By Sandra Arnold
The campus-wide survey on bullying, which the head of HR now regretted initiating, was followed by an emergency team meeting to discuss how to manage the fallout. Publicity about staff intimidation, interviews that ignored experience and qualifications in favour of a points system to rate answers, and managers selected on their ability to bullshit, did the university’s reputation no favours, she complained. Decisive action was required. After an hour of brainstorming the team came up with a brilliant and cost-effective solution. The university would hold an Anti-Bullying Day. Posters would be distributed around the campus with uplifting sayings. HR would encourage everyone to come to work in a pink T-shirt on Anti-Bullying Day to show solidarity and to promote the university as a woke workplace where all staff felt safe and valued. Someone suggested ordering pink cupcakes with hearts on the icing to add a bit of fun to the message. One of the managers joked that the initiative wouldn’t look too shabby on his CV either. The rest of the team clapped him on the back and speculated about his payrise.
Sandra Arnold is an award-winning writer who lives in New Zealand. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and is the author of five books. Her most recent, a flash fiction collection, Soul Etchings (Retreat West Books, UK) and a novel, The Ash, the Well and the Bluebell (Mākaro Press, NZ) were published in 2019. Her flash fiction and short stories have been widely published and anthologised.