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A 4th of July-Based Work Rant/Should I Go to HR?

I was born in the United States, but I've lived in Canada since I was 7. That said, most of my biological family is American and have been in the "Americas" for over 600 years. So I'm super fucking American. But Canadians often ask me why I don't consider myself Canadian, and the truth is that it's because Canadians can be real dickheads when it comes to the States. Constant, rabid anti-Americanism is often hard to stomach and makes me all the more likely to cling to a sense of American identity and nationalism, which I know is a little silly.

In any event, there's one member on my team at work who has a habit of making "lol stupid American" comments quite a bit. Most of the time I let it roll off my back because frankly if I didn't, I'd be calling her out at least once a month.


But a couple of days ago, out team was discussing an issue that comes up every 4th of July regarding shipping — I won't get into it except to say that I suggested, based on some information that I had as I have relatives in the States, that we need to re-word our approach to customers when we explain why they may not receive their packages on the expected dates. It made sense and would actually be extremely helpful to Customer Service as this is a problem almost any time we're shipping during an American holiday.

Her response, "No, Americans are just stupid."

No, we have bad wording. And fuck you.

She knows I'm American. Maybe she forgot in that moment, but I lost my cool and said, "Well, I'm American and I'm the smartest person in the room." What I intended to follow it up with was, "If that comment bothers you, imagine how much your comment — which calls my family, long-time friends and me, stupid — bothers me."

But I didn't want to push it and everyone looked sort of uncomfortable. So I left it. And I regret that I did.

The next day, one of our team members mentioned that she had a cabin in the States that she goes to for the 4th and talked about all of the fun thing she planned to do while there. She mentioned that she loved buying "kids' fireworks" for her nieces, and at this point the America-bashing colleague half-yelled, "Ha! AMUURRRRICCCAAA." like 3 times. It was out of line, given that this story was just meant as a positive "I'm excited for the weekend."


I stewed for a bit, went on lunch to cool off, and then came back and shot off an e-mail saying that she needed to understand that if she's going to make blanket, negative comments about Americans — a group of people I believe she's had very limited contact with — she should be aware that it's a direct insult to me and my family and that I would never conceive of saying something like that to her.

She avoided me the rest of the day and then finally e-mailed me back this morning with a "Sorry not sorry" e-mail that explained that my "smartest person" comment was essentially just as bad (I explained the point of it, she didn't reply) and that basically she had nothing to be sorry for because she didn't mean it that way.


I replied, explaining and apologizing for my comment, but informing her that her "sorry not sorry" was rude and that she was out of line by making comments which were — no matter how she intended them — offensive. No response.

At this point, she's refusing to speak with me and I can hear her whispering and laughing about me because her desk is only about 5 feet from mine.


Should I go to HR, or should I just drop it?

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