This post has been forming in my head all week, but today is the first day I've had a free minute to sit down and write it.
To be as vague as possible (only because I wouldn't want this post to get back to my office), I work in the non-profit world, but with a great deal of politicians from both sides of the aisle. Normally, it's not tricky because everyone gets along, but as election day approaches, the limelight on our state's Gubernatorial race is growing brighter and brighter, and I'm having to participate in somethings for a candidate I'm not planning to vote for.
All that's fine and good and doesn't bother me because it's a part of my job and who I vote for or those in my organization vote for doesn't change whether or not I do my job, but what does bother me is my overbearing co-workers who feel the need to constantly degrade the candidate* I support. I respect each of these people, but do not try to push my views on them. I see positives and negatives in each candidate, but I have formed my opinion and more than likely, that will not change.
To give you some examples of exactly what it's been like this week, I'll offer you these scenes:
Two of my coworkers and I are chatting and the election comes up. One of my co-workers, who is like a real life Sheldon, in fact, we'll call him that, asks if I'm still voting for my candidate. I reply that I am and then listen to both coworkers rant and rave about how this candidate is the wrong choice. I dismiss myself to my office about thirty minutes later to get started on some things that I needed to get done quickly as I had a work event to attend that night and a meeting out of town yesterday. Sheldon follows me to my office and continues to go on and on about his candidate. Finally, I told Sheldon I really had a lot of work to get done and I didn't want to talk politics anymore.
Tuesday Afternoon and Night
Sheldon and I were in a car together for about three hours going to and from a work event we were required to attend. The whole first hour and a half to the event, Sheldon continuously questioned my reasons for voting for my candidate and threw in all these "facts" about this person. For a while, I fought back with my answers and tried to get it across to him that you have to compare apples to apples, but after that not working, I simply told him if he was only going to talk politics, I wasn't going to talk.**
Today, I came into a quiet office. My non-Sheldon co-worker and I were talking and the discussion went to the election again. She started questioning me about my candidate much as my co-worker did days before. I didn't even put up a fight.
What gets to me about people, not just my co-workers, is the intolerance we (I know I can be that way, too) all have towards people whose views are different from ours and I'm not just talking politics. I have very strong opinions that don't budge on a handful of issues and there are multiple things on my "list" of "I wouldn't/won't do x that way", but I try to be tolerant of others and their values and beliefs. We're not all the same and that's what makes this world so unique. Besides, if we all thought just alike, that'd be boring and there would be nothing to work towards.
*I should have prefaced this all by saying I don't have whacked up political beliefs and neither do my co-workers (even if we don't agree on who should be our next Governor). We work in a very conservative organization and field and in general, we're all, with the exception of a few, what I'd consider to be conservative politically.
**I've learned in the past year or so that with Sheldon, I don't need to fight back. He is always right even when he's wrong and he won't ever admit it if he could possibly be wrong (one of the many reasons PC says he reminds him of Sheldon). There have been a few issues we've "debated" that fall into the category of "I have a strong opinion and it won't budge" where I won't back down - at all. And, I'm a pretty good debater if I say so myself, but in many cases, there's no point in debating Sheldon because you won't ever win.