I have a client who likes to keep his office atmosphere “fun.” His big thing is “silly monkey” – he uses this as an adjective to describe everything as if he’s the host of a kid’s TV show. “Silly monkey coffee,” “silly monkey meeting,” you get the picture. His employees tolerate it because while he is embarrassing, he’s not the worst.
I happened to stop by the office one day when he was having a meeting with someone – I’m not sure what about – but what I remember CLEARLY was when he asked one of the people he was meeting with if she was a “silly monkey woman.”
She was black, and the look she gave him still gives me spasms of shame and anxiety years later.
I don’t think he noticed.