Bradford’s Brain Balloons #0020: Harassment Sucks

I try to keep my blogs fairly light and as positive as possible. This post is not going to be that. This post is about harassment, specifically sexual harassment. It has gotten more news coverage in the States in October of 2017 as a result of the New York Times’ investigation of Harvey Weinstein. This needs to stop in all industries and locations. This problem is a global problem. It is not limited to just one industry. I have seen it first hand in the AV Industry.

My belief is that we all have a responsibility of addressing this issue. My opinion is, “If you see harassment happening in the workplace and don’t take action, you are complicit.”

I have multiple times. If needed I will do it again It takes courage. It is scary. That is secondary to the importance of taking action and making sure people know it is not okay. It may even help the victim feel better as they will know they are not alone and have support.

In the workplace you don’t have to intervene directly. You can reach out to Human Resources or see if your employer has a “hotline” for issues. If they are not helpful try your local Department of Labor or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the United States. Do not worry about damaging someone’s job performance, status, or reputation. They are the one acting that way, not you or the victim. You can also take subtle actions such as not leaving the victim alone with the harasser.

Think about how being harassed might damage the victim’s job status or chance of advancement. I wonder how many people have left a job, or an industry, as a result of being uncomfortable.

Reporting details and facts does not mean harassment has taken place. Reporting an incident simply means you are concerned about another human, not a bad thing. A key action is to make contemporaneous notes. A fancy way of saying write things down as soon as you or even as it happens. Document as many details as you can and think are appropriate. Be factual and as objective as possible. I have gone so far as to draw a table and indicate where people were seated. Documenting the incident when it happens will make sure details are not forgotten

I am not belittling what women go through. I am amazed and disgusted at the amount of issues that happen to women. It is important to be aware harassment happens in all sorts of situations, whether it be gender, sexual preferences, religion, politics, skin color, eye color, weight, vocabulary … etc.

These ideas do not just apply to the work place but to the world in general. It is much scarier when out and about. The first thing to consider is safety before getting involved. The idea of documenting things still applies, just in case things escalate. @itsmaeril has put together a guide about “What to do if you are witnessing Islamaphobic Harrasment. – A bystander’s guide to help the person who’s being targeted.” This guide applies in all situations not just Islamaphobia. Swing by her site to take a look. I have included a lower resolution version below.

Why do I care so much about this issue?

  1. It sucks to be harassed.
  2. I don’t like that I worry about possible issues with asking a coworker for their e-mail address so we can stay in touch after my separation from Harman.
  3. It sucks to be harassed.

Why should you care?

  1. It sucks to be harassed.
  2. Harassment lowers productivity in the work place.
  3. Harassment leads to less collaboration.
  4. It sucks to be harassed.

None of this is easy. I will not say that there won’t be reactions to your actions. I have seen changes in my “social circles”. I look at it as I don’t want to be friends with people who harass others. I don’t regret my actions at all.

Remember, one is protected by retaliation from their employer by law (in the United States).

Please go out and be nice to all, try to make the world a little better. If you need an ally, just ask.

Thank you,
Bradford


Bradford is employed by Harman Professional, one of AVNation’s underwriters, at the time of writing (November 2, 2017). The opinions he has expressed here are his alone. Bradford does not speak for Harman. Bradford also wants to make it clear that Harman does not accept harassment and has reacted appropriately when needed. Their code of conduct is available at various places online.

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