Tag Archives: Work

Carina K

Four years ago, I was working as a “valeter” for a BMW Dealer in a small town in county Wexford. I had been working for them for four months when a manager started to call me “honey”. As I found it rather inappropriate in a work place, I asked him to call me by my name. Soon, a very arrogant, stuck-up person (another manager) showed up, and started to explain that here, in this country ladies are called like “Hon”, “Sweetheart” or whatever men want to call them, so he started to call me “Darling”. From that day on, this manager visited me regularly at work until he managed to got me to understand that it would have been much better for me to become his “Friend with benefits”, if I had wanted to keep my -otherwise- underpaid and hard physical job. I relied on this income as I was married and had a family, however, he (or the company who was backing him in his filthy blackmailing, and was covering his acts in every possible way) was never interested in my being married. They never accepted this as an excuse for not being a “Friend with benefits” of anyone. I just wanted to work, earn money and spend it on my family. I did not want any trouble. They were extremely happy with my work, so I calmed down a bit when a 20-year-old girl arrived to the company (I was 39) to participate in a 9-month Internship as a receptionist, and this manager had found another amusement for himself in the person of that girl. (Literally, they spent the whole day together, the company supplied them with enough time, car and fuel to travel to the next town where the girl lived so that they could have sex instead of being at work. I was happy with that because I thought, at least, I would be left alone.) The only thing I was not happy with was that when this girl went on holiday this manager came and started the harassment over again as he needed someone for sex. As I could observe it, he was literally “bathing” in the fame that he was a “fashionable womanizer” who could bother anyone unpunished as he was completely a beneficiary of nepotism at the company I worked for. Being famous for having more than one “Friend with benefits” simultaneously was his real enjoyment, rather than having sex with them. So, he often came and pretended in front of my colleagues that I was one of his “Friends with benefits”. I was warned for the second time that it was better not to fall out with that manager, so to save my job AND ONLY TO SAVE MY JOB!!! I slept with him for the second time. When his girlfriend returned from holiday, she was not even jealous of me when she heard the story of how his boyfriend had compensated himself when she was gone – which showed me the fact that how high expectations she might have had regarding being the girlfriend of an accomplished 40-year-old businessman. Probably, a job or a marriage had been promised to her. To make this story short, I could not take the harassment and humiliation anymore as he and the whole company objectified me as his spare sex-toy, so I quit my job. The most interesting part of it is that my reputation has been ruined, I could not get a job ever since I left them. No one will give me job here because nobody wants to piss them off by employing me. I am the one who lives with “stigma”, my life is broken, and I needed 4 years to recover and tell this story. I think this is some “form ” of rape when someone is blackmailed with their job. And the person, that committed it on me, had spent two years stalking me afterwards. I did not do anything wrong except I did not report his threatening messages like ” (I quote)…believe me you don`t want to fuck with me, or you will be sorry!…” to police at all. Thank you for reading my story, and …LADIES, LEARN YOUR LESSON OF IT!!!

Alex

I am from developing third World country with hard sexism in it. If I am not marry till 23 here people will be sorry at you. If I am not have kids till 25, I will be old maiden and people will have decry me. If I study programming people will decry me and send to sell. If I learn new languages people will ask why it’s important to me and advice me to marry. If I study in Uni, boys will advice me to stop study and to find a good husband. If our women’ media teach us how to be good wives and mothers and no words about career. If you have not so much chances to emigrate to the West coz of many visa limitations. But I decided to live a live that I want despite of gender biases. I will do what I want and I will marry when I want. P. S. My country isn’t Muslim.

Anon

I was 18, working at a festival selling food. A mid 40’s, male, ‘youth liaison’ police officer, with roughly seven of his peers ordered food. Whilst I was making his meal he came up to me and handed me his card, he had written his number on the back. “What are you doing after work, can I drive you home?” I looked up at him shocked, then one of his peers, also a police officer chimed in “his car is nice and spacious if you know what I mean” and winked, to which all seven of them started laughing. I was so horrified about being ganged up on by several police officers making sexually explicit comments that I mumbled something about having my own car and it being ‘plenty big enough’. When they left I found out that the one who gave me his number had asked my boss if I was ‘a legal age’ before he approached me. My boss did nothing to support me in this situation but laughed the encounter off. I didn’t know I had a right to report this sort of behavior at the time, I was quite young and needed someone to tell me that sort of behavior wasn’t okay. I wish I could go back and confront or report this man now.

Maya

I work as a host on canal boats in my city. Sometimes we hire people from outside the company to help out or be a cook. Yesterday there was a cook I hadn’t seen before but I started working right away so when I spotted him my hands were full and I told him I’d be right back to properly introduce myself. Our interaction started of by him saying ‘A wink would be fine too’, following his words with a wink. This made me feel awkward, but I thought I’d let it pass because I had things to do and it was just like ‘oh okay’. Later on I was leaning out a window for a few minutes and when I ducked back to get back in, he was behind me suddenly. So I bumped by behind right into him. I said ‘Oh I’m sorry’ and he just went ‘Yeah, you kinda have to look out with a big butt like that’. At that point our guests were on board and I couldn’t start a scene but I did mention it to the guide and the captain who said that if he kept going, they’d make a point out of it. Anyway, the tour went on, everything was fine, I went upstairs to wash some of the last things and when I came back our guide told me she spent 5 minutes with him alone and he pretended to trip and fall so he could grab on to her. I mean???? So we both send an email and he won’t be hired again. TL;DR I got someone on the black list within 24 hours of harassing 2 of the crewmembers I wasn’t down for that

