I am a college student who works part time at a grocery store. I asked a customer, a woman forty years of age, not to wear a crucifix in our store, on the grounds that it is an insensitive symbol. In truth, this necklace is distressing for me because it is a violent faith. The customer said “excuse me?” rudely to me and complained to the manager. One colleague told me that I cannot do that again, and I said that I will not. That would have been enough, but I got in trouble with the manager. In front of my colleagues, he called me to his office in which he, sitting with two other people (all of whom were christian), three Christian adults around one Jewish girl, to tell me that it was wrong that I did that and a serious offense that I had no authority to do that would go on company records. The manager attempted a moral debate, saying that apparently I asked the customer to never come to the store again (I did not) and asking what, in my opinion, should do the Christian workers of the company-not go to work again?-which was a weird question. I did not engage with these things, stared fixedly at what was in front of me, and twice said, “I am sorry that I inconvenienced the store. It will not happen again.” Never did the manager ask why I said this – he did not care that I have trauma with Christianity. He is closed-minded because he is a man who is “pious” by that cult’s standards-in that he does not consider people of diverse faiths to be humans. He didn’t care that I came out with tears in my eyes and hands shaking. My colleagues saw me in a really stressed state, which, looking back, is embarrassing.
I have four days left to work at the company. Then, by a previous agreement I made with them a month ago (before the incident), I leave. Should I still go, or was what I did so wrong and embarrassing that I should never set foot in the store again? Who was right, and who was wrong?
If you want to go back to work or not, that is your choice. If the other worker’s know about what happened then it might be better to stick away, as you don’t want your presence bringing up the subject again.
Personally I understand your feelings, and I understand why you are offended by the cross. However we have to understand, that until the Messiah comes, we are in exile, in a gentile society and we can not allow ourselves to say whatever we feel, especially if it is in a gentile company.
Hashem should help you at your new job.