PDA

View Full Version : Have we come a long way, baby?



Devil Ledbetter
10-02-2010, 11:00 PM
Or have we just gone around the block?

I am the marketing director of a respected company in a male-dominated industry. This past week I was at the industry's biggest US trade show. I lost count of how many times I was asked if I married into my job, but it was at least a half-dozen. The conversation typically goes like this:

Mr. Industry Guy: "What do you do for Redacted, Inc.?"
Me: "I'm the Marketing Director."
Mr. Industry Guy: "Did you marry into the company?"

What's really appalling is the last two morons to ask me that sexist question were between the ages of 25 and 50. All the other people from our company who attended were guys. Not one of them was asked this stupid question even once. And you want irony? The president of the company married in. But no one ever asks him about that, because, well, he has a Y chromosome. (I've no complaint about him marrying in; he's an effective leader.)

One of these industry troglodytes put me through much worse. A few people from my company had a business dinner scheduled with a few from his. I should have known I was in trouble when he moved his colossal gut aside to let me enter the restaurant ahead of him and announced "Chivalry isn't dead!"

We were seated around a large, round table and of course Mr. Chivalry took the seat next to mine. The first thing he asked me was if I'd married into my job. I told him my husband was a school teacher. He then wanted to know how old I was. I demurred. So he started guessing. 29? Early 30s? I couldn't possibly be over 35, right?

I changed the subject.

He starts talking about his old job, griping about some "bitch" who tricked him into getting fired. (Right.) Then he talks about how back in the late '80s he'd visited my company while he was working for one of our distributors. I said I'd worked at our company back then and he says, "No, you couldn't have. I'd never forget a face as pretty as yours." Ugh! I wanted to crawl under the table at that point. Instead I scoot my chair closer to our Vice President of Sales & Retribution ;) who is one of my best friends at our company and try to ignore Mr. Chivalry.

Does this slow him down? No. Mr. Chivalry starts asking me if I have sisters, and how old are they and are they married and are they anywhere near as beautiful as I am. Honestly, do men ever get asked by other men if they have sisters available? WTF?

Guys, please. If you're thinking of asking a woman this, just. Don't.

The waiter takes my order first, then the trog orders the exact same thing as I do, right down to the Caesar salad. As it turned out I could eat only about half of my steak. The waiter comes around and asks if I'd like a box. I tell him no, then Mr. Chivalry jumps in and declares what a waste that it. I explain to the waiter that I'm staying at a hotel with no fridge so I'm letting it go. Mr. Chivalry starts carrying on about what a shame it is to waste a perfectly good half of a ribeye, arguing with me about not wanting a box for the other half of my steak.

Then he tells the waiter, "If she doesn't want it, I'll take it!"

The waiter is taken aback and I'm pretty much floored because, gross. The waiter asks me what I want to do and I tell him I don't care, I just don't want the rest of the steak - frankly I didn't want to talk about it anymore because whether or not I want to force down more ribeye than I can hold or cart it back to my hotel room to rot is nobody's damned business and I'm sick of the entire tedious subject.

Mr. Chivalry has the waiter put the rest of my steak on his plate, and he eats it.

I was so grossed out I made a point of ignoring him completely, talking either to the VP next to me or the coworker seated to the trog's left. Once he's done packing what's left of my steak down his gullet, he whips out his cell phone and starts having this long, skeezy conversation with someone (What are you wearing, baby? Are you going to show me off to your friends or are you going to keep me a secret?)The coworker sitting on the other side of him can hear it too and he's making faces at me like "Can you believe this?" It went on for a good 30 minutes. Meantime, the presidents of both our companies are deep in a business conversation and oblivious to all this BS because the table is so huge.

I put the trog on full IGNORE for the remainder of dinner and don't even acknowledge him when we're all waiting for the restaurant's hotel shuttle to take us back to our respective hotels. And I make sure to sit next to our VP on the shuttle so trog stays away. But when we get to our hotel he gets out of the van under the pretense of talking to some poor schmuck he knows who's standing in our hotel drop-off area. His coworkers get out of the van too then everyone is shaking hands and I'm thinking, I do not want to shake this asshole's hand.

So of course he sticks his hand out to me and what am I supposed to do? Turn around and walk away? Tell him to f**k off? No, because I'm stuck being polite because it's business, and I don't know what the upshot of my boss's conversation was with his boss, so I can't get pissy and chance screwing up whatever deal they may be trying to strike. Mr. Chivalry grabs my hand but instead of shaking it, he squeezes it so I can't pull it free. Then he kisses my hand, and with it still in his painful death grip, yanks me in and slobbers on my cheek! Sonofabitch!

People, is it really 2010? The troglodyte was probably no more than 5 or 10 years older than I am so generational differences do not explain or excuse his behavior.

Is it just because I'm in a male-dominated industry, or are business women everywhere still having to put up with this crap?

jennontheisland
10-02-2010, 11:13 PM
I work in construction. I've been in forestry and oil & gas, and I've never come across someone as obnoxious and stupid as that.

