Share Your Religious and Nonreligious Work Stories

128340502703593750unoevartaHappy Sunday everyone! I'm sure you've all just gotten back from Sunday school and church! HA!

The other day a new person commented on HDC. They have recently deconverted (yay!) and shared an uncomfortable story from work:
I recently had an experience today at work which made me so angry, but valuing keeping my job, I held my tongue.

Two hasidic Jews walked into the store I worked at and they were dressed in the typical hasidic style and were carrying around a pillow with Hebrew words on it. One of them approached me and asked me if any of the employees at my store were Jewish. I inferred this to mean that they did not want to do business with a non-Jew. (Today also happens to be their Sabbath so maybe that had something to do with it). I found it inappropriate to ask for many reasons. Firstly I felt insulted that my non-Jewishness somehow taints me from a normal business interaction. 2nd it’s not my business to know my co-worker’s spirtiual beliefs if any. Naturally I wanted to tell them to shove it, but since I’m not looking to be fired, I simply replied with “I’m sorry but I don’t know specifically what my co-worker’s beliefs are”. They looked disappointed and walked away.

Has anyone ever had an uncomfortable experience in the work place regarding either co-workers or customers/clients who frustrated you with either arrogance of their religion or pushing their ideas on you?

It's a great question they ask. So I'll ask you:

  • Have you had any experiences at work that were frustrating or uncomfortable regarding religion?

  • Are you "out of the religious closet" at work?

  • Any proselytizing at work?

  • Who have you had problems with, if at all? Co-workers? Customers? Bosses?

  • Have you said anything in return? If so did you get in trouble for being non-religious?

  • On the other hand, have you had any good nonreligious experiences at work? Are you able to be out of the closet?


  1. At a previous job I had some unpleasant experiences, particularly with one co-worker who was a rabid "holy roller" type. She sang hymns at the top of her lungs and read her Bible aloud frequently. I wanted to bang my head against a wall much of the time. When I finally got up the nerve to ask her to chill because it was bothersome she told me "if you don't like it you can quit". Thankfully those days are long past because I no longer live atop the Bible Belt.

  2. awesome! I'm flattered you made a post on my comment!

  3. The top two rah rah subjects at my work are 1. God, and 2. The Flag.

    It's hard to avoid. I usually make jokes, like when they are discussing praying over a car before a trip (this happened on Thursday!) I offered to sacrifice a chicken on the hood 'cause I heard that works in voodoo too'. hehe

    I'm pretty much 'out' to my co-workers and that's an awesome thing when they already think I'm a good and moral person and then they are forced to reconcile that with all the misconceptions they hold against atheists.

  4. One coworker said "You're OK, even if you don't believe in God." I replied, "You're OK, even though you have imaginary friends." The look of shock on his face was priceless, to which I replied, "It's a two-way street, pal." That was the end of it. :)

  5. That's beyond offensive. That woman is the reason most atheists have zero tolerance for holy roller bible thumpers. They're unbearable!

  6. :D Well, it was a great question. Thank you for inspiring me! :D

  7. HA! That's a great way to deal with it, I guess. But OMFG that sounds irritating!
    It IS awesome that you're out and they have to deal with the fact that you're a good and moral person, and a heathen! WOOT!

  8. I had one experience while in the Army. At that time I was fairly anti-religion, but had not broken into complete godlessness yet. One of my NCOs (aka: supervisor) was telling me and a few other troops that we needed to come to a ceremony with him. Military ceremonies interrupting our daily work were nothing new (and sometimes a welcome interruption); but that day we had work that needed to be done.

    When another soldier and I both protested that we had previously been told this was an optional attendance and we had work to get done, we caught some hell for it. Lucky for us our Commander (aka manager) overheard and interceded. His quote, as close as I can remember:

    "You can't require them to go, you know damn well its not a required ceremony. Besides that, its being put on by the chaplains, so you better not be requiring them to go." After a few minutes of silence he added, "I've got better things to do than waste my time at church on Sunday, so I don't expect any of my soldiers to waste their time there either. So if they want to go that religious stuff its up to them."

    He went back in his office and closed his door. Most of us sat down and went back to work. Only one guy followed the NCO out the door to the ceremony.

  9. A shame that doesn't happen more often in our armed forces.

  10. You were SAVED! Of course, not by the baby jesus but by your Commander, but hey, whatever works. :D LOL

  11. I'm currently having a debate with one of my co-workers about religion and morality and all that. He's arguing for the Judo-Christian interpretation of life, and I'm arguing for not feeling guilty for every little thing in life.

    It's a little difficult at times, because we don't always work the same hours, and often have to stop to focus on other tasks at hand.

    While this is a good thing at times, because it gives you break to think of a proper rebuttal, it can also make it kind of hard to get your point across. The last time I had said anything to him, I'd just finished accusing Jesus of being a racist and a Communist before having to run off to help someone with a customer.

    It's all good-natured, more or less, though, so it's still pretty fun.

  12. Sounds good! If you feel like sharing any good arguments, let us know. Jesus was a commie? I can honestly say I've never heard that one before. I mean, yeah, he was a hippie, jew, zombie. But a commie? Interesting!

  13. That is an awesome comeback!!