Friday, August 10, 2012

Sensitivity Training

Every once in a while, the powers that be at SAT TV feel the need to give us some additional training in something.  One year it was in how to be more polite while answering the phone.  Another year it was a computer course.  This year it was sensitivity training.

The training course was conducted in the conference room.  A screen was set up and the facilitator showed us different slides.  There was a test afterward.

The course talked about all kinds of things.  I don't remember most of it.  The thing that struck a cord with me was when he discussed sexual harassment.  He went through all the verbal forms of harassment then talked about inappropriate touch.

Did you know an inappropriate touch is any touch?  I didn't either.  Turns out inappropriate touch includes things I though were innocent like touching some one's arm during conversation or giving them a hug.

A hug?  As he was talking, my mind went back to the day before.  I had given our receptionist Carol a hug.  Carol has been going through a tough time lately.  Her husband left her for a man and her children are moochers.  Anyway, I felt sorry for her -- she started to tear up -- so I reach over her desk and gave her a hug.

Carol hadn't actually given me permission to hug her.  I just did.  Realization stuck me.  I'm a sexual harasser.  I slumped in my chair.  Was anyone looking at me?  Did they know what a horrible person I am?  How will I ever be able to look anyone in the eye there again?


  1. Hahaha! Okay, I don't mean to be laughing at you, honestly I don't! But I imagine you pouting and saying this last paragraph in a silly voice. Sadly, a man hugging a woman in that sort of situation may be subject to cries of harassment from the right person. If you have a good (even working) relationship with someone though, good enough for them to be telling you something that makes them tear up, chances are they didn't think of it as sexual either. ;) No worries!

    Found you on MBC and followed. Would love a follow back - I don't often get the chance to read, most often follow through links, but I honestly *try* to read and any time I do I comment. :) You can find me at

  2. Fran,

    Take a deep breath, sexual harrassment is way more involved then just hugging. Did you have any "intentions" of flirting with Carol? I do not think so. You are fine.

    Dana :)

  3. Dana and Dalynn, thanks for your comments. This post is based a bit on reality. Several years ago, an employer required sensitivity training. In that course, we were told touching of any kind in regards to anyone -- male or female -- was harassment. I had that course in mind when writing this post.


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