Sexual Harassment and Hospitality

No, I am not going to subject you to a corporate video on what is okay in the workplace and No, I do not have a degree in Human Resources.

But I do have the common sense my momma gave me. And that, my friends, did give me everything I need to know. Every year, every company probably sends each associate the directive to take the most recent harassment training they provide.

And yet, we still have people behaving badly. Shocking, isn’t it? Hollywood is certainly in an uproar and it is understandable. There is an environmental change happening, and hopefully it is a change for the better. Why am I skeptical?

There have always been humans behaving badly, after all – we are human. So what do we do?

There is such a fine line between work and personal life, the line gets crossed. I know of many long term romances and marriages that happened because of romance in the workplace. With the workaholic tendencies some , well most of us have – it is natural to find common ground where you spend most of your waking hours.

But there is a difference between good, old fashioned romance and using your work position to gain advantages personally over another human. I am not going to make this a male / female thing, as there are a lot of definitions out there that I cannot and will not try to cover. So, as humans – here are some basics I like to stick to and most certainly try to pass on to my kids.

1.Compliments are okay, if you leave out body parts and explicit terminology. Example – “That is a great suit, good luck on your presentation today. You look professional and confident”.

Not “mmmmm, you look hot today” “That dress fits your body perfectly”.

We all may laugh a little when we are asked to role play how to better handle potential uncomfortable situations. It is an uncomfortable discussion to have. Think about it, if it sounds a little creepy, it probably is.

2. Approaching someone for more than workplace friendship… this is tough but not really. When our kids are growing up, getting crushes and dealing with potential rejection are a part of life. We do too, ideally much better now that we are adults. “No thank you” should be the most easy response and accepted as such. No long explanations, it should be to the point and lets the other person walk away and let it go.

3. Jokes, slang, when it all goes a little too far – we should recognize when we cross a line. And wait for it… this is huge….Apologize. Right then. No waiting.

It really does come down to treating each other with respect and Hospitality. Saying I am sorry counts more when we don’t need a supervisor or gasp – a judge to make us “do the right thing”.

From your fellow human,


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