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Could be someone I know, someone I don't know, fictional characters, dead people. I don't care, I'm an equal opportunity complainer when it comes to complete dickwads.

Wherever there's a Complete Tool, I'll follow closely behind with my anonymous bitching. 'Cuz that'll show 'em.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Eye Of The Beholder's Manager

Workplace Harassment.  We have an online course for it at work.  Lucky us, we get to take it whenever it's deemed necessary. Like last week.  I'm not going to say that we were angels, but it's not like we were completely out of control.  Well, perhaps we were, but I'll let you judge for yourself:

Exhibit 1: On Tuesdays we have a staff meeting.  To lead off the meeting and wake everyone up, we play an "icebreaker" game. These exercises are traditionally reserved for meetings where people need to get to know one another, but we do them anyway because it helps wake us up.  This week, MisManager was out of the office (as usual), so the employees in charge of the game decided we should all say our favorite pick up line.

I know.  Not appropriate.  I really didn't understand what the harm was, though.  We stuck to the cheesy stuff like, "Did you fart?  Because you just blew me away." and stayed away from the sexually suggestive ones like, "Do you have a little German in you?  [No.]  Do you want some?"  Honestly, it's the most fun we've had doing one of those things.

Eventually it got back to MisManager that we had done this in her absence and, even though no one actually took offense and everyone had a good time, she decided that we were no longer allowed to play an icebreaker game when she was out of the office.  Evidently, she felt that it was beyond us to tone it down to mere "What 3 things would you bring with you to a deserted island?" games.

Exhibit 2: "That's what she said."  Most of us are big fans of The Office.  Over the last year and a half that my crew has been working together, we've slowly worked that in (that's what she said) to our office conversation.  So when MisManager walks in and says (about our beach themed decorations for a promotion), "You'll have to explain some of that to me...I mean, I get the crabs..."  We trip over ourselves to let her know she just left herself wide open (that's what he said).

It's gotten to the point where the two boys have actually spent some of their own money and a good deal of downtime modifying a Staples "That was easy!" (that's what he said) button to actually say "that's what she said," when you push it.  I think it'll be a time saver.

Exhibit 3: Two of my four employees were born in Juarez, Mexico.  The town is not notorious for being a vacation paradise.  As a matter of fact, even to hear them talk about going back, it sounds like all the bad things you ever heard about going to Mexico.  Unless you're a woman, then it's a lot worse.  You'll be comforted to know, though, that I've been assured by one of my employees that the killing of their women "almost doesn't happen anymore."  Yeah...I still wouldn't go there.

So, when my Lead was describing her recent trip home in which she had to carry a lot of bribe money for the police (what you actually say is that you'd like to "buy them a cup of coffee" wink, wink) and she was afraid to go out with any less than 3 of her male relatives, another of my employees ("Carlos") chimed in and called Juarez "ghetto."

Now, Carlos is from the area just outside Cancun, which is a vacation paradise.  The comment could have been taken a lot of different ways, but she just thought it was snobby and annoying.  She also did whatever an employee should do when a comment bothers them, she let him know she was bothered by it.

By throwing water on him.

This exchange took place after work hours, so there weren't any witnesses to this outside our little group.  The girl from Juarez felt that she made her point to the snob from Cancun.  He thought it was funny.  Everyone had a good laugh.

Except MisManager.  For her, this was a final straw.  We are now officially "out of control."  So, as of her decree last week, all conversation has to be business appropriate.  Her exact words were, "Just imagine that a member of the Human Resources department were in the room with you at all times."  Oh, and the Workplace Harassment course.

That went well.  I decided that we needed to listen to it in between client visits.  Imagine my dismay when a client walked in as the lesson began explaining examples of "hostile work environment.  This is what she heard:

I can't stand that Ron.  I wish he'd go hang out in the corner with the other queers.

Holy crap!  Where the fuck is that mute button?!  I'd like to say I learned my lesson, but no.  Further into the slides, another client walked in on:

...his female supervisor often made sexual comments about his appearance, even going as far as to say she dreams about him naked.

Fuck.  That didn't go well.

It wasn't all bad though.  The highlight of my week was when we got a visit from MisManager's manager and the regional Vice President.  MisManager's manager got a call from her teenage daughter, who wanted to come by and get some money from her.  There was some concern expressed over the appropriateness of her dress, then some relief at the fact that "thankfully she's flat-chested."  We spent the next 7 minutes or so talking about our breasts.

Suck it MisManager.

For a closer, more frightening look at the murders of the women of Juarez, I can recommend The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border by Teresa Rodriguez.


Candice said...

LMAO! This was a great post.

P.S- I'm totally going to use that disgusting fart pick up line.

Awesomeness said...


The fart line was our favorite too.