Two events have caused me to write about this. First, the scenes shown in some old photos that I found recently in the basement of my last days in a 1980s office environment before joining the army. The prints were going moldy and I just about saved them through digitisation. They portray scenes of rude gestures and nudity so please don't click on the link above if you are easily offended. Second, and I never thought I would ever write these words in a million years: the points raised in a recent article in the Daily Mail (yes I read everything!) by TV presenter Esther Rantzen ("Esther blasts Savile police squad over its star arrests: Focus on famous could jeopardise young victims seeking justice, says ChildLine founder").
Now Esther Rantzen is a woman who I know most as wanting to be the MP for Luton of all places! (If you understand that I am from Watford and comprehend the rivalry between Watford and Luton - you'll get a feeling of my opinion of her!). In any case, Esther's Daily Mail article, criticises the UK Metropolitan police task force's Operation Yewtree, which was set up to examine claims of widespread child abuse in the wake of the Jimmy Savile revelations, yet has now started to arrest celebrities for ‘historic’ allegations of sexual abuse brought by women who were in their twenties at the time.
I know nothing of these allegations other than what has been made public and make no judgment whatsoever on the merit of them. However, is it now time for the hardworking detectives of Operation Yewtree to revisit the culture of the workplace in the 1970s and 80s and put things into context of that time? For them to experience a kind of "Life on a Work Place Mars". What they may find is that the type of things that were thought 'funny' then may not be thought so funny now. In fact, what happened in offices just a few years ago may get you arrested today!
A slideshow of a particular workplace experience of mine when I was a consultant with Arthur Andersen (now known as Accenture - see The TOB Rule 8 for more on this) which took place in the office of one of Britain's biggest companies in the 1980s might just be the sort of Martian experience that they need. So officers, click on this link here to visit another planet...and, please remember, you have been warned!