I survived Day One. Now, my quick impressions of Day Two of training the employees — including police officers — of a small city about avoiding sexual harassment:
1. The training was held in a city-owned community hall in a charming kid's park. Just as I started my morning presentation, I glanced out the window out of the corner of my eye and saw a large, predatory-looking beast moving towards several children. I recoiled. On a closer look, the predatory beast proved to be the silhouette of a goat painted on the wall next to the swing set.
I think my credibility took just a little hit there.
2. Before training supervisory employees today, I talked to one of the high officials in the city and mentioned that yesterday's training had yielded stories suggesting that supervisors had reacted very poorly to getting reports of sexual harassment in the city. The city official told me he wanted me to be tough on the supervisors today.
Official: So when you do this training, I want you to be hard on them. Take no prisoners. Make it clear when they have done stupid things.
Official: Can you really read them the riot act? Tell them what you really think?
Me: Yes. Yes. Oh, yes.
Official: You're . . . trembling.
Me: I'm just so happy.
3. Discovery: When confronted with examples of how they have actually reacted to harassment reports, with their own language quoted back to them, supervisors can visibly shrink in their seats. I have not recently had that much fun standing up.
I trained cops in the afternoon. Some observations:
4. Cops don't like it when you tell them it is potentially problematical for them to post porn all over their locker rooms.
5. They especially don't like it when you ask them if they'd be cool with lots of gay porn all over their locker room.
6. Some cops think that civilization as we know if will end, and the life of the mind will die, if they can't greet each other by shouting "HEY YOU FAGGOT HOW YOU DOING TODAY," or explain to each other how drinking decaf makes it likely that you are a bottom.
7. Cops don't like it if, in the course of discussing #6 above, you ask if they would be cool with me calling their mother a big dyke, should I ever meet their mothers, and even assuming that their mothers are not, technically, big dykes.
8. Sarcasm by flabby pasty Dockers-wearing lawyers makes cops twitchy.
I love my job.
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