Excessive sensitivity day

I get emails from all kinds of people. I answer every one.

Maybe you think a lot of them are angry, but a negative email is very rare. I think this is because people can freely criticize me in the comments of this blog, which is probably a lot more satisfying than sending a sharply-worded email. You might be surprised at the people who write me.

This was the first blog Knowlton Nash ever read, and he wanted to know everything about it. How long it took to write, who read it, etc. I told him everything. Soon after he wrote in the Barrie Examiner that blogs were a waste of time and I couldn’t help but take it personally.

Maybe he was right but he didn’t have to rub it in.

Lately I’ve been getting another kind of email altogether. Quite frankly, they’ve disarmed me.

These emails are sent to me by well-meaning CBC managers whose doors are always open if I need to “talk it out.” They feel that this blog is juvenile, destructive, and not conducive to a healthy work atmosphere at the CBC. They suggest that it alienates CBCers. They say it’s cruel. They say it’s not funny. Not funny at all.

These emails would be easy to dismiss except that I’ve been getting them from multiple sources. And as many people have noticed, once-aloof managers are now full of hearty “hello’s.” Clearly something is afoot. My guess is it has something to do with the Sensitivity Training all CBCers have to undergo.

This can be a high-stress place to work, and we have a lot of tight deadlines with millions of people watching (in aggregate). That some people get carried away is inevitable.

But I always thought the CBC could use a little less sensitivity. If your boss is demeaning you, you should be able to tell him to get lost without fear of getting fired. You should be able to express a contrary opinion without fear of “rocking the boat” and not being seen as a “team player.” Maybe sensitivity is overrated.

All this time, I thought I was part of the solution. It never occurred to me that I was part of the problem.

The perfect symbol for this new CBC is the sculpture of Glenn Gould outside of the TBC. Millions of tourists stop to have their photo taken with Jolly Old Glenn, and striking CBCers put subversive placards in his arms and take photos too.

But anyone who ever dealt with Glenn Gould will tell you he wasn’t exactly a “people person.” He would have been horrified by all this intimacy.

In short, he was an ass. He should be facing the other way in this sculpture, with his back to his neighbour. It would have been historically accurate but admittedly a rotten sculpture.

I always thought I would get fired for this blog. Now I’m not so sure. Maybe I would be subjected to intensive Sensitivity Training, Clockwork Orange style, in an effort to rehabilitate me and make me a model corporate citizen. Reinvented like Glenn Gould.

O my brothers, when I viddy those emails I want to make fun of them real horrowshow. So maybe they’re right. Maybe I am in need of rehabilitation.

But if I have to take Sensitivity Training, I’m taking you motherfuckers with me, because you write just as much on here as I do.

So let’s give this a shot.

In the comments, write something sensitive and respectful and conducive to a healthy workplace environment. Say something nice about the CBC. Avoid controversy at all costs. Run it by your supervisor first.

Please.

32 comments:

  1. Anonymous
    Posted August 21, 2007 at 2:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ouimet, you need to publish these supposed e-mails from CBC Managers.

  2. Allan
    Posted August 20, 2007 at 6:48 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    By coincidence, I recently had interaction with another guy named “Justin” over at the insidecbc blog.
    This particular “Justin” was in a conversation with someone using a fake name, and for no apparent reason this “Justin” decided to attach my name to theirs.
    I was not even present in this public forum when he chose to bring my name into it.

    When I took offense, this “Justin”, needed two days to offer an explanation, and it went like this:
    my comment was directed at R— – who I assumed based on tone might be you …

    So it seems that in “Justin”‘s world it’s perfectly alright to attach real people’s names to fictitious ones in a public forum, based on his own skills of reading “tone’.
    And if he happens to be wrong, and gambles with other people’s reputation, it’s then up to someone else to make the effort to correct him.

    And yet, throughout the discussion, “Justin” has lots of opinions about what the CBC and bloggers have a right to do and not to do.
    And he has given us an example of himself exercising one his rights.

  3. Justin Beach
    Posted August 20, 2007 at 12:35 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If you ever decide to give this up, and I hope you don’t: Maybe we could start a course to make people just a tad less sensitive. Seriously, if people get any more sensitive they’ll start taking it personally if they don’t win the lottery and running to the therapist every time they get a bad horiscope.

  4. Saskboy
    Posted August 19, 2007 at 10:03 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Something nice eh?
    The music of As It Happens makes me remember fond times as a kid (and even as an adult).

  5. Allan
    Posted August 18, 2007 at 2:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I don’t consider this blog to be anonymous, and almost none of the postings are.
    Ouimet gives an email address, and cbcfrank is cbcfrank.
    But comments that bear the word anonymous, generally by CBC employees who are bullies, bring further discredit to the already dubious reputation of current staff.
    Aggrieved staff who now want to pull a lockout and silence me.
    Wherever did they learn such tactics and morality?

