One simple rule for dating one's coworkers...

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Explorer, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    I thought a recent Wall Street Journal article on the workplace had an incredibly simple rule which prevents misunderstandings, whether genuine or deliberate. The rule is used at workplaces of Facebook and Alphabet (Google's parent).

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/can-you-still-date-a-co-worker-well-its-complicated-1517913001

    This removes so much of the ambiguity claimed by those who say all interaction is barred in their eyes. A dating request can be met with either a yes (including an affirmative request for a raincheck), or a no.

    Does anyone really have an issue with a dating request needing to be a two-way street? If so, why do *you* think pestering someone, even if they don't request a raincheck?
     
  2. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Seems fair to me. No blanket bans on asking someone out, which is unrealistic. And it lets either party decline politely. Basically “clear” social rules for anyone who can’t take a fucking hint.
     
  3. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Dread-I Master Contributor

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    I thought that was basically already how a lot of ppl handle things... As they watch a loud obnoxious person do the opposite and somehow succeed...

    This is a truly superfluous rule for ppl too afraid to say what they feel.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  4. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Well, the rule doesn't give people courage if they lack it, but it does prevent people from being successfully harassed by a loud, obnoxious person....
     
  5. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Dread-I Master Contributor

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    I'll give you that. I simply feel that if it were more common to be assertive and speak one's mind, rules of this nature need not even be considered. Not that what I propose fixes anything universally but this solution basically amounts to a bandaid.
     
  6. Petar Bogdanov

    Petar Bogdanov SS.org Regular

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    It removes the ability to say "maybe", because it treats people like children who can't say "no". To be fair, they probably can't, because they've been told they're fragile little flowers, as opposed to the tough and cunning apex predators that they really are.
     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    My subscription to WSJ ran out, so I can't see the article. My question is "or else what, it's sexual harrasssment?"

    If so, I call shenanigans. I'm perfectly okay with there being a rule not to ask out a subordinate, but we cannot equate asking a person out on a date to be equally inappropriate as saying something personally demeaning to a coworker, or especially sexual assault. If you make the world monochrome, people will fight it every step.
     
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  8. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    For people with half decent social skills that might actually work. The problem is the overly persistent people who lack social awareness will still pursue that person since they didn't get a definitive answer. It's far easier to just say straight up that they're not interested instead of skirting around it with subtlety. Part of effective communication is saying exactly what you mean and if need be clarifying to make sure the other party understands.
     
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  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    So, what would be the problem with expecting a "no" to be a "no?"

    You know, the best way to reinforce "no means no" is to actually use the word "no" when you mean "no."

    So, first off, we could say "avoid romantic pursuits with coworkers," right off the bat, but we know that's not going to happen in practice, because people are acknowledged to not really have any base level of control over their romantic urges, but then, the next place we go is to ask once and only once, and then any answer that is not "yes" or "not in that specific instance but definitely another time," that the pursuit be immediately terminated. I'm sorry to be the ever-nay-sayer, but the same logic applies here. I don't think people, in general, are going to be able to be expected to follow that norm, unless they have enough self-control to avoid the situation in the first place anyway.

    I like the video with the tea analogy, so let's apply the same technique here:

    A: "Would you like to go out with me?"
    B: "Umm, well, uh... I have to wash my hair"
    A: "Oh, what about next week instead?"
    B: "Hmm, I'll have to check my calendar, but I have a lot going on next week"
    A: "Oh..."

    TWO WEEKS LATER

    A: "Would you like to go out with me?"
    B: "How dare you?! That's sexual harassment, because you already asked me!!!"

    ANALOGY TIME

    A: "Would you like a cup of tea?"
    B: "Umm, well, uh... I have a mint in my mouth right now"
    A: "Oh, what about five minutes from now?"
    B: "Hmm, I don't know, I might still have the taste of mint in my mouth from before"
    A: "Oh..."

    THE NEXT DAY

    A: "Would you like a cup of tea?"
    B: "How dare you?! That's harassment, because you asked me about wanting tea yesterday!!!"

    I think it sounds rather silly.

    Why not:

    A: "Would you like to go out with me?"
    B: "No"

    Akin to:

    A: "Would you like a cup of tea?"
    B: "No"

    Seems pretty unambiguous to me. Any follow up from "A" of "why not" or similar would clearly be pushing it. Maybe B expects A to go there, and wants to avoid a confrontation, but being unclear in order to avoid a confrontation is really not an effective strategy long term, so, there would be no reason to expect lack of clarity in communication to have any long term positive effects on anything.
     
