WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS NEED CONSIDERATION
LISTENING ASSIGNMENT--ALL SEMESTERS
Directions: Please prepare a written memo using the format, To, From, Date, and Subject. Allow only three or four fully capitalized words for the Subject Line. Please put the format, To, From, and so forth, in all capital letters. Otherwise, align the principal letters following the colons of To, From, Date, and Subject. Do not write to your boss, your friend, or someone else. Write "To" me. Your professor is the first reader. Use a courtesy title, such as Dr. or Mr., to clarify your receiver.
The memo should deal with a one-on-one listening experience you have had this past week (not several months ago) with someone since this assignment has been made. A telephone call or the television do not count. A lecture does not count. Please write the first sentence of the memo telling why you are writing the memo. For example, you might say: "I am writing this memo to tell you . . . " Next, describe the listening experience in some detail telling the who, where, when, what, and why of the experience. Tell how long the listening took. Attach notes for the second half of the listening you did. Include talking captions for every major paragraph (defined as more than two sentences).
Please answer in narrative form (not numbered) the following questions (with answers included in the memo as well) taken from Mortimer Adler's book, How to Speak, How to Listen:
You do not need to read Adler's book to complete this assignment. You do not have to worry if your memo is longer than the normal memo you write at work. You should expect the memo to encompass one or two pages. It is long. You need to read Adler's thought-provoking questions and answer them based on your conversation. Your speaker persuades in a conversation through the force of ideas.
Please close your memo by explaining what you have learned about your listening habits. Talk about which part of S-I-E-R gave you the most trouble in listening effectively. Do not use the words, interesting, feel, a lot, and great anywhere or ever again this semester. How do you plan to improve the next listening experience?
Word of Caution: For your second page heading of the memo--even if you only turned over a page of notebook paper--include To, Page, and Date. Remember your listening experience has to be one on one, looking into the other person's eyes and observing nonverbal cues. You need to talk about yours and your speaker's body language in the memo. The listening experience has to occur this semester during the time you are taking this class.
For the Women
You have been employed at the Firm for approximately 12 months. It is time for your second performance review. The last performance review said in the category with "relationship with management": "She unduly refuses to follow her manager's instructions, creating a drain on management." Lately, you have been bothered by some happenings in your office setting. When the boss, Harry Griggswald, says hello to you, he usually places his arm around you. This immediate male boss has been making sexual innuendos and cracking sexual jokes at meetings. For example, the boss cracked a joke about Mike Travela and his homosexual lover. You feel uncomfortable about these experiences and are not sure what to do. You are beginning to feel degraded. Today, the boss asked you come to his apartment for some late night work to get the budget ready.
You also noticed you were left out of an important meeting that would have allowed you to obtain needed technical specifications sooner.In addition to this problem, you remember when the boss said to you recently: "You have a great sweater on. It looks like it would be good for both of us." Today you received wrapped candy on your desk shaped in the form of a kiss. A note accompanied the candy pieces: "This is for my princess." You don't know who sent the candy.
You talked to a former female employee who told you her former boss, now your boss, said to her one day: "You know, you're not in the club like I am." What to do? You have decided to write a memo to the boss, not the boss's boss, asking him to cease and desist. You must be so careful with your language, because your job is at stake. This memo is called a cover-your-anatomy type of memo. You need to point out to your boss how uncomfortable you feel with the innuendos and what needs to be done to stop the possible sexual harassment. Remember that sexual harassment is a legal term; do not use the term loosely in the memo. Be precise in what you are saying, because this memo may have to be used later in a paper trail. Be careful about using subject lines, such as "Sexual Harassment" or "Your Sexual Innuendos."
For the Men
You are employed in the Firm for approximately six months. Your boss, Abigail Stylist, is female, and lately you have noticed some fascinating happenings in the office. Your performance review is due shortly, and your immediate boss suggested at a private meeting you could get ahead more readily in the company if you would come to her apartment. You thought you heard her say: "She would make it worth your time." She also suggested some of your work was not up to par, and you could improve your efforts by coming to her apartment weekly. Her closing comment when you left her office last week was: "You certainly have nice buns. Stay in shape!"
