Stop blaming other people for your problems.

This is in your head. We are a meritocracy and to suggest otherwise is to attack me personally. I’m desperate for more minorities around here but our best candidates happen to be heteronormative white, able-bodied men who are referred to me by my network. It takes two to tango, so I want you to think hard about what you can do better to advance your career.

Practice gratitude.

There are hungry kids in the world. You have a job. Try not to lose perspective just because there are a lot of less-qualified people here with better jobs. Maybe they have skills you can’t see. Maybe they just got lucky. In the grand scheme of things, you also got lucky.

Stop worrying about everyone else.

Don’t you know that comparing yourself to other people will just make you miserable? Let’s stay focused on you. Let’s also stay focused on the holiday party that you’re supposed to organize even though it’s not part of your job.

Work harder!

Get in early and leave late. Every day. Do your assignments and the extra credit! Be so good that we can’t ignore you! Discrimination (not that it exists) is a massive societal problem that we can’t change by ourselves. So let’s not even try.

Respect different opinions.

Not everyone is going to see things your way, and we — I mean they — have a right to be uncomfortable with how you look and act and speak. Maybe you could focus on putting us — I mean them — at ease instead of insisting on flaunting your alternative lifestyle. Maybe you could consider the fact that this is just about your performance, and it’s just dumb luck that everyone around here who gets promoted happens to look like me.

Take care of yourself.

Life isn’t fair. And in the face of injustice — not that I’m admitting anything — the healthiest thing you can do is forgive and forget. Maybe go gluten-free. Anger is a corrosive emotion, and what I can do is refer you to our employee assistance program/ counseling center to help you through this rough patch. Talking about a problem with someone other than me is better than trying to fix it.

Install this app that will automatically edit
your emails and remove ‘just’ and ‘sorry.’

I’ve heard future releases will edit additional words until all that is left is a clean, blank email and your name. Eventually your signature line will be replaced with a smiling emoji. That’s the kind of diversity we’re looking for!

Timing is everything
(and change won’t be convenient for a long time).

Okay, between you and me, I agree that we have an image problem around diversity. But now is not a great time to be making waves. The economy is in the shitter, I have a headache and basically don’t want to risk my sweet-ass gig for equality. I’m saying for you, this is a bad time to bring this up, upper brass won’t be as receptive as they will in six years. Let’s circle back then.

Do something
(since you’re convinced this is a real problem)!

File a complaint with Human Resources. If you’re a college student, file a complaint with the administration. If there really is a problem, these authority figures have your best interests at heart and will get to the bottom of the matter. There will be zero retaliation from me or anyone else. Honest.