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Sexual Harassment: my experience

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  NerdyChick334 1 year, 11 months ago.

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AllisonGrace

AllisonGrace

Hey ladies! I wanted to share something with you, and I hope that it may help you in any tough situation you find yourself in.

Recently I got a new job at an office. It’s for a small business owner, and he is a computer/tech repair man. I was his only employee working in a tiny office. Everything was fine at first, but he was a little…well, rude. He would constantly make comments about my intelligence since I’m blonde. It was very disheartening. When I did something well he’d say “Hey, you’re actually smart sometimes!” He was in the office a majority of the day, and it was like this constantly. 8 hours a day of little nasty remarks. I would joke right back, but it really hurt.

About 3 weeks in, he began making jokes. Sexual jokes. I won’t go into too much detail, but I would pull out my phone and he would say “Oooh, are you sexting?” That’s the tamest one. The other ones are so obscene I can’t say them. Every time I would mention almost anything he would connect it to something sexual. Now, he never touched me inappropriately, but I felt extremely uncomfortable. I told him that I didn’t like it. He brushed it off, saying I’m too “innocent’ and that he needs to “toughen me up.”
I am 20 years old. I know the world. It’s not up to him to toughen me up.

This behavior went on for a few more weeks. I would ask for “in and out” times for his appointments and he would make a sexual joke. In addition to that, he was also being condescending about how I was doing at my job. It got to a point where I couldn’t eat all day. I was depressed and in misery.

A few days ago he had a customer’s computer to work on in the office. He goes through everyone’s personal data/pictures. I told him I didn’t like it, but of course he didn’t care. He opened up a picture of the customer that was explicit. He went through her personal photos that I’m sure were meant for her husband only.

Finally, I decided enough was enough. Yesterday I worked and once I left I wrote an email describing exactly what was not okay, and that I was quitting immediately. He apologized profusely and said if I came back he would act professional. I said my decision was final.

Ladies, I wanted to share this with you because I learned some important things. Do not ever brush off something that makes you uncomfortable. If you do not feel safe, comfortable, and respected where you work, get out. Just because you’re not being physically harassed doesn’t mean it’s not harassment. Stand up for yourself.

When I was working I felt degraded, stupid, and depressed. Once I quit, I felt a massive weight lifted. I’m curious to know if you girls have any stories similar to mine! Please share 🙂

December 18, 2014 at 08:05
Mandi Pi

Mandi Pi

Not cool bro…Did you report this person? I mean, I don’t have experience in these things, but wouldn’t going through people’s personal things on computers count as some sort of offense? O_o

December 18, 2014 at 09:20
spyder

spyder

Yes yes yes yes. Thank you. Too often I see (mainly girls) just accept the kind of behavior that’s given to them when it’s totally inappropriate. Granted, it can be scary (terrifying, really) but it usually ends up helping the situation. Good for you for standing up for yourself. <3

December 18, 2014 at 09:58
AllisonGrace

AllisonGrace

My parents and I are discussing whether to report him or not.
There was no HR person to talk to, considering he was the only one there. So I’m not sure. He apologized and said it wasn’t like him, but I mean, the things he said and did were horrible. Thank you for the support, both of you. I was in a really dark place for a while there.

December 18, 2014 at 10:41
SlinkyKitty88

SlinkyKitty88

What you did is awesome. So many people would have just stayed, thinking perhaps they were being too uptight, or quit quietly and made up some other reason. Yay, you! :3

December 18, 2014 at 12:07
NerdyChick334

NerdyChick334

Never be afraid of being perceived as rude or, as a lot of people like to say, a b****. The other girls are right; you did the right thing by being firm and leaving a situation where you were not respected.

December 20, 2014 at 12:33
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