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  10. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Well, the person being asked out recieved the same HR presentation, so if there is interest, they can let the asker know that.

    Thinking about this for just a moment, someone might be hesitant to piss off a coworker, especially one who is ready to lash out.

    Just a thought... I suspect a reasonable person think insisting that a potential dating partner adhere to rules in formulating a proper rejection is a red flag, especially when talking about a workplace.

    Incidentally, workplace rules can be enforced without needing to be defined as examples of X, Y and Z. If the rules spell out that one only gets one chance to ask out a coworker in the absence of an unambiguous positive response, then breaking that rule is sufficient to bring on the penalty, regardless of how the rule-breaker might want to discuss into what category the broken rule might fit. It's just not part of the discussion.

    ----

    Again, if the person being asked says yes, then mission accomplished.

    If someone feels that having barriers to asking a coworker out multiple times, even if the coworker doesn't say yes, would mean they won't work there, then there are clearly employment priorities in play for that person which are hilariously beyond salary, hours and benefits. That's their right, but it's still hilarious.
     
  11. blacai

    blacai SS.org Regular

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    Interesting... I am 32yo and I work for a Marketing Company with more than 250 employees, where around 70% are women. I am sorry, but quite hard not to be temped to ask co-workers to go out, even when it is not flirting, just because "we are young" and we want to meet and know people.
    In this company there were born a couple of babys between co-workers and not few people got married, so well, maybe it is German society, but here it is fair to try out, always accepting the "no". In that sense, too many young girls are still passive and they want men to take the step.
     
  12. Anquished

    Anquished hhnice!

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    I never understood why you'd want to date a coworker. Surely if it goes bad and you split, you then have to see their face everyday at work? If its a clean mutual split then sure, but that doesn't always happen. :lol:

    Still, each to their own I suppose!
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    So 100% of people behave 100% rationally 100% of the time, as long as they've had the appropriate training? Wat.

    Whoah there. This is a wayyy deeper problem than the precarious situations involved in workplace dating. I'm sorry, but if my coworker is about to snap and lash out, then that's the issue worth addressing until that's cleared up.

    I think that expecting a person to behave responsibly or reasonably is a stretch at any rate nowadays, but, really, if I'm to be a reasonable person, then I would hope that the person with whom I would wish to initiate a romantic relationship would be able to extend me such courtesy as this. Obviously if the person does not feel the same way, it really doesn't mater beyond the point of rejection anyway. But why is it too much to ask for honesty?

    I mean, this is the problem with our stupid culture in the very first place. It's okay to be dishonest. Fuck that. Be real with me. This is a real world with real life and real death. If you want not to sugar coat things for me, then I welcome it, but when people sugar coat the message so much that the message gets entirely lost, or people who are willing to flat out lie to my face in order to avoid a confrontation, it actually just causes a confrontation later on. I'm not sure why the concept isn't universal - be upfront with people and tell them the truth, even when it gets ugly, and people will have more respect for what you say to them / lie to people all of the damn time to avoid hurting their feelings and no one will give a damn about what you have to say.

    Are you saying that a person transgressing a rule shall be punished arbitrarily? I think not, but what are you saying?

    Rules are rules, yes. But if a rule is unclear or stupid, then maybe we need a better rule. When the better rule is not much better, why not continue to improve the rule?

    As long as this is simply a workplace policy, and we are not talking about expanding it to a legal policy, then I see no issues at all with that. The problem is that if 1000 people get fired over this policy, I guarantee that at least one case will lead to a lawsuit or more.

    As I stated, the article is behind a paywall for me, and I don't care to spend the $2 or whatever to read it unless I know what kind of information is inside it.

    My biggest issue with sexual harassment in general is that it is very nebulously defined. The current laws are almost all a list of specific examples of what is sexual harassment, sometimes a list of examples that are not sexual harassment, and then a vague blanket statement at the end of the law.

    At any rate, one consistent thing from a legal standpoint is the "repetitive behaviour" aspect, which seems to be whence this whole "you can ask once but not twice" policy stems. As nice as it is to make this cut and dried, here's an extreme example where this policy could be used to get someone fired by manipulation.

