In HR, humor, Office humor, Policy on June 26, 2012 at 03:28

‘So when we do not like a co-worker’s gaze, what is the appropriate course of action?’

‘Complain to…’

‘No, we do not complain. We…warn the gazer twice in a polite but firm manner. 3rd time, we report him to…HR’

Pauses to prod the audience into participation are not working.

Judge Judy continues…

If we want to compliment a co-worker on his or her outfit, what is the best option?’

‘Keep it simple’

‘Only above the belt’

‘No, the best option is: don’t. Compliments are best saved for friends, not co-workers.’

That last one actually made sense, in a SlavesInc. sort of way. But in an otherwise bleak session, it is not much of a life-saver. Every year, the company cleanses itself of all wrong doing by making you; the slave, sign on mutually overlapping and collectively exhaustive Commandments.

It you want your daily bread and monthly salary; you have to swallow this and other hoopla. And is it you or does the presenter on Sexual Harassment policy seem to wearing an exceptionally taut blouse? Not only can you not gaze at her, you can’t compliment her outfit either.  So you look down most of the time, trying not to drift off into Neverland. You are feeling like a pervert already.

Moving on, ‘What do you do when you find a co-worker browsing sexually explicit images on his screen?’

Now that is a tough one. Something tells you the two warning principle applies here too. Do it once, you get the benefit of the doubt and a polite but firm warning. Do it twice and you are a paedophile! Off the record, you would probably walk up to the adventurous co-worker in question and ask for the URL that is immune to the Firewall. Thank God you did not say that out loud.

‘To recap, can you; Mr. J, tell us the appropriate course of action in case of…?’

‘You know, one could be browsing explicit images for official work!’

The ensuing silence tells you that you did say that one out loud.


5 seconds pass and no one has given you a polite but firm warning yet. So you continue, ‘He could be a product manager for one of our vitality pills, for example.’

The audience of potential sexual offenders laughs out in unison. The taut bloused presenter laughs out too. But she checks herself and continues. She ends the session with a detailed account of the consequences awaiting offenders.

That was a close one. You will have to practice not thinking out loud. Now that you have signed the Commandments, you are already guilty until proven innocent. The time when you will need a contract just to say hello to someone is not far away. You had better save your smiles and your friendship for those outside office.

– J.

  1. Once in compliance mode, every additional rule or ‘code of conduct’ can seem logical. But to a Free Bird, it would definitely feel like economic oppression and theft of self esteem, well said

  2. Yes, all for daily bread

  3. So the bottom line is that in the workplace, an unthinking glance is a punishable violation but economic oppression and theft of self esteem is OK?

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