I guess you could say I have been fortunate. Even when I worked for a predominantly male company for 3 years, I never had an issue with sexual harassment. Sure, my old boss and I had some silly banter that would go back and forth, but it was all in good fun- we were friends and there was nothing more to it. Besides, there was never anything physical.
Today, I finally found out what it feels like to be sexually harassed on the job. I can't believe it. I'm stunned… but mostly, I'm just angry. Working weekends alone in the basement of a hospital with the shittiest security known to man is creepy enough without a co-worker making you feel uncomfortable. What was already an uneasy environment just because of the situation of no one being around, just got creepier. If something had gone really wrong today, no one would have heard me… and that's just plain scary as fuck. I feel violated. Damnit… it's not like I liked the job anyway, but you don't fuck with a girl where she works. :S
In any case… he fucked with the wrong girl. He just made a BIG mistake. This radical feminist, child and domestic abuse survivor isn't one to keep her mouth shut and let this happen to anyone else. Oh hell no… you can bet your cute little asses that I reported him to my boss.
I expect a phone call in the morning….
Here's the letter I wrote to her:
Senior Director (name removed),
An incident of sexual harassment happened today that I feel must be reported. As a woman, I feel it is my duty to report this type of behavior so that others are protected. Following is a detailed description of today’s events, both mundane and profane.
(Name removed) came in to cover Nuclear Medicine today (Sunday, October 26th) because (name removed) called out sick. We exchanged pleasantries this morning when he first came in and seemed mutually pleased to see a familiar face. Over the past 15 months since I began working here, (name removed) and I have shared several conversations about Indian culture and food. Because of this, and a previous offer to try some of his tea months ago, I graciously accepted.
After heating it up in the microwave, we sat in the lounge and chatted for a bit while we ate. We talked about Hinduism (and other Eastern religions), local Indian venues and events, and vegetarianism. I mentioned I had been vegan up until a few months ago; being vegetarian, he asked me the reason for my decision to eat meat again. I explained I had added cheese and dairy and then later meat at the insistence of my doctor, and that I noticed a difference in the way I felt since adding meat back to my diet. He asked me in which way and I explained that I had less fatigue, felt more energy and overall vitality, and otherwise was in better health. He then asked if I had more wants and desires, and I thought he meant for meat or sweets, so I explained that I didn’t notice a difference in those things. (To be honest, the question seemed so strange that I wasn’t really sure how to answer.) A little bit later, he rephrased it again and asked if I had more sexual desires since adding meat. Putting two and two together, I finally figured out that was his previous question, and answered politely that I hadn’t noticed a difference, but that it was possible. I told him I had never really given it thought, and let the question drop. (It seemed like an odd and unprofessional question, but being open and curious in nature myself, I thought it wasn’t a big deal.) I was relieved when he changed the topic changed, so I didn’t make much of it. It seemed innocent enough.
After we were finished with lunch, I returned to the office to complete payroll. He extended his arms and said he was thankful to have a friend and someone who appreciated Indian culture. Not wanting to be rude, although finding it a bit unprofessional and strange, I got up from my chair and returned a hug. It was a long and awkward hug and felt him touch my arms and then even kissed my neck. It was very bizarre. I felt uncomfortable and backed away and went back to my work. He went back up to work and said he would probably stop by on his way out to say good-bye.
When (name removed) came back around 4pm, I was alone. He again extended his arms to offer a good-bye hug and I reluctantly got up to receive it. Being friendly, I gave him a hug and felt him nearly lift me off the floor. Then he let his arms fall and purposely land both hands on my butt. I immediately backed up and stated that he was not to touch my butt. I turned back to the computer and he awkwardly left… no doubt realizing his mistake.
Through mumblings with other women in the department, I had heard that he was “creepy” and that he had made passes at them or made others uncomfortable, but honestly didn’t believe any of it because he seemed harmless and nice. I took his accent, imperfect English, and culture differences into consideration and assumed it explained the weird vibe and seemingly flirtatious nature. Unfortunately, I can now confirm that there is more to things than I wanted to believe.
If you would like to speak with me further about what occurred today, you may reach me on my cell phone at: (917) 721-3024.
CC: Assistant Director (name removed)
< Identifying Information Removed>