Just a boys night out

When I first read the details of the Secret Service prostitution scandal my first thought was “wow it must suck to be a female in the Secret Service.”

The story reminded me of  a work problem a friend had confided in me a while ago.  She didn’t have to deal with male coworkers getting prostitutes but she had to deal with coworkers and customers who wanted to go to strip clubs.

At the time my friend was fresh out of college with a technical degree from an excellent school.  She took a position in sales at a large company where she sold IT products to other business customers.  My friend (lets call her Sara) is a very smart,  vivacious,  outgoing person.  She knows her stuff and was comfortable with both the schmoozing side and the technical side

We were meeting one day and she asked me what I thought about her customers wanting to go to strip clubs.  I practically fell off my chair! She refused to go to the strip club suggested by her customer but two other salesmen in her office stepped in and decided to take the customers. Sara was concerned that she was missing out on business by refusing to go but she also felt very uncomfortable going to a strip club with much older, married, men.

We discussed some actions she had taken (talking with her HR person who was understanding but not too helpful) and what she could do if the situation came up again (luckily it didn’t happen again…word must have gotten out).

Now keep in mind this is happening at a  Fortune 500 company  and it was pretty much shrugged off.  Sara didn’t put up too much of a fight because she was still getting 100% of her commissions and she didn’t want to “rock the boat.”

Now can you imagine being a female Secret Service agent that has to put up with these shennanigans? Agents getting drunk and bringing back prostitutes,  then getting into a brawl in the hallway!? The Secret Service is a very secretive organization that probably doesn’t like rocking the boat,  so I can only imagine what other crap must go on.

It’s time we stopped looking the other way and being afraid to rock the boat. Go rock the boat! If you want a boys night out do it on your own time and money.  We shouldn’t tolerate this behavior in our organizations and we sure as hell shouldn’t tolerate in our government agencies.

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