Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Apparently A Racist Technician

Last week was one of those weeks I literally wanted to get up and just walk out of my office and never return. Well, every week is like that, but I digress.

We use Canon color copier/printers here like there's no tomorrow. They get hammered day after day. And they break. All the fucking time. We got a new printer about 5 months ago. It's a Canon Color ImageRunner 5051 (should be 5150, if you know what I mean). It's brown. Not gray or white like most of Canon's equipment. We had a naming contest and the name we came up with was Brown Sugar. Harmless, right? I sent out an email "introducing" the new printer to the entire office and got no complaints other than several saying they wouldn't be able to get the Rolling Stones song out of their head when printing to it. Oh, how cute. Wrong.

Oh, and btw, HR is a part of this distribution list.

Fast forward to three weeks ago. Brown Sugar is acting up again and I have to take it offline while I await the Canon tech to show up. I send out an email telling people to print to one of our other color printers. The HR Director emails me asking if I can please change the name. I had a gut feeling where she was going so I just ignored the request.

Jump to last week and same situation plays out. She again emails me if we can have a re-naming contest. I knew where she was going with this. I emailed back asking if she didn't like the Rolling Stones. Her reply was that she was, but she was also a "diversity HR Director." BAM. There it is. For a guy who is about as liberal as they come, this finally told me the days of political correctness had gone too far.

I asked several of my black friends if they found the name "Brown Sugar" offensive. Each one of them looked like I had two heads and said, "Are you crazy?" One put it perfectly: "I'm black, not brown, so why should I care?"

I'm letting my boss and the HR Director fight this battle. I'm so dumbfounded that I may have to not only re-name the RIP server, but go through the fucking effort of removing the printer from the 75+ workstations in our office and re-installing it for everyone. Of all the things I have on my list, this is not something I care to waste my time on....especially when someone is being beyond hyper-sensitive about a non-racial name for a goddamn printer. Does this also mean that Domino Sugar should rename their brown sugar products? Are the Rolling Stones secret members of the KKK?

As people like to say, FML.