Presumably this story is about racism in the workplace, but it's filled with anecdotes about all sorts of things that detract from the point.
It's primarily about racism in the workplace, but it is also about being a woman in the workplace and the kind of bad behavior that is quite commonly found in tech companies. I have seen a lot of this myself manifesting in numerous ways.
Does the point really need to be SO simple for people to accept that this kind of behavior is unacceptable?
I find it kind of weird how often we tell people that their experiences aren't valid because they didn't describe them in the right way.
The HR person suggesting she's being too sensitive? This is very common with HR since they tend to protect the company rather than employees. That is just one of many examples of bad behavior that is not necessarily related to racism, but is still worthy of discussion.
The racism is worthy of discussion, her behaviour otherwise only clouds the issue.
Is it her mentioning of other things she thought pertinent clouding the issue, or is it the fact that a lot of you are for some reason distracted by it?
You have every right to disagree with how pertinent it is, but I think it odd the degree to which people are focusing on that relatively minor point over discussing the issue at hand.
It's anything but minor. It's the majority of the article, and exhibits questionable behavior on her part.
As you read the article, the drama becomes so absurd that it is hard to believe anything the author writes - it's her against the entire world and everyone (seriously, everyone) is out to ruin her career. Usually when every single person is siding against you (including fellow female coworkers, since sexism is being brought up), perhaps there might be a good reason for it?
If you read the entire article, it is pretty clear that the author suffers from a severe persecution complex. You can tell by the amount of drama and conspiracy that seems to exist in every situation and relationship (work and personal) she describes.
Saying she suffers from a complex is just trying to marginalize the problem. Everyone loves to play the armchair psychiatrist online. Your argument is just as absurd an invalid as the people who mutter "She shouldnt have been dressed in x manner" to a rape victim.
Does the thought of racism and sexism creeping into the "shining beacon" of liberalness that is the tech industry distress you so much that you can't see this?
You are now able to diagnose psychological issues from a single piece of writing? Impressive.
She is describing the problems that existed at her work. So yes there will be drama. Does she have to describe every positive aspect of her life to balance it out for you? If I get sick do I have to describe every healthy part of me so you don't think I'm a hypochondriac?
I was all prepared to start thinking of Squarespace as a racist company, but I was blown away by how un-racist and justified Squarespace was in how they handled the situation.
Here's the provable facts:
- Has office relationship immediately after going full time
- Soon after complains to boss the job is beneath her
- Is promoted despite 1 and 2
- Put in charge of project. It fails under her management.
- Is documented openly trash talking management
- Is still given new project
- Goes to HR after a women makes a racist joke
- HR addresses it, she writes statement about her happiness with the outcome
- Given a new project yet again
- Gets Drunk at office party, assaults co-worker she had relationship with
- Obviously fired
- Files a lawsuit proven to be fraudulent
In short, I would be PISSED if I donated to her fraudulent GoFundMe. Super glad she published this so future employers will know what they are getting into. I hope Squarespace takes legal action against her for this article.
I skimmed through the article, but didn't a similar thing happen to Zach Holman at GitHub?
Disappointed in the comments I'm seeing here on DN.
Maybe it's not the perfectly written post, maybe she should not have had that relationship, but have you really not seen this kind of behavior in the workplace? This is not uncommon, and I don't just mean towards minority women.
Why are all of you so ready to dismiss what she has to say when thousands of other women and men are saying the same thing? No this is not a new problem, workplaces have been abusive since the dawn of employment, but at least our society has gotten to a point where we can talk about it.
We need more women on Designer News, this is depressing.
Did you read the entire article?
Look at the facts. The rest is all hearsay. She had an inappropriate relationship with a co-worker, was promoted, failed as a leader on 2 different projects, was documented trash talking management, put out a written statement expressing how happy she was with the way HR handled her situation, got drunk at an office party and assaulted a co-worker...then filed a lawsuit proven to be fraud after being rightfully fired for said assault.
I know this is a sensitive issue, but I'd urge you to set aside your biases and acknowledge the facts. There are SO many other legitimate cases of workplace discrimination that are being undermined by this woman's actions. The fact that people are siding with her is quite frankly absurd and a symptom of the fact that this issue is instantly polarizing.
