Friday, August 16, 2019

Chad Felix Greene's fragile ego was bruised

Mr. Greene provides a primer on how to destroy one's career while gay.
Chad Felix Greene (L) and husband
via Twitter
I rarely write about Chad Felix Greene. I find him to be a self-aggrandizing bore. Greene is a married gay man. Thus, he is the direct beneficiary of LGBTQ activism. Yet Greene is overtly and consistently critical of the efforts to afford him due process and equal protection.

Greene has had the chutzpah to post a rabidly transphobic piece to Witherspoon Institute's blog which earned the praise of Ryan T. Anderson. That means he lopped off the “T” from his notion of community.

Greene was employed as a low-level or mid-level manager at a West Virginia hospital. Friday, Greene offers: Anti-Discrimination Policies Didn’t Help When People Targeted My LGBT Identity At Work. Greene was not targeted for being gay and West Virginia provides no nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people.

Greene's subtitle does not improve things.
Following the rules, guidelines, and legal processes only disabled me and conditioned me never to speak up again if I found myself in a similar situation.
There is more to this but the simple explanation is that Greene felt that he was discriminated against due to his HIV+ status. He thought about filing a complaint with the EEOC for disability discrimination, changed his mind and quit his job. In the process he made a number of terrible decisions.

Mr. Greene also has some accuracy challenges:
We know a majority of Americans oppose discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace. A recent study found 70 percent agree with this position.

The data, however, reveals significant disparities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports a 4.3 percent accuracy rate among reported anti-LGBT discrimination cases …
The EEOC does not report an accuracy rate. In fact, visiting the link that Greene provides, the EEOC reported that, in 2018, nearly 17% of cases resulted in Merit Resolutions which are defined as: “Charges with outcomes favorable to charging parties and/or charges with meritorious allegations.”

Accurate and meritorious are two different things although being meritorious depends upon accuracy because EEOC decisions are evidence based. Most charges, by the way, are anecdotal and lack evidence.

I would speculate that the vast majority of cases are reported accurately. They lack evidence and, thus, without merit. You will appreciate the irony as we move along.

You will also come to appreciate the irony of this claim:
It is important to challenge what we think of as “discrimination.” I always expected the concept to involve direct and intentional unfair treatment toward otherwise qualified workers based solely on their characteristics or associations.

The left, on the other hand, tends to focus on what minority individuals believe they experienced at work.
Just in passing, that makes no sense at all. Those two statements are not in conflict. “I believe that I did not receive a promotion because I am gay” is applicable to both of Greene's claims: How he defines discrimination and how his thinking supposedly differs from the ambiguous “left.”
The narrative:
A few months ago, I was sitting in a committee meeting … to discuss improving diversity within the hospital where we worked. …
[…]
For more than a year, I had been championing the idea that the hospital should be a central resource for HIV testing, treatment, and support for a community devastated by the opioid epidemic. Since I am open about my HIV experience, this was not a new or shocking statement to most of the people in the room, but one member, a director, still strongly objected.

She expressed concern that more HIV awareness and visible LGBT-inclusive messaging from the hospital would send many patients away for fear they might be infected by the disease. Using a remarkably dismissive and judgmental tone, she declared she would be uncomfortable if knowing she was in a hospital room where “people like that” had recently been.
That does not constitute employment discrimination in any form. That is the moronic opinion of a co-worker. The proper response is first some empathy: “I can appreciate your concern.” And then some facts. We handle objections, not by making them go away or “countering” them, but by helping people appreciate perspective. Benefits in contrast to concerns.
Another influential leader interrupted by arguing he had not chosen to join the committee to discuss “this stuff” and would simply leave if we did not move on to more relevant topics.
That does not constitute employment discrimination either. The proper response is with a purpose/permission question: “May I have a moment of your time to explain why I believe that this is relevant?” That is, of course, assuming that this did not deviate from the agenda for the meeting.
I was, to put it as politely as possible, floored by the experience. Everyone in the room knew the comments were targeting me, and not a single one spoke up, including the director of human resources, who was leading the meeting.
My retired CEO perspective is agnostic to sexuality. People in committees are often in disagreement. That is a good thing. I do not see how any of this “targeted” Mr. Greene which is perhaps why no one offered assurances or defended him.

Greene is a grownup in a business situation where he was expected to handle things in a business-like way. He had the opportunity to try to persuade two people to see things differently. He did not do that.

