Harasssment at work? Coffee helps.

Posted: June 23, 2011 in funny stories
Tags: , ,

It is very likely that if you’re a woman walking around on planet Earth these days, you will run into this problem.

The funny thing is, it will have absolutely nothing to do with who you are, what you do or even how you look.  Though I would suspect that if a bottom feeder does find you attractive, you’ll probably have a higher risk of this. That seems to be the nature of the beast. And I do mean beast. I am a writer and I pick my words carefully.

The first time it happened to me, I was young, naïve and it took me a few minutes to catch on to what had just happened.

I was in a business meeting with my boss and a very important client. This client was very wealthy and a dear friend of my boss. I was learning the ropes in the insurance industry and had gotten my license recently. My boss wanted me to learn about commercial insurance, so I would often tag along with him. I had to sit still, be quiet and take notes. This was not easy for me, but I did it anyway.

I am naturally inquisitive and like to ask questions when I don’t understand something, but because I was there to listen and learn I would just make notes on any questions I had.

The meeting consisted of my boss, the client and his son and their new partner. Let’s call the partner Dick.

Dick was a blow hard. He was arrogant and was rich beyond anything I could imagine on my meager salary. The client was in real estate and Dick decided he wanted to dabble in it, so he bought into the client’s business as a partner and had ordered the meeting with us to decide if we were good enough to now handle his needs. Yeah, HIS needs.

I admit I did not like this man but I kept my mouth shut. I did not like the way he talked to my boss or anyone else in the room, so I kept my gaze down because I am easy to read just by looking at my face. I maintained a pleasant smile and did my best to practice my poker face, which to this day I completely suck at.

Dick ran the entire meeting. He was belligerent and I could see the people in the room trying to appease him. I had a bad feeling about the whole thing and realized we weren’t going to be able to convince him to keep us on as his insurance agents. I could tell he was there just to let all of us know that we weren’t good enough and that he had someone else he wanted to use.

Loosing this account was going to cost our company over $100,000.00 in commissions a year. I could see what was coming and there was nothing I could do about it. I kept my mouth shut and my head down.

Dick was sitting to my right, at the head of the table. Of course he was at the head of the table. My boss was to my left and the client and his son were sitting across from me

About an hour into the meeting, I suddenly feel a hand on my knee and then felt it go up my leg and give my thigh a squeeze. I almost jumped out of my chair. No one noticed as I snapped my head towards Dick. He kept his gaze steady as he talked to the clients while he rubbed my leg under the table.

I tried to move away but he held on. I put my hand under the table and pinched his hand as hard as I could. He jerked but let go. I moved my chair back and away from him. I said nothing because I didn’t know what to say or do.

I sat there confused, hurt and angry. Part of me wanted to get up and walk out but I knew that would look bad for our company. Another part of me wanted to find my nail file in my purse and stab him in his leg with it and another part of me wanted to slap him across his face.

Since I couldn’t decide what to do, I remained silent and I thought. I thought long and hard.

Towards the end of the meeting, I got up and poured myself a cup of coffee. I sat back down. The meeting was ending and I sat very still.

As everyone was standing up and starting to shake hands, I stood up before Dick did and accidentally poured my cup of hot steaming coffee onto his lap. Watching him jump up and scream made my heart sing. Watching him jump around was icing on the cake.

I had spoken to him and only him and I knew I had just put the last nail in our coffin.

I batted my eyes and told him how sorry I was and that it was just an accident. He glared at me, muttered something under his breath and stormed out of the room.

I kept apologizing and everyone said not to worry. I secretly grinned all the way back to the office. My boss was very understanding and said he knew we were going to lose the account regardless of the coffee incident but admitted he thought it was funny. He also knew we had lost account long before we walked into the meeting. I learned from him that sometimes you just can’t control what a client will do and the best thing is to just let them do what they want to do and don’t feel you had failed.

We did lose the account the next week.

That was fine by me. We ended up writing another large account. Our doors remained opened, we weathered the storm and kept our integrity in.

Plus I learned how to handle sexual harassment all by myself. Yeah me!

So never underestimate the power of a pissed off woman.

If you sexually harass us, we can handle it. It just takes a cup of coffee and life is good again.

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Comments
  1. SandySays1 says:

    I had my human read your post and he got a good laugh. He said “She ran into one of those Rectal Apertures I’m always telling you about Sandy.” He says everyone knows Barnums “There’s a sucker born every minute” but don’t know his collary “And there’s also an asshole born to take advantage of him.” Seems to me there’s a lot more Rectal Apertures. You might look up the Geezer’s new book – its on one of those Scwarnnegger/ Weiner type guys who “gets his.”
    Sandy
    http://www.sandysays1.wordpress.com

  2. Susan Lewis says:

    Thank you Sandy for taking the time to get your human to read this for you.

    Sandy, do you do the typing or do you get your human to do it for you?

  3. SandySays1 says:

    Why of course, I do. My right nostril has a calous from holding a stylus in it. I also sell real estate – I specialize in Kansas ocean front condos.

    • Susan Lewis says:

      That makes sense Sandy.

      One of my cats – Scout – wants his own blog, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea. We are currently discussing it at length.

      He also wants his own cell phone, but that ain’t gonna happen.

      Did “The Geezer” get you your own Facebook page? If so, I’d love to see it.

      If not, tell him to get with the program as I am sure you would have a lot of friends.