Author Topic: Dear Abby: FOH is rude and racist, how can I help?  (Read 1776 times)

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Dear Abby: FOH is rude and racist, how can I help?
« on: Nov 20, 2013, 05:29 pm »
The following post was received from a member who wishes to remain anonymous.

Dear Abby,
 Where does an SM's job end and someone else's begin? I have rarely reported any issues perceived with box office, ushers, etc. If I'm not their supervisor and I do not professionally interact with them, they are not my responsibility.
 I'm now concerned with the way one of our FOH people is interacting with patrons and I don't know if I should speak up. I find this person disrespectful, racist, and generally quick to judge and make these judgments known. She has even dragged me into it by commenting on people to me, while they were around and definitely within eyesight and earshot. I do not want to create a hostile work environment, definitely do not want to make enemies, and simply don't want people in an entirely different department from mine to either look at me as a supervisor or think I'm overstepping.
 I work for a small theatre company. If I were to talk to somebody above me about this it would be either my PM (who acts as the hiring manager) or the owners. That's also what's holding me back - I would perhaps speak to a manager, but don't want to get a coworker metaphorically sent to the principal's office. Should I let the FOH staff sort themselves out, or is it my job to speak to someone? To whom?

- Aghast in Akron


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Re: Dear Abby: FOH is rude and racist, how can I help?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 20, 2013, 05:55 pm »
I would tell someone for sure. Perhaps a quick e-mail to whomever is their direct boss is the best way to handle it. I would word it giving them the benefit of the doubt- perhaps saying that it has come to your attention that some comments have been made (and some to you) and you aren't sure if this person is even aware that these comments/actions are offensive, but you observed it.

Now, if this had been hearsay, I would say you might have to hold your tongue, but because you have directly been aware of the issue it is your responsibility to report it. What happens if a patron calls the theatre the next day and reports something that had been said to you in front of them? If you don't say something now, it could severely backfire on you.



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