at an office party. He is seated in a chair and you are standing nearby, looking in his direction. He points to one knee and says “This is Thanksgiving.” He points to the other knee and says, “This is Christmas.” Then he asks, “Why not visit me between the holidays?”
The above was part of a mandatory seminar LBL attended last week on “ Sexual Harassment in the Workplace” compliments of her company. In case you are thinking that the little story LBL has just detailed was merely one rollicking moment in a whole series of X-rated offerings, be assured that this story was the high point of lasciviousness, compared to the rest of the seminar.
The point of the above story was “If this happened to you, what would you do?” Since the overwhelming gender in the room was female, and, since the average age was what is now commonly being labeled “the young old,” one might assume that the overwhelming response to this hypothetical situation of the leg-spread man might be to double-up laughing until pee ran down their own legs. But, alas, there was no such levity in the room.
You might wonder why they were taking this course. That’s not to say that sexual harassment isn’t a very serious topic, indeed. But if you combined all of their years in the business and strung them end to end backward, you’d probably see Ptolomy II holding the beginning of the line. Surely, none of hem would have gotten this far in the business if they didn’t possess a keen insight into human behavior, combined with an uncanny ability to recognize a drunk when they saw one.
The answer is: liability. In other words, Just in case. Lawyers are like the Boy Scouts. They like to be prepared. Unlike Boy Scouts, lawyers make a lot of money being prepared. Mostly, they prepare people to be safe from other lawyers. Legally, the birth of sexual harassment occurred in 1976. The seminar was created so that, in the highly unlikely event someone might present one of them with a lawsuit accusing them of sexual harassment, their company attorney would be able to say that the company tried to train everyone about correct behavior, but maybe this one person must have fallen asleep during the session. So, anyway, they all took the seminar.
Last night they went to the home of friends, Chris and Suzette, for a Super Bowl viewing. It wasn’t a party because Chris is from Pittsburgh and was entirely too serious about the whole thing to have had any fun. The women stayed upstairs, talking about topics other than football. One was dating horror stories when they were younger. Suzette said when she was growing up, her mom always gave her and her sister the following advice whenever they were off to go to a dance: “Keep your legs together and think of God.”
Easy and direct. Applicable to both sexes. And pretty much the pre-1976 version of a Sexual Harassment Workshop.