I’m currently a manager in the human resources department of Oxmyx Industries, Inc. which is a medium sized agricultural processing firm that specializes in the production and distribution of high protein foodstuffs made from grain quadrotriticale. Oxmyx Industries, or simply OI, was founded in the 1950’s by Bela Oxmyx, a man who called the nation Iotia home. Bela Oxmyx fled Iotia to come to the United States in the mid 1940’s upon the Soviet’s takeover of his homeland.
Not long after his arrival to the U. S. , Bela opened up a small market for fresh produce on the lower east side of Manhattan; this small market eventually expanded into a chain of grocery stores throughout the tri-state area, consisting of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Ultimately, Omyx chose to focus on the processing of agricultural products for his company. Today Bella Oxmyx owns only 51 percent of the outstanding stock and remains Chief Executive Officer of Oxmyx Industries, Inc.
I currently work at the company’s corporate headquarters in New York and my responsibilities include the negotiation of the employee benefit package, the fair resolution of employee grievances, and maintaining the overall employee morale. As of lately, many of our female employees have been filing complaints about several of our male employees. These objections are mainly targeted at three individual employees, JoJo Krako, Tepo and Zabo.
The women have highlighted the three’s illicit behavior with such references as calling them baby or “chicky”, repeatedly asking them out, and leering at them while conversing amongst themselves in their native language. Unfortunately however, the complaints don’t stop there: the female managers have also complained that these individuals are slow to carry out instructions and sometimes even appear to be resentful about doing so, as well as frequently surly, rude, making disrespectful comments and looking at them in an uncomfortable manner while talking in their own language.
In addition to all that, several women have also claimed that these men have pictures of nude and semi-nude women plastered in their lockers in the men’s locker room. These complaints garnered my attention so I went ahead and did a bit of research of my own. I ended up stumbling upon documents that revealed some interesting and shocking facts about the three troublesome employees. I found out that each of these men were from Iotia, Oxymyx’s homeland, had lower job skills and experience than any of the other members of the staff, and most notably, hey had less skills and experience than several of the applicants who had applied for the same positions and got rejected. I noticed that on each of these men’s files it read “Legacy B. O”, so I asked my superior what those letters represented and he told me that it was Mr. Oxymy’s code way of saying to hire that individual. After further research I discovered that these three employees were not the only men that have been hired by the company whose documents had “Legacy B. O” on it; I found roughly 30 other instances with similar cases.
In each case, the person hired was a young white male who recently arrived in the United States from Iotia; also an overwhelming amount of complaints had been filed around the same time period of the hiring. I became very troubled by these recent discoveries and decided to approach the CEO himself, Mr. Oxymyx. When I explained my findings on the men’s conduct towards the female staff to Mr. Oxmyx he said to me, “That’s just their way. Iotia is a very traditional patriarchal culture, you know. Krako and others are not used to seeing women in positions of authority. But give them some time and they will adjust like I have.
I am Iotian myself you know. ” I then told Mr. Oxmyx that none of the Iotian employees hired over the past five years were qualified individuals for the job. Mr. Oxmyx then proceeded to tell me the story of how things were when he first arrived in America; he came to the U. S with nothing due to the Soviets confiscating all of his family’s assets. While going through the immigration he saw a man with a sign that offered help to all Iotians; the man was a representative of the group FIG, First Iotian Group, an organization whose duty is to help Iotian immigrants to the U. S. After helping him get on his feet, the organization asked him that when he is successful to help the next generation of Iotian immigrants to the U. S. Oxmyx gave his word that he would, which explains why there have been unexplainable hiring’s of Iotian immigrants within the company.
I returned to my office and after further review noticed that many of the more qualified applicants who have been passed over were either African American or Hipics from impoverished backgrounds. I understand where Mr. Oxymyx is coming from to a certain extent: When he first arrived to the U. S. he had nothing and other Iotian immigrants helped him become very successful and he is now the majority owner of a business that he started and didn’t let success get in the way of remembering where he came from. It makes sense that after the help he received from his fellow countrymen he feels it is his duty to do the same for others. He is Iotian after all and the majority owner of a business, so why not take advantage of that and make it easier for Iotians to get hired by his company.
Technically it is against the law to hire based on race and ethnicity, those are traits that an employer is supposed to ignore; however I feel Mr. Oxymyx is trying to follow his personal ethics, which is to help out his own people in their time of need because once upon a time he was helped. However, there also are several problems I see with Mr. Oxymyx’s “policy”. When he first came to the United States in the mid 1940’s, the situation in Iotia was very different than it is now.
Iotia back then was being invaded by the former Soviet Union, and the Soviets had stripped Oxymyx’s family of all their assets so essentially when he arrived to the U. S. he had literally nothing, nothing but hope that is; he was a desperate man coming from a desperate nation with nothing to offer but hard work. Now is not 1940; we are now in the 21st century and the Soviet Union does not even exist anymore. Iotia is not in a state of war causing people to flee from the same harsh conditions as Mr. Oxymyx once did.
