What’s Wrong With the Workplace? Start With Diversity.

Last week, all the partners in the law office where I work had to attend a 90-minute presentation on “diversity in the workplace.”

Since I’m not a lawyer, apparently this does not apply to me. Since I did not go to this meeting, I have no idea what was presented or expected from the attendees.

But I’ve been all ears in the elevators. To put it mildly, this diversity training went over like a lead balloon. It appears to have been somewhat of a timewaster.

I have to agree. If by diversity, it is meant “variety,” then we already have that in the work place. Perhaps what they meant to offer was “sensitivity” training. But if a Title VII lawsuit doesn’t whip you into shape, it’s a little late for “sensitivity” training, wouldn’t you say?

Prejudice or discrimination in the work place should have already been eradicated. No one person or class of persons deserves special treatment. We should ALL be on equal footing. But we aren’t.

And nowhere is this more obvious than at the “support staff” level. It’s been my experience that slackers aren’t made to pick up their pace, they draw the same paychecks and enjoy the same benefits as their hard working brethren and sisters (sistren?!). Someone else has to do the work they are too lazy to do.

You can walk the halls at any given time of the day and see secretaries surfing the Internet (and unlike yours truly, they are NOT surfing the court websites looking for relevant decisions), updating their blogs, listing items on e-Bay (using their OFFICE e-mail addresses, no less), reading newspapers, magazines and sleazy novels). Or simply not at their desks at all, but taking one of many 10-20 minute “smoking breaks” throughout any given day. Oh, and about blogging on company time: Why on earth would anyone be so stupid as to post on company time (using company resources) with software that date and time stamps your work? Clearly, this is not your average idiot, here.

Quite frankly, I’m fed up with it. I work hard. When I show up for work, I’m expected to work. I’m expected to be competent and efficient. And I’m expected to get it right the first time, to check my facts and be sure my documents are correct before my boss even lays her eyes on them.

Yet, I’ve seen the sloppy work of some of my co-workers, who can’t even be bothered to correctly spell the name of an attorney in their own office.

Discrimination? You bet it exists. And it should. The Firm should discriminate against lazy, shiftless, guileless, blame-skirting, indifferent workers. And these are the ONLY people they should discriminate against.

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