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Young people in the workplace: Script - rightsED

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Young people in the workplace - Script

Young people in the workplace

Scene one - the café

Lian and her friends meet in a café and discuss the
benefits of part-time work while still at school - experience,
money, meeting people etc. Lian's friend, Kenny, works in a
computer company and Lian has decided to apply for a job

Scene two - the interview

Lian is still at school. Encouraged by her friends, she goes
for an interview for a part-time job with a computer company.

At the interview, the boss, Mr Robinson, suggests that it "is
unusual for a girl" to want to work in the computer area.

Lian explains that she loves computers, is very good with
them, has her own G3 computer at home, has done her own web page
and often helps out the teachers with computer problems at

Mr Robinson explains that it is a male dominated area and asks
how she would feel about being the "only female in the area, and
a very pretty one too". He explains that it can be a bit rough
with the young men using rude language and jokes and
inappropriate pictures hanging up. He says, "I'm worried that you
may not be able to handle that".

Lian says she doesn't think that it will be a problem and asks
what procedures or policies are in place to handle such problems
should they arise. Mr Robinson says, "We've never had a problem
and I can't see them starting now".

Mr Robinson then says, "I don't think you'll have any
problems, a girl like you will have them wrapped around your
little finger in no time".
As they are leaving the office the boss asks Lian if she has a
boyfriend and she says she does.

Scene three - introduction to the workplace

Lian is introduced to her supervisor, Len, who welcomes her to
the workplace. Len then introduces her to the other employees who
are all young men - Tony, Jim, Justin and Kenny. Len says to
Justin, "Turn that screen saver around so she's not

As he leaves, the boss says to Len, "Seems like a good kid,
knows her stuff and she's quick but don't spend too much time on
training, it's not worth it as these Asian girls like to start
families very young". Len says, "I don't know if that's true but
isn't that discrimination?" and Mr Robinson replies, "No, she's
got a job, doesn't she".

Scene four - workplace behaviour

Tony comes up and puts his arm around Lian. When she resists,
Tony says "Don't get aggressive or you'll get a bad rating and
you wouldn't want that, trust me". Tony is then told by Len to
keep his hands to himself and that "no means no".

Scene five - equal opportunity

Lian is told not to lift the G3 computer because "it's too
heavy for a little thing like you". Justin says, "That's right,
demand equal treatment but don't do equal work".

Len then talks to Jim and tells him there's a special training
course for the G3 computer coming up which he'd like Jim to
attend. When Len asks who else knows about G3s Jim suggests Lian
because she has lots of experience with the G3.

Len then says it would be a waste of time to send Lian because
she can't lift the G3 and the customers prefer males to do
computer demonstrations. Lian says that she would like to go to
the training course but Len dismisses her by saying, "We'll talk
about it some other time".

Scene six - race issues

Lian's friend Kenny, who is Aboriginal, is being picked on by
his workmates.

One person says, "What's this, eh?" pointing to Kenny's
Aboriginal flag pin, "you Aboriginal or something? You look more
white than black to me, you just say you're Aboriginal to get all
the perks like cheap home loans, free cars and stuff."

Kenny says, "No you idiot, it's because I am black, it's my
family heritage".

Another workmate says, "I'll tell you what I do know - you're
taking some days off next week and going to a family funeral -
for your uncle or something".
Kenny says, "We're a close family, the death of an uncle is
special. It's a strong cultural thing we do." Justin says, "You
guys are always rorting the system, but fair's fair and we're
fair enough around here - we won't treat you any

Scene seven - Len and Kenny

Kenny is then called over by the supervisor, Len, who says
that some of the customers are offended by Kenny's Aboriginal
flag pin and have complained that they don't like being served by
an Aboriginal person.

Len says that Kenny will have to either take the Aboriginal
flag pin off or Len will get someone else to serve those

Kenny says, "But you said all I had to do was make lots of
sales and meet targets".

Len then says, "I know these people are out of date, but we
can't afford to offend them. If they go then we all lose - it's
just these three or four older customers. I'm sorry but you have
to like it or leave."

Scene eight - what can Lian and Kenny do?

Back at the café, Lian, Kenny and their friends discuss
the situation.

Lian explains that they don't want to get into trouble, or dob
people in, or be seen as complaining all the time.

One friend says, "They'll just have to put up with it".

Another friend says, "That's rubbish, you don't have to put up
with it - make a complaint".

The friend explains the situation in his workplace, "The boss
is approachable, there are clear policies in place and there's a
person nominated to keep an eye on workplace discrimination and
harassment. At the occupational health and safety talk they said
that the workplace had to be safe, comfortable, and free of

He then says, "What you're saying sounds like harassment, and
that's not right".

Lian says, "That's fine for permanent staff" but she thinks
that because Kenny and she are casuals the company will find it
easy to get rid of them.

Kenny and Lian are also worried that if they go to the boss
they will be seen as just complaining all the time.

What can Kenny and Lian do?