Sure as hell isn't always easy.

My predicament. I am a very professional person at work and one thing I am admit about is not bring in personal events, issues, irritations and/or problems with me. Work is work and I am paid to do my job not bitch about my life. However, recently I've had this woman, probably a volunteer mother, calling me for the specially Olympics. We donate a good sum of money every year. Seeing that I am charged of accounts payable and receivable it is my responsibility to handle these things. However, any large donations must be passed by the boss first for approval. Currently my boss is a bit MIA due to a massive increase in work. So I have to speak to this woman at least 3 - 4 times a week.


In ever damned conversation we've had she keeps says the following, "OH, God bless your heart", "Bless you", "You have a blessed, evening", and OOOO my favorite "With God it's always blessed" and so on.


I think my irritation comes from the fact that she makes me feel like I did before I came out openly as an atheist and its frustrating. When people would say these things to me and I couldn't say anything back out of fear of retribution. I understand the difference between the two, one was because I was kid and afraid while this is because I am at work and must remain professional. However, the feeling is still the same and every time she says it I want to throw my phone out the window then drive over it with a steam roller several hundred times.



Views: 370

Comment by Mel on October 7, 2011 at 7:11pm
I sure as hell feel the same way after my boss, who i came out to, made it a common vocabulary term when she's talking to or about me.
Comment by Lance Buckley on October 7, 2011 at 11:16pm
I supose you could just lie, say "blessed be" and pretend you're pagan. That might stop her.
Comment by Lance Buckley on October 7, 2011 at 11:17pm
I am fortunate. I live near the buckle but have no problem telling people I am atheist. Being English helps ;-)
Comment by Trish E. Harmon on October 8, 2011 at 3:14am

I worked as a truancy officer in Kansas City, Mo. (a joke of a job, but that's another story) and was subjected regularly to someone wanting to have a group prayer because a co-worker was sick or whatever. We even had an awards ceremony, complete with prayer and a religious song. I just couldn't take it anymore. One of my fellow officers was also a preacher (though one who was slimy and full of bullshit) and he always had the radio on some religious program while we were patrolling. It finally got to the point that I had to let everyone know that I wasn't comfortable participating in a prayer circle and took issue with the religious crap I had to listen to on the radio. Fortunately, after I spoke up to my boss that ended, but of course, I stuck out like a sore thumb as I was the only one to announce that I was an atheist. It really pissed me off that I had to be put in such a position. If I'd had the energy and fortitude, I would have filed a lawsuit, but that's just not really who I am. I just wanted religion taken out of the workplace. I'd have to hear from others over the phone, "Have a blessed day," too. Somehow I managed to get along with everyone despite their need to wear their religion on their sleeves, but I'm sure I was talked about quite a lot. I would have no problem with someone wanting to have a little prayer for someone, or before they eat, etc., but when they ask everyone else to join in, that's a huge problem that takes it to a whole new level. This kind of crap needs to stop. Nowadays, if someone makes some reference to god, such as some "miracle" that can only be attributed to god, and they direct their remark to me, I let them know right away I don't see it that way. It shuts them up pretty fast.

Comment by Trish E. Harmon on October 8, 2011 at 3:18am

Let me clarify...the religious crap on the radio stopped, but I still had to "sit out" several group prayers at work after having said something about it. How nice that I had this huge spotlight put on me every time this happened, which was quite often. But I stood my ground and respectfully stepped back or out of the room.

Comment by Ed on October 8, 2011 at 7:27am



You might discover that politely informing the lady of your non-religious stance might end the blessings. 


Comment by John Mathews on October 8, 2011 at 12:03pm

I think it all depends on where you are living and how important your job is to you.  If you are in a bible belt area or an area like SLC Utah, as wrong as it is, you may lose your job for outing yourself to this religious nut.  I live in Nevada and I work with Veteran's.  When they say stuff like "god bless you," or "bless your heart" or any of that religious nonsense, I just say thanks, or nothing at all.  In my head its very annoying, but I just let it go.  Now when co workers start talking that nonsense i immediately let them know that I am an atheist and I believe don't believe in any religious nonsense.  If you have religious beliefs thats fine but keep me out of it.

Comment by Megagle Eggo on October 8, 2011 at 12:53pm

I work with collections and so when I'm talking to people they are from all over. They say things like that and I just say "you too". Sure it annoys me to have someone assume I'm Christian but usually they mean well enough and I just don't bother. If I fought with everyone who said it, I'd have been fired a long time ago. Perhaps Atheists should have a "reply" of their own made up?


I secretly dream of saying "and may his noodly appendge bless you too". But As an employee I shouldn't really bring religion into it at all.


When I first started I worked with Georgia people and this woman assumed I was Christian and said something about the bible (a book I've never really read) and I said "Oh I don't read the bible". She was silent and it was awesome. If it was more recent, I probably would have been written up (back then our company didn't monitor like they do now). But it would have been worth it.


Don't let it get to you. When your working you really can't do anything about it (sad but true). You're representing the company, not yourself.

Comment by Rick on October 8, 2011 at 1:37pm

I like to think of this as religious tourettes. It’s a part of the vocabulary of phrases that we all have that just come out. “Bless your heart” is very typical here in the south. I don’t think every time I hear that they truly mean they want to bless my heart. Same is true with sneezing, when someone says “bless you.” When I whack my foot on a table, I say “god damn it.” Think of them as colloquialisms, or even just as stupid shit people say out of habit. However, most of us have developed a large enough vocabulary that we don’t need to repeat the same phrases. She apparently hasn’t developed that variety. I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape. I doubt even the most jesusy of jesus freaks makes a conscious effort to annoy others with unwanted jesus-based vocabulary. Like verbal diarrhea, it just comes out. Just accept it as a very annoying  character flaw and let it be.

Comment by Arcus on October 8, 2011 at 2:53pm

"I like to think of this as religious tourettes."

I love that statement, it perfectly describes it!


I find that people who are either devout or culturally religious tend to use a lot of religious lingo subconsciously and you shouldn't interpret too much into it. The problem is, of course, to keep your silence those times you are having bad days.

I work a lot towards the MENA region and have noticed a certain uptick in the amount of religious claptrap I have to keep up with. Most of my e-mail exchanges with gvmt employees in the various countries now has exchanged the fairly neutral 'Dear' or 'Hello' with 'Salam Alaykum' and now L/C's will be raised 'as soon as possible - Insh'Allah! - the banks get around to it'. I even had a coworker recently send me an e-mail that he expected no issues with a new SAP upgrade, (Insh'Allah!) and that he would pray for successful implementation. I requested that he rather work a few hours overtime instead of praying, to which he laughingly agreed would probably be a better solution for everyone involved. 


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