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I was groped at my work

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Old 03-24-2014, 10:42 PM   #1
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Default I was groped at my work

I was groped by a customer at my work on Friday

My idiot boss, just to make conversation or something, started telling the customer all kinds of personal stuff about me; he spoke of my having a motorcycle, what a 'tough motorcyclist' I am, what my vanity license plate was! So the customer, whom the boss KNOWS tries to flirt with me and is 'too friendly', says "I want a ride behind her! I'll hold on real tight like this" and he came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my midriff and squeezed...I pulled his arms off me and backed off and he laughs, my boss laughs..I think you all can feel my complete outrage!!!!!

I told my boss "I should NOT have to have your f*****g customers put their hands on me!" and he says "Aw, I hear ya" What the **** kind of reaction is that?!!

I grabbed my coat and told his wife (who witnessed all this) "I am going to sit in my car for a while"! and went outside. I've never ever walked out like that before! I sat in my car for like 7 minutes..then came back into work. No one says anything!! I boiled the rest of the day. And suffered through the next day with such anger, it was exhausting.

The day after that (Sunday; yesterday) the customer comes in, comes up to us to say hello, and I walked up to him and coldly and quietly said "what you did the other day was SO out of line" and he looks shocked and says "did I hurt you?" I said 'NO, you do NOT put your hands on anyone, that is assault, and if we were in a crowd I would have punched you!" and he starts to apologize but I cut him off by saying "I'm working" and turned my back on him. My hands were shaking. And I had to just stand there and assemble sandwiches with my chickensh*t boss. He asked me something unrelated, and I was so far gone in anger, I said "I don't give a f**k" and he got mad and started throwing things around (like hand towels, slamming down plates, etc)

After the guy and his friends ate lunch, my boss followed them outside. He (boss) has NOT told me that he spoke to the perv about the incident.

I am sure he thinks I am overreacting. He has a daughter, would he stand by if this was done to her?! I have filled out a preliminary online questionnaire for my State's Attorney's office, for workplace sexual harassment complaint. I'm sure it means I'm done with this job but I'm sick of him anyway.

I realize that him 'hugging' me is not even close to having a butt squeezed or a breast touched, but it does constitute unwanted touch and it was disgusting and gross and actually pretty intimate, I was wearing a tank top with a hoodie over it, but the hoodie was not zipped so his arms were right up against my midriff with only tank top material between.

I don't know how to let go of the anger. And the feeling of injustice!! at him and almost even more so, my a-hole boss!!!

The first time I was groped I was 12 years old, and it was on a train and my groper was an Amtrack porter, he reached out and fondled my breasts (what little there was, I was friggin 12!) I was groped in a funhouse, in the dark, as an older teenager. I had almost forgotten these incidents but Friday's incident brought them back.

i have gone online and read blogs where women post who have been assaulted, and some have been able to physically fight back; those who have been able to actually physically beat on your attackers, you are fierce and I love you!! I wish so much I could have punched 'my' guy in his smug old reptilian ugly laughing face.

Having t go to work each day and work side-by-side with the idiot boss felt unsurmountable at first, and my anger was just exhausting

I am making myself wait 7 days from the incident; I am giving him (boss) the change to tell me himself, IF he spoke to the perv, and what he said...I should not have to ask him, 'what did you say to him??' Because, once one tells their employer of an incident, they have an legal obligation to address it, and follow through, and report of actions taken.

My husband of course was indignant, and sympathetic. When I told 2 female co-workers of it (they were not there at the time) their mouths dropped open and they were aghast. When I told a MALE co-worker about it, HE LAUGHED.

I will keep you informed!!

I invite ANY who have been assaulted to write of it here, if it helps you
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:04 PM   #2
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Wow. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I have been sexually assaulted by a male friend (I never saw him again after the attempt). I had a boyfriend at the time, and the friend groped my breasts and kissed me. I grabbed hold of his male parts and twisted until he stopped. I left immediately.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:26 AM   #3
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What a jerk of a boss too!!!
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:32 AM   #4
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I am so sorry. That is so awful. I think the degree that sexual harassment that is tolerated in many place is unacceptable and needs to be changed. I hope you get your justice!

I've never been groped, but I've been harassed so much on the street. Why don't men understand that unwanted sexual attention is UNWANTED and makes environments more stressful/uncomfortable for women?

