Saturday, September 17, 2011
One of my employees was known as "Spacey Casie" because she just seemed to be not quite-in-tune with everyone else. On the one hand, she was a very attractive, sweet, generous person but on the other hand, she was quite dense. As her fellow employees commented: "She's not the sharpest knife in the drawer," and "She's one taco short of a combo meal." Her conversations were a stream of non sequiturs.
One day it was brought to my attention that several employees had made mean remarks to another employee who was disfigured. I gave a special assignment, outside the department, to the offended employee and then I gathered the remaining team members together to explain to them that not only was it unprofessional and downright mean to make remarks to their fellow team member, but it was also illegal as it caused a hostile work environment for her.
After I finished my lecture, I asked if there were any questions or comments and only Casie raised her hand to be recognized and she said, "Yes, I think it's awful for people to be mean to her and I told her I know how she feels because I have one calf bigger than the other!" I, along with the group, sat in stunned silence as Casie proceeded to lift her pant legs to show us the difference in her calves. The difference was imperceptible from the distance I was from Casie. As if her first comment weren't bad enough, Casey continued, "I'm always embarrassed to wear a short skirt, so I really know how she feels." No other words were spoken by me as all the team members arose and quietly left the room.