Yes, the United States is most likely still a land of better opportunity than Iotia is, making it very appealing for people to move from the eastern European nation, however due to the fact that they are not as desperate to come here anymore, Mr. Oxymyx does not have to view the new immigrants in the same light as he viewed his emigration experience. He has not lived in Iotia for over 50 years now and surely conditions are very different in today’s world, no matter what country you’re in. Although he feels that he was greatly assisted in the transition and welcomed by his fellow countrymen when he arrived to the U.
S. and would like to return the favor and not forget where he came from, the young men who are making the same trip across the pond today are not in the same boat as he, so hiring them is no longer as urgent as it once was. Mr. Oxymyx also told me that the reason why the three Iotians Jojo, Thepo and Zabo were so rude to the female staff members is because where they come from, they are not used to seeing women in positions of authority so it is a new thing that they haven’t become accustomed to yet. In the U. S. we treat all co-workers with equal respect no matter gender, age or race. The problem is that Mr. Oxymyx keeps comparing these young men to himself as if they are him 60 years ago. He fails to realize that he came to the U. S. at a much different time, when the world was a different place. Yes, back then it is possible that in Iotia women were not treated very respectfully, and it was not uncommon for them to be sexually harassed by their male counterparts; however as I’ve mentioned before, Oxymyx came in at a different time.
Look at the example of African Americans in our culture: not too long ago they were treated as second rate citizens in the U. S. Battling racism and racist comments was not an uncommon thing at the time, but it is most definitely not accepted in today’s U. S. Maybe in his time in Iotia it was ordinary to degrade women, but it is very possible that things have changed since, especially given the 60 years past, so he should not necessarily be making excuses for the way these three individuals behave. Maybe they are just that way, and it doesn’t mean they are representing the modern Iotian culture as a whole.
When I looked into more of the company’s employment documents and realized that many of the candidates that were passed over for hiring positions were not only more qualified than their Iotian counterparts, the majority of the ones passed over were minorities of African American or Hipic descent; this on the other hand, I have a big problem with. These people were from poor and desperate backgrounds and needed the jobs just as much as the Iotians, so it is unfair that they did not receive a chance at all, making it seem as if there was a racial aspect to the hiring process as well. If Mr. Oxymyx is about helping out those that are in by giving them jobs, he should at least consider the minorities as well. It appears that Mr. Oxymyx may still have some racist ways from the past that he has not let go of while he has been in the United States, and that to me is definitely an ethical dilemma that exceeds helping out his fellow countrymen. If Oxymyx chooses that he wants to give an advantage to Iotian citizens when he is hiring, that I do not have as much a problem with, after all, he is the founder of the company and is Iotian himself and I don’t see if being a huge ethical deal given his past life experiences.
I do however think that there should be a limit to his helping hand. He can hire these less skilled and qualified workers just because of their heritage, but what I absolutely cannot tolerate is if these same men also bring there disrespectful mannerisms to the workplace. Beggars can’t be choosers; by that I mean they are lucky they got hired despite their lacking in skill and experience, so that last thing they need to do is also come to work with the arrogance and superiority complex over women.
They should be thankful for their opportunity and should put their head down and be the hardest working people in the company to show how thankful they are to Mr. Oxymyx for the experience. I plan to meet with Mr. Oxymyx again, and I have a few suggestions for him. I will first let him know that although he seems to have good intentions, he needs to realize that the men he is hiring are not coming from the same war torn Iotia that he fled; he should not compare himself to them.
The world has changed from the 40’s and maybe women were not treated with respect back in 1940’s Iotia, but it is likely that situation has changed. Regardless of that, we live in the United States and these men have moved here to come look for a better life and if they wish to partake in our society, they must also follow our societal rules and ethics; they need to leave their rude manners behind because that is not how things work here, and Mr. Oxymyx needs to sit each of them down and let them know that.
I will also recommend to him that there needs to be a company policy put in place and anyone that does not follow the guidelines will be dismissed. After all, these are grown men and here, and they should have the brain capacity to understand that they are in a different country now with different customs, they should feel privileged to have the opportunity to begin a new life in the U. S therefore they need to respect the culture as well. I will also ask Mr.
Oxymyx why most of the job applicants that are being passed over happen to be Black and Hipic, which is definitely a racial issue that is against the laws for hiring. I do respect that Mr. Oxymyx does has not forgotten his heritage and knows where and what he came from no matter how successful he is, which is why he wants to give back, but if he is to give an advantage to Iotians in his company they need to follow the guidelines that I have suggested and the societal rules that we have instilled here in America.
I will at least be able to tolerate the fact that they are unfairly being given jobs that they are not quite qualified for if they follow the rules above and beyond. However, if no action is taken than I will encourage the women to file lawsuits against these men, as well as Mr. Oxymyx himself for knowingly breaking laws about hiring as well as knowing this harassment activity is going on, and I will encourage Mr. Oxymyx to dismiss them all to prevent losing his company and all he’s worked for.