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Old 03-25-2014, 02:21 AM   #5
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I am so outraged at what you went through. I am sitting here very upset.

You may want to consider consulting with an attorney asap (if you don't get any action from the State's Attorneys office). Even if you don't pursue legal action, your a**hole of a boss should at least become educated on your legal rights in the workplace. Perhaps communication from an attorney will enlighten him. The sooner this gets handled, the better.

This jerk needs to take this very seriously. If you can't afford an attorney, there are other resources, such as legal aide.

If your company has a human resources dept., involve them right away.

When I was 12 years old, I took an advanced swimming class with older teenagers. One day, after class, I saw 3 teenage boys whispering, laughing and pointing at me. I was still swimming, and the next thing I knew, one of the boys pulled me under water from behind, and penetrated me vaginally with his finger.
I was scared that I was going to drown. I squirmed, kicked him as hard as I could, got out of the pool and ran home as fast as I could. I never told anyone. I couldn't identify which kid attacked me. I was also afraid that my parents would blame me or wouldn't believe me. This experience scarred me for life. I felt completely powerless and had no one to turn to.

This abuse and disrespect of women and girls has to stop. I find that the fear of legal action can be very effective.

I am so very sorry that you were treated so disrespectfully. I support you completely. You should never have had to endure that crap. You may not want to invest the time and effort of bringing an attorney into this. You may just decide that it's not worth it and to leave the job. Whatever happens, I hope that it can somehow be resolved to your satisfaction. I just know that for me, it was very damaging to be groped and there not be any consequences for the individual who mistreated me.

My very best wishes go with you.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:31 AM   #6
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Sending supportive thoughts, Holly. No, you do not deserve such disrespect. I wish you well finding your way through this.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:28 AM   #7
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I'm glad you're not taking this lying down, Holly. No matter who it is, no one should feel that they can touch someone in a way that makes them uncomfortable.

I had been groped out in public when I was younger (the first time when I was 13 and the second when I was 15), both of which were very uncomfortable but fleeting instances by strangers. The first time I was too shocked and taken aback to react, the second I reacted to on the spur of the moment by digging my nails into the guys arm and drawing blood as he tried to pull away.

But the worst was when I was 20. I was living in a different city and was staying with an older uncle (around 70 years old) and his daughter for about a month while I was looking for my own place. The daughter is one of my mom's really good friends, and they're pretty close family. My uncle used to start off with hugging me from behind with his hands far higher or lower than they should have been. It progressed to him coming into my room at night and trying to discreetly touch my breasts and butt. This went on for a few weeks, but I convinced myself it was harmless and I didn't want to create problems in my family by bringing it up. One morning after his daughter had left the house, he came to my room, woke me up and very blatantly grabbed me. This went on for almost ten minutes and he even had the gall to ask, "Do you like it?". I felt completely paralyzed and couldn't do anything. I got so freaked out. I moved away in the next couple of days and never went back unless people were with me.

That uncle remains the only person who I truly hate in my life, and wish he would die. I cannot and will not be bothered with forgiving him or anything. Because of him I feel uncomfortable with people touching me. This happened almost 5 years ago and I still feel a boiling hatred every time I think about it. More than anything, I hate that I didn't do anything about it. I feel like a complete coward and I feel like it's too late to say anything now. This is the first time I'm mentioning this to anyone other than my one closest friend.

Because of this, I think it is admirable and necessary for people to stand up for themselves when they've been wronged. Your boss just sounds grossly insensitive, but I hope that customer gets his comeuppance for what he did.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:43 AM   #8
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That is outrageous Holly. I'm so glad you spoke up and are looking into filing a complaint. (I want to say proud of you but that seems presumptuous for someone I don't really know. I am always impressed when any woman is able to move past the anger/fear and address it) Is this the job that is winding down for the season?

Hope today is a better day
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:13 AM   #9
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Do file the complaint, and don't wait any longer.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:31 AM   #10
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Holly, I am so angry on your behalf. Very well done for speaking out and yes, file the complaint. This behaviour is quite unacceptable and your boss is a very stupid man.

