I work at a grocery store. a lady came up to me and told me I looked familiar and she said, "I know I've seen you at (name of her church.)" I said I had never heard of the church and she asked me if I'd like to come, I said, "No maam, I'm an atheist." She looked at me, horrified, and left. a while later my manager came and said a woman had complained that I had insulted her church. I was dumbfounded, and told him what happened. He said, "well from now on, keep your opinions to yourself."
Whaaat??? What should I have done? what would you have done?
Is it not okay for me to be open about my atheism?
I was on the closet all my life until college. Now I am out in the open and I don't hide it anymore. Why should I?
(also sorry if this is in the wrong forum.)
I try to not broach it in the work environment, especially with customers. Not because I don't think I don't have the right, but because it is not politically expedient and doing otherwise could harm my effectiveness in my job. At the end of the day, my thoughts on politics and religion don't pay my bills or support my family. While I would never deny being an atheist to coworkers, I don't advertise it either. In Sales one learns quick to be whatever the customer wants you to be. If they hate atheists, then you are not an atheist as far as they know.
That said, you should have informed your boss that you merely stated facts and offered no opinions. Or, maybe not.
Be careful. If your managers are theists, they may try to find reasons to get you fired now. If you start getting treated differently, talk to an attourney. People may give me flack about posting this, but it isn't fair for anyone to get treated differently because of this. My brother works at a manufacturer for car parts and he is being attacked because a few co-workers have found out he is atheist. They have taken all of them to the side, including my brother, and told them they are not to talk about religion at all in the work place. Now the christians are wearing "god" shirts and crosses and they aren't getting in trouble, but I bet anything that if my brother wears a darwin shirt, he will get written up.
What you say is very true. It does depend upon the person and their situation. I can take the heat and I no longer care when people drop me out of their lives. It hurts but I get over it. I am just the type of person that absolutely CANNOT keep my mouth shut. I feel like I am going to explode if I don't at least say something. I have never really figured out why I am this way, and I think in some cases it is a bad trait, but I do try to keep it out of my work environment. However, when people assume I am christian and they repeatedly bring it up at work, I try to drop hints without just coming straight out and saying that their religion is bullshit. But everywhere other than work, all bets are off.
You should not discuss atheism at the workplace or any setting simular. Although the women did ask, invite, take offence at a reasonably polite statement of fact, and then complain to your manager about something inapproprate she had brought up for discussion in a workplace situation. She should have not offered and you should not have had to reply. Really you just have to deal with life and understand that not all situations are fair; the majority of people are bias to some extent and that is normally towards popular or common culture.
NOT A GOOD IDEA!! I used to work in food service and I know from personal experience that while some customers are sweethearts, others are assholes and can be very unfair. When I was working at KFC I was the cashier... the "packer" [the one who puts the chicken in the bucket] was a newbie on her first day. It wasn't my job to pack the food... but regardless it's always the cashier that gets blamed when customers get given wrong orders. I remember a woman who came in at rush hour and screamed at me that the drive-through clerk had shorted her order 1 drumstick. [She had ordered a 16 piece meal]. It was unfair. Not only was I not connected to drive-through in any way... but the packer was the one who had shorted her a drumstick... AND it was 1 fucking drumstick!! She screamed at me for about 20 minutes while about 10 customers behind her looked both irritated and shocked. I tried to calm her down and apologized again and again. Finally the manager came to my rescue and offered the woman a coupon for a free 16 piece chicken. She stormed out muttering to herself.
Point is... customers can be assholes... but if you want to keep your job you have to be nice to them anyway.