Sensitivity Assessment

I clicked on the link in the email and watched the video message load. It was an advertisement for some kind of new electric toothbrush and I stifled a yawn as a parade of cheerful white woman in their late twenties marveled at how clean their perfect teeth felt.

After it ended, I watched it a few more times. Once I’d gotten everything I could, I typed up my notes, stuck them into a reply email, and sent it off. A few minutes later, my phone rang.


“What do you mean ‘it needs less white women.”

“Fewer. You have almost two dozen actors and they’re all white women. It needs some diversity.”

“The agency sent us these women. What the hell where we supposed to do?”

I shrugged, shifting the phone so I could use both my hands again. “I don’t know, Shannon. You wanted a sensitivity assessment and I gave it to you.”

“In the most unprofessional way possible.” Shannon was pissed and I held back the urge to sigh.

“Did you want me to pretend it was fine? I answered everything according to our guidelines and there’s nothing in my response I haven’t sent to you a dozen times already.”

“Whatever, Kent. I can’t do this right now. I’ve got to go talk to the director and let him know we’ve got to reshoot the entire commercial.”

“You called me.”

I imagined Shannon slamming the phone down and smiled. She got so angry every time I sent her the feedback she requested. I probably could have been a little less blunt in my email, but she was just so much fun to wind up.

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