Matt Lauer co-anchor of NBC's "Today" is fired over allegations of sexual harassment, on Wednesday, November 29, according to Variety magazine. Only last Thursday, November 23, on Thanksgiving day he was hosting one of the hokiest, wholesome as milk and cookies TV broadcasts still aired on NBC, the "Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade." However, a complaint of sexual impropriety was submitted by a colleague on Monday night, November 27, according to NBC news president, Andrew Lack, and reported by the New York Times. This was the first allegation or complaint on Lauer’s record in 20 years at NBC.

However, lest there be room for a lawsuit here, Lack went on to say, according to the Times, “...we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

'It' happens in every office setting, but what is 'it'?

Alright, let’s get one thing straight. Unwanted advances, comments, storytelling, and touching goes on in workplaces around the country; no one denies that. And, no-one is denying that it happens more often to women than to men. Furthermore, I have stood by and kept silent while I listened to accusations against everyone from Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose and now Matt Lauer. Of course, I have my opinion about the character of all of these men, which is not worthy of printing.

However, one thing that I know is that all of these "characters" indicted in the court of public opinion. And, when that happens to people with perceived low moral character (depending on your region of the country - Roy Moore), we are alright with that. But, it is harder to swallow when it happens to the perceived "nerdy," aw-shucks, All-American guys, such as Matt Lauer.

When is it OK to publicly blurt out alleged aggressors?

At some point, a benchmark, threshold or line in the sand has to be drawn over which it is alright to publish or broadcast names publicly, but behind which it is not. People worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been taken down, career, reputation and all, within "minutes" relatively speaking!

And, while the people in question may have to be let go from their jobs, only management gets to know the why and how, until convicted, not the whole "world." This is "Human Resources 101," right to privacy in the 21 century. In many instances allegations of sexual harassment are very grey situations, anecdotal, attitudinal and personality skewed opinions, I am sure of it.

According to the Associated Press, Minnesota Public Radio was an exception in keeping their firing of world re-known humorist and "Prairie Home Companion" radio show host, Garrison Keillor, for inappropriate sexual conduct, out of the press. Keillor later announced his dismissal in an email to the Associated Press, saying that the situation was more complicated than perhaps MPR had heard.

It was brave of Garrison Keillor, but at age 75 he has little to lose. And MPR is to be commended for allowing the accused to announce his fate in his own way, perhaps preserving a reputation earned over decades.

The accusers are not always in the right

I want to emphasize that there are often two sides to accusations in the workplace and also to dispute that women have not felt empowered to speak up at work. I have experienced, in situations across three decades, in three unrelated industries, incidences where everyday interoffice relationships lead to embarrassing sitdowns with management, and the possibility of firings; over false or misleading accusations. Apparently, there were no shrinking violets where fame, status, power and big bucks were not involved.

'Hell hath no fury...'

Setting: In a Wall St. office location, with fast-paced action, "yuppies" in suits and managers above them. Traders and salespeople on the phones, trying to drum up business. There is an average salesman new to the firm, trying to make his mark, with reason to rely on a younger lady within the support team for some reports or documentation that will help his cause. A rapport develops between the two over weeks and months. By any account, the conversation becomes a little flirtatious. The salesman, new to the firm is advised by peers, not to take the bait that the young lady is leaving. As the salesman quieted down, grumblings could be heard among the support staff. A short time later said salesman is called into HR for a "conversation." Nothing came of it, but questions of tolerance or impropriety, and innuendo were discussed and not without embarrassment to the salesman.

This incidence took place in 1987-88 and can be chalked up to a "women’s scorn," in a situation initiated by the female support staff.

I'll show you, 'who's the boss applesauce.'

Setting: In a high traffic tourism outfit in the Pacific, a $1.5mm a year operation has an office administrator, a dozen tour guides and retail personnel, a couple of boat captains and an equipment repair technician. However, due to an on the job injury, an instructor and guide are offered a short-term position in the office and on the phones in a quasi-sales/marketing capacity. One day some friction regarding day to day goings on in the office developed between the office administrator and said, temporary salesman. Before you know it the tour guide is in the GM’s office defending some completely false claims of inappropriate sexually tinged language in mixed company, according to the office administrator.

This was especially weird because the two parties and their spouses were friends outside of work! This took place in 1994 or so and could be framed as insecurity in the workplace.

Can you say, 'body sensitivity issues?'

Setting: Local media sales office, one of a dozen or so in and around this southeast city. There are offices like this all over the country, and they are all run the same. Local radio advertising salespeople hit the phones or the pavement drumming up advertisers for the local radio station. Once a potential client is nibbling, the concept for on-air advertisement including script is brought back to the station where salespeople jockey for the attention of limited production and studio staff to get the customer on the air quickly.

In this time-sensitive and fast paced sales environment, salespeople need to sell clients and then charm the support staff to prioritize their sales "project" to get produced first! In one such scenario, the salesman has successfully convinced one of the production talents on staff to take on his "demo" creation. While wanting to encourage, cajole and support said talent the salesman was standing behind the seated staffer who was clicking and typing on a keyboard. With his hands on her shoulders, he would have been thanking her, cheering her on, encouraging her (as if on a ball field!) and just smiling that this was getting done on his timeline! Well, a day or so later said salesman was called into the GM’s office and told that his touching her in the manner described was reported to HR as "uncomfortable," and so this formal meeting had to take place to address the incident.

Once again, this was humbling and embarrassing, but this incidence should not have been called sexual harassment. This felt like, she may have been inappropriately touched at some other time in her life, kind of baggage.

Women have been going to HR since the '80's

I bring up these incidences, which took place over three decades and began in the 1980s, to add to the conversation that we hear on CNN and seeing on social media. I need to hear some conversation about the range of intergender communication that is acceptable to all in the workplace. What level of familiarity do we accept with each other? Is our office culture one of congeniality in which one person’s joke, although not our cup of tea, can be let go. Or, do we need to have our workplace be strictly business with less collegiality, and perhaps more stress?