Like Cyndi asked, is this job winding down and you'll be into your summer job soon? From what I've seen over the years this winter job doesn't suit you at all. If it turns out that it's the end of this job, another door will open for you.

and very best wishes.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:35 AM   #11
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This is very upsetting, it's hard to believe how many women are put through this sort of harassment when we can all immediately conjure up the times we were assaulted, harassed and even groped. Even recalling my experiences makes me feel so powerless! And the worst thing about it is the self doubt that comes with it. "Am I overthinking this? Am I wrong in presuming this person meant harm? Am I reading into it something that wasn't intended? Am I overly sensitive? Will people think I'm lying? Will I get someone into trouble that doesn't deserve it?" these thoughts go through my mind all the time when I'm in an uncomfortable predicament and I can imagine they went through yours as well.

I did once watch an Oprah show many years ago about a woman who was assaulted and the expert they had on the show said that humans are the only animals that doubt their intuition. That stuck with me. If we hear a noise we tell ourselves it was nothing. If we suddenly feel nervous we talk ourselves out of it. If someone makes us uncomfortable we don't want to say anything rude. I think this is the reason why we fall prey so often, our ability to reason and diffuse a situation as women is exploited by men. And we hardly ever speak up, making it all the easier for those men to continue doing things to other people.

I think you're right to file a complaint. But, for your own sake you have to be either more clear and direct, or less clear and direct. I think at the moment and in your frustration and lack of support you are being passive aggressive and that's not going to help you. If someone's laughing at you then you haven't gotten the message across at how serious of an offense this was to you. If you're waiting for your boss to do the right thing and he still hasn't, then I'm willing to bet he doesn't even know what he's supposed to do. You need your boss informed about what to do you either need to tell him straight up what you expect or get your attorney to do so. Don't sit around seething, frustrated and powerless.

Ideally if it were me I'd march right into your boss's office and tell him.
1. I was handled inappropriately and was assaulted in my work place.
2. I will not have any communication with this client, I don't want to see him, hear him, or even be in the building if he is to come around.
3. I have filed a formal complaint.
4. As my boss you are under the obligation of handling this complaint and providing me with a safe work environment.

Furthermore, you need to enlist witnesses to the incident AND to your reaction to the incident. Write it down, what happened, when it happened, how it happened. Everything that you recall and everything that was said. Dates, times, location and incident. This is called an anectdotal log. Also, continue to keep this log as everything progresses and write everything down. The fool that laughed at you? His name goes down too. If you're filing a complaint then you have to build a case.

We're with you though, keep us updated!!! You'll get through this!
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:45 PM   #12
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So sorry you had to go through that and kudos for standing up for yourself! I completely agree with the above posters, you should file a formal complaint and asap. Get yourself representation.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:54 PM   #13
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I'm really sorry that happened to you. I have always worked in a male dominated industry and twice have been inappropriately touched. Once by a co-worker, and once by my boss (ya, I know)- in both instances it was where they were walking past me and acted like they had to squeeze by and so they sort of ground their crotch up against my butt. It was disgusting. If it had been made a habit of, I'm sure I would have had issues, but my reaction to both of them was to just give them a look and not say anything and it never happened again. Not sure what kind of look was on my face- it's been some years so it could have been a "touch me again and I'll kill you" or a "you disgusting pig" look, not sure.

You are absolutely right that your boss should address the issue. Be aware, though, that you are likely better versed in law than he is (not making excuses for him, simply stating a fact) and you may have to ask him if he followed through if you want the answer. Since he followed the guy out, I suspect he did have a chat, but he may not realize he's supposed to follow up with you.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by CanadianCutie View Post
Wow. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I have been sexually assaulted by a male friend (I never saw him again after the attempt). I had a boyfriend at the time, and the friend groped my breasts and kissed me. I grabbed hold of his male parts and twisted until he stopped. I left immediately.
You are fierce and I love that you did that!!! but so sorry that it even happened
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheyenneb4u View Post
What a jerk of a boss too!!!
yeah he is isn't he!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucrezia View Post
I am so sorry. That is so awful. I think the degree that sexual harassment that is tolerated in many place is unacceptable and needs to be changed. I hope you get your justice!

I've never been groped, but I've been harassed so much on the street. Why don't men understand that unwanted sexual attention is UNWANTED and makes environments more stressful/uncomfortable for women?
thank you! and I don't know why men harass women on the street pack mentality?? why can't they imagine their wives, daughters, nieces in the place of the women they're harassing?
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