Tag Archives: Work

Anon

After receiving repeated explicit and detailed threats of sexual violence in the workplace on a daily basis for weeks from a patient who is a convicted sex offender, I discussed these with my line manager who stated “well what do we expect when we bring a beautiful woman on the ward” and laughed. He didn’t discuss it beyond this. I was the only woman in the team at the time and had not been in the service long so did not feel comfortable to report my line manager to more senior managers. I expressed to my team that I did not feel safe on the ward but the patient was not moved wards and I continued to have to go onto the ward he was on every day. When he started being allowed periods of leave off the ward, I stayed late at work to ensure that I didn’t have to walk from the building to my car at a time when he might be allowed to be out, particularly as he had made a point of telling me several times that he knew which car was mine. I felt I had to take these steps to manage the risk myself as I did not feel that anyone else was taking the risk to me seriously. I consulted the advice of a male psychologist colleague who specializes in working with sex offenders. He told me that “there’s nothing you can really do other than eat 10 donoughts a night”. A member of nursing staff told me that it is my fault because I have not lied to the patient and pretended that I’m married. I explained that my relationship status is irrelevant and being single does not justify sexual harassment and sexual aggression but they continued to say things like this, including in front of the patient. The patient stated to the whole team in a ward round that he is going to spank me and nobody challenged him at all. As part of my role, I had to sit in meetings where others or myself had to read out reports regarding the patients progress/mental state/behaviour, which frequently included quotes the patient had made where he described my breasts and bottom in detail, or described masturbating whilst thinking of me. It was extremely humiliating to have to sit in a professional meeting in a room full of people, in a role I have worked hard to be taken seriously in, and to have extremely personal descriptions about myself read out to everyone. Nobody asked if I was ok or offered to censor the material. This went on for months and only ended because I left the service. This is not unique to that service, but is a problem pervasive in forensic mental health services.

Civil Servant

Got some anonymous feedback for an Executive Management course I’m on. One person’s comments said they have ‘significant confidence in her skills and decision making’, and then ‘I think that some people underestimate her and [I] suspect that sometimes this is because she is young and female‘. This makes me angry. I’m grateful to this person for saying it out load, and it really encourages me they don’t think it’s okay and mentally try to dissolve these preconceptions, so at least some others must think the same way. But the fact this is what still women face makes me angry, and demoralised about being in my own workplace.

Sarah

Work in a rural location in Australia Got asked each week for around 3 years who I live with, if I’m married, why I’m not married, that it’s ok to be gay (it is, but I’m not, but they assume I am gay because I’m 30, with no husband or kids) then had to tolerate many conversations around women’s health, reproductive issues, got offered the name of a gynecologist Got asked to get to know a local boy better (who’s 34 and lives with his parents), he asked me when I’m planning to have kids, as I’m not getting any younger I need this job to pay the bills, raised these issues to those in charge politely in the last few years, problem is promised some action, then forgotten about

Anonymous

I had to deal with an old man being condescendant with me and using his mansplaining this whole week. At first I thought he was like that,but he will do it most of the times just with me, and when he was explaining something (he was the traineer) he will just look at me, when he looked for a confirmation of what he was explainig he will look at men, giving the sensation that just because they are man they already know everything,even though one them I remember had less experience than me in the sector that we were applying to work.What’s more, if I asked a question,I would ask for clarifications about something that he said,but he will spend one minute of explanation of everything that has been said before, but I already knew that, didn’t need the whole explanation of the section that we were doing.Many times I had to say ”yes, I understand” about an answer that he was giving me and he will continue explaining assuming that I am a fool.Many times a word will come out and he will ask to me,to no one else, if I know that certain word or concept and me, with a blank face,say: Yes of course!. Whenever I made the slighliest mistake he will make it big, or even emphasize it by smiling and saying out loud, You forgot about it? many times he was just assuming that I was writting wrong something and he wanted me to do it in his own way, I had to say ‘i just want to do it in that way,it works for me’ or ‘ I already did it’and then he will stop.He can’t accept his mistakes,specially when they come from a young woman,he would assume he has the power of knowledge and that a twenty something girl like me has nothing to say about his way of teaching, and that would be ok if he wouldn’t have been making mistakes all the time. Why some men feel attacked when a woman,specially if she is younger than them, corrects them or points them out their mistakes? It’s so easy to say,’hey I am wrong, thanks for letting me know’and what is more, you learn about your mistakes and you won’t be able to make them again.