A failure to properly respond may constitute affirmation.
I spoke about this to my direct supervisor, who advised me simply to let it go, and my co-workers advised the same …
I used to get extremely pissed off by people who discussed their work-related problems with co-workers. Greene had the right to discuss this with the person he reported to and he or she probably gave him the right advice.
The stress of the experience affected my health, and I realized the weight of what I had experienced was heavier than I wanted to admit. As a person who prides himself on tolerance and being particularly resistant to what others consider offensive, I was embarrassed and humiliated.
Tolerant? Greene should read again his anti-trans diatribe at Witherpsoon's blog.
My position aligned with senior leadership, so I chose to reach out directly to the CEO of the organization, who promptly launched an investigation.
Now wait a minute. If someone is unable to accomplish something in committee that is apparently consistent with the views of senior management then he wrote the wrong memo. The issue is not about his fragile ego but about an unwillingness to meet the organization's mission. Moreover, one does not complain about such things. One accurately describes the resistance and then concludes with: “Do you have any suggestions?”
The last step in the process was an “insight” meeting, in which lawyers and my VP were expected to clarify any questions. Instead, it became a discussion about how my own sensitivity was creating a hostile work environment.
That sounds about right. All this fuss because of an inability to at least attempt to be persuasive. Adversaries invite good arguments. Even if the persuasion fails one earns respect through an intellectually honest effort.

The real problem is with people who do not voice their apprehension. It is obvious that Mr. Greene has never been well trained. I find it hard to believe that he could ever be an effective manager based on the difficulty he presents to being managed.
The next logical step, as many advised, was to file a lawsuit. To do so, I had to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 90 days of the incident. I was already at the 60-day mark.
If “many” defines co-workers then he acted inappropriately. Moreover, I do not see the grounds for litigation. Furthermore, the time period allowed is not 90 days. It is 180 days which suggests that he is lying. Were I serious about filing an EEOC complaint then I would know what was involved.
West Virginia does not have laws protecting LGBT status in employment, but the Americans with Disabilities Act does protect, nationwide, people living with HIV. The process to report discrimination for HIV involved writing a letter, and the process for LGBT discrimination involved submitting a form. I chose the form.
Who in the hell discriminated? So now, if I understand correctly, he is claiming that he has been discriminated against because he is gay because that was more convenient than claiming discrimination based on HIV+ status. What would happen — based upon the information provided — is that six months from filing the charge he would receive a “right to sue” letter. The six month clock starts several months after submitting the form.
We Need a New LGBT Discrimination Conversation

It was difficult to summarize what I had experienced in less than 1,000 characters, but I managed and submitted my claim. This first step was a screening. I must attend an interview before being permitted to file a complaint. The closest office for that was six hours away from me in Pittsburgh, and the soonest the people there could see me was mid-October.
Them's the rules.
Their assumption that I would continue working in the environment until a screening interview three months away was absurd and distressing. Knowing my employer would be immediately informed of the complaint once the interview was approved was even more so. The process made me feel vulnerable and very much alone.
Mr. Greene has driven this train down the tracks and now he is bitching. It is a failure to take responsibility. Making the complaint actually guarantees job security for at least six months.
The closest resource was months away. So I chose to walk away and start over.
So he quit? He quit because he made a big mess and he doesn't know how to clean it up except to blame everyone else.

Get this:
Although abuses and exploitation of discrimination policy is a very real concern, and legal efforts to nationalize protections may or may not be effective in helping people such as myself who experience genuine workplace discomfort, there is an important conversation here. What should be done when people are reduced to their characteristics in their own workplace?
Mr. Greene. Look in the mirror. When you contacted your CEO you abused and attempted to exploit your employer's nondiscrimination policy. Let me remind him of another idiotic polemic he wrote: How The So-Called Equality Act Threatens Speech, Religion, And Women’s Rights.

The logical answer to his rhetorical question is enactment of The Equality Act but he was never discriminated against in the first place.
What purpose do expansive anti-discrimination policies serve if they have no reasonable enforcement? What is the line between an experience such as my own and religious freedom and autonomy? The offender in my situation cited the rights of Christians in her opposition, for example.
Huh? Where did that come from. Christians were previously unmentioned and it now seems completely out of context. But Mr. Greene is starting to sound quite progressive. Usually his complaints are in the abstract. This time he believes that it affected him. Suddenly, perhaps, the Equality Act might make some sense.

The Act makes sense but Greene does not:
What is the point of further government programs designed to fight this very issue, paid by the taxpayers, if this is the painstaking process that results? After this experience, I believe we must have a much larger conversation across all sides of the issue, and a fresh approach to addressing it.
That might start with an understanding of what constitutes discrimination. Across the United States LGBTQ people are routinely denied employment and promotions simply because they are LGBTQ. It happens every day and most can do nothing about it. Now this guy comes along and claims discrimination because someone hurt his sensitive feelings.

For what it is worth, the best way to get a new job is to be currently employed. Personally, I did not like to hire unemployed people because then my company was taking all the risk. When someone gives up a position to move to a new position, the risk is shared. Mr. Greene has abysmal judgment.

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