At lunchtime the other day you noticed your boss was staring at your body when you were getting coffee. That same day she pushed three times against your body in the workplace and near the copier.
You are concerned about the innuendo for late night work. You consider yourself a professional, and dating the boss appears to be off limits in the office. Besides, a sexual harassment policy exists in the company. If you date the boss or go to the apartment, the office grapevine or gossip may start. You have already heard by the grapevine your boss has slept with other men. You boss recently asked you if you were a virgin. A question posed in the office included: "Have you committed adultery?" All of these office situations remind you of your unpleasant adolescent years. When you leave the boss's office after a particular long discussion with the door closed one day, you notice office whispering by the female employees.
What to do? You have decided to write a cover-your-anatomy memo to your immediate boss asking her to cease and desist. You have to be so careful with the diplomatic language. You realize the risks (including trumped-up charges and dismissal), but this memo could serve as a paper trail if the occasion arose. Explain frankly in the memo how uncomfortable you are and what needs to be done to solve the problem. Talk about the sexual harassment policy of the company if one exists.
Requirements for Women and Men
Set the memo up with the usual format. Use the name in the case for the "To" line. Under no circumstances, address the memo to me.
Consider using talking captions if the memo reads better with them. Remember this assignment emphasizes using the memo as a political tool where appropriate. In the real world, you may have to carry this memo beyond the immediate supervisor's level. Use the case material as given. DO NOT WRITE TO THE BOSS'S BOSS. DO NOT WRITE OR SEND TO ANY MALE OR FEMALE FACULTY ON THIS CAMPUS OR ANY OTHER CAMPUS. You are trying to settle the situation before it gets further out of hand. You may copy Human Resources, if you desire, because you want to assume a more rigid corporate structure. Once you copy Human Resources, you are placing the issue in a different framework.
Additional Bonuses on Sexual Harassment MemoWhen you have finished your sexual harassment memo, you may want to pursue the subject further. You may want to collect an actual sexual harassment policy from a corporation or an organization. Please do not use the Web for the university’s sexual harassment policy. Please do not include a sexual harassment policy that only relates to students from a community college or a four-year institution. You must actually ask Human Resources at an organization for a copy of its sexual harassment policy. When you have retrieved the policy, you should critically analyze the policy for the following criteria. You should also attach the policy to your incoming assignment.
Notes: Everyone is practicing sexual harassment, so not reacting is better for all concerned. We should not be emotional about sexual harassment.
Notes: Sexual harassment is simply understood as just flirting--no big deal.
Notes: Let’s accept that boys will be boys. We must accept the way things are. A diary should be kept so that further incidents will be taken seriously.
Notes: As you know, I don’t “ize” or “ization” words. However, let’s deal with what the framing device implies. We need to make light of the offense. That’s what the policy says. Therefore, why should anyone argue with it? Sexual harassment is a legal issue exclusively as opposed to ethical leadership or a climate issue.
Notes: The language is limited in describing this offense. Therefore, because the language is limited, let’s keep the offense private. Sexual harassment is a female gender issue. Therefore, why should the organization make space for workers of both genders?
Notes: The issue of sexual harassment is between the two parties. The person doing the harassing was probably sincere. We should handle it.
Notes: We need to go along to get along. The issues will cancel themselves out.
Notes: The sexual harassment incident only happened once. It only happened in that office room. The intensity or severity was not there.
Notes: We need to make the victim invisible. We should try not to personalize it. We will demean the victim by making the issue personal. It must be me who did the harassing (especially speaking for the woman).
These assignments are alternates or one choice for completing the work. That is your e-mail part of the assignment; you may choose one of these alternates. Before choosing any e-mail, we are reminded of Angell's and Heslop's advice in The Elements of E-Mail Style: Communicate Effectively via Electronic Mail:
Alternate Assignment No. 1 for E-mailYour professor, Dr. Simian Hughes, in marketing (or substitute your major), has been promoted from the classroom to Administrative Support Manager to the University President, a very prestigious position. Your remember your professor from at least two classes in your major. Further, your professor has helped you plan some of your major and your general education requirements.
