Welcome to ¡Hola Papi!, the advice column where John Paul Brammer helps people work through their anxieties, fears, and life's queerest questions. If you need advice, send him a question at [email protected]
When I interviewed for my job at this cooperative business, my coworkers asked me my astrological sign. I wasn’t then, nor am I now, particularly astrologically inclined, so I thought it was very weird. But I wanted the job so I put it out of my mind.
They hired me in spite of my sun sign (the founders of the business are Libras, and they prioritize Libra hires). Before me, they had hired one Sagittarius and one Capricorn. I want to very clearly state — they are exclusively white, straight women.
Fast forward a few years, and I’ve been having some issues with my coworkers, including but not limited to being followed, being asked if I go to counseling, what kind of counseling I go to, and being asked how frequently I take mood stabilizing medication.
To be honest, I’m unsure if I have a mental illness, but I find counseling to be very helpful in decreasing the amount of time I spend crying in the walk-in at work. My gyno is super misogynistic and says unmarried women need benzos until they get engaged to a man (I’m not straight). I’ll admit to taking the klonopin from her! I use it on days when I know I will be interacting with particular coworkers.
A very close friend of mine who is deeply, almost comically obsessed with privacy created a fake birthday on all their social media accounts so that her nosy coworkers don’t celebrate her birthday in any way.
Eventually I will leave this job and probably work somewhere with an HR department who will handle my new hire paperwork, so my birthday may not be default public knowledge.
My question is: Should I pick a new birthday on social media/IRL ahead of future interviews? If so, which sign is the most employable? Is what I have been experiencing something I will continue to encounter in my working life?
I would appreciate any advice that you may have!
Hi there, LL!
In what is perhaps a first for ¡Hola Papi!, I have a question for you: When you say you will “eventually” leave this job, how soon are we talking here? Because we need to prioritize getting you out of this office. Like, immediately. We need to conduct a daring overnight raid on your workspace and evacuate you.
While the astrology stuff is the bonkers icing on the unhinged cake, and as badly as I want to focus on it because it’s extremely topical, I think the larger issue here isn’t really the “sun sign” stuff so much as it’s the “toxic, intrusive work environment” stuff. Nobody, especially not your coworkers, should be straight up asking you what meds you’re on! That’s not “classic Libra” behavior. That’s just begging for a lawsuit.
I did a little bit of research, and there’s a great column from Ask a Manager on how to fend off nosy coworkers. But I think a lot of it kind of assumes your coworkers and HR department are at least somewhat reasonable and not, as it were, using natal charts to to oppress their employees. I’m picturing you walking into your HR office and being asked your Jupiter placement. Egad.
And as much as I wanted to get all Lawyer Papi™ on this, “discrimination based on astrological sign” seems to be a pretty muddled topic where the general consensus is: “Yeah, it sucks, but they’re kind of allowed to do that.” I really hate that astrology, which at its best is a fun tool for introspection, is being turned into another dogma prison with dogma police. Hate this for us.
Ultimately, no, I don’t think this precise situation will come up again. If it does, I strongly advise you to look elsewhere, because it’s a sign (haha, sign!!) of bad things to come. But if it makes you feel better, sure. Lie about your sign. It really shouldn’t matter in a work environment. If you’ve ever been jealous of another sign’s horoscope, well, here’s your chance I guess! I for one would love to give being a Leo a go. Why not.
Con mucho amor,