New York, New York:
The General Services Administration (GSA), the federal agency responsible for a multitude of management tasks crucial to an over-reaching governmental behemoth, announced this past Friday a bold new initiative in response to the exploding number of workplace sexual harassment reports and allegations.
Beginning on Friday, December 15th 2017, all 12,000 GSA employees will be required to wear a federally-approved ‘worka-burka‘ which obscures all outward indicators of gender.
The startling HR move was announced late Friday in a brief press conference headed by GSA Assistant to the Vice-Director of Human Relations, Mr. Sheldon C. Litmus.
“We always believe in taking a pro-active approach to the issues we face,” said Mr. Litmus. “The solution was clear, and easy to implement. We were able to have an acceptable design for the worka-burka completed within days, and vendors delivered our first thousand test burkas within two weeks after that.
Now let me be clear, these are not mere bundles of cloth. No, sir! The worka-burka is designed to be a one-size-fits-all solution, thanks to an ingenious series of straps and buckles that can be adjusted to provide a comfortable fit. And each worka-burka also employs some really exciting digital technology. The mouthpiece is fitted with a high-tech vocal distortion device, eliminating any chance of being able to audibly discern the gender of a co-worker. For the near future this device has only a default setting, which doe sound more than a bit like Darth Vader. But we are developing an adjustable version providing a choice of several non-gender-specific tonal styles.”
Mr. Litmus went on to say that the agency has been conducting field trials of the new office wear with a group of 400 GSA employees at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City over the past week.
“As with any bold new initiative, we do expect a few speedbumps,” Mr. Litmus admitted. “During our field testing with 400 employees here at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building, we inadvertently neglected to tell our Homeland Security detail about the test. There was a bit of a procedural misadventure regarding their response to four hundred burka-clad figures rushing the main entrance at 7:45 in the morning, on that first day.”