This scenario takes place at a college campus among a group of

| October 22, 2018

This scenario takes place at a college campus
among a group of student employees. We take a look at the interaction
among a few employees and the proper approach to take when the behavior
of some employees is deemed inappropriate by another employee.

Your Assignment

You are a student employee who overhears conversations among your
coworkers. While on break, two of your male coworkers usually go off by
themselves and smoke a cigarette. These recently hired coworkers are in
their first semester and have just graduated from high school. Sometimes
you overhear bits and pieces of their conversations. You are concerned
that they regularly have conversations that are inappropriate for the
workplace. You have overheard these coworkers making crude sexual
references about other employees, telling sexist jokes, and sharing
images and graphics of a sexist nature on their cell phones. You seek
advice on how to handle the situation from others at your workplace.

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You need to decide if you want to file a formal complaint. If you do,
the matter will be investigated. If what you say can be substantiated
then the young men will be reprimanded. That usually results in their
employment being terminated and their student loans/financial aid may be
in put in jeopardy.
Female Businesswoman
Shirley Wright
Manager of Student Employees
I don’t care what your boss says; this is inappropriate behavior for the
workplace, even if they are on break. They should learn to stop this
kind of behavior before they graduate. It’s the sort of thing that could
get you fired in the real world. If I were you, I would, informally,
have a word with them and tell them that I was offended. Once they have
been informed that they offended someone, they may decide to change
their behavior on their own.
Business Man
Ron DesVue
30-year-old veteran, student and classmate
Hey, you got a smart phone, don’t you? First thing I’d do is record
their conversation on my phone. Don’t let them know you’re recording it.
The next time they have one of those conversations tell them that you
find it offensive and ask them to stop it. If they refuse or give you a
hard time, tell them that you have a recording of their sexist comments
and you’ll take it to the boss. They don’t need to know how the boss
feels; the threat should be good enough to get them to stop, at least
when you are around.
Business Man
Hugh Jim Bissell
Close friend since high school and current classmate
Let’s not turn this into a federal case. I’d say as long as they’re
having these conversations in private, among themselves then it’s not
any of your business. After all, boys will be boys. These are young,
single men, and this is a way that they bond, work out frustrations, and
blow off steam. Look, it’s not like they’re making racist remarks. In
that case, I definitely go straight to the boss, even higher up the
chain of command, if I needed to. After all, who hasn’t told a dirty
joke now and then? As long as they keep it on the down low, it’s no big
Female Businesswoman
Frieda Choose
Close friend and classmate

You Decide
Activity or Assignment

This assignment covers TCO 6 in terms of interaction among groups and TCO 4 in terms of the meaning of culture within society.

In a 500-word (minimum) essay, using the concepts that you learned from
this week’s readings analyze the different ways that sexist behavior is
handled in the formal and informal bureaucracy. The following questions
should answered in the essay.

The following questions should be answered in the essay.

Does Shirley Wright’s comment make you more or less likely to file a
formal complaint? Do you agree with the likely punishment? If not, what
alternative punishment would you suggest?
Do you agree with Ron DesVue’s perspective where he says you should speak to the individuals? Why or why not?
Do you agree or disagree with Hugh Jim Bissell on using your smart phone to make a recording? Why or why not?
Should you take Frieda Choose’s advice that “boys will be boys,” and
that there is a general expectation that men will occasionally behave
badly, and so long as the behavior is kept between privately, it should
be ignored? Why do you think she distinguishes between sexist remarks
and racist remarks? Explain your answer.
Is there a problem with the organization in the scenario above? If so,
what should be done to provide a long-term solution to the problem?

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