Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm Not Asking For Advice, Per Se ...

... (<- gosh how I love those dots ... ) I'm not asking for advice, per se, but maybe after you read my short story, you'll tell me what you believe you would do ... I already know what I'm going to do.

Brief History: Years ago I was C O O L. Today, it's official, I'm no longer cool. Not even remotely.

Yesterday, after a busy morning off -- it's all relative -- I worked at home for my husband, rather than at my job for my boss -- I ran to deliver CAT Scan films to the oral surgeon and headed to the local hospital to visit a friend from work who had been in the hospital for about a week.

Before I ran off to do the delivery and the visit, I carefully groomed myself, sans makeup because of the cryosurgery of a few weeks ago; nice blue twin set, gold hoop earrings, gold chain and cross, gold ring, a teeny, tiny bit of scent. I'm not the girl I used to be and I am okay with that.

I arrived to work and got down to the tasks at hand. My boss came in to the office and greeted me, left, came back ... it's how our days go, usually. Some days we don't see each other much at all, others we are busy, busy, busy.

Later in the afternoon he came in to the office and on his heels a co-worker followed him in. This co-worker is not a superior of mine. Thankfully. My boss said something along the lines of, but I cannot quote it exactly, "You know Kathy, when I saw you earlier, I was going to comment how you looked like .... a nice Catholic girl." Which made me chuckle. As he knew it would. We are friends beyond our working relationship.

But there was more .... right up there where the like ... a nice, on those dots, inject another male party having his say, which I heard, but didn't get. And so I ignored it because I was paying attention to my boss.

My bosses comment, 'I was going to comment how you looked like .... finished with the other male party saying, 'a M.I.L.F.'

Had I know then, what I found out today, besides the fact that I am totally out touch and not cool at all, I'm sure I would have shot up out of my chair and been over the desk tackling this fellow ... rather quickly. How dare he presume to say anything like that to or about me?

My defense would be justifiable rage. This *(%#&* has been, er, doing things and saying things to the women who work here, for the last twenty years or more. Soon to be twenty-one for me. We've all been 'hit' at one time or another, some more than others. We all keep some kind of tally sheet in our heads. I don't know if others keep them on paper or not, but I do.

I tend to forgive but not forget because, well, I have to work with him. I have no choice. He is not my boss, but we have to commiserate on some items and while it is distasteful on a good day, my demeanor is such that you wouldn't know that I can't stand this person. Pretty much at all any more. I used to try. I don't bother now.

Sad state of affairs.

Today, my boss came in and leaned down toward the desk, "Did you hear what he said yesterday?" Who? Nods head in the direction of his office. Uh, yes and no. I heard him, but didn't get it. "MILF? You don't know what that is?" Uh-no. What does it mean? Bosses face sort of pinks up and he's trying to tell me without embarrassing me or himself. He told me what it means, but he left off the last offense word. Didn't need to hear it once I heard the first three.

Did I feel like a dope or what? On the other hand, I guess it's a guy kind of thing. Best used between men and out of earshot of women who know what it means.

If you don't know ... reference the movie American Pie ... and if you need further clarification ... ask ... I'll explain.

I could make all manner of excuses for his inappropriate comments, gestures, remarks to others and about others, and even myself, but I'm not going to. We are all adults. The work climate is such that hostile work environs and sexual harassment should be non-existent. Wouldn't you think? Not so.

So, tell me, what do you believe you would do?


Donna said...

Where Cliff works, that's the quickest way to get fired, saying something like that. They do NOT put up with harassment in any form.

FrankandMary said...

My dearest Kathy,

We might disagree on this one :-). In fact, I am thinking everyone who comments here will disagree with my personal feelings on this.

Now I'm not a Mom, but I had men say that right to me a couple of times when I was out with Chicklet...always when she was "around" but not close enough to hear at the moment it was said. It made me laugh & I felt it was a crude way for the guy to tell me he thought I was hot.
I did not feel harassed, but then, I did once ask a guy in the Pathmark if he'd please take off all his clothes........
I've had doctors(in the workplace) OVER flirt with me, and I usually thought of it as "silly little almost bald boys," but I would take it seriously if someone else in the office felt harassed.
Your not Catholic commentor,

Lisa :-] said...

I'm sorry, I do not know what an MILF is. Oh, wait...the hubs just clarified this for me.

And the words he started the explanation out with were, "Think adolescent male..."

There you go.

Me? I probably would have told him to his face to shut the **** up.

I am not nice, and I don't hold much with office politics...

Debra said...

kathiest, i'm in agreement with mary on this one; but that's cuz i usually see things as the other person intended, so i'd've thought he meant that as a groovy compliment......however, if you found it repulsive (and him too), then making you views known to him at some point would be a good idea. that way, he knows that you didn't find it complimentary and can adjust his behavior so that in the future, he doesn't say something similar. i'd guess too it would make a difference what sort of relationship you have with that coworker, is he normally an ass that you can't stand, or is he someone that you have an ok working relationship with, or is he one of these people that you've yet to have an opinion formed, or or or or
thems my thoughts, grins, sweet girl

Indigo said...

Paul once explained it to me this way, It's a compliment of sorts on how you look. He did say it was a term that "boys" used growing up.

I would let it go, but if he insisted I would bring him down a level he seems to understand. I would reply with "If he wants to compliment you in any regards,how about doing it in a more age/office appriopiate way. Seeing as hopefully his mind had matured and gathered decency since he was a little boy". It's polite yet crude enough to get the message across. (Hugs)Indigo