I have had issues with being young, small, and not horribly ugly or disfigured, yes, but I tend to combat it with calling them out on it. If someone asked me if I'd married into the company (srsly?? holy fuck is that an odd and dumb question) I'd ask them if they did. Any kind of inquiry like that gets immediately turned around and sent back to them.

Mr. Chivalry likely thought he was hitting on you and hoping to get you back to his hotel room.

I'm glad I don't work in sales and marketing any more because I don't think I'd have the patience to not tell the jack ass like that my younger prettier sister doesn't like fat, ugly, old men.

I think you would have been perfectly within your rights to call him out on the physical assault. I've had guys pressure me for "hugs" in situations like that, and suggested they hug my coworker instead. But kissing you?? There comes a point where "business polite" can no longer address inappropriate behaviour. A left hook might be an option next time you see the fucker.

Devil Ledbetter
10-02-2010, 11:19 PM
If someone asked me if I'd married into the company (srsly?? holy fuck is that an odd and dumb question) I'd ask them if they did. Any kind of inquiry like that gets immediately turned around and sent back to them. I plan to start demanding they show me the time machine they arrived on, and if they're excited to find out what's happened since 1950.


Mr. Chivalry likely thought he was hitting on you and hoping to get you back to his hotel room. *barf*


I'm glad I don't work in sales and marketing any more because I don't think I'd have the patience to not tell the jack ass like that my younger prettier sister doesn't like fat old men.That's what really sucked about the whole thing; business propriety required that I maintain my composure at the expense of my dignity. Had it been any other situation I'd simply have walked out.

DeleyanLee
10-02-2010, 11:25 PM
I'd have a talk with my CEO regarding my obligations towards this particular individual, with references to people who were actually paying attention. Frankly, if I had to deal with this lame excuse for a human being again, I'd be thinking about sexual harrassment charges against someone. That's really WAY above and beyond the call of duty for any job that doesn't require monthly STD/HIV testing.

jennontheisland
10-02-2010, 11:29 PM
That's what really sucked about the whole thing; business propriety required that I maintain my composure at the expense of my dignity. Had it been any other situation I'd simply have walked out.
One of the things I like about construction compared to the other industries I've worked in, is that business propriety is a little more flexible. There are still certain standards of communication, but I've found it a lot easier to bluntly tell people when they're being morons and not to do it again. Oil & gas was more of an old boys club and required that I be a bit more demure about things, but now, I have atter with 4 letter words and direct challenges to their behaviour.

The 1950s comeback is a good one. It's challenging, but witty without being overtly rude.

"Younger and prettier, but with far less patience" would be a nicer way to word things, but I'm guessing Mr. Chivalry would likely be too dense to get the meaning. Guys like that seem to only be able to understand repeated (because they never get it the first time) direct communication. I hope you never run into him again, but if you do, don't worry so much about propriety. You'd be amazed at the support you'll get from your co-workers when you let guys like that know that they're out of line.

dolores haze
10-02-2010, 11:30 PM
Ugh! Hope you took a nice long shower to get the slime off you. It's been a loooong time since I had to tolerate that kind of behavior from male colleagues.

Paul
10-02-2010, 11:37 PM
One of these industry troglodytes put me through much worse. A few people from my company had a business dinner scheduled with a few from his. I should have known I was in trouble when he moved his colossal gut aside to let me enter the restaurant ahead of him and announced "Chivalry isn't dead!"

We were seated around a large, round table and of course Mr. Chivalry took the seat next to mine. The first thing he asked me was if I'd married into my job. I told him my husband was a school teacher. He then wanted to know how old I was. I demurred. So he started guessing. 29? Early 30s? I couldn't possibly be over 35, right?

I changed the subject.

He starts talking about his old job, griping about some "bitch" who tricked him into getting fired. (Right.) Then he talks about how back in the late '80s he'd visited my company while he was working for one of our distributors. I said I'd worked at our company back then and he says, "No, you couldn't have. I'd never forget a face as pretty as yours." Ugh! I wanted to crawl under the table at that point. Instead I scoot my chair closer to our Vice President of Sales & Retribution ;) who is one of my best friends at our company and try to ignore Mr. Chivalry.

Does this slow him down? No. Mr. Chivalry starts asking me if I have sisters, and how old are they and are they married and are they anywhere near as beautiful as I am. Honestly, do men ever get asked by other men if they have sisters available? WTF?

Guys, please. If you're thinking of asking a woman this, just. Don't.

The waiter takes my order first, then the trog orders the exact same thing as I do, right down to the Caesar salad. As it turned out I could eat only about half of my steak. The waiter comes around and asks if I'd like a box. I tell him no, then Mr. Chivalry jumps in and declares what a waste that it. I explain to the waiter that I'm staying at a hotel with no fridge so I'm letting it go. Mr. Chivalry starts carrying on about what a shame it is to waste a perfectly good half of a ribeye, arguing with me about not wanting a box for the other half of my steak.

