Experience of Marginalization at Workplace


On 11/10/2009, around 10:40 AM, the head of the practice came to our clinic and served as a tour guide for someone from outside. When he passed my office, he stopped right outside the door and introduced to that person something about clinic trial that I was working on. I could hear every word of it since it happened just by my office door. I knew he would definitely do it differently if an American were in my office. Normally, someone outside the practice would talk to me and view our office when they want to get information about our research study. This time, for some reason, it did not happen.

It might be because it would break his comfort zone to talk to someone he has never talked before, someone different from him. I used to consider him to be rather open-minded, as if he came from west coast. I thought he was at ease dealing with people at all levels. Obviously not.

The experience made me rethink of the concept of identity and acceptance. Some Chinese consider themselves thoroughly Americanized, so much so that they refuse to think themselves anything but Americans. Well, identity involves both objective and subjective sides. Chances are what you see yourself is vastly different from what the majority of Americans see you. I keep telling my children this hard fact — even if both of you were born and grew up in America, don’t cheat yourself into thinking you are always accepted as Americans here.

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