Archive for the ‘Workplace Disputes’ Category

Service of Why Now? Does Today’s Indignation & Punishment of Sexual Harassment & Assault Have Legs?

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

    Photo: dailybeast.com

 

The namesake furniture for which Jay Wellingdon Couch is known was invented in 1895 but the proverbial casting couch had been around for many years before. So why, after some well publicized, [and millions of sub-rosa], sexual harassment and assault instances that caused momentary ripples of disdain for years, are corporations and organizations jumping on board the “do-the-right-thing” train now?

Anita Hill’s accusations of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, when he was being vetted for his job, had little resonance in workplaces nationwide. Yet suddenly we see mass firings: of Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, many at Uber and Amazon’s head of its entertainment studio, Roy Price.

Roy Price, left, & Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Photo: adweek.com

According to Ben Fritz and Joe Flint in “Amazon Suspends Head of Its Studio,” in The Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Price’s suspension comes soon after a female producer went public about a 2015 sexual-harassment complaint she made against him and after actress Rose McGowan unleashed a storm of criticism at the company for being in business with Mr. Weinstein, the former Weinstein Co. co-chairman who was ousted over the weekend amid numerous allegations of sexual harassment.” So what did Amazon do about the female producer’s complaint between 2015 and now?

The king of sexual harassment appears to be Harvey Weinstein who was allegedly busy casting his movies and for his enjoyment for some 30 years. I can’t put my finger on why it took so long for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Producers Guild of America to recognize something its board members must have known about for eons, waiting until just now to eject Mr. W. from its memberships. Surely word about the reputation of a fellow such as Mr. W gets around.

Photo: sacsconsulting.com

There’s a “Me too” initiative on Facebook where women are posting the following: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” I wonder: While the objective may be honorable, is there a twinge of a boast associated with this initiative? Is the implication that a woman isn’t/wasn’t attractive if she doesn’t join in or admit to having been harassed or assaulted?

The injury, pain, and anxiety for the harassed and assaulted women is no more or less today than before. So it has to be something about today that’s different.

Is the indignation a flash in the pan or does it have legs? Will it blow over just as fury over gun violence does after mass murders of innocent victims? Huffing and puffing galore with “hearts and prayers,” for victims and their families and yet nothing is done to close down machine gun sales. Do you think that the entertainment industry and marketers of products and services finally recognize the economic power of women? Or is something else afoot?

Photo: bigthink.com

Service of Office Temperature

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Office thermostat

Sue Shellenbarger’s Wall Street Journal article rang so many bells that I had to toss out all plans for other topics and cover “Let the Office Thermostat Wars Begin: In summer air-conditioning season, nothing is more divisive than where to set the temperature; dummy stats and wading pools.

My office is in a space shared by many businesses, but clashes over heat and cold are just the same because temperatures vary from room to room and by nature, some like it hot and others not. Bet this conversation takes place in many a home or shared dorm room as well.

Some companies install fake thermostats. “Research shows office workers perform best when they have control over their physical environment,” [even if they don’t]. And if they work at their ideal temperature, their “work memory” is at its peak.

Freezing in officeDue to their slower metabolic rates, reported Shellenbarger, women generally prefer warmer temperatures, from a 2015 study in Nature Climate Change. The goal of building managers is to hit a temperature between 68 and 74 degrees, she wrote.

“Never mind messy desks, noisy colleagues and smelly office kitchens. No workplace dispute is as divisive as where to set the office thermostat. Some 3 in 5 employees tamper with the thermostat without asking colleagues, according to a 2015 survey of 301 employees by Survey Sampling International for OpenWorks, a Phoenix commercial-cleaning company.”

Tape on office vent turnedSome tape cardboard over air vents, she writes, calling such a step a guerilla tactic. Mine is the coldest office so I have done this [photo at left]. It was necessary. Either I’d be a block of ice or if I lowered the temperature so I could remove a layer, we might very well hear officemates crash to the floor in dead faints from the heat.

Shellenbarger mentioned a seven year old survey of 452 facility mangers who shared the temperature complaints they parry. She wrote “3 in 5 participants use personal fans or heaters or don lap blankets and fingerless gloves. Some employees stay cool by placing a ‘small wading pool under the desk to ‘paddle’ their feet,’ one participant wrote.” I stash a winter sweater in mine.

One company installed a Comfy smartphone app in which employees select to warm or cool their spaces or note that they are “comfy.” If at least two people in a section have the same request within a 10 minute period, they can expect 10 minutes of cool or hot air. Another app, CrowdComfort, lets employees alert the facilities manager immediately so he/she can regulate temperatures, fix broken AC units or do the necessary to restore comfort.

Is the temperature where you work or live to your liking? How do you deal when it’s either too cold or too hot?

 Hot dog with fan

 

 

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