I forgot how bizarre new hire training is.
Today I had to do a training module on Diversity and being Inclusive. I don't blame the company that fired me for what I am about to write because I've seen this in every corporate job that I've ever had.
First off I find the words that the people who created this training module decided to use were fascinating. Throughout the entire course, they never used the word prejudice and seemed to avoid the word judge in any form (i.e. judgmental, judging, judged...)
It's as if they didn't want to offend the sexist bigots who actually need this course. "Oh I have to accept every coworker and customer that I come across for who they are? But what about... Oh, that's bad too. Hmm, thanks computer instructor!"
Then the training takes an odd turn by going into customer statistics for the diverse people who use the companies training you to understand and accept. These stats felt more like a reminder that you never know who has money to spend. Females do X% of retail shopping? African Americas, Hispanics, and Asians collectively spend X trillion dollars, and so on. Humanity seems to have nothing to do with diversity. It's as if it has nothing to do with being genuine.
This is followed by bizarre sample to prove a point that even if you claim to be open minded there's a subtle bigot in there somewhere. They have you match up statements with the person you think these statements belong to. They thenprovide several stereotypically leading photos of people to point out that you might have preconceived assumptions (again avoiding prejudice.)
This sends you down an internal case of Catch 22. You know that they do this to try to get you to use a prejudice thought process to figure it out. You try to think how they are trying to trap you into realizing you're not as open-minded as you may think. It would be bat-shit insane for them to actually match the stereotypical statement to the stereotypical image.
Statements like, "I am unemployed." You think "Okay, it has to be the middle aged white guy because any other choice would lead to a "see I'm right" moment in anyone going into this with a bigoted mind.
"I'm a single parent of four kids," which makes you think, "Well that can't be any of the females, and it can't be an African American because that would be too obvious." The fact that you're thinking along these lines makes you feel worse than the bigot who's missing the point and gets all of these examples wrong and then feel their universe has been shattered by the big reveal that anyone can have any story to tell, but you want to get this right because you are open minded but observant.
"I own my own business," has to be someone young, so it's either the young white girl or the young black guy. "Hm, that's a tough one," you start to realize, "Fuck, I'm reverse engineeringthe point that they are trying to make by using nothing but preconceived notions to make your predictions."
"I survived cancer." Okay, that's another young person thing, because they're trying to say close minded people think that only old people get fatal diseases. Of the two young people you're guessing, "More people would assume that this cancer has to be breast cancer, so the answer has to be the black guy." This leads to even more thoughts like, "Ah, I'm turning this example into some kind of twisted game of logic."
There were a few more, but I think you get the point. When I submitted the test I got a 100% and felt worse for doing so.
Am I wrong for thinking this way?