It’s sexual harassment training week at The Richfield Reaper.
As our parent company is located in California — home of Harvey Weinstein, Motley Crüe and avocado toast — they take sexual harassment pretty seriously. This means now we are all committed to a couple of hours learning how to not sexually harass each other.
I can hardly wait. The videos for these trainings are the best thing since Dr. Pepper invented Pepsi.
The scene opens, and a man (it’s always a man) leers at a woman standing at the copy machine. He slinks up to her, pats her bottom and says, “Hey baby, nice legs. Would you mind using them to walk across the street and get me some coffee? Then maybe you can come over to my place tonight for your bonus.”
Of course the next part of the video is a blue screen with the text, “What did Larry do wrong?”
Then comes the group discussion, which invariably concludes that Larry did a lot of things wrong, not the least of which was wearing plaid pants and a striped shirt together. The video’s narrator affirms the group’s conclusions.
In the next scene, Larry and the woman from the previous video are in the break room. She spills coffee on her pants, and Larry grabs a paper towel and attempts to clean it off. This time the group discussion again lands on the same conclusions as the narrator.
“While Larry may have thought he was helping Alison, he was making her uncomfortable with inappropriate touching.” Duh.
In the final part of the video, Larry walks up to Phil and says, “Hey, how are your boys doing? Are they playing football?”
Again, we’re asked, what did Larry do wrong?
At this point the group discussion is a little sparse. That’s when the narrator steps in to again tell us how terrible Larry is.
“Larry used binary gender normative terms and assumed that Phil’s children would participate in the patriarchy of competitive, female exclusionary sports. Larry is worse than Stalin.”
Of course there’s always a test at the end to certify your non-sexual harassing skill.
1. You feel the need to sexually harass someone, when would that be appropriate?
d. When wearing leather pants.
2. Two coworkers are comparing their favorite pornographic websites on a company computer while on the job. What should you do?
a. Report it to HR.
b. Ask if the site would be interested in purchasing advertising in the newspaper.
c. Share your favorite.
d. Pretend you never saw anything. Snitches go in ditches.
3. How many times a week is it appropriate to complement a coworker’s behind?
4. Someone asks a coworker out, and the coworker says, “No.” What is the next step?
a. Keep asking. Quitters never win.
b. Keep asking. Winners never quit.
c. Keep asking, but know that those who never quit and never win are losers.
d. Work place fraternization is discouraged; please refrain from using the office as your personal dating service.
5. You weren’t paying attention during the video, we can tell. This is because you are —
a. A bad person.
b. A pervert.
c. Someone who doesn’t care enough about sexual harassment.
d. All of the above.
6. During a remodel project, a stack of vintage Playboys used for insulation is uncovered. What should happen?
a. Sell them on eBay and put the profits in the company’s account.
b. Take them home. They are a fire hazard after all.
c. Donate them to the local middle school art class.
d. Put them back as they may be structural Playboys and the building will collapse without them.
It may seem insulting to people of average intelligence, but this kind of training is needed.
Otherwise they’d just have to fire Larry.
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