In my dyslexia blog earlier this week, I mentioned that I'd once told a joke that got me the sack in response to my then boss making a racist joke about the singer in my band, who also happened to be my flatmate. A couple of you asked me what the "jokes" were. I stated that I thought the world would be a better place if neither of us had made them.
So here is the exchange.
(Boss makes a racist remark which I objected to)
Me. Do me a favour and don't make jokes like that. I live with a black girl and it ain't funny mate.
Boss. That's great, when she has your babys you won't have to go to the zoo to see the monkeys.
Me. You know what, you should buy your missus a car jack for Christmas
Me. Because then she'd have something round the house that is useful that can get something up when required.
As I said, he didn't find that very funny and we parted company.
When it comes down to it, I don't really think there is any place at work for either comment. This was in the early 1980's when there wasn't a climate of political correctness and comedians such as Jim Davidson and Bernard Manning regularly made racist jokes on TV. The world has moved on and I think it is a better place for that. As for my joke, I guess I'd hit on a raw nerve and he was clearly upset. I don't think ridiculing people for sexual inadequecy is acceptable or pleasant, although at the time I was hotheaded and wasn't really bothered that I'd upset him as I thought he was an idiot.
As jobs were hard to come by at the time, I had six weeks trying to find another job, so it didnt end well for me, but I guess that on balance it had reached the point where I couldn't work for the guy anymore. I never actually told anyone exactly what happened before. My Dad knew the guy and called me a fool for "taking the p*** out of the boss and getting the sack". He was a bit annoyed as he'd got me the job in the first place. I guess on balance I'd deal with the situation differently, but I am pretty sure the outcome would be the same. I'd have lost my job one way or the other. At the end of the day I couldn't work for an ignorant racist moron.