Then he tells the waiter, "If she doesn't want it, I'll take it!"

The waiter is taken aback and I'm pretty much floored because, gross. The waiter asks me what I want to do and I tell him I don't care, I just don't want the rest of the steak - frankly I didn't want to talk about it anymore because whether or not I want to force down more ribeye than I can hold or cart it back to my hotel room to rot is nobody's damned business and I'm sick of the entire tedious subject.

Mr. Chivalry has the waiter put the rest of my steak on his plate, and he eats it.

I was so grossed out I made a point of ignoring him completely, talking either to the VP next to me or the coworker seated to the trog's left. Once he's done packing what's left of my steak down his gullet, he whips out his cell phone and starts having this long, skeezy conversation with someone (What are you wearing, baby? Are you going to show me off to your friends or are you going to keep me a secret?)The coworker sitting on the other side of him can hear it too and he's making faces at me like "Can you believe this?" It went on for a good 30 minutes. Meantime, the presidents of both our companies are deep in a business conversation and oblivious to all this BS because the table is so huge.

I put the trog on full IGNORE for the remainder of dinner and don't even acknowledge him when we're all waiting for the restaurant's hotel shuttle to take us back to our respective hotels. And I make sure to sit next to our VP on the shuttle so trog stays away. But when we get to our hotel he gets out of the van under the pretense of talking to some poor schmuck he knows who's standing in our hotel drop-off area. His coworkers get out of the van too then everyone is shaking hands and I'm thinking, I do not want to shake this asshole's hand.

So of course he sticks his hand out to me and what am I supposed to do? Turn around and walk away? Tell him to f**k off? No, because I'm stuck being polite because it's business, and I don't know what the upshot of my boss's conversation was with his boss, so I can't get pissy and chance screwing up whatever deal they may be trying to strike. Mr. Chivalry grabs my hand but instead of shaking it, he squeezes it so I can't pull it free. Then he kisses my hand, and with it still in his painful death grip, yanks me in and slobbers on my cheek! Sonofabitch!

People, is it really 2010? The troglodyte was probably no more than 5 or 10 years older than I am so generational differences do not explain or excuse his behavior.

Is it just because I'm in a male-dominated industry, or are business women everywhere still having to put up with this crap?

so, did you put out or what?

:D

Ok, kidding aside, these dinosaurs exist everywhere. they are to be pitied*. I seen the hotel room one was staying in permanently as he wife had had enough of him - a pretty good hotel, but it was still a pathetic sight, the whole thing reeked of sadness and desperation .

*course, no fun been stuck with one.

CACTUSWENDY
10-02-2010, 11:37 PM
In your sweetest voice.....you could have cooed...'have you ever heard about the latest sexual harrassment charges I could bring against you?'

Bet he would have done a double take.

leahzero
10-02-2010, 11:47 PM
What a nightmare. It does seem to be an older guy thing. (No ageism meant; it's about the cultural norms of a generation.)

I've never had a colleague or business associate behave like this, but I've had to deal with shit like this from older men in the company of friends, family, even sometimes from strangers. The inappropriate invasion of personal space. The "friendly" contact. Ugh.

I'm amazed you remained composed. And sorry that you had to.

leahzero
10-02-2010, 11:51 PM
so, did you put out or what?

:D

Ok, kidding aside, these dinosaurs exist everywhere. they are to be pitied*. I seen the hotel room one was staying in permanently as he wife had had enough of him - a pretty good hotel, but it was still a pathetic sight, the whole thing reeked of sadness and desperation .

*course, no fun been stuck with one.

I know you're just trying to be cute, but really, it's not funny. In her situation, she had to take it. She couldn't risk business over it. I'm sorry, but there's no way you can know what that feels like.

And no, they're not to be pitied. He's capable of learning to behave better. He just doesn't want to, and society doesn't penalize him for what he does, so he keeps on doing it.

backslashbaby
10-02-2010, 11:55 PM
Yep, it still happens. He sounds disgusting, and it sucks that you have to remain polite for business reasons.

At least you didn't have to watch sex acts between a woman and a mule (been there, done that, really hate bestiality).

I'd be a lot less pissed about the whole thing if it didn't affect my money, too.

It's better than my mom's generation. That's certainly good. Otherwise, yeah, it generally makes me sick.

ETA: the forced-porn dudes were young, and the encouraging manager was under-50. They just knew they could run the show like that. There was no generational excuse. Gotta love companies nobody can afford to sue - you see it all.

Rowan
10-02-2010, 11:57 PM
:ROFL: OMG, this guy sounds just like a character in my latest MS! I should've contacted you for some insight into his personality. ;)

I hear you... When I wear anything USMC or (current job) related, men ask me if my husband was a jarhead and what my husband does at so-and-so agency. I just look at them and say, "I'm not married."

I don't think we've come very far at all--just look at the latest reports on wage inequality. :evil

ETA: I would've taken your steak to my dogs! ;) And to clarify...with my "laughter smilie": I'm in no way making light of this. Devil's scenario mirrors a scene in my MS that is based on personal experience and the likeness really stuns me.....I thought it was just me!

rhymegirl
10-03-2010, 02:47 AM
No, we haven't come that far.