Bea

I work in a small office with two male colleagues. The general manager just walked in, greeted both of them by name, had a brief chat with one of them and then left, addressing them both by name. Not once did he acknowledge me, despite me making eye contact and saying hello.

celia

I started a new job at Jimmy John’s. It was going alright, but as it often happens I noticed some things that I wasnt sure were strange or not. The manager of the store was very nice, but sort of slow, and turns out he couldn’t read well. I always worked alone with an older man who trained me, and he would make the manager laugh. It seemed that he was the manager instead of him. I was almost always completely alone with him. He started to call me “baby.” I could feel him staring at my ass when I bent down, and was afraid to do so. There was a backdoor to where I would take smoke breaks. One time I went back, and his truck was parked with the car door trapped right next to the door to the smoke area. He was sitting in his car, his body every close to the door I had just opened. He invites me in, and talked about taking a ride sometime. He pointed to me where he kept the booze. I quit after a week, and told the manager over the phone, and he was surprised and very sorry. I started to realize that my trainer most likely had complete control over the store, as the manager was slow and wouldnt be able to read the employee conduct guidelines. He could tell him anything he wanted. The next week when I picked up my last check, terrified, I noticed that there was a new young, pretty teenage girl being taught by him-alone. The cycle continues. If I hadn’t already been sexually harassed at the two other jobs that I’d had previously, I wouldnt have been as quick to quit. Self doubt and fear kept me at the other jobs, and the harrassment had continued to get worse. I dont know what would have happened if it had been my first experience.

celia

I worked at a cafe where most of us were pretty teen girls. There was an older cook in the back who I thought was pretty cool. One day he was obviously drunk, and all of the servers knew, but no one did anything about it. I think my manager was just desperate. I went in the back to dump out the mop water and he followed me, making sexual comments. When I bent over to poor it out, he took out his phone and took a picture of me bending over. I was in shock, I dont even remember if I asked him to delete that. The work environment was to program us into never making a scene, always smiling, doing anything to make the customer happy, and pretending that everything was pleasant. From prior experience, like almost being blinded by chemicals (breaking OSHA regulations for eye wear) and having to go through extensive eye tissue treatments from corrosion,I am certain my female boss would not have done anything, and would pretend nothing had happened. Other girls have told me of similar harassment from him, and one of them told and nothing was done about it.

Outfit Choices

I had just started a job as a sales coordinator at a hotel. I needed some business casual clothes, so my mom and dad went shopping with me. My dad approved of all the clothes, and he’s very conservative, so I figured I was good to go. Well, I wasn’t. A few months into the job we had a new female boss start, and she received a complaint from one of my male coworkers. She sat me down in my office with the door shut to talk about it. She told me that I needed to wear clothes that were more conservative because it was making men in the office uncomfortable. She referenced the skirts I wore, which were classic office pencil skirts at or in the middle of my knee…saying they were too short and tight. I lift weights and have naturally big thighs and butt, so everything looks tight and rides up. I pull the skirt down of course, because like yeah it’s weird having a bunched up skirt lol. She suggested some guidelines and places to shop, all of which I was already following (shop at the loft, knee length skirts, etc). She told me she doesn’t find anything wrong with what I wear, but “you know men, they’re gross. Boys will be boys.” This was the moment that my eyes opened. I had already made attempts to not gain attention or criticism from my coworkers because I knew my thighs were “triggering” (everything fits close to the body with muscular thighs). On top of it all, her boss…my dad… had approved of my outfits. I know better now that I can’t cater the way I look to others because it might make them “uncomfortable.” Reality is, if someone finds you attractive, they can say it makes them “uncomfortable” if they feel so inclined to. There was nothing wrong with what I wore, it was just a male coworker who was engaged… and felt like it was my fault for choosing clothing that made him attracted to me/uncomfortable.

Ruri

I work at a bar restaurant. It is a boys club of course. But I should be specific. I´´l give you couple of examples. The owners are men. The majority of the chef´s are men(the women are assisting chefs ofc), there is one shift manager that is female, we even have a Gin and Tonic menu named only after MEEEEEEEN!! But,.. not to lose here as well, yesterday a boy that is 5 years younger than me, who is working as a chef in another restaurant, took an extra shift as a waitor and asked to be positioned at the bar. Of course while he is the little brother of the manager he got the position and none of the rest of us who have been working there longer and not just an extra shift!!Important here is to mention that the guy is the little brother of the manager. Anyways, at the end of the shift we are allowed to get one drink if we want to. When I finished, I asked my shift manager if I could get a drink and he said of course, why dont you ask the guys to make you one. i did ask this guy and the answer was: you have to pay! with a bodily attitude as if he is a big piece of bulk. I said excuse me? He laughted and said you have to pay. I replied what are you? Our boss or?… super angry. Then, the guy prepared drinks for the guys in the kitchen and said to me: why dont you make one yourself? I was FUUUUURIOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUS Now, I wonder.. Is this whole behaviour: a) a result of me being a rather weird person that the bartender didnt want to assist? b) the guy is the brother of the manager so he thinks he has the right to be bossy? c) he just treats women(even those of better and longer experience) different than men? or any of the given choices above as a combo? Just for you to think for yourself and contemplate.