Tuesday, July 22, 2008

That's what she said...

One of the funniest episodes of The Office is "Sexual Harassment". It is comically obvious that the boss just doesn't get it. I think the best line from that one is when Dwight askes Toby (the HR guy) "what does a female vagina look like?" Toby's response is something like "I work in HR and Toby has just asked me a question about human anatomy. All I can say is, it makes me sad that the public school system has failed you so very very badly."

To the left, you can see a quick shot I took of our trainers.

But in the real world, harassment (in all it's many forms) is not funny. It's big business and very boring. I believe it also gives us a gauge to measure the moral decay of our society. We wrapped up our "Harassment Free Workplace" training. The word "harassment" strikes me as funny, too. "He said 'ass'." I digress...

In the past I have always been sensitive to the notion that I am to "accept" gays in an effort to be "tolerant". This year, we all got slapped with some new rules: the word 'homosexual' and phrase 'altnative lifestyle' are now offensive. The discussion on gays was short, but still expansive compared to last time, and now we are to include "cross gender" people. While gays and transgendered people are not (yet) a protected class by the Feds or even the State, the City likes to tout that it has a "higher" standard! WOW! Okay, they can say that in front of God and man with a straight face... evil is good, I suppose.

The next hot button for me is freedom of religious expression. Now the official policy hasn't really changed but the discussion sure has. It used to get a nod- more brief than even the gays. Today they showed us a series if ultra-cheesy videos depicting examples of harassment. All of them revolved around sexual harassment or some type of intimidation. On the last video, they had two guys sitting in an office and one asks the other what's wrong. The other guy starts to open up about his marriage difficulties. The first guys then invites him to a marraige retreat at his church, offers him a pamphlet about the retreat and gives some first person testimony. He wasn't preaching, he didn't quote the Bible or mention the name of Jesus. It could hardly be considered proselytizing or evangelism. But this was held up as an example of harassment and the well intentioned man was now an offender on the same scale as the office ass-slapper, minority hater or gay basher. Had the man been talking about a secular conference, I doubt it would be harassment. But because man #2 "felt" uncomfy, man #1 was wrong. Wow!

The real kicker with that video was that on the finishing shot, they zoomed in slowly on a copy of the Bible that was sitting on the desk and played some ominous, low pitched tones. By which, I presume, they mean to tell us that good is evil.

I am not a very good evangelist. But I do reach out to people, especially when I see opportunity. Now I know even this is forbade by the City in the course of doing my job. I won't go looking for a fight here, and I'll trust the Lord. But in the end, I must obey God rather than man, even if it means getting kicked to the curb.

Act 5:28
Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
Act 5:29
Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

It would be a great thing to be accused of filling this city with "my" doctrine!


Percussivity said...

Wow... that is pretty incredible. And I thought the Saint Luke's training was bad.

So far I haven't had to go to anything remotely like that here at Layne nor do I recall having to last time I worked here, but I suppose a lot can change in seven years. We shall see.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

So alternative lifestyle and homosexual are verboten terms? Did they offer an alternative? I'm assuming arse bandit would be the recommended substitution, but good lord, they might even rule that as offensive, soon!!

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

One could actually make those videos more entertaining by listing the words you are not allowed to say.

"You may not call your cubicle neighbor, 'The Queen Fairie Poof'."

The Unabashed Blogger said...

Here's a story: We had an employee who was constantly not doing a good job. The supervisor and a/s did not have a lot of patience with this guy because he was constantly NOT doing his job. When he would be confronted about it, he would later go to HR saying that it was a hostile work environment and HR told the guys to back off.

The short of it: When you make a stink, people listen, if you learn to cope, you will be taken advantage of. The guy eventually got fired, but it was 2 months later than it should have been. Maybe Christians should start flooding their HR's with complaints of prejudice.

ARgh! Hostile work environment...I got your hostile work environment right here!!!