Dale, the project manager and several engineers go on a field trip to the East Kootenay region of British Columbia to do a check in and quick site tour of the proposed new mine. They do not have any community meetings planned. Dale and the project manager had previously set up an information table with maps and project information in the field office on site. Anyone that had business with the mine could see the information. Dale, the Public Relations and Indigenous Relations expert, has told the project manager several times that they should be having more active, frequent community meetings. Head office personnel should more frequently visit local towns and Indigenous communities. There is tension between Dale and the project manager.
After the group has completed their work checking on the mine site, they go out to dinner at the Bar and Grill in the local town. Everyone is drinking beer and eating burgers.
One of the engineers, X, jokingly mentions that he is not happy sharing a hotel room with another engineer, who has already made a mess in there.
The hotel roommate engineer, Y, says, “I used a few towels. Don’t be such a [homophobic slur].”
The other engineer, X, laughing and making a pretend horrified face, says, “All that [swear word] cologne, I am pretty sure you are a [homophobic slur]. I need my own room!”
Everyone laughs but Dale, who is shaken and fearful. No one notices or does anything about Dale’s discomfort.
When they return to Vancouver, Dale goes to the project manager’s office to state that the situation in the bar was upsetting and unacceptable.
The project manager says, “All right, we were out in the wild. Everyone was just letting loose and having fun. If you have a problem with it, go tell X and Y [the engineers].”
Dale sees the Office Manager/Human Resources Manager to discuss it.
The office manager suggests that Dale talk to the engineers directly to “sort out your own problems and resolve your own conflicts”.
Dale is hearing that he should not make a big deal out of the incident and that he does not have support. Dale is now depressed and anxious and struggling to concentrate at work.
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