I must admit to being a little nervous. Next week www.world-learning-hub.com releases the new versions of our workplace anti-discrimination, harassment and bullying training modules. For the last six months we have been gauging public and corporate reaction to the structure and content of our new online training modules and I am pretty sure we have it right. Of course, buried within the soul of any creative entrepreneur is a healthy degree of self-doubt. How will people really receive our message?
To strengthen the learning experience I have created, with the help of two wonderful animators, a number of rather controversial ‘Family Guy’ type cartoons that I believe get to the grass roots of prejudice and poor behaviour that still exists in some Australian workplaces. The work family I have created is, in general, a politically incorrect group of dysfunctional Australian workers who struggle with the lines between banter and potentially unlawful behaviour. The content I know will offend some, in particular the tight thinking equal opportunity purists and the few “redneck” Australians that still stand strong against non-European immigration. But this is our democracy, and expression of true values and attitudes is paramount in gauging the temperature of any society.
My real interest is in how viewers will respond to our initial promo featuring Indian worker Nikki and east Asian Sarah being chastised by “redneck” Phil for their ‘smelly’ food. ( See animation at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwvLE21YdzA ) . Will they see it as a good representation of race based harassment or will it be seen as too obvious and crude? Will our audience be accepting of us combining very serious matters with a smattering of humour? Will our viewers with an Indian background identify with Nikki’s plight or be offended that we have brought Phil’s “redneck” attitudes to the surface? Will our audience like the animations?
In a few weeks I will know how people will react to my efforts to provoke discussion on inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. I certainly won’t be an apologist or activist for any particular group. Simply, I am a person seeking a reaction, provoking a discussion and most of all, creating a meaningful and more interesting learning experience.
Find out more about our workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying programs at http://www.eeotraining.com.au