A few years back I was going out to lunch with some co-workers. We were getting into a couple of cars when my former male boss (he had been recently replaced by a woman from another company and basically demoted, so no longer my boss) said, "Kathy can sit on my lap."

Yeah, sure. I guess if he had still been my boss I could have accused him of sexual harassment.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-03-2010, 03:04 AM
It doesn't have to be your boss, or even a person considered to be 'in authority'. It doesn't even have to involve you directly. If there are two people 'creating a hostile work environment', they're guilty of sexual harassment and can be dealt with accordingly. If you file a complaint and it's not dealt with accordingly, the EEOC can sure step in and make the powers that be wish they'd handled it internally.

And, folks, I gotta tell ya... I take an extremely dim view of jokes that make light of the treatment women - and even men - put up with on a daily basis. As my sainted mama would have said, ''Tain't funny, McGee."

Paul
10-03-2010, 03:15 AM
I know you're just trying to be cute, but really, it's not funny. In her situation, she had to take it. She couldn't risk business over it. I'm sorry, but there's no way you can know what that feels like.

And no, they're not to be pitied. He's capable of learning to behave better. He just doesn't want to, and society doesn't penalize him for what he does, so he keeps on doing it.

I have to disagree. I thought I was being quite funny.

This was an unpleasant experience, not more than that - they happen, to everyone, as some time or other. so slide off the saddle of that rather tall horse and take a sip of milk.

And to me, some pity is in order - these dinos are way beyond capability of change. :)

ps the 'older guy' comment I could easily get offend by - if i were old. ;)

Edit: Sexual harassment should never be tolerated or joked about, but that's not what i see here. Yes, there is an issue of client loss and a claim of same could be made, but reading the full OP, the tone etc, is of meeting with a trog, who will eat your stake, bore you to death and make a clumsy show of 'chivalry' or a 'pass'. If i picked up something more sinister, my response would be different.

Calla Lily
10-03-2010, 03:17 AM
{{{Devil}}} I've experienced it in past jobs, so much that I considered if "vasectomy by letter-opener" was physically possible. Much sympathy, because I understand being in a rock and hard place business situation.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-03-2010, 03:23 AM
No. You were not funny and you can not dictate to people directly affected by any type of discrimination, assault, attack, or insult how they may feel or what they must do or what kind of drink to take or how they must deal. You may disagree all you like, but them's the facts.

I have the same pity for those dinosaurs that I have for Ebola and no sense of humor for idiots who get their jollies making anyone else feel cornered. As evidenced by recent news events, people commit suicide over shit that, to others, may seem cute, funny, trivial, or 'smart'. It is none of the above.

Paul
10-03-2010, 03:29 AM
No. You were not funny and you can not dictate to people directly affected by any type of discrimination, assault, attack, or insult how they may feel or what they must do or what kind of drink to take or how they must deal. You may disagree all you like, but them's the facts.

I have the same pity for those dinosaurs that I have for Ebola and no sense of humor for idiots who get their jollies making anyone else feel cornered. As evidenced by recent news events, people commit suicide over shit that, to others, may seem cute, funny, trivial, or 'smart'. It is none of the above.

Well OlFG, my position is as outlined in my edit above.

em, not sure where the 'dictate' comes in. as i mentioned originally, it's no fun being stuck with someone like that. and that's as far as it goes, IMO.

BenPanced
10-03-2010, 03:33 AM
I have to disagree. I thought I was being quite funny.

This was an unpleasant experience, not more than that - they happen, to everyone, as some time or other. so slide off the saddle of that rather tall horse and take a sip of milk.

And to me, some pity is in order - these dinos are way beyond capability of change. :)

ps the 'older guy' comment I could easily get offend by - if i were old. ;)

Edit: Sexual harassment should never be tolerated or joked about, but that's not what i see here. Yes, there is an issue of client loss and a claim of same could be made, but reading the full OP, the tone etc, is of meeting with a trog, who will eat your stake, bore you to death and make a clumsy show of 'chivalry' or a 'pass'. If i picked up something more sinister, my response would be different.


No. You were not funny and you can not dictate to people directly affected by any type of discrimination, assault, attack, or insult how they may feel or what they must do or what kind of drink to take or how they must deal. You may disagree all you like, but them's the facts.

I have the same pity for those dinosaurs that I have for Ebola and no sense of humor for idiots who get their jollies making anyone else feel cornered. As evidenced by recent news events, people commit suicide over shit that, to others, may seem cute, funny, trivial, or 'smart'. It is none of the above.


Well OlFG, my position is as outlined in my edit above.

em, not sure where the 'dictate' comes in. as i mentioned originally, it's no fun being stuck with someone like that. and that's as far as it goes, IMO.
Paul, you've really missed a lot in the OP.

