They were hailed as a human resources revolution. After a tidal wave of inappropriateness, appropriateness workshops round the country could hardly cope with the huge numbers of catholic clergy, BBC staff, Liberal Democrats and music teachers willing to pay hundreds of pounds to “realign their behaviours alongside agreed appropriateness indices”. Or to put it in simple terms used by chief A.W trainer Midge Smyth, “to learn not to do stuff with or to each other’s bottoms that might get them in the papers”
According to the literature from Shock and AW, the most popular of the A. W training companies, appropriateness means “not pouring custard over rhubarb until it has been picked, cooked and put on a plate; not wearing flippers and goggles to the annual conference; not experimenting with a new boomerang during live studio transmissions, holy masses, string quartet auditions or speeches by Paddy Ashdown.”
“We want a relaxed, informal atmosphere at our sessions,” Smyth told BBC’s the One Show last week. “So these jokes are highly appropriate. “Then we go on to the tougher stuff, with appropriately trained and vetted appropriateness leaders demonstrating how appropriateness can quickly get those two little letters “in” tagged on to them. This can lead to mistrust, discomfort , and in some cases the complete breakdown of ancient religious institutions or middle of the road political parties.”
Unfortunately, a workshop in Staines, Middx went badly wrong after two trainers performed a mutually agreed and sanctioned bottom fondling demonstration, which they accidentally labelled as “appropriate” instead of the opposite. “What happened next beggars belief” said onlooker Grace Smythers, a member of the catering team. “Everyone in the room started behaviours that in anyone’s book were not appropriate to the conduct of a professional life coaching session. The trainers, realising their mistake, went round smacking people’s hands and shouting “NO! inappropriate!” But that only seemed to make things worse, especially among the Liberal Democrats.”
Later, a statement from the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said “No Lib Dems were, to my knowledge, at the workshop, and they certainly didn’t drive there, they used a special bus. In a redacted statement the BBC said “Jeremy Paxman *** ****** and **** with extra mayonnaise.” A teacher from the Royal Northern College of Music made a comment about “fiddling” which the College later apologised for, saying it was “inappropriate”.