Our newspaper wished to remind us that sexual harassment can be much more subtle and to that end printed a quiz used by the San Diego Unified School District to identify sexual harassment. For those of you who may have noticed that the educational field tends to attract people who are earnest and humorless, this test will only confirm your observations. Several of the "correct" answers are "Maybe," making it unlike any test I've ever taken. Despite this obstacle, the test can easily be passed by merely selecting the most boring, politically correct answer possible.
People are never going to get involved in stomping out the scourge of sexual harassment if it's no more interesting than drinking tap water out of a paper cup, so in an effort to add a much-needed jolt of zaniness to the crusade, I have prepared the following edited version of the San Diego test, which includes the correct answer, and a "fill in the blanks" essay answer, which I have thoughtfully filled in. Feel free to supply your own. In my quiz, there are no wrong answers. Maybe.
1.Michael and Soha travel on business together. Michael always asks Soha to share his room, but Soha always says no and Michael politely changes the subject. What should you do?
Correct answer: Put a stop to Michael's behavior. Soha has asked him to stop.
Fill In the Blanks Answer: Michael needs to be pulled aside and reminded of the Five Minute Rule, which is that a woman makes up her mind if she is ever going to have sex with a man within five minutes of meeting him. This may seem harsh until you consider the amount of time a man spends making up his mind if he is open to having sex with a woman he has just met (five seconds or even less, depending on breast visibility). The answer is always going to be no, Mike. Quit sniveling and go look for a hooker at the hotel bar.
2. Traditionally, the men in the department gather around the water cooler at break time, laughing loudly. Whenever a woman approaches, the laughter subsides, the guys look her up and down and say, “Sally, you look lovely today.” Should you do anything?
Correct Answer: We don’t know what the men are talking about, but it appears women are being excluded and mocked. You need to speak to the men.
Fill In the Blanks Answer: Tell Sally to wear a mens' bathrobe and pink flip-flops decorated with plastic daisies to work. If the men still say "Sally, you look lovely today," make sure they don't fly airplanes or operate heavy equipment for your company.
3. Which type of sexual harassment is this? Eric receives erotic emails, some with nude photos, in his office inbox from his girlfriend. He only opens and reads them during his lunch break.
Correct Answer: Hostile work environment.
Fill In the Blanks Answer: If you believe Eric is waiting until lunch to open his erotic pics, I've got an email from Nigeria I'm going to forward to you. He clicks on them and starts salivating as soon as they arrive in his inbox, instead of doing his job, which is staring at a spreadsheet with about 12,000 pointless entries on it. Wouldn't you? Fire him for lying.
3. Liz frequently makes personal phone calls to her friends. Her conversations are loud and generously sprinkled with sexually explicit language. Her co-workers cannot help but overhear. Can Liz’s behavior be interpreted as sexually harassing?
Correct Answer: Yes
Fill in the Blanks Answer: We've all been trapped into overhearing other people's unbelievably dreary and inarticulate cell phone conversations time and time again, especially if we work for the NSA. We should be grateful for Liz. Promote her, on the condition that she always puts anything really juicy on speakerphone.
4. The delivery person is male and good-looking. The female associates continually leer at him, make comments about his body, and tease and joke around with him. Is this sexual harassment?
Correct Answer: Yes
Fill in The Blanks Answer: No.
5. You are the boss, and an employee approaches you with a problem. After you explain you can’t guarantee absolute confidentiality, the employee refuses to tell you what is bothering her. What should you do then?
Correct Answer: Tell HR about the situation.
Fill In the Blanks Answer: Yup. Pass the buck, and go back to picking your fantasy football team, right after starting the wildest sexual rumor you can possibly think of regarding that employee. Serves her right for clamming up just when it was going to get interesting.
6. Emma and Kai work together in an isolated area. Emma approaches you, her manager, and says Kai has been rubbing against her and grabbing her waist. When you confront Kai, he denies the allegations, saying Emma resents his recent raise. What should you do?
Correct Answer: Conduct an investigation and go from there.
Fill In the Blanks Answer: Install hi-def security cameras over every inch of the workplace. You've always wanted to, anyway.
7. Eric has been written up on disciplinary action several times, and the company is preparing to fire him for poor performance. Before that happens, Eric makes a harassment claim against a co-worker. Should you proceed with firing Eric?
Correct Answer: No, this could be interpreted as retaliation against an alleged victim.
Fill In the Blanks Answer: Didn't we already fire Eric after Question 3?
The entire quiz can be found online at: http://www.utsandiego.com/utquizzes/2013/aug/sexual-harassment-training-quiz-san-diego/question/
You are actively encouraged to make up your own answers and post them in the comments.