One afternoon, Eddie came by the staple pit looking really upset about something. I asked if everything was ok. He said he’d just been through sensitivity training. Because Eddie was a supervisor, he had to go to special editions of these classes tailored for people in positions of authority.
“You wouldn’t believe all the stuff I’m not supposed to do,” he told me, looking so freaked out I was willing to bet he was guilty of at least a few things he hadn’t known were guilt-worthy. “Like, I’m not supposed to touch you,” he said. I was completely on board with that, so I said, “Yeah,” as in “What’s wrong with that? And by the way, don’t touch me.”
“No, I mean, I’m not supposed to touch you AT ALL EVER,” he said. So I say, “Oh, you mean you can’t even shake my hand?” “Right!” he answered. “I can’t even do that, but it’s worse than that,” he added, struggling to find an example to illustrate how much he was not supposed to touch me. “It’s like… it’s like…” he kept trying, “like…” and then he found the words, “I can’t touch you at all. Not even with a stick!”