Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Slightly More Realistic Interpretation of my Company's Required Sexual Harassment Training Video and Dialogue

So Carrie, I got two tickets to tonight's concert. You wanna go?

OK, this seems fair enough to me. If one is openminded enough not to judge a book by its cover--or if one's shelves are filled with books that are wearing my dad's sportcoat--then this is a pretty sweet offer, if one is undiscerning enough that "some band playing music" is enough to qualify as a night on the town.

On a side note, it's alarming to discover that a hairstyle that you still occasionally sport on moist days is out of date via a corporate sexual harassment video, like catching a glimpse of the dress you're wearing in a Cuban Missile Crisis bomb drill video. Quarter banana clip, I hardly knew ye.

Thanks, Bobby. But I probably shouldn't. I don't think my boyfriend would like that very much.

Well, Carrie, your boyfriend kind of sounds like an overbearing cock, if passively listening to sound near another dude is enough to set him off. You don't even know who the concert is for yet. It could be the Stones, you know? Surely Stones tickets are worth a little tiff followed by a passenger seat hammy.

Come on, you know I can take much better care of you than he can.

This isn't the "No prob, maybe some other time" I would have expected from a nice, arts-loving guy like Bobby, but for all I know, he speaks the truth, so he can't be faulted.Carrie's boyfriend hasn't really bowled me over thusfar in the conversation, so I wouldn't be surprised.

Hey, he takes care of me. He does lots of nice things for me. He just bought me this dress.

Wait, that thing's a dress? There's even more of the same below the screen's edge? I thought this was taking place in a hospital examination room.

I also think a dress is an odd gift for a man to give a woman of this age. A "new dress" is sort of a Depression-era luxury, like saving all your butter rations to make a cake.

The "taking care of" I'm talking about, you wouldn't be wearing that dress.

Ah, gotcha. Bobby's a date rapist. My bad there, Carrie.

Though, to be honest, you were sort of asking for this line to be used. You could have just mentioned that your boyfriend fixes shit around the house, and Bobby would have been stumped at least long enough for you to yell "Fire!" or "Free samples!" or whatever it is we're supposed to call out nowadays so's you don't get Genovese'd in a back alley.

(Linda, a co-worker nearby, is disturbed by what she is hearing.)

Here's a thought, Linda--mind your own fucking business. And stop shopping at Carrie's House of Hausfrauity.

You know Bobby, I don't think you should be talking to me like this.

Way to leave yourself open to subjective interpretation there, Car. Let's say Bobby says "Well, that's a matter of opinion, and I think I should." Then where are you at? Not like you can call Linda in to mediate, she'd probably wet herself on the spot.

Come on, loosen up!

Yeah, I didn't think Bobby was much of a logician. But still, a simple "Fuck off, Bobby" probably would have sufficed.

Thanks for taking time to see me today, Jack. Actually, I'm really nervous talking to you about this. I don't want anyone to think I'm a trouble-maker or a whiner, but there's some stuff that's going on that really bothers me.

"Oh, hey, ummm, not to burden you or anything..I know you're busy, Jack, I can come back. When is good for you? I'm free through next week. You just let me know. It's super not a problem, I'm sorry to take any of your time at all. Actually, never mind, I'm sure it's fine. What? Oh, it's nothing...I'm just afraid that if I'm left alone with Bobby he's going to pin me down and threaten me with physical harm and then force himself into my body. But I'm probably just wrong, it's cool, I'll just deal. Forget I said anything."

Well, Carrie, what's the matter.

That's it, Jack. Play it cool. Don't play into her hysterics by using inflection.

Well, its Bobby. He's been hitting on me. Actually, I was very flattered at first. He's nice, good looking and all that, but I did tell him I have a boyfriend. Actually, we did go out one time, but it didn't work out. Anyway, I've asked him to leave me alone.

So NOW this comes out. Christ, Carrie, you're practically leaving a wet spot on the chair as you say this. You are the walking definition of "Actuallywedidgooutonetimebutitdidn'tworkoutAnywayI'veaskedhimtleave mealone" sometimes meaning "yes".

On yet another side note, did she change outfits in between being "harassed" and reporting it to Jack? I'm not sure what's more astounding here, that ruining a man's life required a costume change, or that you somehow thought it was a good idea to purchase two versions of that dress.

Well, that should be it.

Quite the optimist there, aren't you, Jack? How'd you get out of the Tet Offensive? Just tie a note to a rock that said "Knock it off, Charlie", and then hopped on a plane home?

I wish. Trouble is, he keeps hitting on me. And he sends me email with these jokes from the internet, a lot of 'em are really kinda gross. And the other day, he told me what he wanted to do to me, out of my dress. Now, I don't want Bobby to get in trouble, but I want this to stop.

Taking a bit of a poetic license with Bobby's dress comment, aren't you, Carrie? And I'm actually surprised that you even got that the guy didn't actually didn't want a 12-inch piano player so as to be offended.

Well Carrie, I appreciate you coming to see me. It's important this kind of behavior doesn't occur in the workplace. We can't tolerate it. As a matter of fact, its our duty to try and prevent it. I want to thank you for helping us do our job. Now, let me tell you what we're gonna do. First, I'm going to get all of the details from you. Next, I'll want to talk to all witnesses who might have seen this happen.

Suddenly, Jack has an awful lot to say. The email forwarding thing really struck a soft spot. Obviously, he's been burned by before.

Linda was in the breakroom the other day.

Linda can't even handle direct eye contact or dressing herself properly. You think she's gonna come to your rescue? The woman probably feels guilty when she accidentally wastes a post-it, you think she's gonna go state's witness?

Okay. Okay, I'll talk to her. Now we'll do this as discreetly and as confidentially as we possibly can. Also, if Bobby continues to do this, let me know. Finally, Carrie, its important you realize no one can retaliate against you for raising a complaint. If anyone says anything to you about this complaint, particularly Bobby, you let me know.

"And as a postscript, I should also qualify that I meant no one can legally retaliate against you within the confines of this office or within a courtroom. If you plan on leaving it ever, I'd consider purchasing some sort of firearm. But, again, in the breakroom, we've got your back."

Thank, Jack.

Look at those moony eyes, you little puppy dog. Jack would respond with "You're welcome", but he's a bit worried that you'd end his career, too.

More to come