Thursday, March 08, 2007

Leading cause of workplace harassment

In a few weeks, we will be filling an open position at the ole' office with a new hire, a great asset to the department, to be sure. The new employee will be a woman joining a department that is male, with no exceptions. The truth of the matter is that I do work in an anglo-male-heteronormative workplace, so a lil' diversity will be a good thing for the place.

My problem is this -- there goes all my A-list material. Bamf, most of my greatest-joke-hits, jettisoned right out the airlock. So many topics off the table: Urinating clowns, masturbation, masturbating to imagery of urinating clowns, abduction of urinating clowns, masturbating to imagery of abductions of urinating clowns... that kind of thing. Also, any and all jokes pertaining to constant masturbation. Certainly, no callbacks to Indian Thriller. For shame.

I have to weigh the pros and cons -- this new person might be the most qualified person I've ever had a hand in hiring, certainly a great thing to burnish my reputation as a manager. Also, her acumen will make my job tons easier and make the paper look pantloads better. Buuuut... I'm sure that she, as a reasonable human being in a comfortable new job, will not appreciate my constant prodding on topics ranging from a Buckminster Fuller-esque geodesic-domed "Masturbatorium" (patent pending) to unceasing character assassination of fellow coworkers as drunks, rapists, milquetoasts, and deviants. Hmm...

In discussing this pickle with my immediate department, I was told that I have to "act like a manager," and that I need to "set an example." Pish-tosh, I say. I do my best managing through comedy. Like David Brent before me, I am an entertainer first, a friend second, and a boss third. Should I find myself handicapped from being the most provocative and forthright entertainer I can possibly be (and that means a constant dialogue of keeping urine-soaked clowns bound and gagged in a dank pit under my house in the woods), then my effectiveness in leading a department has been compromised.

No impersonating Henry Kissinger fellating the page designer to my left in a drunken 3 a.m. interlude; no detailed plans for drying, tanning, and stretching the C.E.O.'s skin into lampshades for my house; not even a single mention of forcibly fisting anuses. Nothing. What are we left with?

I've decided to focus on the "happy" surrounding the hire. I have no interest in getting sued, and it is generally a fairly permissive workplace, as these things go. But I just want to state how much less funny it is going to get... that is, if by funny you mean discussing how we would each assist Lindsay Lohan when she exits rehab in a quasi paternal-sexual-inappropriate fashion.

Just want people to be aware of what I sacrifice for my craft.