In the Trenches: Too close for comfort

In this edition of In the Trenches, Acme wonders what constitutes gender discrimination or a hostile work environment.

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Seeking to curb the sales division’s profligate spending, Sales Manager Barry Nobetter informed his sales reps, Mike Sells and Bill Tells, that the trio would be sharing a hotel room during the upcoming week-long sales training in Omaha. Mike and Bill weren’t happy about it but begrudgingly accepted their fate, aware that the boss had to sacrifice, too. On their first night in town, Barry, Mike, and Bill met the new Acme reps, whom the trio would instruct in the finer points of selling trimethyl flubdub, at the hotel bar. After a few hours Mike and Bill returned, exhausted, to their room, leaving Barry at the bar. The boss had abandoned his sales team by this point and was flirting with a local woman at the bar.

About an hour later, Mike and Bill were awoken by the sounds of laughter — male and female laughter. Barry had brought the mystery woman to the hotel room, and the pair, stark naked, was in a passionate embrace in the double bed a mere 8 ft away. Mike rolled his eyes, turned his back away from the lovers, and hit the sack. Bill, horrified, lay awake feigning sleep and waited anxiously for the guest to depart.

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