I was telling my friend, Gina, a joke. I began it by saying, “An Irishman, an Englishman, and a Frenchman walk into this bar, and…” Suddenly, Gina grabbed my arm and shook her head. I turned around and our coworker, Colin, was standing right behind me.
Eileen: Oh, hi Colin. I didn’t see you standing there.
Colin: I guess you didn’t.
Eileen: I was just telling Gina a joke...
Colin: Yes, I know. I heard. I can’t believe you’re telling off-color jokes, especially at work.
Eileen: I’m really sorry. Please don’t be offended. I didn’t intend to insult you. I know that you’re from Ireland. It was just a joke.
Colin: It may be just a joke to you, but it’s getting a little old to me. I already have a tough time fitting in as an outsider in this company, and I’m really tired of being the butt of jokes around here. Besides, ethnic jokes reinforce stereotypes.
Eileen: Please don’t be angry.
Colin: I’m trying not to be oversensitive. I enjoy a good joke as much as anyone, but this isn’t the first time this has happened. The other day, someone drew a picture of me dressed as a leprechaun and put it in the break room. That wasn’t funny, and neither is this.
Eileen: You’re right. We’re all being a little insensitive. As far as I’m concerned, it won’t happen again.
Colin: I accept your apology and I’ll take you at your word.
Eileen: Can we shake and be friends again?
Colin: Yeah, sure. I guess so.