Rebecca

This is the first time I’ve posted on this forum, and I wasn’t sure which story I should include. But, seeing as already today, before 9am, horns were tooted at me and I was ogled at on the tube, 4 times, I feel it appropriate to share this. It’s the last day of August. I live and work in London. I have a 45 minute commute on the tube and it gets very hot and very uncomfortable quickly. So, naturally, one would prepare to wear clothing to keep cool, without getting to work looking like a frizzy-haired, sweaty bear who’s just failed at running a marathon. So, today I have on a dress. Not my normal every-day wear, but seeing as it’s summer and beautiful weather, why not. It’s sleeveless, red and black, has a bateau neckline (no I didn’t just Google that) and sits just slightly above my knees. God Forbid. Cramming onto a tube in rush hour is bad at the best of times, but when it’s sunny and warm outside, so many people are in the worst moods ever. Me included: it’s early, I’ve not had my coffee fix, and I’m crushed into a little tin can that’s hurtling below London’s hot and busy streets. So sure, if you bump into me, I’ll more often than not give a wry smile and a nod of the head – it’s ok. But not this morning. I managed to get a seat about halfway through my journey, once I’d changed from the Northern Line to Piccadilly. And immediately a man who had been sat across from me came and sat right beside me. A little weird, sure, but hopefully harmless. It was as his man-spreading increased and his leg was pressed against mine that I wanted nothing more than to actually get to work and type up my Finance meeting notes. When I jumped off the tube and walked out the station, a builder standing smoking immediately wolf-whistled. On my 5 minute walk to work, 2 white vans honked their horns and the men inside laughing who legit looked about 14 drove away on their merry way, leaving me to feel conscious and walk that little bit quicker and warier of any men around me. All for wearing a dress. The most frustrating thing about this is that I feel there is no way to change this behaviour, because it’s all just a joke and lads are being complimentary, innit. Don’t get so worked up about men paying you attention. Well the thing is, I don’t WANT or NEED this attention. I was on my way to work, as I do every day, and I expect to feel safe and normal like any other person. How can this actually change and what needs to happen before men stop. Just stop.

Louise

My boss, old enough to be my father tried it on with me- He’d comment in front of my male-strong team on my ‘weight loss’ and ‘how it made me beautiful and attractive’, he even said that I ‘had a good bum’. But he was old enough to be my dad, and I wasn’t interested. So his harassment turned nasty and personal- he obliterated my character within my young career and lost me a new position that was going to lead to a doctorate, all because he lied about ‘my character’. When I reported it to HR, they moved me from my team and put me in a lower paid position working unsociable hours- my former ‘team mates’ didn’t bother to stand up for me. After a Psychological referral, a suicide attempt and loss of over 5 stone due to lack of eating I attempted to take legal action- to no avail. Now i’m working a job paying minimum wage and have to start from scratch regarding my career. Turns out that a First Class Honours degree from one of the best unis is nothing in comparison to a sexism and vile male boss. He kept his job, sanity and dignity whilst he stripped me of mine for good fun.

Anon

I was working (kinda public service? Or maybe hospitality? It’s a position at a museum) and an older gentleman overheard me cracking my knuckles. Yes, a disgusting habit, but not really any of his business. However, he felt the need to let me know I ‘didn’t get away with it’, so I tried to strike up a conversation and do my job, and he started giving me a half hug, and was whispering in my ear. It’s a loud area, so I wasn’t super thrown, but his grandkid was right there, and by whispering in my ear, he is totally cutting him out of the conversation. I’ve gotten desensitized to a lot of crap working here where you are literally a tool to enhance people’s visits, so they don’t always treat you like a person, especially if you are female. You become a bit of a decorative interactive map or something. But my fuck you meter was tripped when he would not drop the knuckle thing. He actually asked what my boyfriend said about that. Assuming I’m straight, assuming I’m in a relationship, and assuming I factor my partners opinions into what I do in my spare time. It was out of nowhere, with no leadup whatsoever. One second I’m reassuring him that I’m not going to make my knuckles swell, and he follows up with that. I don’t think he even knew that any of his behavior was not ok. My biggest regret is that I panicked in the face of such bold idiocy, and didn’t tell him I was a lesbian. (I would be lying, which is probably why it wasn’t at the tip of my tongue, but I would pay to see his face.)

Vera

I work for an engineering consultancy. We are meeting a supplier for cathodic protection systems. At multiple points through the meeting a senior male colleague interrupts the supplier and, looking at me, says: “We might want to clarify some things first we have some girls in the team who might not know what corrosion is”, “Hold up, I wouldn’t use the word ‘anode’ am seeing this girl here look confused”. He blatantly only addresses this at me and not at the other people there, all male. I have a master’s degree in engineering and won awards for chemistry as a teenager. But I have a vagina so that means I am unfamiliar with bloody middle school-level physics. I bet this f*cker wouldn’t be able to draw a diagram of a galvanic cell if you put one in front of him.