Friday, September 23, 2005

This morning I took an online harassment training course. I learned that you're not allowed to make comments about someone in regards to any of their "Protected" attributes. Here's the list of what constitutes "Protected":
  • Sexual harassment
  • Race or color
  • Religious creed
  • National Origin or Ancestry
  • Physical disability, Mental Disability, Medical Condition
  • Marital or Pregnancy Status
  • Sex or Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Opposition to Unlawful Harassment
This means that I can't mock my coworkers for being sexy, or tan, or agnostic, or caucasian, or psychotic, or married, or male, or old, or straight, or...uh...opposed to unlawful harassment.

The online course did a fine job of helping me identify all these ways in which I should shut my big yapper. Sadly, since taking this course, I've had little to say. What's left? "Hey, coworker. Nice....day! It's a nice goddamn darn day."

Screw that.

So, I've scrutinized the list, trying to figure out what's left. Where are the loopholes? I think it comes down to these:

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

As long as I'm not commenting on some aspect of their appearance that is derived from a medical condition, or could be misconstrued as sexual, I'm good here. For example:

"Nice work, baldy!"

"Look out for that ceiling, tall guy! Ha ha!" (Note: this is a zinger!)

"Whoa! You are UGLY!"

As long as they aren't medically ugly, I think that's safe. Phew!


POLITICS

Why this is off the list, I don't know, but apparently it's fair game.

"Wait wait wait! Tell me again how you thought it was a good idea to vote for a crappy action movie star for governor! That NEVER gets old!"

"Your promotion is dependent upon your opinion of abortion."

This is a gold mine.


STUPIDITY

As long as the stupid person doesn't suffer from a diagnosed disability, this is acceptable territory. I'll be going for the jugular.

"Although I respect your sexual orientation, religion, and opposition to unlawful harassment, YOU ARE ONE STUPID ASSHOLE! YOU'RE LIKE A BLACK HOLE OF SMARTS, SUCKING ALL THE INTELLIGENCE OUT OF THE ROOM!" (I've used this one twice today already!)


HATRED

No rule against hating somebody.

"I hate you."

See? Sometimes the simple answer is the best one.


The list really goes on. Incompetence, societal standing, odor: these are all acceptable conversational topics. I could probably list many more.

Suddenly, I'm smiling again. Life is good.

2 comments:

Elmo Oxygen said...

This is one of the funniest and most subversively insightful things I've read in a while -- not to mention informative and useful.

Thanks for the tips, Mike! There is a clinic near my house for treatment of the medically ugly, so I'll have to be careful with that one, but otherwise I am looking forward to trying out your suggestions!

Mike said...

Elmo, I'm so pleased you found my post to be informative. If I aim for one thing in this blog, it's to be informative. Let me know how the tips work out for you!