At least give me a chance to say my piece before blasting me to the heavens.
I worked in a large corporation where there was a "zero tolerance policy"
on a number of things. This means that if you do something that was against the
acceptability rules - just once- you were fired.
What it did was to keep everyone on-guard for fear that they would not think
and break one of the rules and lose their jobs after 25 years of service. Humor
was reduced to saying the most innocuous things behind closed doors or in
one-on-one situations so you could deny whatever you may have said.
Some people are very dichotomous thinkers and by George - a rule was a rule and
you followed it without question. You didn't even ask to have anything explained you
just went back to your office and tried to keep your nose to the grindstone.
The best example is men being afraid to compliment any woman about how nice they
looked even if they really looked nice. Women could say that they thought a male
coworker's new suit looked "sharp" but that was o.k. cause men weren't perceived as
being victims of harassment.
It leads to a workplace that is devoid of humor and puts a crimp on developing
interpersonal relationships with your coworkers.
When we did training on harassment it was incumbent upon the offended party to inform
the offender that they didn't appreciate whatever comment was made and that they
didn't want to be exposed to that type of humor or action again. The second offence
was reportable and there would be some sort of punishment that would be meted out by
the personnel dept.
My vote would be for, at least, a warning for the first offence before someone loses their
job. The "zero tolerance" system makes for a very fearful environment whether it be in the
office or in the lab or in the plant. Just think of constantly being aware that you shouldn't try to
say anything that will make anyone smile or would be considered a joke because someone
in the room may take offence.
O.K - said my piece - feel free to tear me up.
(I can say things like this because I'm retired now and I can't lose my job.)