You walk into the breakroom to get your mid-afternoon cup of coffee and notice a group of three employees sitting at a small table. Bob has his voice raised and is gesturing with his hands and you overhear: "I think we need a ban. Until we know what is going on with the Muslims, we just can't let them in our country." The two other colleagues, Steve and Bonnie, look a bit shocked. Bonnie says, "That is a pretty broad statement. Do you really mean all?"
"Yes," Bob replies. "Until you can really know who they are we can't let them in."
Bonnie takes another stab at understanding: "Okay so, how do you control that? Are we going to ask people their religion before they enter the country? And if we did what would stop them from lying?"
"Bonnie, that question is a bit mean don't you think?"
"Mean? I'm just trying to clarify what you are saying."
"Bonnie, what a bimbo."
"Bimbo! Bob, what is going on? Why would you call me that?"
"Well, I'm sure in your life you've been called much worse."
Steve who has been sitting with his mouth open during most of this exchange (as have you), gets up and says: "Bob, how can you speak to Bonnie this way? This is really inexcusable. You have not only accused all Muslims as being terrorists, which is really racist, but have demeaned Bonnie, your colleague, using a very sexist term."
"Little Steve, sit down, you are only working here because you are married to the boss's daughter," Bob sneers.
At this point, you feel you have to step in. "Bob, I need to speak with you in my office."
In your office, Bob sits down and says: "Robyn, what's up?"
"Bob, I know you are fairly new here, but what I just witnessed in our breakroom is really inexcusable."
"What? I don't follow you."
"Well, I overheard you speaking with Steve and Bonnie, and what you said is racist and sexist. Are you not aware of that?"
"Really? I was just being myself and some people see me as authentic."
"Well Bob, if by being authentic you mean that you are racist and sexist, then this makes it difficult for you to work with other employees that you feel are inferior to you."
"You know Robyn, sometimes it does, and I was going to speak to you about that."
Bob sits up in his chair and leans forward.
"I notice that there are a lot of folks here that just are low energy. They aren't pulling their weight. They are losers."
You sit back and breathe slowly.
"I've got to be honest, are they are all legal? I mean Jorge, makes me nervous, he looks like a rapist to me, have you checked his papers? And that Carry, have you seen how fat she is? Have you seen her face? You should really hire more attractive people."
At this point you have bolted out of your chair.
"Bob, are you serious? Is this what you say about people? Has no one ever told you that this is unkind, insensitive and frankly mean? Does it ever cross your mind that you are hurting people when you say these things?"
"Not really. I mean it's a tough world out there. I'm not into this political correctness."
"Political correctness? How about common kindness to your fellow man? How about thinking about someone else's feelings? Are you at all able to put yourself in someone's shoes and see how they may feel?"
"But Robyn, I am your top performer, in just a few weeks I have broken sales records for you. Isn't that what matters?"
"Your performance has been great, but I can't risk you offending the rest of our organization. Our organization has values, and your values are not our values. It isn't just about making money."
"Well, I just don't get it. I'm just being who I am. Folks like me for not being a political type and being authentic."
As you show Bob to the human resources department where he will get his exit package, you say: "Bob, I know that your past job was working for your father's company, did anyone ever say to you the things I have just said?"
"No Robyn, if they had I don't remember. But if they had I probably would have fired them."
The next morning you see that a few colleagues have sent you tweets that Bob sent at 3 a.m. Bob has called you a bimbo, a loser, weak, and said something really strange about blood coming out of your "wherever."
But the strangest tweet was one that said he was thinking of running for public office. Right! Like anyone would vote for a guy like that!