Staying Alive Out of the Broom Closet
Part One: At Work
Can outing yourself as a Pagan at your job get you canned? Of course! Let’s face it, Pilgrim, anything that makes you stand out from the crowd will get you noticed–for bad as well as good. And declaring yourself Pagan ranks right up there with painting yourself purple or taking off all your clothes by the time clock every morning. You need your ducks in a row to be sure that bulls eye you want to glue onto your posterior is as inconspicuous as possible.
But first, let’s address the most common FAQ here, just to get it out of the way: Yes, everybody’s gonna think you’re crazy. Trust me on this. I don’t care how long your coworkers have known you, how much you think they like & respect you, or what they say to your face–behind your back (where it really counts) everybody’s going to agree on one thing: you’re nuts.
But that’s okay–as long as that’s your only fault. To paraphrase Steve Solomon, you can sell one fault to your boss & coworkers. (Hey, nobody’s perfect.) Two faults are trouble, and a third is a guaranteed bus ride to the unemployment line. So be advised, as soon as you out yourself, you’ve used up your quota. Period.
Moving forward, attendance & punctuality cover a wealth of sins. If you’re chronically late or like to call out a lot on Fridays and Mondays, you might want to keep a low profile. Ditto if your performance reviews are in the basement. Or if, despite your best efforts, you just can’t beat that embarrassing flatulence problem you hope nobody’s noticed. (They have, and they just stopped being too polite to laugh about it in the lunch room.) Any and all of your personality quirks, even the ones which have previously gone unacknowledged, will be abruptly subject to scrutiny and conjecture now. Keep them at a minimum. You’re not working in a fishbowl any more, you’re under a magnifying glass.
Me? I make no secret I’m wiccan. I even wear the Blessed Be pinkie ring my girlfriend gave me as a Yule present. But I’ve been there for (shudder) fifteen years, I stay out of trouble, and I don’t volunteer info about my religious beliefs, political views or gender preferences. I have a motto: Prudence Pays.
So far it’s worked for me.
Next time, Part Two: At Home
Weyland Smith lives in Mercer County New Jersey with the bright and beautiful Morgan, her two children, and their cats & familiars Flame and Macavity. They may be reached at [email protected] Any and all rumors that Weyland and New Jersey governor John Corzine were twins who were separated at birth are completely bogus–Wey’s a Republican. (And a poor Republican, at that! Sheesh…)