    A: "Do you want to go to the coffee shop across the street after you are done with that file?"
    This might mean go out romantically, or it might mean go discuss some business. Clearly ambiguous.
    B: "What?"
    Maybe B has an agenda. Maybe B doesn't even care what A's intentions are, but wants to "lash out" as you say.
    A: "Do you want to go to the coffee shop across the street after you are done with that file?"
    B: "That's sexual harassment. You asked me out twice."

    Yes, extreme case, but what in the rules stops A from being fired at this juncture?

    Herein lies most of the trouble with sexual harassment policies in general. They are usually well-intentioned, but extremely unclear, and often tonedeaf to modern cultural norms. This isn't 1960, when a man would approach a woman with romantic interest, make some gesture to make abundantly clear his intentions, and then the woman would give him a definitive answer. Most likely a romantic situation in 2018 comes about gradually out of a friendly situation, or else through some sort of mobile app. In the former case, the "asking [someone] out" part isn't even really a thing that happens anymore. In the latter case, a coworker might swipe their phone inappropriately before realizing their potential date works at the same company.

    I'm not saying this policy is irrelevant, but I am trying to say that, from what little I know about it, it seems potentially heavily flawed.

    On the flip side, I feel that these vague things are very important in today's culture to clear up. We are living in a time when someone (in this case a public figure) was recently fired for, from all we have heard publicly so far, touching a coworker's shoulder, and it was considered sexual harassment by the employer. While I'm sure there has to be more to it than that, the fact that the public information available tells everyone that touching someone's shoulder is sexual harassment is, in my opinion, very dangerous, from a policy standpoint.

    Yes yes, easy solution - don't touch people, don't ask coworkers out on dates, don't tell dirty jokes, etc. etc. In the real world, apparently, though, none of this is realistic in any way. I don't date coworkers. I don't touch coworkers' shoulders. But my coworkers date each other and touch each other and so on and so forth. We had a dude in the office leave his wife so he could get with the new intern, who reported to him. I would think that my employer would find that highly inappropriate. But you know what, he didn't get fired for that. Meanwhile, the guy who would have been that guy's boss, had they been employed here simultaneously, was fired for what he allegedly said to one of his employees behind closed doors during her employee review - something he denied having said, and to which there were no other witnesses. So, where I work, dating a subordinate is okay, I guess, but allegations of misconduct are taken appropriately seriously.

    I'd like to see schools, corporations, and legal statutes all come up with some actual criteria for what constitutes what, and for it to make logical sense, since I would like to think that the committees, HR departments, and courts prefer to approach allegations in some sort of rational manner that consistently yields as much justice as possible.
     
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I recently started putting on talk radio during the drive in to work, and also see a lot of articles pop up either related to the fields I work in or have interest in, or just in general - and there's definitely this huge surge in 'allegations' leading to people getting fired or suspended. To the point where it's forcing people to re-think their policies to avoid those rules being wielded as political weapons.

    There was talk about the PM here putting a rule into place where they have "zero tolerance" for "misconduct" without defining anything. I'll admit I didn't follow the story very closely and I'm probably missing a bunch of details, but my understanding is that it resulted in a ton of people getting fired at the slightest hint of whatever "misconduct" means. To the point where eventually they had to back off on the rule cause they didn't want to just keep loosing valuable people without bothering to investigate anything. Granted I heard it via the radio people's interpretation of events, so who knows.
     
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  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    My employer outlines its definition of sexual harassment in the employee handbook by giving some thought-out language around what it is, but then ends with a clause that lumps in anything that is deemed "offensive." It doesn't say even who is responsible for deeming anything offensive or not. To me, that last clause just sort of nullifies the preceding three paragraphs of specific information.
     
  16. Ebony

    Ebony Blastology

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    I wonder how the population clock would look like if it was illegal to ask a woman two times.
    Isn't harassment illegal already? Why make additional rules that's never going to be properly defined or enforced?
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    This, lol. There are exceptions to every rule, but as a general starting point, I would say the one simple rule for dating coworkers is "don't." :lol:
     
  18. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    My job is great about sexual harassment.

    If either party was ok with harassment at Amy any p while you worked together, it's almost impossible to file a claim. Obviously this doesn't cover every situation, but it's covers 98% of things.

    Our sexual harassment videos actually showed me how to get away with it :lol:


    PS I sexually harass at least 4 ppl at work everyday and 2 are woman...Yeah I sexually harass men...judge me!
     
  19. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I'm not sure that's something I'd brag about, exactly.
     
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  20. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    It's all good fun. Makes work entertaining...we just get carried away sometimes.
     

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