I know I'm skipping a few years of my 'coming out' story but we can go back and forth in the timeline. I've seen a lot of topics on how people came out, how their parents reacted, school, losing friends, so on and so forth. So I'm going to go the work route. Though I must point out my story kind of affects the family aspect since my Aunt is one of my bosses.
I work at a Dunkin Donuts. I'm a baker. I work third shift baking hundreds of muffins, croissants, and bagels for five stores in our district. It is hard, sweaty work. And no, I don't make the donuts.
My situation my be unique. See I'm as my aunt calls 'eccentric'. I have a couple mental issues and have a very very very outgoing personality. I am brutally honest, and tend to overshare. I'm also missing whatever part of the brain most of the rest of the world has that allows you to censor yourself, so I tend to say 'offensive' things on a daily basis anyway, even if it has nothing to do with religion. Because of all these personality traits, I think my coworkers tend to look past my Atheism, just adding it to the pile of other oddities about me.
I have also found that since I am so open and honest, people tend to trust me more, and faster, than others. I know something about every single coworker that most of the other coworkers don't even if they've been working together for years. I think this makes it easier for what ever religious discussions/debates that may come up to go fairly smoothly.
This also makes it easier to teach people things they might not otherwise know...
I once had a discussion about Atheist discrimination with a now ex coworker who was Christian. He had never heard of it before and wasn't sure he believed me. He wasn't hateful toward Atheists and couldn't understand why anyone else would be. One Sunday morning, a regular came through who happened to run a church nearby. My coworker decided to test the Atheist discrimination I had mentioned.
The costumer commented that it was too bad my coworker had to work and couldn't make it to church and said he would pray for him. He then asked about me and said he'd like to pray for me too. My coworker replied that I was an Atheist. The costumer's eyes went wide, almost fearful and said, "Well then I'll have to pray double for her!" and drove off.
My coworker imediatly came out back telling me the story and was very upset. He ended it by saying he was offended that I got double prayers when he actually believed in god.
Sorry this is kind of long. I'm interested in hearing other peoples work experience, if their out at the workplace, any stories like mine, etc...
No doubt they thought you were being incredibly rude, but did not think that they were being rude at all.
I am also "out" in every aspect of my life, both personally and professionally. I also am a Unitarian Universalist, so I am respectful of other people's beliefs, as long as they don't try to preach to/at me. Because of this I have found that most religious folks I know, personally and professionally, feel comfortable discussing religion with me. They like asking me questions about being an atheist - and what I think about various topics - because, quite frankly, they've never encountered an "out" atheist that wasn't militant towards believers. They also tend to be VERY surprised that a) I an an ex-xian, and b) I actually know a LOT about religious history, especially about the Abrahamic religions - and it tends to be more than their fellow believers.
So, just as many protestant religions teach their congregations to "live their faith and beliefs", I too try to "live my skepticism and rational thoughts" in a respectful, virtuous way - and hopefully change the minds and prejudices that believers have about nonbelievers.
I never had an issue at work until i got into my 30s. I work in a very technical environment and while obviously some folk will be religious, it wasnt a topic that came up.
Then i changed positions and entered a group with a creationist christian and a muslim convert. At first i thought the creationist is joking. He has a title in engineering and is an otherwise rational person.
Over time the topic of religion came up a lot and we would start long discussions. And then something happened that made me see how pointless those discussions are.
They both tried to explain to me why there must be a god, When i kept arguing their points, one turned to the other and the christian said to the muslim :
Poor him, he cannot see the truth,
Two monotheistic religions with mutually exclusive claims, banding together against the godless atheist. It was a moving scene. And one that taught me to probe people in discussions, If they start using claims like: "Scientists used Radiocarbondating on new Volcanic Material and said it was millenia old, See !! They dont know anything, Science is a fraud !", i just wish them a good day and move on.
I also changed my group again and now work with 2 Atheists and a Deist, All good now :)