Friday, April 13, 2007

Religion, Anatomy and Politics

This post is about outrage. The first thing I'm outraged about pertains to two news stories that were back to back on Morning Edition (National Public Radio) yesterday. The first one was fairly endless. It concerned the show American Idol and this talentless contestant Sanjaya, who for some reason was still in the running. They interviewed all these different people who analyzed Sanjaya and what he and the show meant to pop culture and talked about how Howard Stern is trying to bring down American Idol by getting everyone to vote for him and blah blah blah.

I don't watch American Idol (except for the first three when all the freaks try out and embarrass themselves. I enjoy that) so I didn't really give a shit about this story, though I thought that they were delving a little deeper than necessary.

Then I heard what came after. As most of you know and all of you SHOULD know, Kurt Vonnegut died this week at the age of 84. His story followed Sanjaya's and was...get this...a third of the length. They played some snippets of interviews...mentioned his most famous novel and then moved on. Apparently Sanjaya is more important to the people than one of the last century's best authors ever. I was steamed.

I got called into the HR office yesterday. Apparently my group has been offending someone with our choices of topics. There were no specifics given. No instance pointed out. Just three groups of things that I have to tell my team not to bring up out loud anymore: Religion, Anatomy and Politics. I got pretty angry. In the 3+ years that I've worked here, we've always had an open forum to pretty much say what we want. We've had some fantastic debates in the room, always respecting each other's points of views and being able to laugh at anything. It was really one of the biggest perks about working here...believe me, there aren't many.

But there's been a lot of turnover lately, and new blood has entered the area. We all very easily narrowed it down to one new guy that I'm having trouble trying not to hate. Every time I see him now I want to shoot daggers at his too-pansy-to-email-me-about-being-offended ass with my hate-filled eyes.

I let HR know that giving us such subjective topics with no reference to anything specific not only makes it difficult to know what might have inspired the offense, but that it will be virtually impossible to know what not to say in the future. They acknowledged this, but said the person gave no specifics. Asshole. So now we're all paranoid about what we say.

Or at least we were yesterday. By 9:30 this morning, I'd already accidentally said "ass" out loud and someone else made fun of "firey pits of hell". Oops. You see what I mean, though? Do those things count as offensive?

I think I know what the first two issues may have been. We have a client that is a Christian retailer and their messages often have some hilarious products in them. Sometimes we read the descriptions out loud and laugh. So that's one.

Not long ago, I was reading aloud the blog of a certain Australian who had an article about an anti-rape device developed in South Africa that would essentially put little teeth in the penis of the assailant. I said the word "penis" out loud probably twice. So my guess is that's where the "anatomy" offense occurred. I guess correct medical terms for anatomy are offensive.

And the politics? Well, we're all pretty left leaning back here for the most part. That's common knowledge. I think we debated about Giuliani once. Hmmmm.

Those are the only occasions I can think of. Other than the fact that I swear like a sailor all the time. But everyone does. And this new guy...he does indeed have the essence of Catholicism about him...and he wears his glasses at the end of his nose. Asshole.

Have I mentioned that I hate this place? Happy Friday. I have something to confess to you all next week.

Someone has an entire coconut in the office refridgerator. It's been there for days.

18 keep(s) me blogging:

Macoosh said...

ooooh cliffhanger into next week: i wanna know what you're going to confess!!!! was the heart egg/no smile a proposal from kansas? are you already married? have you had 7 kids and 4 dogs yet?

i won't be back till tues so i'll be in suspense forever. suck.

p.s. glasses-on-nose-co-worker sucks.

Laura said...

For how many EONS have I been telling you that you need to get OUT of that place??? I'd hate to see it come to you getting fired, but you know what, maybe if that's what it takes for you to get you motivated, then that's not necessarily a bad thing. Just about anything is better than that job. Seriously, you gotta get out of that place. If it's the last thing you ever do. Eric Burden don't lie.

Laura said...

The little Spelling Nazi in me has to add: Refrigerator. No "D". Fridge. "D". Don't ask me why, I don't make the spelling rules, I just point them out to piss people off.

Also, that should have been Eric Burdon of the Animals. My bad.

The Unemployed One said...

That comment is funny, coming from Laura, though. I always figured that she didn't like you much, since she got you sucked in to the company in the first place.

But getting out is a good idea, nonetheless.

apterix55 said...

Religion, Anatomy and Politics.. I would also include Shoes among the prohibited topics. That leaves Sports; hey, what could be controversial about discussing knappy-headed ho's throwing their balls around?

Regarding Kurt, have you watched "Slaughterhouse 5" yet?? Honor the man.. watch it.

Laura said...

Unemployed1: I know, believe me, the irony is not lost on me. I never imagined she would want to stay for all that long, it was meant to be a "step" on the way to other things. Of course, I was there way longer than I imagined I would be too. The place is like Guantanamo--you're tortured on a daily basis and you don't know why the hell you're there.

yinyang said...

Anatomy, Religion, Politics... but, what interesting topics are left? New guy should lighten up, or find another job. :P

Oh, and I don't know if I've commented here before, so hi!

AxAtlas said...

Religion, Anatomy, Politics:
"Rap is only one end of a whole spectrum of verbal play and virtuosity. Rap is geared for aural pleasure." - Rita Dove

The Future said...

Welcome to corporate America. Of course, you've only been in semi- or pseudo corporate America up until now. The walls are seriously closing in, just in case you didn't recognize it, this is your sign to GET THE HELL OUT!!!

P. S. They don't make 'em like Vonnegut anymore.

Sarah said...

I've missed reading your blog. Been too stinkin' busy. I'm glad to be back.
I have an idea for you for topics. Cheese. You can't go wrong with that one and the subtopics are endless. Fromage...
Oh, and can't wait to find out the confession.

Orhan Kahn said...

I apologiuse for being the bud of your troubles. Some people, gawd! Stab them in the eyes with pens.

I do think that whole story with Sanjaya and Howard Stern is very amusing. You Americans are whacky people.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Where's my comment gone? Bloody Blogger. Oh. I'm not banned, am I?

Well the first one was rather dull and along the lines of I too listened to the same show on NPR and grumbled to the Problem Husband about it. He grumbled back this time.

What's the 'fession, then? Correct ne if I'm wrong but my clock says it's now next week.

Jill said...

penis penis penis penis

Kara said...

the only comment i'm replying to is jill's because it wins the secret comment contest - well done, jill.

that was my reply.

Kevin said...

The penis. I suppose I could understand someone's complaint if you were talking about the penis you had last night or maybe wondering about the typical difference in size betwen an erect penis and a flacid penis. But simply quoting THAT article? Ridiculous. Or maybe you can't even say re-DICK-you-lus. Sigh.


Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Haha! I pondered penises for a while and then Googled it (them?) and found some in Breakfast of Champions which I haven't read. I wish the penis bits hadn't been in Breakfast of Champions. Any other Vonnegut novel, fine but penises do not properly belong in anyone's breakfast, champion or no.

Sarah said...

So, this is quite the's Tuesday dude.

slaghammer said...

Shit! I should have read your posts in the order they were posted. Now I already know what the big secret is. Shit, shit, shit, penis.