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Writings from the Porch 

April 19, 2017

The Sexual Harassment Test

About twenty years ago I was working as an adjunct writing instructor at a community college in Gainesville, Florida. One week all of the teachers were told that they were required to take a test on sexual harassment. There was a minimum percentage that had to be achieved in order to be rehired. My supervisor strongly suggested (maybe required, I forget) that we watch a training video first, and even gave a little presentation beforehand. I skipped both and just went on the day of the test.

Out of our little group of adjuncts, there were about five males and five females. Everybody but me did the preparation and was appropriately nervous. I was the only one to score 100% correct. Granted, I was older than most (the majority of adjuncts were recent grads or grad students at UF) and had held management positions in the corporate world previous to the teaching job, so I had something of an advantage, but it all seemed incredibly obvious.

Now, here’s why I tell the story: when the scores came back, the supervisor, already annoyed at my nonchalance toward preparation for the test (and, perhaps, a perceived disrespect for his authority), said, “How could YOU, of all people, get a perfect score on a sexual harassment exam?” I just patted him on the butt as I was leaving and said, “I don’t know sweet cheeks. Guess I’ve just got a gift.” *

*portions of the above basically-true account may have been slightly embellished for entertainment effect.