"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Oct 11, 2017

Sleazebags

The most disgusting sensory experience I’ve had up to this point occurred in an elevator in NYC.  After years of military (wife) life I’d landed in the Big Apple, and finally busted out of the secretarial pool. My boss and I were returning from a business lunch with a vendor, who shook our hands as we parted.

During that instant…let’s see if I can describe this properly…he took his middle finger and lightly traced it back and forth against my palm.

AAAAHHHHH!!!! Even now it gives me the willies. That Trumps the hand that got shoved between my rear cheeks in Junior High; the adult church go-er at a party who held me in the pool and wouldn’t let go when I was 8 or 9?;  the slimy bus riders who pretend to be sleeping as they fall all over you…


I imagine I can come up with other examples, but quite frankly just recalling the above is making me uncomfortable. The elevator incident was during the time the President was making news for his sexual exploits on the East Coast while Harvey Weinstein reportedly was busy on the West. If you approve of one, you approve of both. For those of you who say, “It was the culture at the time,” I say,

HORSEAPPLES. SLEAZE IS SLEAZE, no matter how expensive the suit.

My boss shrugged as I told him what just happened, adding some glib comment about not shaking hands in the future. But he also blew off my objections to a co-worker propositioning me night after night during that business trip to Kansas.

“Please don’t send me out again with Les. I couldn’t get a decent night’s sleep."

So when one of the top executives, visiting our branch in Holland, suggested accompanying him up to his hotel room for some papers after a business dinner with clients, I never even bothered mentioning it.  I needed my job and nothing happened since I refused his offer; but in the back of my mind was always the fear of some future repercussion, especially since he was the CFO. I made sure I was never alone with him again. That may not be physical abuse but it is psychological.

For those of you who think any of this latest scandal with Weinstein is FAKE NEWS, think again. Women coming out of the woodwork?  I’ll tell you what:  if anyone files a suit against any of the schmucks I encountered, I’ll damned sure speak out. Thirty years later I may not recall what I wore but I can absolutely visualize where I stood, where he stood, what he did and how I felt in that elevator.

And folks would start calling me names.  This happens to women all the time, and it doesn’t matter WHAT we look like.

Women instinctively are aware of where men hold their arms; but darned if (sumuvem) don’t strike when we’re distracted, the cowards. Oh well,

Boys will be boys.

P.S. I just heard on the radio that someone has a theory we’re all living in a computer simulation. PLEASE tell me reality is different!

3 comments:

  1. So true! I was lucky enough to work at a firm that mandated early on that all employees complete a 'Respect In The Workplace'course, but I am fully aware that touchin' and feelin' were rampant in the 1970's and 80's, and that many women felt that if they spoke out about an act or an innuendo their chances of promotion or raise would be in jeopardy - let alone their job. The stories you told me all those years ago on the bus rides home shocked me to the core! It was far more prevalent back then than many believe, and I'm glad these gals are getting a chance to stand up and be counted!

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