NeuroFizz
10-03-2010, 03:33 AM
So sorry you had to go through that, Devil. This man doesn't represent the norm, but he does reflect an attitude and life philosophy that remains all too prevalent in light of how far we HAVE come in dealing with equality and mutual respect in the workplace. This doesn't mean the journey is complete, and there are those who just don't get it (both young and old--some of the attitudes of college-aged men AND women are amazingly neanderthal).

And, Paul, I like to find humor in most situations, and appreciate humor in most situations, but your timing and content was poorly placed in this thread.

Paul
10-03-2010, 03:36 AM
Paul, you've really missed a lot in the OP.
My comment referenced the guy Devil met later - not the previous comment about being 'married to the job'. but I'm open to learning of course. (i hope ;))

Amadan
10-03-2010, 03:48 AM
I have to disagree. I thought I was being quite funny.

This was an unpleasant experience, not more than that - they happen, to everyone, as some time or other. so slide off the saddle of that rather tall horse and take a sip of milk.

And to me, some pity is in order - these dinos are way beyond capability of change. :)

ps the 'older guy' comment I could easily get offend by - if i were old. ;)

Edit: Sexual harassment should never be tolerated or joked about, but that's not what i see here. Yes, there is an issue of client loss and a claim of same could be made, but reading the full OP, the tone etc, is of meeting with a trog, who will eat your stake, bore you to death and make a clumsy show of 'chivalry' or a 'pass'. If i picked up something more sinister, my response would be different.


Protip, dude: that kind of attitude (telling a woman that she's just overreacting and being silly and you were so being funny and why can't she take a joke and it's not really sexual harassment because you don't think it is) is the sort of thing that will get your name plastered all over the internet from Fandom_Wank to 4chan in the latest author!fail scandal if you do it as a published author.

Fail, fail, fail.

thethinker42
10-03-2010, 03:49 AM
Oh, Lord, this is why I'm glad I don't work outside the home anymore. In the last ~10 years, I've worked in the following places: compressed gas equipment manufacturer, medical monitoring equipment manufacturer, retail jewelry sales, rental car maintenance, and porn production.

Out of those five places, there was only one where I didn't encounter disrespect or general obnoxiousness as a result of my gender on a semi-regular basis. In fact, I never encountered it at all at that particular place. Bet you can't guess which one.

Paul
10-03-2010, 03:50 AM
@Amadan
Hmmm.

Strange thing language.
I've re-read my comments and see none of the things you mention. I wonder if I'm the dinosaur?

rhymegirl
10-03-2010, 03:51 AM
It doesn't have to be your boss, or even a person considered to be 'in authority'."

Yes, you're right. It is true that a male co-worker should not be making the kind of remarks the guy I mentioned was making.

My husband works for a school in which there are lots of women. He says he has to be very careful what he says. Even telling someone they look nice that day can be misinterpreted. (when all you are doing is paying someone a compliment, that is, not meaning anything else.)

Amadan
10-03-2010, 03:59 AM
@Amadan
Hmmm.

Strange thing language.
I've re-read my comments and see none of the things you mention. I wonder if I'm the dinosaur?

Maybe.


This was an unpleasant experience, not more than that - they happen, to everyone, as some time or other. so slide off the saddle of that rather tall horse and take a sip of milk.

telling a woman that she's just overreacting and being silly


I have to disagree. I thought I was being quite funny.

and you were so being funny


And to me, some pity is in order - these dinos are way beyond capability of change. :)

why can't she take a joke


Edit: Sexual harassment should never be tolerated or joked about, but that's not what i see here.

it's not really sexual harassment because you don't think it is

See it now?

Paul
10-03-2010, 04:02 AM
LOL. Fair nuff Adaman. Not saying i agree with your interpretation, but fair nuff.
well was due to sign off 20 mins ago, so will do so now. Adieu. :)

jennontheisland
10-03-2010, 04:06 AM
Oh, Lord, this is why I'm glad I don't work outside the home anymore. In the last ~10 years, I've worked in the following places: compressed gas equipment manufacturer, medical monitoring equipment manufacturer, retail jewelry sales, rental car maintenance, and porn production.

Out of those five places, there was only one where I didn't encounter disrespect or general obnoxiousness as a result of my gender on a semi-regular basis. In fact, I never encountered it at all at that particular place. Bet you can't guess which one.
My guess would be porn.

Retail and restaurant, when I worked in them, were far worse than anything I ever encountered in the professional world (which has entirely been in traditionally male dominated industries).

thethinker42
10-03-2010, 04:12 AM
My guess would be porn.

Retail and restaurant, when I worked in them, were far worse than anything I ever encountered in the professional world (which has entirely been in traditionally male dominated industries).

You would be right.

Retail was horrible, and the industrial type places weren't much better. With those places, it was more the customers than the co-workers.

I can't tell you how many times I had this conversation:

Me: (instructions to resolve technical problem)
Customer: You know, I'd like to talk to a man. <--- not joking, that's exactly how it was worded on more than one occasion.

