Do Your Fucking Dishes

So you’re a Good Guy™ who wants to be a good ally in this PC-SJW-:thumbs_up_all: world, but who can really keep track of pronouns and unconscious biases and all that doobleedah anyway? Trust me, I get it, nobody loves good tech dudebros more than me. And I have so many good dude bro friends whose hearts are exactly where they need to be but sometimes have a hard time seeing how they can be Good Guys™ to everybody in their workplace. Here is a straightforward guide for how to be a good ally to your tech workplace coworkers, who may or may not increase your company’s demographic (racial, gender, socio-economic) diversity.

Do your fucking dishes.

I get it, coffee is hard. When you stumble into the office at the crack of 10:45 and ease straight into standup, it’s hard to remember where the kitchen even is, let alone how to put your empty coffee mug in the sink and then run water over it. God forbid you use dish soap on there too.

But let me tell you one thing you best believe: if you leave your dirty dish in the sink, someone with more respect for their environments and who gives more fucks about how they’re perceived in the workplace will be cleaning up after your shit. Guess who that tends to be? Oh right it’s the people who are self-conscious about belonging anyway.

And then other people see that person washing your dishes. And then their sub-conscious biases (that we all have [yeah me too!]) associate them with cleaning up after their bullshit. And then they leave more bullshit around and think “oh that sweet person from the web team will do this for me if I leave it long enough” but here’s the problem, bucko: “sweet” isn’t an adjective associated with career advancement. And if that person calls you out on leaving your fucking dishes fucking everywhere (seriously dude fucking clean that shit up) then they become strict, tight-ass, no fun. And then you don’t wanna invite them out, then they’re alienated, all because they just asked you to be a decent fucking human. Lo, the cycle continues.

Here’s a handy trick I use to remember to do my dishes: I’m a fully functional adult human and I don’t leave my dirty shit in common spaces cause that’s disrespectful.

Don’t let the people who are tired of your currently-active Mount Vesuvius of dirty dishes clean up after your bullshit. Do your own fucking dishes.

Run your fucking meeting.

Did you ask for volunteers to “help run your meeting” and there were crickets until somebody piped up? Was that somebody the person in the room most self-conscious about their abilities, or least comfortable with silence? Don’t make them run the meeting.

Don’t shove your coworker the fucking mouse and expect them to drag your JIRA tickets around, following the three-ring-circus that is your train of thought. SCRUM masters literally get trained for that shit, and you’re low-key distracting them from giving an actually good report of what they’ve done and where they’re stuck. Click-and-drag your own goddamn tickets.

Let me give you a scenario in which this advice can be deployed:

Trent:and here you see some great fucking shit I did” advance your own slide and here you see a feature I implemented that was fucking fantastic” you demo that shit yourself. “And thanks so much to [all the other people that helped cause no dudebro is an island] who helped out.

Keeping track of something on a whiteboard? Do it your goddamn self. Run your own fucking meeting.

And while we’re at it,

Take your fucking notes.

I swear to god if you fucking DARE ask me to take notes in a meeting I am gonna be pissed as fuck. Don’t put other people through that kind of bullshittery. Taking notes distracts people from participating in conversation, and puts them in an observatory as opposed to contributory role. You know who should be taking notes? The person in the room who needs to do the most listening and least participating. You know who that is like probably almost never? The person who had the hardest time getting in that room.

WHAT’S THAT? We didn’t ask that person to take notes, they just started doing it? WELL, SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS A GREAT FUCKING IDEA. If you’re calling meetings that need summaries or action items at the end, YOU are the one who’s reporting those. And if you think that you don’t need notes during the meeting, your documentation is probably way too fucked for that poor sucker to handle. Go fix your documentation. I mean literally minimally tell them you’ll handle the write-up afterwards. Don’t let them act like your assistant. Don’t let them try to be helpful. Let them fucking participate. Let them think LOUDLY about the problems and ask questions. Don’t allow them to sit passively while you spew your Three Letter Acronyms and convoluted build processes left, right, and center.

Unsure how to put this advice into practice? Here’s a pretend conversation:

Some Poor Fuck: <starts taking notes>
Chad: Hey, SPF! Are you confused about what we’re talking about?
SPF: Oh, no, I just want to make sure we capture all the ideas we’re having.
Chad: Great idea! Here, share that doc with me and I’ll take over and send out action items at the end based on our discussion.

Whoa but what if they insist?!?!?

SPF: No it’s really OK, I already have it open, it’s fine.
Chad: Alright if you’re sure but if you feel like it’s distracting you from participating this meeting feel free to hand it over to me.<BONUS EMPATHY?> I know how tiresome it can be to listen, take notes, and participate all at once!

Invite them to meetings, and then take your own fucking notes.

Be your fucking police.

Another one of my favorites is when a buncha people are saying some real not-PC shit [like idk asking me for advice on their OKC profile?] and someone says “you can tell us to stop at any time.” Well thank you very fucking much hello yes I’m the motherfucking fun police time to cease your brolific frolicking and buckle the fuck up cause it’s TONGUE LASHIN’ TIME. Fuck that noise. When someone says some bullshit you’re not sure about, maybe have the cojones to say “yo I’m not sure that’s a cool thing to say.” And it’s legit ok to be legit unsure. You can actually ask people for their opinions in safe ways. You can ante the fuck up and say “hey [person who might be offended for any number of reasons], how did you feel when [I/they/Larry [ugh seriously Larry?]] said _______?” in a confidential and non-judgemental setting and maybe you’ll find they didn’t speak up because they didn’t want to be the fucking fun police.

Don’t say annoyingly bad shit just because nobody is around to hear it. This isn’t fucking philosophy class. Just don’t be a douche. Do you know how easy it is? It’s so fucking easy. Let me show you how.

Brandon: “haha yeah Platform team is in the room so tell Joe no bitching about them”
Kyle: “haha sure but I’ll tell him no complaining instead”
Brandon: “aww yeah you’re right good call man sorry about that.”

Wow how fucking easy was that it’s almost like good humans make honest mistakes who’da fucking thunk it.

Whoa but now you’re all like but what about when people call me out on my bullshit? Then I’m fucked, right?

Dude not even, while we’re fucking here have another example.

Blake: “lol yeah I was talking to him about that earlier…”
Ken: “yo I think she prefers the she-series pronouns.”
Blake: “…oh my bad, yah lol I was talking to her about that earlier.”
*Everybody is happy* </scene>

Laaaaa la la la life goes the fuck on.

Don’t make victims call you out on victimizing them. Be your own fucking police.

“I’m Still Confused”

That’s cool, diversity and respect is hard. Oh wait no what I meant to say what the fuck are you confused about just don’t be a dick. Literally just have the smallest modicum of empathy for others’ experiences and when someone calls you out on your bullshit, apologize and recognize that their experiences are different than yours.

“Oh but they’re mad at me and that makes me feel threatened” Dude I don’t give a fuck. If they’re mad maybe instead of being a defensive cock knuckle, ask them why? IDK just spitballing here but the majority of people in minority demographics are there because they really fucking wanna be, and care about the community and future of that space?

Just be a good human, be conscientious of others’ perspectives and how their experiences influence their actions in the workplace, and for the love of god do your fucking dishes.

Have an experience you didn’t know how to handle recently? LMK. I’d love to add some hard-mode examples to this.