Wednesday, August 23, 2006
SEXUAL HEALING, BASYS STYLE
Within my first two weeks of employment at CNN, it seemed to me that the place was rampant with horn dogs. This was partly due to an internal messaging system called BASYS which enabled faceless and occasionally anonymous sexual commentary. (The anonymous part happened because it was an open secret that CNN's style reporter Elsa Klensch's password was "garden". Not sure if she ever knew about the type of filth that was messaged under her good name.)
Back in the late 1990's people weren't as concerned about privacy issues in the workplace. It didn't occur to us that our comments could come back to bite us on the ass. Plus, some people working weird hours only had their co-workers as a social outlet. They never saw anyone else much of the time. Consequently, the CNN Center became a bubble community...filled with horn dogs.
So, whenever that blinking "message" sign popped up, you never knew quite what you were going to get, only that it was most likely not work-related.
A sampling of the types of messages I got during my stint as a VJ:
-Hi. My wife and I are really into threesomes. We talked about you last night over dinner (she's a great cook by the way) and she agrees that you are exactly the kind of person she'd like to bring home.
-You feel like getting stoned? I have a break at four.
-Hi. You don't know me. But I think you're cute. I've been noticing you now for the past few days. I'm too shy to talk to you though, because I have a fat ass.
-You look like a pilgrim hooker in that outfit.
-Hi. It was fun having drinks with you after work at Jocks and Jills. If you're ever into having a threesome, let me know. I'm pretty sure my wife would be into it. I know I would!
There was one CNN BASYS "rite de passage" that I never experienced. One co-worker was notorious for using BASYS as a tool to proposition women for anal sex. Apparently, I was not to his taste because he never asked me. While the offer was odious, I felt curiously left out that it was not extended to me. Kind of like when someone tells you, "Eww! This really stinks. Smell it."
And you DO.