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1. The modern working environment witnesses the increasing number of challenges, which modern workers experience in the workplace.
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Speaking about the most challenging experience I have had in the workplace, first of all, discrimination should be mentioned. It was not just a negative behavior from the side of my colleagues caused by my age; it was a serious violation of human rights. It should be emphasized that human rights are the result of the evolution of human consciousness, based on the demand for equality, freedom and justice. Human rights are reflections of a civil society to protect and promote the rule of law and human dignity. I have experienced discriminatory behavior from the side of senior workers and the other employees. They strongly believed that young workers should earn less than the others do, and that they should work more, which significantly influenced their attitude to me thus my working abilities. What is more, due to my young age, I have experienced attempts of sexual harassment from the side of senior female workers.
It should be stated that disrespect of junior employees by the senior ones is an essential ethical problem and a particular form of discrimination just like sexual harassment at work. Considering the unwanted behavior of a sexual nature conducted by one employee over another, one should take into account that there exist several kinds of sexual harassment. For example, repeated unpleasant, sexist remarks made in order to achieve sexual relationship with the implied suggestion that the sexually harassed employee will get a promotion, favorable treatment or salary increase. In my case, I have experienced remarks and jokes of sexual character, which made me feel extremely confused and uncomfortable. Such behavior from the side of coworkers is not only unethical and immoral, but also is viewed as illegal actions prosecuted by the law. Moreover, such actions are coercive and violate the rights of a person being harassed, depriving him or her of equal treatmentat work.
At my workplace, there existed a common misconception that young workers are inexperienced and unprofessional. Such treatment is indeed pejorative making it extremely difficult for young professionals to realize their working potential to the fullest. Although the U.S. is a progressive democratic state, unfortunately, there is no separate Amendment, which would confirm the rights of young workers and protect them from discrimination and rude behavior from the side of senior employees.
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Nevertheless, nowadays, there also exists a general tendency to consider young generation of workers is the future of the company. Companies implement special training programs and tutorials to help the newcomers adapt and adjust to the working conditions and obtain necessary skills in order to become better employees. However, unfortunately, I have faced a completely different environment. In this organization, there was a feeling that I came back to the past. Other employees were afraid of my potential; and, for this reason they tried to prove me that I was incompetent, stupid and unable to work there. Moreover, they continued to stress that such a young person should work with his parents and not indulge in serious business. This constant rivalry and negative treatment were unbearable. Everybody treated me like a black sheep, creating a hostile environment, which influenced my ability to provide efficient and quality work. This discrimination and negative attitude at the workplace did not allow me the opportunity to climb the career ladder. I fell into depression and did not want to work anymore nor did I believe in my own potential. What is more, constant vulgar remarks and jokes from some of the employees made my staying in this company impossible. This job was an extremely stressful experience that has caused fear, a feeling of insecurity and diffidence and depression.
2. Due to such treatment at the workplace I started considering myself a second-class creature. Moreover, my coworkers almost maanaged to persuade me that my place was at home and not in such a serious organization. Therefore, my performance has significantly decreased as it is not a fact that social and cultural factors shape an individual’s life, work, and consumption and have a major effect on the work and productivity of a person thus resulting in his or her overall performance in the company.
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Discrimination at the workplace has caused the absence of desire to work due to the lack of job satisfaction. In order to change the situation, I went to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a body that enforces the legislation to file civil lawsuits against companies that do not resolve the discrimination charges lodged against them. In order to show its efforts to ensure equal employment opportunity, the organizations should make affirmative actions. It helps to overcome the past injustices, creates equality for all the employees, prevents discrimination at the workplace, and raises the employment level. Thus, it was a very vital step for me. The human resource managers have helped me to change my attitude towards my work and my own self. They explained to me that the treatment of the coworkers should be perceived as a hurdle on my step to success. However, I had to take into account the final result. They have taught me how to achieve a balance, which could be applied in order to achieve ideal labor relations. The ideal labor relations presuppose that the employee gives his/her ‘gift’ to the company in the form of good job performance, and the company gives its ‘gift’ to the employee in the form of excessive wage. Thus, as a result of this so-called interaction, workers work more and earn more. Application of norms of fairness within the enterprise results in improvement of the working process. The gift exchange model takes into account the sociological factor and turns out to be more profitable than the standard theories. In other words, it should be stated that, these people have changed my attitude towards my job and my professional objectives.
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