Silver King
10-03-2010, 04:18 AM
I have to disagree. I thought I was being quite funny...
Well, it backfired, Paul. Happens to the best of us at times. If you can, try to put yourself in Devil's shoes, or better yet, what if she were your wife or daughter or sister? How would you feel then to learn that she was treated in such an awful manner?

As an aside, I fired my older brother some years ago for acting like a slime ball toward women who worked for me. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner, but I had no knowledge of what was going on until someone complained and her allegations were verified by others who'd been similarly mistreated. Those women were my friends, not just employees, and it makes me sick to think about it. I felt like such a heel, and still do, as I was responsible for my brother while he worked for me and shared the blame for his actions.

Devil Ledbetter
10-03-2010, 04:28 AM
I'd have a talk with my CEO regarding my obligations towards this particular individual, with references to people who were actually paying attention. I let him know about it afterwards and he was sympathetic, disgusted with the trog and also realized that it didn't say much about the trog's boss, either (because he must realize how that guy is). I plan to discuss it with my boss again and let him know that if we're in that kind of situation ever again I will quietly walk out, text him and grab a cab, and my boss will understand.


One of the things I like about construction compared to the other industries I've worked in, is that business propriety is a little more flexible. There are still certain standards of communication, but I've found it a lot easier to bluntly tell people when they're being morons and not to do it again. My boss was originally in construction management and he is very blunt in a good way. Our industry could use more of that.


so, did you put out or what?Nope, not funny.



:D

Ok, kidding aside, these dinosaurs exist everywhere. they are to be pitied*. I save my pity for people who deserve it rather than slobbering sexist pigs trying to force themselves on me.


I know you're just trying to be cute, but really, it's not funny. In her situation, she had to take it. She couldn't risk business over it. That's the crux of it. If I'd have been anywhere else, at a party or something, I'd have cut him to the quick. He knew I "had" to be polite and he took advantage of that.


And no, they're not to be pitied. He's capable of learning to behave better. He just doesn't want to, and society doesn't penalize him for what he does, so he keeps on doing it.That's exactly the problem. And I feel like crap about not being able to penalize him on the spot.



At least you didn't have to watch sex acts between a woman and a mule (been there, done that, really hate bestiality).Holy cow!



I don't think we've come very far at all--just look at the latest reports on wage inequality. :evil
That's my other comeback to the "did you marry in?" question. "No. I have this job because the company is smart enough to know that an educated, professional woman still makes only 70 cents on the dollar compared to a man with the same education and experience." That would shut them up and educate them, too.


I have to disagree. I thought I was being quite funny. Wrong again.


This was an unpleasant experience, not more than that - they happen, to everyone, as some time or other.Paul, when you're stuck having dinner with some asshole who's more than a foot taller than you, outweighs you by 180 pounds and is making it plain that all he can think about is fucking you and your sisters, and eats your steak so he can taste your spit, then strong arms you and forces kisses on you, well, yeah, unpleasant is about the mildest term that comes to mind. Has it ever happened to you? Well, has it? Has it?


And to me, some pity is in order - these dinos are way beyond capability of change. :)This idiot was only 5-10 years older than I am. "Dinosaur" might excuse it if he was in his 80s. He was not.


ps the 'older guy' comment I could easily get offend by - if i were old. ;)I work with plenty of older males who manage to politely stick to business. That guy was not particularly old. I'd guess him at somewhere between 48 and 55.


Edit: Sexual harassment should never be tolerated or joked about, but that's not what i see here. Yes, there is an issue of client loss and a claim of same could be made, but reading the full OP, the tone etc, is of meeting with a trog, who will eat your stake, bore you to death and make a clumsy show of 'chivalry' or a 'pass'. If i picked up something more sinister, my response would be different.It actually was sexual harassment - the guy was harassing me about sex in a business setting, strong armed me and forced two godawful, slobbering, absolutely unwelcome kisses on me. So did I put out? Nope, still not funny.


So sorry you had to go through that, Devil. This man doesn't represent the norm, but he does reflect an attitude and life philosophy that remains all too prevalent in light of how far we HAVE come in dealing with equality and mutual respect in the workplace. This doesn't mean the journey is complete, and there are those who just don't get it (both young and old--some of the attitudes of college-aged men AND women are amazingly neanderthal). Thanks. It really made me appreciate that all of the men in my company are gentlemen and there are plenty in my industry, too. I travel with anywhere from one to 6 guys from my company at a time and never once has even one of them made me feel uncomfortable, made advances or crude comments. I work with a great group and I'm lucky. The next day the guys I work with ran interference when the trog came into our booth and tried to talk to me.

Rowan
10-03-2010, 04:37 AM
Posted by Devil Ledbetter:
...I will quietly walk out, text him and grab a cab, and my boss will understand.


He (aka: the dirtbag) is lucky you're not only very professional but one classy lady! You showed a ton of restraint... and if someone joked to me about "putting out" in a situation like this, I'd be in the red zone.

