Wednesday, November 08, 2006

harassment

So I was talking to a friend last night about an bad experience he had with sexual harassment in the workplace. It made me think about something I experienced that was devastating at the time, but ended up being the best thing that could have happened to me. I worked for 6 years for a large business doing uninspiring corporate graphics and torturous powerpoint presentations. My manager at the time was mid-level grunt whose shortcomings in life led him to get his rocks off by taking credit for my work and make me feel as small as possible.

I tried as hard as I could to be a good worker, stayed late, did extra projects, bent over backwards to make him and everyone else happy. It got me no where. One day I was at home checking my messages and saw that I had missed this pocket dial call from my boss:

Background noise – loud bar, drinks

Man: “You know Sheree, she’s got a nice rack”
(muffled sound)
Man: "...bimbo"
(muffled sound)
Man “Ya she’s just a stupid bitch”
(more muffled sound)

(click)

My heart dropped into my stomach, I felt like I had been slapped in the face. This bottom feeder that I had been busting my ass for was in some bar talking shit to one of his lame friends about me. I didn't know what to do, I didn't want to face this asshole again, knowing that all my hard work meant nothing and all he saw me was my bra size. I thought about bringing it to HR, but then the mess that would ensure was something I surely didn't want to deal with. So I took a different approach, I decided to get even.

I ripped the phone call to MP3, took it to work and told someone about it who I knew would tell him. His attitude changed, quite quickly. Suddenly mister nasty turned into mister nice guy. I started looking for another job and landed one at a real ad agency, close to where I lived. The day I was going to resign he nervously followed me into the back office; with a smile on my face I told him that I would be leaving and thanked him for EVERYTHING he gave me to the look on his face was absolutely priceless. It was the best thing that could have happened to me, if it hadn’t I might not have had the resolve to leave that place. So I thank you, for being a complete pig and leaving that message on my phone, it’s helped me get to where I am today.

1 Comments:

  • I absolutely LOVE this post. Everyone in an office loses when sexual harrassment occurs, but it's the victim who gets to decide what effect it will have on her. You made the right choice and also likely empowered other people with what you did.

    You are woman, and I hear you roar.

    By Blogger kevin, at 4:50 AM  

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