Alternate Assignment No. 2 for E-mail
You are a student at your respective university. Lately, you have noticed that the school's computer lab is not up to par. You notice lab assistants who are doing their homework instead of helping the students. You notice some rude lab assistants. Certain business students have been caught playing games instead of completing their homework assignments. One printer does not do the job in the lab. Twenty and 30 people at a time line up to use the printer. Some students are printing their resumes 30 times. During finals week the lab becomes a nightmare with scheduling done on the chalkboard and students constantly violating the order of using computers. What to do?
You decide to write an e-mail to Mr. Harry Britoe, the Lab Manager. You want to explain the problems and offer solutions. Make sure your memo is phrased positively. You are not there to assess blame but to offer hope. Use talking captions.
Alternate Assignment No. 3 for E-mail
You can't make a scheduled appointment with your professor. You know your professor may not hear your voice mail for several days. You need to immediately tell your professor you can't make the scheduled time at 2 p.m. Your boss has asked you to work late that day on special contracts. Also, you have to travel to Sacramento the rest of that week for business purposes; therefore, you can't reschedule your appointment later in the week. You know your professor has already scheduled two appointments that had to be canceled for business reasons. Be persuasive in your e-mail and admit the shortcomings.
Write at least two paragraphs of explanation, including a buffer section. Use talking captions where appropriate. Offer compromises on how the two of you can still meet.Alternate Assignment No. 4 for E-mail
Suggestions for Doing Alternate Assignments
Because the e-mail is already set up with a To line, rewrite your To line for whatever alternate assignment you choose. For example, you write firstname.lastname@example.org and then say three spaces below that:
To: Mr. Harry Leonardo From: Julie E. Student
By repeating the To and From lines, you have clarified which assignment you chose and not accused or implied any wrongdoing of the recipient. Remember the Subject line following the colons has to be in ALL CAPS. Make sure you repeat these lines.
Due Dates for MWF (Day Classes)
September 11: Listening Memo, notes, talking captions
September 15: Listening Assignment II
September 22: Application Letter, Networking Card and Five Printouts of Web Pages
October 6: Networking Memo Assignment (Resume, Thank-You, Questions, Memo, Business Cards)
October 13: KSA and Government Announcement, Bolded Qualifications
October 20: Proposal Memo (Attachments)
October 23: Mindmap and Outline (Inspiration Software)
November 13: Annotated Bibliography, Attached Internet Pages
November 17: First five paragraphs of Analytical Report Memo typed, Readability Indexes (3)
November 27: Case 12.14, p. 419 in Guffey, Including Two Tables and Two Charts
December 1: Executive Summary of Syllabus Report, Transmittal Memo
December 8: Sexual Harassment Case and Policy Writing Analysis
December 13: One E-mail Assignment
December 15: Deletionary cards and Typed Deletionary Memo with Examples
Due Dates for TTH Class Assignments, 3:30 p.m.
September 14: Typed listening memo, notes, talking captions, networking card
September 28: Printouts of web pages (five different ones)and Final Application Letter
October 3: Typed Progress Report Memo
October 12: Networking memo, resume, typed questions, thank-you letter, traditional resume, business cards
October 19: Mindmap and required outline
October 19: KSA and Government Announcement, Bolded Qualifications
November 2: Proposal Memo (Attachments)
November 9: Annotated Bibliography, including Database annotations.
November 16: First five paragraphs of analytical report memo, Readability indexes (3); keyboarded survey questions for own report
November 28: Case 12.14, p. 419, Guffey, including Two Tables and Two Charts
November 30: Executive Summary of Syllabus Report and Transmittal Memo
December 7: Sexual harassment memo
December 12: One E-mail Assignment
December 14: Deletionary cards and Typed Memo with Examples
Homework once assigned: (One sentence from Los Angeles County Fire Report, Calabasas Incident: Entrapment Analysis)
Please revise this sentence:
There was no control of civilian vehicles on Corral Canyon Road between the Malibu Hills residential area and the Malibu Bowl residential area.
Please refer to solving individual problems or clarification of assignment options by using the home pages.
Last updated Thursday, May 25, 2006
(c)copyright Dr. G. Jay Christensen, All Rights Reserved