Devil Ledbetter
10-03-2010, 04:40 AM
I can't tell you how many times I had this conversation:

Me: (instructions to resolve technical problem)
Customer: You know, I'd like to talk to a man. <--- not joking, that's exactly how it was worded on more than one occasion.Me too. They come in the booth and I ask if I can answer any questions for them. Some guys want to wait for a man even if they're all busy talking to others. But this doesn't bother me because I'm used to it. I'm in marketing and it's quite possible I'll get stumped four or five questions into the drill down (polymer science and composite construction -- I probably know more than most people but not more than an engineer or builder.)

I've no problem grabbing one of the techies if a question is out of my depth. I may be in marketing, but I never fake an answer if I don't know it.

leahzero
10-03-2010, 04:55 AM
Strange thing language.
I've re-read my comments and see none of the things you mention. I wonder if I'm the dinosaur?

Well, self-honesty is a step out of the tar pit.

Re: "older guy" - I think I adequately clarified that the problem is not one of age, but of cultural and generational attitudes. It just so happens that the generations those attitudes were prevalent in make those men several decades older than me. "Older" is a relative term, i.e., "older than me; not of an age with or younger than me."

ETA: for example, see the show "Mad Men."

jennontheisland
10-03-2010, 04:58 AM
Me too. They come in the booth and I ask if I can answer any questions for them. Some guys want to wait for a man even if they're all busy talking to others. But this doesn't bother me because I'm used to it. I'm in marketing and it's quite possible I'll get stumped four or five questions into the drill down (polymer science and composite construction -- I probably know more than most people but not more than an engineer or builder.)

I've no problem grabbing one of the techies if a question is out of my depth. I may be in marketing, but I never fake an answer if I don't know it.
I really hope that one day, I'm the engineer you have to get to answer the questions.

(not literally, but I think you know what I mean)

;)

backslashbaby
10-03-2010, 04:59 AM
Yep, I've had the 'I'd like a male analyst' request many times myself, right when I picked up the phone.

I also had a female customer respond to 'I'm new, so I'll have to check on that' with 'Oh, I know. You're female. I've worked here 15 years and they've never had a female before'.

It was a male-dominated industry, but not nearly that male dominated.


I didn't realize the equal employment place had a time limit of something like 90 days, btw. I was applying for other jobs and thought I had more time to handle all that BS.

After I complained to HR with e-mails and an audio tape I'd made, my security badge didn't work anymore. The HR top brass were women, too!

Paul
10-03-2010, 01:47 PM
Nope, not funny.

Fair enough Devil.

I save my pity for people who deserve it rather than slobbering sexist pigs trying to force themselves on me.

Well that's your prerogative.

That's the crux of it. If I'd have been anywhere else, at a party or something, I'd have cut him to the quick. He knew I "had" to be polite and he took advantage of that.

a good point




Paul, when you're stuck having dinner with some asshole who's more than a foot taller than you, outweighs you by 180 pounds and is making it plain that all he can think about is fucking you and your sisters, and eats your steak so he can taste your spit, then strong arms you and forces kisses on you, well, yeah, unpleasant is about the mildest term that comes to mind. Has it ever happened to you? Well, has it? Has it?

Myself and most suffered in the company of a similar individual that's all i'm saying..

This idiot was only 5-10 years older than I am. "Dinosaur" might excuse it if he was in his 80s. He was not.

I work with plenty of older males who manage to politely stick to business. That guy was not particularly old. I'd guess him at somewhere between 48 and 55.

It actually was sexual harassment - the guy was harassing me about sex in a business setting, strong armed me and forced two godawful, slobbering, absolutely unwelcome kisses on me. So did I put out? Nope, still not funny.

Devil, look at this from my perspective. You post in office Party a story about an obnoxious man you met at an work meeting. To your question 'have we a long way to come, baby' (a light-hearted title in OP thread) I answered that these guys still exist are to be pitied and aint no fun. That's it. nothing more, nothing less.
As for the 'put out' comment, If my use of humour in this instance offended you, for that i am quite sorry. But to suggest, as some here have done, that i'm dismissive of sexual harassment is a different kettle of fish.(not saying you are suggesting that,but others have)
We've all been in those situations, usually at weddings, funerals or work gatherings where we are stuck with an obnoxious individual which because of extended family or other reasons we cant get rid of. If fact, quite a lot of comedy is based exactly on this situation.
now,if you described a story of this type from a co-worker in P&CE my initial engagement with the post is going to be different. A co-worker, by definition is someone you have to deal with on a continued basis, then to me, this is a significant issue as it's not something you can just 'walk away from and it creates continuous stress.

For you, you believed there was no way out of the situation. Well fair enough Devil, if that is what you believed your anger is understandable. However to me, this qualifies as one of those stuck with a social dinosaur at a work conference/gathering sort of thing - it happened as you say a business 'setting', but not in a business environment. I see this as an unfortunate exposure to a sexist pig, not exposure to work place sexual harassment. Not at all saying therefore 'it's ok', just clarifying what i believe to be an important point.

