I’m publicly writing about this to hopefully heal wounds and empower women to never stop speaking up for themselves, no matter what.
At my previous job, the Manager harassed and took advantage of women in our workplace. Let me explain…
When I first interviewed there (Feb 2010), I was asked, by the Manager, inappropriate questions about my person life. I decided to blow it off and take the position because I was recently laid off and really needed a job. Over the next few months, the Manager decided it was ok to comment on my looks, invite me out to drinks, to his house, and texted me outside the workplace. At the end of summer I made it clear to him that I didn’t like his comments and he, in return, started talking to me rudely and downright mean. I decided to give it right back to him.
November 2010, a new female had started in the workplace. A month later, the Manager decided to trick her into going and getting massages, stating that he did that with all his employees (false) and that he wanted to thank her for a job well done—she had only been working for a month at this point. She did go, but later expressed to him that she wasn’t ok with. And of course, he then started talking to her rudely as well. She never came forward, but started keeping to herself in the work place.
March 2011 another new female employee had started working for the company. She was attracted to the Manager and he decided to take advantage of that information and pursued her intimately. She really did believe that they had a relationship because of the words and vibes that were exchanged between them. When things went sour, he started talking to her equally as sour and rude. She came into work upset a lot of the time and noticed she started withdrawing as well.
Over the Summer of 2011, both of these women confided in me and shared their stories. We all were ashamed and embarrassed and tried to use each other as support. Even when we decided to come forward, we then backed down because we just didn’t want to “rock the boat”, rehash all of the horrible feelings, or really deal with the embarrassment. One of the females decided she wanted to leave the workplace all together in the Spring of 2012. At that point I had also been job searching because none of us respected the Manager anymore and just wanted out and away from him at all cost.
Through out this entire time, I heard from several employees that he’s had a history of hitting on, sleeping with, living with, and getting sued from female employees all while in his current position. He even sexually assaulted a vendor at a conference.
Just recently, when things started coming forward about the Manager, he was fired. HR was upset that no one had come forward and shared this information sooner. They said anyone who knew anything about anything should have come forward because everyone had an obligation to tell HR or call the ethics hotline.
Some of our co-workers decided to ignore or pretend what he did to us wasn’t real or didn’t happen. They turned on us. Calling us “haters”, saying karma was going to catch up with us, and that we should remove ourselves from the situation if we didn’t want to be in it (uh, hello 2 of us left the company because it).
Their stone throwing reminded me why women don’t come forward in the first place. They are shamed and ganged up on. What our co-workers don’t know is the ENTIRE story. If they did, I think they’d feel really stupid right about now for siding with a sexual predator. And if they do know all the information, then how disgusting and foul are they to ridicule women who are coming forth and stopping the pattern of abuse. If they were honest, moral, and ethical people that had half a brain, they would understand why companies do not tolerate relationships in the workplace. Especially managers and subordinates. That is Business 101.
For awhile I was upset. I was hurt. But why? For what? For having morals and ethics? For speaking out for women and myself? I’m sorry if you think I should have kept my mouth shut. I’m sorry you felt that I should have minded my own business. But this was ALL of our business. We have moral and ethical obligations to the company we work for to report these indiscretions in the work place, consensual or not.
You know what I’m sorry for the most?
I’m sorry it took me 2 years to come forward and say the truth about this despicable man.