• Religion In Retail

    I recently started working part time in retail and I can foresee some issues that might come up and I want to hear your opinions on them. For starters, I see a lot of my fellow coworkers wearing religious necklaces.

    One woman I work with wears a crucifix with a half-naked Jesus being tortured on it. Oddly enough, she doesn’t appear to be that religious. She referred to one of her family members negatively as “very religious” so that implies that she does not consider herself that way. Here is my question. Should I be wearing my American Atheist necklace to work?

    In theory, this should be no different (if not much more tasteful) than a necklace of Jesus being tortured, but in practice it is very different. For one thing, it will alienate customers and fellow employees. Because of the former, it will impact my job and cause problems. Sure I have the right to wear it, but there are consequences to that right that religious believers just don’t have for wearing their religious views around their neck.

    The second issue I have is in relating to customers. What if a customer says something religious? Should I inform them of my lack of belief or just let the comment go? For example, what if a customer were to say something like, “God bless you for your assistance,” or something of that nature?

    In non-retail situations, I would be likely to thank the customer for their blessing, than inform them that I’m an atheist. In a retail situation, that could have consequences for both me and my employer.

    So what say you Dangerous Talkers out there? Have any of you been in such situations? What have you done and did it work for you? How should I deal with these situations if they come up? Thoughts…

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    Category: AtheismPersonal


    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.