I am the Sexual Harassment Officer for my College. What expertise does my PH.D in Education and my substantial statistical training lend to my being a sexual harassment officer? None. I have no training in sexual harassment whatsoever other than the standard training all managers get. All I really have to do is follow our outdated and poorly written policy, spend hours interviewing complainants, respondents, witness, spend more hours typing up my notes, do my best to show the proper amount of empathy and professionalism...piece of cake. Mostly, I am there to make sure the College does not get sued. If you don't follow up on every complaint or suspected violation...you can get sued. If you are sloppy and don't take good notes...you can get sued. If you do not act in professional manner with the complainants, respondents and witnesses...you can get sued.
Why they tasked me with such weighty responsibilities I have no idea. Oh, wait. I do. It was my first week on the job and someone with more seniority wanted to get it off her desk. And then I had to go and do such a good job that not only have I retained my title for nearly 10 years I get side-jobs from HR when they need an independent investigator. Yep, I'm the go-to gal for all things creepy and just "not right". Which sucks becasue it's all in addition to my real job. The job I am actually qualified for (mostly).
As you might imagine I have many uncomfortable meetings with people. My absolute favorites are when I have to interview older, male co-workers followed closely by the weeping female student. Think of a male co-worker of yours. OK, now think of asking him, "is it true you had oral sex in the parking lot last week?". It gets even more hysterical if you know that I am super hot! Well, hot for an institutional researcher. I know, big fish little pond. It's pretty-much awkward no matter how you look at it but even more awkward given I'm the last person a guy wants to have find out just how pervy he is.
Once I was interviewing a very nice young lady about a very uncomfortable thing and she is nervous and upset. I'm doing my best to empathize and be professional all at once. It's a fine line I might add. I also have to take copious notes in case I get sued. I can write notes with one hand while handing them a tissue with the other. It's harder than it looks and it can come off as insincere in less-experienced hands. I have to say things like, "I don't want to make this any harder for you but when you walked in on the janitor were his pants around his knees or ankles? I need you to be specific." Hey, I need details. And when they come forth I record then on my notepad while maintaining eye-contact and nodding sympathetically. We're talking mad-skills here.
While I'm interviewing her my phone rings and the caller ID tells me it is my Dr.s office. My Dr. has never called me. It must be important.
This was back in the early days of infertility I was getting all my tests done so I could start treatment.
I apologize to the student and take the call.
The nurse says, "We have been waiting for you to get an HSC. When do you think you are going to do that?" I was a bit stunned seeing as how I did it 2 months prior.
I said, " I did it already in January."
She the asked," Um, where did you get that done?"
All I could think of was, "Um, in my vagina, where do you think?" but seeing as how I had the sexually harassed student in my office and I don't want to get sued by being unprofessional I said, "Um, in the usual place".
The nurse replied, "in Martinez or Walnut Creek?"
I said, "Oh you mean which hospital? Walnut Creek".
And so, ladies and gentlemen, that is why I refer to my vagina as Martinez. It's either that or Walnut Creek and, let's face it, Walnut Creek is a stupid name for a vagina.