How To Deal With a Racist Coworker

Dear Cubicle Coach:

One of my coworkers makes racist jokes — and seems to think I won't be offended because we're in the same ethnic group. I don't want to be a scold, but how do I get this to stop?

Answer:

Speak up. "You know, Ivan, just because we're both Bulgarian doesn't mean I think the one about the rabbi, the priest, the traveling Bulgarian lightbulb salesman, and the farmer's daughter is funny" is a good start. When you remind him that "jokes" like this go down about as smooth as cherry Kaopectate with the good folks in HR, he'll be thanking you for the job-saving heads-up.

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