My manager at the time started talking about how they dislike Russians. They didn’t know at the time that I have Russian heritage. My other coworkers chimed in, agreeing. This was at a company known for their supposed “good” culture, too.
How did you respond?
I didn’t say anything. I decided to hide my background.
What were your takeaways in hindsight?
I later sent them an email from an account that I didn’t realize used my Russian name. They asked me about it, and asked where I was from. When I said Russia, my manager didn’t make eye contact. I didn’t end up working on the team in the long-term. It’s happened actually twice since then, and I haven’t learned how to deal with it. I think the media in America gives people permission to openly talk about hating Russians.