  6. Anonymous
    Posted August 18, 2007 at 9:27 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Anonymous postings are worthless. And cowardly.

    Are you talking about comments, or this blog in general?

  7. Allan Sorensen
    Posted August 18, 2007 at 6:28 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    … yet another interesting topic crushed to dust by you-know-who …

  8. Allan
    Posted August 18, 2007 at 4:17 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Things have sure changed, haven’t they Ouimet, since you and I agreed to post and discuss The National’s report about blogging, free speech and libel.
    It’s come as close to home as it can, thanks to one of your co-workers, and thanks to me.
    It’s no longer someone else’s problem.
    It’s no longer hypothetical.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted August 17, 2007 at 5:38 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You would be waiting for Allan if there wasn’t so much of him. Me, I mostly agree with the cat, but he has got to spend more time in the reeds.

  10. Mike
    Posted August 17, 2007 at 4:31 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    When you start receiving kudos from management “O” …I’m outta here!!

  11. Allan
    Posted August 17, 2007 at 3:54 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Anonymous postings are worthless.
    And cowardly.

    We’ve yet to hear back from anonymous at 2:33 on the “Supervisor” post, who told a tale of bravado about losing his job and then getting a better paying one.
    But what’s the point?
    Anyone can make up a fake story and post it as anonymous.
    How would you know if it was fact or fiction?

  12. Anonymous
    Posted August 17, 2007 at 11:22 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This site would be much better without Allan.

    Why can’t he just post on his blog, and you link to him when you think it’s interesting or relevant instead of making him a contributor?

  13. Allan
    Posted August 17, 2007 at 2:58 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    A favorite cartoon from The New Yorker has a clerk standing behind a counter at THE VIRTUAL STORE saying to a customer “How may I appear to be helping you?”

  14. cbcworkerbee
    Posted August 16, 2007 at 7:25 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You know it’s a great blog. It’s a benchmark blog. It’s a necessary blog. I wish I could blog as well as you, as consistently as you. Don’t get disheartened.

    It’s just too bad that you have to do virtually all the heavy lifting.

  15. Allan
    Posted August 16, 2007 at 4:24 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Fiat justitia – ruat caelum.

    Do justice, and let the skies fall.

  16. fog cutter
    Posted August 16, 2007 at 7:10 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ouimet,

    the day you receive approving comments from other managers praising the lightweightness and political correctness of this site, you will know that the end is near.

    Isn’t one InsidetheCBC enough?

  17. Allan
    Posted August 15, 2007 at 10:10 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    emails are sent to me by well-meaning CBC managers who … feel that this blog is juvenile, destructive … not conducive to a healthy work atmosphere at the CBC … alienates CBCers … cruel … not funny. Not funny at all.

    From multiple sources …Disarm(ing)

    They want to remove

    the last voice that can’t be controlled.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted August 15, 2007 at 9:46 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    CBC stands for…

    Cuddly
    Beloved
    Considerate

    OK, workshop over, can I bloody well leave now?

    I despise those sensitivity training sessions and have stalled taking ours for over a year, but I’™m getting ’śgentle remondres’ť (worded with great sensitivity) from my superiors telling me that I have no choice.

    I love this blog. Just discovered it a few days ago and have said ten Hail Mary’™s as punishment for not having found it sooner.

    M.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 10:03 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    All this team player stuff is nothing but empty MBAspeak.

    Now let’s talk about a real team, or what was once a real team.

    You see Robert and Richard are treating the CBC “team” like Harold Ballard once treated the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Now 40 years later, the Leafs still haven’t recovered from Harold. And the way things are going, if the CBC is around 40 years from now in 2047 (and that is a very open question thanks to those idiots) it won’t have recovered from Robert and Richard .

    Think about it, if someone who is now an EA sticks around for 40 years, longer than even Tony Burman stuck around, what would the place be like???? And why would they be stupid enough to stay around? Too bad they couldn’t ask to be traded to CTV or Global like a hockey player could.

  20. Allan
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 7:40 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Comments are a bit like backstage at Lollapalooza.
    It’s not all Peaches & Cream, or a bed of Guns N Roses.
    But we need to talk.
    Talk, as in free speech.
    You know, the thing everyone is so all worried about now (that the CBC have put people on notice).
    People are more worked up about being treated like children, than they are about acting like adults.
    You get better at using free speech the more you use it, and it gets stronger.
    No one is completely right, and not all the time.
    Without ideas we go nowhere.
    You’re no more important than the next.
    But your ideas are.
    For any chance of growing, there has to be free expression.
    If they had shut up Martin Luther King, claiming he was inciting riots, then it wouldn’t have been a pretty scene when the lines were drawn.
    But because of words, and not primarily the man, society was persuaded to accept a new idea.
    I love scanning the shelves of a good bookstore.
    I cannot believe the nonsense that people see fit to publish, and what incredible depth of understanding exists in just one book.
    I’m taken with a new phrase I read recently.
    The marketplace of ideas
    I’m also taken with another title, that sums up a lot for me lately, and in some ways is a present pre-occupation.
    CBC and the manipulation of public discourse
    That is, both by a select few bloggers, and by the CBC itself.

