employee came to work dressed as Jesus — Ask a Manager

employee came to work dressed as Jesus

A reader writes:

I work at an up-and-coming, techy, mid-range e-comm company that’s always felt very inclusive, fun, and positive. Most employees are male and between the ages of 25-35, and are prone to ribbing and bets — “grow out your mullet for a year for $1,500,” that type of thing.

One of our employees bears a striking resemblance to the Jesus often portrayed in kid’s Bibles: long wavy brown hair, soft eyes, big beard. Because of this, his unofficial nickname used throughout the company is “Jesus.”

I’m assuming he was involved in a bet of some sort, because today he walked in decked out in full vestments — long white robes, Hebrew embroidered on the chest, sandals, the whole costume. A few people laughed, and he got right to work at his desk.

I’m a fierce proponent of free speech and believe there’s value in cheeky pokes at things we often put on pedestals, like religion. That being said, it seems inappropriate to me to lampoon a religious figure in a work environment. What would you do? Am I being too sensitive?

I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

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