Harrass this, you PC bastards

When I recently whored myself for more topics, Grover Flanagan asked this:

Ooh! Ooh! I’ve got one! A new girl just started at work. She’s either as tall or just a bit taller than I am, cute as hell, and built like a brick house. (what a winning hand!) I’ve introduced myself, but have no idea where else to go from here. Afraid I’d be far too obvious (never been Mr. Subtle) if I tried to strike up any further conversation.

How about some do’s and don’t’s on workplace flirtation in this harrassment-sensitive age.

Oh, boy. Harrassment.

Could there be any greater reason why less people than ever before are getting laid? What are we to do without the always-fun office fuck? My God! As if dating was hard before, now there’s this bullshit to contend with? Why not just thrust us all into fucking monasteries and nunneries and leave it at that? Jesus.

Harrassment laws have their place, but why in the hell has zero-tolerance had to enter the equation? What the fuck is wrong with “Hey, wanna get a drink tonight?”

Nothing, says I. Fuck that shit.

I say you ought to just ask the woman for a drink. I think there’s nothing wrong with asking. It’s what happens after the asking that’s the issue.

If she says no, then you back off. If she says yes, then when you’re on the date you need to guage how it’s going and have an actual conversation about your attraction to her before you proceed with anything physical. You need to talk about what will be the fall-out at the office and how you need to deal with each other in that environment as opposed to outside of the office.

So, asking, not a problem. It’s everything after that which complicates matters. Is there a no dating policy in the workplace? No? Then that’s a good first step. If there is, then you’ll need to learn to keep your mouth shut about things, won’t you?

Since there’s a million ways that part of the scenario can go, I won’t even go there.

Fact is, the workplace offers a lot of insights into people that we don’t normally get exposed to until far further in the relationship — insights that might’ve been a dealbreaker or dealmaker if we’d known of them earlier in the game.

Do they get grumpy easily? Do their moods flip like a fish out of water? Do they buckle under stress? Are they curt and offensive when they’re having a bad moment? Have they always got a smile, regardless of the adversity they face? Are they thoughtful and generous?

But back to the question of harrassment. I think most people in society are pretty cool with knowing what constitutes harrassment and what doesn’t. Personally, I always enjoyed pushing the envelope back when I was in an office. I’d occasionally let a dirty joke slip or might’ve made a comment about a blowjob to a male coworker, just to see what the reaction would be. And it never got the kind of reaction I suspected, and never caused issues. So while the laws may be strict on paper, the reality is that people tend to be a little more flexible. This will vary workplace to workplace, but it comes down to the same babysteps most adventures require: Start small, and if it’s received well, take a slightly larger step.

You seem like a pretty perceptive kinda guy, so I’d just run with that and see where it gets you. Fuck the rules.

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