Denigrating jokes, which are sometimes disguised as teasing

In the past half year, have you been subject to denigrating jokes at work?

  • No
  • Yes, but not by my boss
  • Yes, by my boss, but not about my work product
  • Yes, by my boss, about my work in a specific scenario, but not about general performance
  • Yes, by my boss, about my general performance

0 voters

Where’s the no option?

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Why do you care, wouldn’t you be somebody who gets teased! Wait, don’t get mad, i’m only kidding!


If you opened it up to my whole career, then I could have answered

I hope everything’s ok

(ETA just reread the question and in the past 6 mos my answer is no. It’s been 20 years.)

Does it count if I have been asked to “sharpen my pencil”?

Let’s just say that in the past inappropriate things were said and I didn’t realize how awful and sexist those things were until many years later. And the perpetrators are no longer at this company. And if I had complained they would have said I was making a big deal over nothing.

There is one time I should have said something and didn’t.

Thankfully the culture has changed for the better. I can’t imagine being disrespected in that way these days, and neither do I feel I need to worry about my younger colleagues.


Might need to clarify this statement.
Does this mean, “Hey, let’s be more exact with those estimates/assumptions/etc.”?
Or, “Hey, let’s look professional. No smudge marks. Make sure those numbers have some ‘pop’ to them”?
Or, “OK, no more guessing, let’s do some actual math now”?
Or, “Hey, you are dressing like shit. Put some attention into your outfits”?

I could see it any which way.

Given the context and a pencil viewed as a phallic symbol . . . I think the sexual overtones are pretty clear.

Um, I don’t see why a woman would be told this. Man? Sure, “sharpen up that stiff thing in your drawers, cuz we goin to town, right here on the desk!”

You sound like an expert in such talk!

A gentleman never tells.
I’ll PM you.

It’s more, “These rates are too high so you must have done something wrong.” Said by sales managers to a lower level actuary who didn’t choose the expense assumptions

ETA: at that moment I don’t think gender was an issue.

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Anywho, regarding the OP:

  1. Teasing is always denigrating, but in a playful manner. If you are not the type that likes to play, ask the person to stop, IN PRIVATE! Making a public deal about it makes you the party pooper. I know people like this, so they don’t get invited to lunch with the gang, where lots of teasing will be done.
  2. Sometimes teasers like to take and give, so if you’re in the mood, give back. “Oh yeah? Well, I SLEPT WITH YOUR MOTHER!”
  3. Sometimes they don’t. So don’t give back.
  4. Lastly, you’re replaceable. Mainly, you are not so special and needed that you get to make the rules. I’ll blame your parents and society for giving you that idea.


Oh, did I type that out loud?
I’d resent the implication that I am incompetent. But, it also allows me to waste a whole day checking my work, writing documentation about every used cell that proves I was right (or, I find a mistake).

Always keep a sharpened pencil nearby. Then, hold it as if you are about to stab them with it, assuming they are close enough by (damned WTF ruins the effect). Ice pick could also work, but you don’t want get all Sharon Stoney about it.

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I feel lied to

Yeah, I have no personal stories of that nature, but I’ve read Forum.




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Youll have to be more specific…

Jokes are not denigrating when they are not true.

It’s fine to joke about a tall person not riding a roller coaster because he doesn’t meet the height requirements. Not so for a short person.

Jokes about true things should only be made about one’s self.