Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Navy wants my daughter, I'm not a fan

Recruiters face challenges without an independent, objective and unbiased military justice system. 
The Navy called yesterday. The man calling asked to speak to my daughter. I said she wasn't available. In reality, he was calling on my cell phone, I was at work. My daughter was at her work. If he had this number she didn't want to talk to him.

I told him I would let her know he called, but based on our conversations, she was not interested.

Instead of asking when a better time to call to talk to her might be, he launched into his script. He wanted to schedule an interview. He wanted her to know what the Navy offered.

Since I knew she wasn't interested, and I could easily imagine what the Navy offered women, I asked how he got this phone number.

He said he was going through old records and it could be she filled out of form asking for more information (not likely), or it was a number received from her high school (more likely).

Then I launched into my script, “As a mom, I'm not sure I want my daughter to go into the service, based on how they treat women,”

The surprise in his voice was palatable, “Why? What have you heard?”

Now it was my turn to be surprised, “Don't you read the news?”

Take a second. Do a Google search. Page after page appears with stories about women in the service who have been assaulted by men in the service and their superiors who refuse to condemn this reprehensible behavior. They protect it. “Boys will be boys.”

I say, “Girls will be moms,” and this mom says, “Based on your reputation, you don't deserve my daughter.”

Your community hasn't earned the right to interview my daughter. First, invest in efforts that criminalize behavior that assaults, harasses, and creates a hostile work environment for the people you are trying to recruit. A career in the military shouldn't mean that women, or men, are unsafe from their fellow service personnel. It shouldn't mean a recruit is subservient to self-serving criminals who continue to assault. It shouldn't push victims into servitude to higher ups willing to cover up abuse.

In an interview with MSNBC, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said one in five military women – and three percent of men, experience unwanted sexual contact. Gillibrand's Military Justice Improvement Act, legislation to assign sexual assault cases to specially trained military prosecutors, fizzled.

The Department of Defense (DOD) released a report in December 2014 on sexual assault in the military. The DOD claimed success because only 19,000 people were assaulted, a whopping 7,000 less than those assaulted in 2012. Digging a little deeper into 2012, shows that of those 26,000 sexual assaults only 3,374 were reported and only 302 were brought to trial.

If you want brilliant people to serve our country. Stop endorsing a playhouse for boys.

Grow up.

Become men.

Clean house.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy National OK Day, Okay?!

On this day in history in 1839, OK entered the national vernacular.

In the 1830s "OK" was part of local Boston slang and was propelled to national prominence when it first appeared in print in the Boston Morning Post. That happened on March 23, 1839. OK gained in popularity when it was picked up by politicians, thus securing its seat in history.

A bit of sleuthing by the late Allen Walker Read, a professor at Columbia University, fleshed out all the incorrect attributions to the origins of OK and Read's efforts led to uncovering OK's true origins and it's March 23 birthday.

Now, who is going to tell us when OK gained the correct spelling of “Okay?”

Read more on the History Channel's page: history.com/this-day-in-history/ok-enters-national-vernacular

Sunday, March 22, 2015

How early is too early to go to work?

Morning rush hour traffic, Portland, Oregon.
I'm in the habit of heading to the office around 6:30 a.m. to get in front of the bulk of morning rush hour traffic. Although my late afternoon intention is to leave early, it doesn't always work out that way, which, in the end, makes for a long workday.

In the early morning, I appreciate a dark office, the slow transition from the soft tapping of fingers on my computer keyboard to the full morning sun streaming through the knee high to ceiling windows and the rise in volume from voices streaming into the office expressing their morning greetings, shouting out coffee runs, and the onslaught of work and strategy conversations that ensues.

If I could I would arrive at work an hour before I do, I would. Those early hours seem more meaningful, more fruitful, more focused, more free.

But too early isn't always time better spent.

How about you, when do you get to work and how early do you think is too early?