I've never understood this urge to speak up and victim blame. Publishing something like this is TERRIFYING and no one in their right mind would intentionally subject themselves to disgusting things like Internet shaming and this comment thread for kicks.
Amelie is a friend and certainly in her right mind. There's a person who's been seriously, actually suffering from this for years (during and after), and your instinct is to criticize her writing and content, and question whether she's telling the truth.
It's not your job to be judge and jury, definitely not as a group of predominantly white men who've never been held back by systematic racism and sexism. Who've never been held up for years as colleagues got ahead regardless of your hard work. Who are you to decide that this is not "legitimate" workplace discrimination? Stop talking, start listening.
Shut up and listen, don't question what anyone says. That's the standard now?
You can question what they say, but I really do not see why some people think that when women and/or people of color tell their stories of discrimination or harassment in the workplace that everybody tends to want to invalidate those stories and victim blame. Like people have so much time on their hands to make things up. Are you for real?
Are you for real? It's either victim blaming or swallow whole as truth?
Could you please explain to me the merits of expressing your opinion about this in this forum?
It's a forum, which is a place for discussing ideas and opinions. Whether this article is relevant to the theme of this particular forum is another question all together.
When someone makes serious accusations publicly, they are willingly opening themselves up to public scrutiny. Expressing opinions does not make one a judge and jury.
Whether they define themselves as a victim has no bearing on whether or not the public can or should comment.
I don't see anyone here going out of their way to attack the author or be purposefully hurtful. Legitimate points have been raised as to whether her termination was in fact a result of systematic racism and sexism as the author claims, or if there were other factors involved.
Implying that white males couldn't possibly have the capacity for empathy is ridiculous.
Takeaway: Avoid workplace relationships, as usual.
I don't know if that's even the takeaway. How does her relationship impact someone saying something racist to her?
Well that would be a good question to ask the article writer, in the form of "why are you talking about your obviously risky work/personal relationship in an article about workplace racism from your manager?"
This should really be about the chair comment and that alone. Admitting to getting drunk with a group of colleagues and then slapping one of them doesn't detract from the racist comment, but it certainly doesn't paint a picture of poise and sensibility.
Anyhow, the chair comment is screwed up and Kelly sounds a bit crazy.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Over 5 years, and nothing was ever their fault. Convenient.
Actually she points out that she often criticized herself and put herself down in these situations. Convenient?
The behavior she describes is super common amongst managers, HR, etc.
Does every flaw someone points out have to be balanced with a flaw of their own? That's ridiculous logic.
Interesting read. Unfortunate the series of events but it clearly seems both parties made some tough (or bad) decisions and ultimately the previous employee was the who got the short end of the stick.
While this situation sucks it feels a little "entitled" when reading. Not the racism part, that was fucking terrible. But the relationship part, the expectation of projects based on company history, the trash talking, etc.
I do realize this article is focusing solely on how terrible Squarespace (SS) treated her, especially "Kelly", but I can understand why other commenters find it hard to pull apart the author's acts vs SS. I too feel that maybe she could've handled it differently (relationship part, attitude part) but that does not provide SS reason to hire (or empower) shitty managers (talking about Kelly again). Also sounds like the "HR" guy (Finance dude) was terrible.
If I could ask the author any question it'd be this: given the state of things in tech, what led you to report it when you did verses immediately? Did you feel "Kelly" was actually not purposefully making an unsavory/racist comment and gave her the benefit of the doubt?
Hindsight is 20/20 so all of us are basically blowing smoke up someone's ass but its hard. HR makes it feel like they protect the employee when they really just protect the employer. And given the environment the author described, I'd probably either walk on egg shells or throw glitter in my bosses face and peace.
If all true, at the very least it seems to paint Squarespace as a highly disorganized, political company, which possibly explains why things seem to move slowly with regards to their product innovation. It also lends weight to the idea that having a poor company culture can lead to lots of inefficiencies and wasted resources. Either way, it seems like they handled this specific situation poorly, and overall it’s a bummer because they seem to be default recommendation for anyone who doesn’t want something completely custom.
Negative press for SquareSpace is fine by me.
Why? Genuine question.
Don't get me wrong. Their product is good. But they are competition. So I want them to fail.
Do you consider SquareSpace to be competition to you as a designer? Oo