Being both a “slave to the Man” and a “corporate whore,” i.e. I work for a Fortune 500 company, I was required to attend a mandatory “Diversity-Chris’s Company’s Competitive Advantage” training session. Yes ladies and gentlemen, not only is it both politically correct and smart to be accepting of diversity around us, it’s also profitable! I figured that I’d share with the readers of our website just a few things learned yesterday about my class, all for the simple reason that I’m a sadist, and if you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance that you might be a masochist of the highest quality.
The class started off with our instructor asking us “Does anybody know what diversity is?” My attempt to keep a low profile was nearly blown by my lust to answer the question with a quote from the movie “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”, a favorite around the SeriouslyGuys HQ. Luckily, covert desire won out over “an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.”
Surprisingly enough, diversity is not just about the color of your skin or where you come from, but it also encompasses whether you have a birth canal(but not if you don’t), how much time that you’ve worked for my company, those that are adopted, people who get emotional, introverts, and the ratio of exposed tattoos to oxygen.
Diversity also covers the above mentioned’s money.
At one point, we were asked how much excluding coworkers costs our company. The actual answer probably would have produced a much stronger reaction had we been given our notes covering the entire training session sometime after this question was asked instead of having them waiting for us.
Around the halfway point, we were given an exercise on “exclusion versus inclusion” via admission into an imaginary picnic based on what you offered to bring to the picnic. Some people that weren’t allowed to come to the picnic offered to bring Jagermeister, Absolut, and Kool Aid (Oh yeah!). The lessons learned from this exercise: our instructor has no taste and people that are excluded are drunks.
Later on during the class, we were shown a video from the sixties of an ABC newsbroadcast called “Eye of the Storm.” The rather disturbing attempts by an Iowa teacher to teach diversity to her class of third graders were witnessed in said video. What may have been even more disturbing was the napkin worn on the woman’s dress, later informed to me by one of my coworkers that it was actually part of her blouse. Sadly, the ratio of potatoes to residents was still not given to me. The search continues.
The final part of session began with concept of “Stop, Drop, and Roll,” along with our instructor imparting to us “Remember, the next time that you get in a heated argument, remember what Smokey the Bear says.” Personally, I’m still trying to figure out what preventing forest fires has to do with diversity. The forest people of Appalachia, perhaps?
And there you go, diversity in corporate America and you! It’s most assuredly a profitable tract for businesses, as was explained to us. I’d let you all in on that bit of info, but I’m still trying to bleach the image of middle aged women wearing horn rimmed glasses and napkins on their blouses out of my head.