I would likely stay away. Interfaith dialogue is great; conversion tactics not so great. My family is quite happy in its Jewish faith and prefers not to enter into situations focused on showing us why our faith is wrong. We get enough of that from my parents, who aren't exactly pleased that our children will be raised Jewish (hubby's faith) instead of Christian (I was raised Lutheran).

4. Take the quiz: Are you prejudiced?

You Are Not Prejudiced

Not only are you color blind, but you're also ethnicity blind, gender blind, and sexual orientation blind.
You don't judge someone until you truly know them. And even then, you're probably reluctant to judge.
You try to treat everyone equally. Everyone has a fair chance with you.
Good job - there's not a prejudiced bone in your body.

5. You lose a big promotion to someone who you considered to be less qualified than you are, despite the fact that you are only going by instinct in making that determination. If your boss later pulls you aside and explains that because of a growing effort to promote diversity, the other person was selected over you. What would your first reaction likely be?

My first reaction would be "Why is my boss telling me this?" That's not very professional. I would probably be a little bit upset at the situation, but not towards the person who got the job.

6. Your car breaks down in a neighborhood in which everyone is of a different race than you: are you more likely to be uncomfortable?

I would be uncomfortable in any neighborhood in Baltimore if I was by myself in a broken down vehicle, especially since Baltimore is in the top 3 cities for the highest violent crime rates in the US. If I was by myself, of course I would be uncomfortable. And, in certain neighborhoods in this city where I am technically a minority (although certainly not in terms of government representation), I might feel slightly more so, but only because I feel Baltimore has a long loong way to go in its race relations, and I have been witness to quite a few racial 'comments' directed in both directions (black to white, white to black, and both to hispanic). Any other city we have lived in, including Philadelphia (#4 on that list of highest violent crime rates), the racial make-up of a neighborhood would not have made a difference in how safe I felt.


Lotus Reads said...

You're right Nyssaneala, what an interesting bunch of questions, I have really enjoyed reading your answers!

Regarding accents, I remember when the Call Centers in India were first sprouting up many people worldwide were disgruntled that they had to speak to people from half across the world to solve their computer glitches and claimed not to understand the Indian accent. Some call centers even received hate mail from customers. Guess that's in the past now. Globalization is here to stay and we had better get used to people with different accents because we're all going to have to work together.

Nyssaneala said...

lotus - I don't think it's quite in the past yet, at least not here. I still hear complaints about overseas call centers (particularly in India) on a relattively frequent basis. :( Sadly, I meet many Americans who don't seem to have come to an acceptance of globalization, nor do they understand it. And when I mention fair trade vs free trade, I get an occasional blank look in response!