How NOT To Talk In The Workplace

Just like Google, my company has a range of perspectives on what a socio-culturally appropriate conversation is -- you know, PC -- and what is "I can't believe you said that out loud!" But George H. Simpson Communications is in fact highly inclusive and tolerant of every point of view, especially since they are all mine anyway.

Not that it hasn't been entirely necessary to issue warnings for opinions that have inched up to the edge of the PC cliff -- from which there is no return. 

Just last week, I issued a memo to the staff about someone in engineering who thinks that our training program for the exercise-deprived, intersexuals,dimorphists, and vertically challenged should be broadened to included privileged white males, since they make up a majority of the company.

My memo read in part: "If you are inclined to write this kind of dialectic diatribe, it shows me that you have too much time on your hands, so I am moving up the UX deadline by three weeks."



Naturally, someone else on the staff felt threatened by my language, calling it macro-aggressive and concluding I had created an "unsafe environment."

So I fired her.

I think the problem is that there are such a diverse range of perspectives running amuck in my head that there are bound to be conflicts from time to time -- and yes, occasionally, some hurt feelings.

We used to have a chief PC officer, but he left after finding out he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. It wasn't a job for someone of the male persuasion anyway, since it required a good deal of empathy -- but according to the HR department, I had to hire him or be sued for religeo-ethno discrimination. Just shows you are better off following your instincts no matter how religeo-ethno-deficient someone may be.

The economically maximized white males say we have created an "environment of fear and tentativeness" because they have to constantly stop themselves and calculate if there is anyone in the company (or outside who might get it via email) who might be offended by one of their jokes. So we launched a series of sensitivity training sessions to teach them the difference between Red Skelton and Lenny Bruce. Everyone under 50 was completely lost.

We tried launching a few zero-tolerance policies, but within six months we had to replace 98% of the workforce. But I confess it was fun to interview people -- especially the ones with the facial tattoos and piercings who think those things didn't matter to me -- and those who tried to talk about their prior work experience in terms that strained to ensure that nothing negative was said about anyone or anything. Didn't hire ANY of them.

I confess that trying to keep up with the most "modern' way of how to describe different people so it doesn't offend them is just exhausting. Perhaps because many of the emerging PC terms only obfuscate and make listeners wonder what and who in the hell I am talking about.

But since it it's all in my head anyway, I don't really care.

Memo to self: Fire that guy.

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