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Unpopular Opinion Lunch Hour

Unpopular Opinion Lunch Hour

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Published by thrashinator
An entertaining and confusing anecdote
An entertaining and confusing anecdote

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Published by: thrashinator on Dec 13, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/12/2009

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UNPOPULAR OPINION LUNCH HOUROrS.S.D.D. Friendly discussions spurned by simple disagreement can often spawn dissent, andthen lead to ignorant back-patting -- especially in the workplace. One suchincident occurred during my lunch break at the little label manufacturing companyI worked at. Mid-morning sun rays, washed out to a sleepily dulled lemon flavor,told stories of storms past as they poured lazily through the cafeteria window.Everyone was up in arms about Arab immigrants in the United States demandingspecial bowls to be placed in public restrooms. Ostensibly, the bowls were to beused for cleaning feet, according to some sort of Islamic religious practice.I took a seat, as if on the edge of the Grand Canyon. Opposite me, across theroom – on the other side of the canyon – sat my coworkers: still and serious asan age-old rock precipice. The viewpoint wherein the placement of these bowlsshould not be allowed had become as popular as privatization of healthcare amongmy coworkers. Now I do not have any problem with this viewpoint per se, butrather with the reason they held that served as a foundation to the viewpoint. Icould understand if they did not agree to the placement of the bowls on groundsthat it might jeopardize the principle of separation of church and state as putforth in the United States Constitution, or on grounds of sanitation concerns.But my coworkers seemed to hold a different, more fallacious line of reasoning.This group of coworkers argued that placement of the bowls would be "offensive"because it would be serving some special interest of some small group of peoplewhom they seemed to regard more as alien visitors than immigrated Americans. Theywent as far as to point out (whether factual or not, I do not know) that after thebombing of Pearl Harbor, many Japanese Americans were gagged, tortured, drawn,quartered, tarred, feathered, etc. The associated implications of this statementlaunched my stomach into cartwheels, and my skin turned whiter than rice. Thiswas no longer a lunchroom – it was a three-ring circus, and it seemed I wasinvoluntarily elected to be lion-tamer.Having been engaged in argument with these particular individuals on myriad otherprevious occasions, I knew that following the rules of logic and pointing out theflaw in their reasoning would not persuade them to think over the issue any morethan they already had. If I were to tell them that these people are just asAmerican and have all the same rights as they do in this country, they wouldeither reiterate their steadfast flabbergastery at the concept of washing one’sfeet publicly, or they would tastelessly joke their way out of the argument. So,I decided to invoke the spirit of Emeril Lagasi, kick it up a notch and give thema taste of their own medicine. "If their opinions can be so rock-solid," Ithought, "mine can be like galvanized titanium."I told them all, as sternly as Abraham Lincoln’s face on a five-dollar bill, thatI do not approve of baby-changing tables in public restrooms -- that I find themhighly offensive. As quickly as a starving dog ravages a carcass, their attentionwas grabbed; they demanded to know right away why exactly and even how I couldpossibly find this existing nuisance in any way offensive. After no avail insearching myself for a response equal in lack of substance to their reason fornon-placement of the bowls, I finally donned a suitably minimalist cap: "I do notknow... but I certainly do find them offensive." As firmly as the fingers offresh business school graduates are plunged into the American pie, so was my

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