My comments, were a recognition that such obnoxious individuals still exist. My humorous comments were a use of exaggeration, in this case to highlight the absurdity of the situation, and definitely not a dismissal of the unpleasantness of the experience.

However in this case it does seem to have 'backfired', but my intention was certainly not to cause suffering. In truth I can't apologise for my style of humour, but do apologise for the hurt it caused in this instance.

Thanks. It really made me appreciate that all of the men in my company are gentlemen and there are plenty in my industry, too. I travel with anywhere from one to 6 guys from my company at a time and never once has even one of them made me feel uncomfortable, made advances or crude comments. I work with a great group and I'm lucky. The next day the guys I work with ran interference when the trog came into our booth and tried to talk to me.

:)

Edit: As for the 'old' thing, I didnt offer that at any time as an excuse (someone else mentioned it) nor would I. Senility (as a medical condition) may generate certain actions, but an adult's age is no excuse for nuthin. (My use of Dinosaur refers to 'out-dated' or 'obsolete' 'that which should have died out'):)

Final Edit:Ultimately of course, your were harassed, in as much as meeting anyone who is exposed to such an obnoxious person is. My first line of defence to such things is humour, to me a powerful weapon. however in this case it has been interpreted as a dismissal of your suffering. Let me finally stress, that was not my intention. My intention was to exaggerate in order to diffuse, to reduce the oppression of the experience, to rob this guy's actions of power. I can see now how that might has been interpreted otherwise.

writerterri
10-03-2010, 08:28 PM
I work in my kitchen and yes, I married into that job, I got tired of eating food that didn't match. I'm also the Chief Food Police. And nothing gets by me. Nothing. So, don't even try it or I'll be mopping the floor with your head.

Old Hack
10-04-2010, 12:33 AM
I've worked in book publishing for years, but my first career was in computer games publishing.

I was INCREDIBLY good at what I did.

I worked in marketing for a good while, and did very well; then I moved on and sold foreign rights, and again did ridiculously well. To give you an idea of how well I did, when I was 22 (I'm 48 now) I bought myself a flat in north London and didn't have a mortgage (and if you have any idea of property prices in London you'll realise how big a deal that was).

I earned a huge amount of money; I loved what I did; I travelled all over the world with a company credit card and a huge expense account: and not a month went by without me being offered a job elsewhere, for an increased salary and a bigger, better office. It was bloody brilliant fun.

When I was 24 I quit, because I could no longer endure the sort of abusive behaviour that Devil describes in her first post (and worse). It was threatening, demeaning, eroding, and constant. When I did a good job the implication was that I'd only done well because I'd handed out sexual favours in order to get the Real Men to help me; when I objected to that, I was told I was making too much of it. When I complained about the treatment I'd received from men who were similarly slobbery to Devil's acquaintance, word went round that I obviously had "problems" and couldn't cope with a bit of fun. Where was the fun? I couldn't see it while I was being groped and objectified and ridiculed but perhaps I was just too sensitive. At least, that's what I was told.

I was not alone: every single one of my female friends who did well in that field in the 1980s have similar stories to tell. All but one of us ended up ducking out of corporate work because of it. We just couldn't bear to endure the abuse that was put our way, day after day after day. We found alternate ways to work and to express ourselves.

But there was a cost.

I look at the men I worked with 25 years ago and many of them are now household names. They earn a huge amount of money, and are respected and successful. I know what they're like: I was on the receiving end of their attentions so many times.

If I'd been stronger, and had found their attentions less distressing to deal with, I would almost certainly now be earning millions a year instead of thousands.

Of course, you could suggest that instead of writing "If I'd been stronger, and had found their attentions less difficult to deal with", I could write, "if they'd been less exploitative and abusive, and more open to accepting women as colleagues rather than sex-objects".

Oh, and remember that I wrote earlier, "All but one of us ended up ducking out of corporate work because of it"? That "one of us" went on to be one of the top five female earners in the UK for several years running. She built up a huge business which spread across three continents; she's been given a CBE for her services to British business, and she's my friend even now. But she's had to pay a high price for her success, which the men we worked alongside probably haven't even noticed.

So yes, I think that Devil was pretty badly treated by this slobbery, insensitive man. And yes, I think that she's amazing to think that in future she could just duck out of an event and quietly text her excuses to her boss, instead of slapping that bastard of a man from here until next Sunday. And no, I don't think she's over-reacting or that this is actually a joke that she's just not getting.

I hope I've made myself clear.

backslashbaby
10-04-2010, 09:23 AM
I worked with a guy at a restaurant where we had a 'lady' in her 30's hired as manager. Most of the guys working there were college students. One of the guys had to go out drinking with her and letting her slobber all over him or she'd fire him. She quickly went through, firing those folks not in her set. She made it clear that he had to 'humor her' to stay. I didn't have time to accompany her on her alcoholic outings so much, so I was already gone. At least there was no saliva involved is all I have to say about all that. *shudders*

JimmyB27
10-04-2010, 05:03 PM
No, we haven't come that far.
I'd like to think that some of us have.