Not a Black Chair.
Amélie Lamont

Amélie, let me start by saying I really appreciate you sharing your story. We have all read and seen how harsh some of the reactions can be and choosing to face this reality shows real bravery. I admire that.

When I read through the responses you have gotten so far I see the usual two-sided mix. One side thinks you are a hero, the other thinks you are an evil ‘problem-creating’ employee.

Lately I have been trying to read more stories like yours and follow people trying to show inequality in the workplace to try and as another Medium article I have read recently so eloquently calls it: unpack my white privilege.

But still, reading your article, the first thing I thought of was that no situation is ever black or white (and the irony of using this expression does not elude me).

Your manager and her remarks were totally over the line, and Squarespace’s response was disappointing to say the least. Also them seemingly using the situation with your co-worker to fire you feels completely unjust. But your article focusses on more than this. It also involved your struggles getting more responsibility. And while reading those parts I noticed myself getting defensive, a sure sign you where hitting a nerve.

As a person responsible for others myself, I recognise many of the arguments you bring up from discussions I have previously had with employees that weren’t ‘working out’ with our company.

Now I realise your story is just a representation of the infinite nuance that is real life and that it is impossible to compare your situation to any of my previous experiences, but my mind tried to do so anyway. And it put me on the defence.

In my quest to unpack my own privilege I am having trouble with the concept of ‘culture-fit’. There are so many types of people, and so many ways of doing the job you are hired to do, what does success look like? So often we search for a mirror. Would I have done it in the same way? And judge by that measure.

Whenever I judge the performance of one of the people I am responsible for I struggle with this. Am I making the right call holding this person back, or giving that person more leeway? It’s never black or white. And it’s never totally objective.

I think that’s why I got defensive reading your article. It reminds me of the mistakes I am bound to be making every day. Mistakes I am making unconsciously or even consciously without me seeing why they are mistakes.

Thank you for getting me one step closer.

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