Friday, July 09, 2010

Harassment Training

It's mandatory where I work. The latest incarnation is a little online course. Very slickly packaged, set up so students can exit at any time, then return later to where they left off.

Funny thing is, I was noticing even before I had time to do the class that borderline-harassing behavior, the innocently-meant things that someone could take the wrong way if they were minded to, was way up in the last two-three weeks. ...People are suggestible; start talking to them about not hugging, not making jokes about personal appearance and so on and next thing you know, they've put those beans in their ears. (Dadrat it, I can't find the polka version! You'll have to make do with the semi-commie edition and miss the entire "don't pour molasses on the cat" verse).

Taking the course, most of which is good manners and/or common sense -- at least common sense for dealing with Nerf-raised moderns; they'd've fainted dead away at workplace interactions in the small-town jobs two decades ago where I started out -- I learned another lesson: in each segment, you've got three viewpoint characters who offer reactions to the various examples shown, from which you-the-student must choose the right response. If you went through the course and simply assumed the European-American looking male wearing a tie was always wrong, you'd get a passing score.

So write that down, friends and neighbors; remember it whenever Congress or the City Council is in session: whatever pale males who dress nice tell you, it ain't right. Everyone else, it's 50/50.

....Mister course-designer guy? Pro tip? Computers are really, really good at tossing random-enough numbers in the air and applying the results. You could avoid those nasty ol' not-so-subtle subtexts by coinflips for every segment to pick who'll be savvy and who won't.....

(Not really related but does ask the question that has puzzled philosophers through the ages: "If a tin whistle's made of tin, what's a fog horn made of?")

17 comments:

wolfwalker said...

(Dadrat it, I can't find the polka version! You'll have to make do with the semi-commie edition and miss the entire "don't pour molasses on the cat" verse)

Is this perhaps what you were thinking of? "Never Say No" from The Fantasticks.

JohnMXL said...

My work sent me to workplace violence training.

I was disappointed when I learned it wasn't a hands-on course, though not as embarrassed as I was when I learned that the sexual harassment training wasn't a how-to session!

homebru said...

Foghorn is made of cartoon rooster.rh

Divemedic said...

The real lesson that I take from those courses is the one you touch on:

Harassment is whatever the white heterosexual male is doing, if any other person wishes to make it so. It is used as a sword and shield to the advantage of anyone who is too incompetent to stand on their own.

Old Grouch said...

If you went through the course and simply assumed the European-American looking male wearing a tie was always wrong, you'd get a passing score.

Hmmm... Looks like grounds for a discrimination suit! Get me an European-American looking male!

Anonymous said...

if olive oil is made by crushing olives, how is baby oil made?

bruce
crankyoldmanwithgun@yahoo.com

George said...

First, I agree with your assertion that common courtesy and sense solve most of these issues. Second, I was employed by a major corp. for 21+ years, and each year the 'harr***ment' session became more absurd. I remember one session, wherein the female facilitator used the expression 't*t for tat' in her presentation, and when leaving another, not having yet made it back to my desk, a female co-worker
stopped me to show me some evidence
(we had a quasi-legal function) on a receipt, containing porn movie titles, none of which I'll repeat here. So the training obviously didn't take for some folks!

Rob K said...

At a previous job, the company was bought by a big east coast/international concern. Shortly after, we started getting "diversity" and "sexual harassment" training. Several of us got the feeling that 'our betters' were showing us backwater rubes how the world was supposed to be.

The most provincial, bigoted people I've ever met were world traveling big-city liberals.

Sarah said...

At one workplace here in The Sticks, Texas, the males in the company had to do the sexual-harassment training on the computer. We females were exempted because, apparently, it's impossible for a female to make a male uncomfortable or, in fact, outright harass the poor man.

Riiiight.

Tam said...

Sarah,

I guess some kinds of sexism are just okie-dokie!

D.W. Drang said...

Old Grouch
Sorry, buddy, the only way a European Male can become a protected species is either to get old--congrats!--or being physically or mentally--possibly emotionally-disabled.

I was (more or less) being harassed based on my status as a retired soldier--"anyone with real world experience..."--and was officially told by the EO critters to suck it up.

Stretch said...

I'm blue eyed, blond (once upon a time), male, northern European decent. Needless to say being a federal employee/contractor could be interesting. Sexual harassment seminars/classes/re-education was mandatory. My wife and I could be charged with, I'm not making this up!, 'second party harassment' if someone didn't like use kissing on government property.

reflectoscope said...

Second-hand smoke I believe, it is toxic no matter who set the fag ablaze in the first place.

Second-hand harassment? Good grief, some people really are professional victims.

Jim

Roberta X said...

D.W., "Veteran status" was specifically mentioned as a protected class of folks. And I'll give the outfit that made the class credit for showing a large variety of forms of harassment by a wide assortment of people in the little "don't do this" vignettes. Where they fell down was in the provided answers associated with multiple-guess quizzes after each one. The possible answers were ascribed to one or another of the "helpers," more made-up people, and there, the suited dudes were always wrong. Usually way wrong.

Anonymous said...

Nice boobs Roberta

Roberta X said...

Anon, do you for even one minute understand how heavily-armed and semi-trained I am?

(It truly is little short of amazing how much trouble along these general lines that spares one in RL. Oh, they still think all manner of things and what do I care? Their actions tend to stay in the strait & narrow. Win!)

Anonymous said...

I request you only wing me for my indiscresion :)