This is practically a new career.  Or is for those who worry – there is a section of society (many of whom have an on line presence) who actually don’t seem to care at all.  About giving offence.  Never mind what anyone else might think.  But if you worry about giving offence – it will be as time consuming as a job. 

It should be a job.  Imagine asking: Hi what do you do.  And being told: Oh I am Head of Worrying About Giving Offence.  (I’m not typing that again – let’s stick to WAGO).  As in Head of WAGO.  Those of us who wago in our own time will nod politely and ask something lame like have you done that long.  And quietly think the world has finally gone hat stand mad.  Who does that as a job.  They must have ulcers and a therapist on speed dial.

The first thing to worry about is that acronym.  Might need to be snappier.  WAGO after all could give offence.  Must mean something – perhaps in science – or in the civil service.  Or just if you mis hear it.  And being head of it would be construed as an insult.  Or maybe a crime (if it is really a thing and you are pretending to be it).  In terms of job titles we do have:

Diversity coordinator

Intimacy coordinator

Inclusion specialist

And therefore presumably have a diversity manager, an intimacy manager.  I won’t go on.

Mind you being the division head of intimacy sounds interesting.  But jokes are risky. 

But a quick google will show that there is no such thing.  In job title land.  Yet.

After worrying about the job title or any job title that you haven’t heard of.  What is an inclusion specialist?  Should you know?  Do you care?  Maybe you can apply to go for a drink after work and they tell you who you should invite in case the company get sued for not having the right balance of say drinkers and non drinkers?  Or any other interest group or even just group. Just a thought.  Lots to include and balance there.

I myself don’t worry about including people.  All welcome.  I don’t actually post about where I am going (Where would I do this?  Who would read it?  Or care?) so that is quite exclusive really and so maybe I should worry about being more inclusive.  Although years ago if you put that you were having a party on facebook apparently people would come and wreck your house (or your parents’ house probably).  So that is an example of needing an inclusion specialist (or manager).  Also known as a parent.  Mind you saying: put that exploding beer can down and get out of my house isn’t very inclusive is it.  It might upset people and this is very wrong.

So I worry about giving offence. By being exclusive. But as I don’t want to wreck anyone’s house and I don’t think evenings spent in various friends’ kitchens would be that appealing anyway (fascinating though we are) I can relax.  There are much much more exciting things going on so just google them and I don’t have to worry about not including you as you are busy.  You see if you just behave rationally you can relax.  You are nice, kind and polite.  You would never offend anyone. 

But many many people don’t worry about giving offence.  They are outraged.  Furious.  And very very good at posting all their outrage and fury.  Whether they worry is not clear.  Name calling and abuse hurling is probably so time consuming they might not get time.  There is no question that they might consider a measured reaction or a polite disagreement.  Do they not know that everything offends someone. If taking offence is your thing.  My friend having a kitchen that I sit in could offend someone.  My not posting my whereabouts on line.  Constantly.  Yes that could do it (well not me but for some).  Objecting to people spraying beer in a house.  That too.  What about committed beer sprayers.  They would be hurt.  Outraged. 

So the simple simple solution to all this – to the WAGOs out there.  Is don’t put stuff on the internet that you don’t mind people commenting on.  But it is ok to be polite and disagree.  Or just be polite and say nothing.  And to the insult hurlers: if you find someone offensive ignore them.  Imagine.  A world where you read, enjoy and if something offends you turn it off.  Close the page.  Don’t pay it any attention.  Don’t comment.  Do something else with your day.  Like worrying about giving offence.  Bingo – welcome to WAGO.