Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Violence and Harrassment in the Workplace Workshop

It saddens me that my company is required to hold a mandatory workshop for us that teaches us what is and is not appropriate in the workplace. It is not just my company that holds these workshops...many of my friends have also had to attend the same type of training.

What makes me shake my head is that, as human beings, we should know what is right and wrong. It is inappropriate to comment on a woman's breasts or a man's penis. It is inappropriate to use someone's age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or culture against them. It is wrong to threaten to kill a co-worker because they didn't fill the coffee pot. Simple stuff. So why is it that we have to waste two hours of our time to have someone explain in detail what is right and what is wrong?

Really, all my company should do is send out this email to everyone once a quarter:

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Simple, no? It's a sad, sad world when we can't just follow the simple guidelines in Robert Fulghum's poem. Pin It


Lisa said...

I agree. I actually had my husband try to defend someone's disgusting behavior the other day as "that's just him. I don't think he knows any better." Really how does one grow to adulthood without knowing any better!?!?!?!?!?

mapsgirl said...

I wish it was that easy.

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