Friday, May 29, 2009

Who Says Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Can't Be Fun?

Where was this guy when I had to sit through mandatory sensitivity training? The Department should seriously consider hiring him to deliver sexual harassment prevention training in my workplace - not that we need it, you understand, since we're all perfect gentlemen at all times, but just for the pleasure of having mandatory training that isn't deadly boring and/or seething with hostility.

From the Popehat group blog, here's the three-part account of a lawyer hired to deliver sexual harassment prevention training to the employees, supervisors, and police of a small city:

day one

day two

day three

A few random quotes from the linked posts:

Apparently everyone in this city likes to go “GIRL, you’re looking FINE, SHOW me!”, and then the other employee turns around in place, and the first one goes “WOOOOOO!” It is probably impossible to break them of this, at least with the amount of time and the tools and use-of-force limits I am presented with.

After I prepared this presentation and reviewed the available summaries and caselaw for interesting examples and cautionary tales, I thought I would be impossible to shock. Boy, was I wrong. Midway through the morning an employee described an incident so completely cringingly inappropriate that Andrew Dice Clay would be going “hey man, not cool, not cool,” and then described how supervisors laughed it off. I have my work cut out for me.

So far, in response to my leading questions designed to create the illusion of audience participation, only one person has suggested that yeah, it would be cool to have team-building in a strip club.

Cops don’t like it when you tell them it is potentially problematical for them to post porn all over their locker rooms.

They especially don’t like it when you ask them if they’d be cool with lots of gay porn all over their locker room.

Here’s the breakdown: 80% of my audience knows this stuff already, or even if they don’t, would never act in a way that could violate sexual harassment law because they were raised to act decently. 10% of my audience lacks common sense about how to act and has forgotten their prior training, and requires the training to remind them how not to act, but will do fine after the training. The other 10% is unable to retain simple instructions and lacks the inclination or capacity to act decently even when someone explains to them what “decently” looks like. They will do bad stuff, or not, depending on opportunity, boredom level, and happenstance. They will do so whether or not I train them. That 10% pays my mortgage.

Judging by the laughter today when I explained stuff they shouldn’t do at work, the cops have been spending pretty much all day Monday describing who they nailed over the weekend.

1 comment:

The Hegemonist said...

Last year's EEO training was held by a rediculous woman (I mean that in a good way, she's also a very good friend). I was so excited to listen to her talk about sexual harrassment! So I get there, and she just read from note cards. That destroyed any belief that training like that could be fun, although I suppose it could just be that she isn't a very good public speaker...