    I don’t like censorship of a public dialogue.

    I don’t like the way the CBC trivializes it’s viewers opinions.
    Setting up a wall, as if too afraid to step out of their cushy insulated world, or accept they may not be right.
    They may well have possession of the Control Room, but they could at least let people be heard.

    There has to be a place for a Teamakers regardless of any policy about blogging.
    Not for my sake, but for the CBC’s sake, for everyone’s sake.

    And you can’t ask for permission to do this kind of thing, because it’s not up to them to help you figure out that you need to participate in a democracy, or it’s going to be left for some big jerks telling you what to think.
    If you hear only one view, then where’s choice, and choosing for yourself what to think.

    I’m for putting very narrow limits on free expression. (I wish I could put one on idiocy), but no limits at all on who may use it.
    I really want to hear the views of that crack-head, and that Goth, and smarty-pants President of the CBC.
    It’s more the silence of opinion and views and wishes that worries me, more than anything someone might say.

    Above all, the freedom to respond and discuss, than to be told to just shut up and listen.
    Sorry George and Tod, but you’re just not that funny.

    Comments are also like a swarm of eager WASPS …

    Ouch.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 7:17 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “Team Player” is overused by management and everyone. This phrase has been hurled at those us who “dare” to bring up something that is perceived to “shake” things up or point out boorish behaviour by a co-worker or manager. The corp is not one to be told that the Emperor has no clothes on. Want to sugguet that all read “Fierce Conversations” by Susan Scott. This is something the whole CBC needs more of …. if it is to survive….

  22. Allan
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 4:47 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’d offer some remarks that would be “conducive”, but a healthy atmosphere seems to be viewed by the CBC’s who read here to be the responsibility of management at the CBC and not the employees.
    There’s stone silence when people are asked if they can think of something positive to say, which Ouimet has done several times.

    Mr. Anonymous would help a bit if he offered up the “disparaging remarks” that warranted his employment being terminated, instead of suggesting that losing your job disgracefully is worth the risk.
    But I’d have to ask if he thinks he should have been allowed to say it (or blog it) and still continue to work there.
    I take it that even his union wasn’t about to defend his right to say those remarks with a ten foot pole.

    (anon at 1:53 is the person I’d like to hear more from)

  23. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 12:29 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I used to work at the CBC. Blogs like this one make me even happier that this is no longer the case. Better you than me.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 11:53 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Knowlton is a cranky old man.

    This blog is not conducive because it disagrees with CorpSpeak.

    People have the right to ‘talk it out’ in their own way.

    ‘Sensitivity’ comes from the top down, not from the bottom up. I happen to love the people I work with. I respect them and they respect me.

    Forget the cheesy courses…do onto others, guys.

    Don’t let them get you down, ouimet.

  25. Allan
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 9:05 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Yes, I am extremely sensitive these days.
    And this doesn’t help.
    I am directed at the contact page

    http://www.cbc.radio-canada.ca/about/contact.shtml

    to write my concerns to cbcinput@cbc.ca
    but get no answer.

    When I call Ottawa, I am told that the correct address is:
    cbcinput@toronto.cbc.ca

    Then who has been reading my emails, since they don’t come back as undeliverable?

  26. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 8:30 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    We’re all FLYING HIGH!!!!!!!

  27. bryanf
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 8:27 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The Tea Makers — healthy fibre for CBC management’s sensitive assholes.

  28. Allan
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 8:13 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If you get fired for your blog you can always work as a consultant on blogs.

    But who would hire you after showing such poor judgement that you lost your job over something stupid?

    Paul and I got into it.

    At least he’s not afraid to speak, and use his real name.

    Hey, anonymous, print something that you consider serious and justifies your anonymity, instead of just being lazy and trivial.

  29. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 7:30 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    My supervisor has nice teeth.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 6:18 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I think the best course of action for us is to pull together as a team.

    There exists in our workplace a great opportunity for change; we need to explore it an make the most of it.

    Brothers and sisters, it’s time for us to *&aoi2$a(dgQ*&^%)(Q_>>327>?a?)ag(h(Q*#&$

    NO CARRIER

  31. Ouimet
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 6:01 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You’re welcome to try again, anonymous.

    This time, put some heart into it.

  32. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 5:58 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ummmm…..

    …………….

    Really can’t wait to see what dozen or so comments will be made all in sucession from the same source.

    -I failed the course. I don’t deserve to work here. :(


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