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She was one among the many victims just because she was a woman. Assault and harassment at the workplace shattered her dreams of becoming a career woman.
Yes, I was a victim just because I was born a female. Like many girls out there, I was the breadwinner for my family. But the dream was shattered when the creepy boss fixed his hawky eyes on me. Many of you might have encountered such incidents and had the courage to sweep it under the rug and move on. But I felt hard to digest what had happened to me and still trying to recover from it.
This was my second company, an IT firm where I joined as a Business Analyst. The interview went smooth and I got selected for the position. The first day was the usual, like how it goes in any other corporate company – during the first half of the day, they explained about their company, their rules, regulations, the internal organizational management software to login, logout and how to enter other details. In the second half, they gave me the task to create and write content for one of their yet to be launched website.
The Managing Director (MD) approached me and had a chit-chat about how everything was going on the first day. I was excited because it is not easy to get a job with just six months of experience, but I had the confidence and determination to grab the opportunity.
As days passed, the company arranged an outing to a resort to celebrate their year’s achievements. The MD came in the noon and joined us. He arrived late because along with another office colleague he had a hangover or so I heard. I could sense his eyes following and scanning me to know what I was doing and where I was. I had a good time in the resort with my new team and friends. In the evening the company-arranged-van dropped me to my location and from there I had to take an auto to reach my home.
After reaching home I received a text message on WhatsApp from my company’s official number, the number given to us to send our leave requests or inform the office of any sudden unavoidable leaves. I was really scared when I received the message thinking that I had done something wrong so they want to talk to me. When I replied, it was the MD who responded. I asked him if anything was wrong for which he replied, “No, texted just like that.” My biggest mistake was to reply to him and not share this with anybody.
He started asking me how I enjoyed my day at the resort, how helpful the company is for my growth and whether I finished my dinner or not. It didn’t stop there, but was the beginning of his creepy behaviour. Many times he would call me to his cabin only to ask personal things about me. He never spoke about official stuff but asked only about my family and the things I did in my free time. Gradually his Whatsapp texts and cabin talk increased, which didn’t seem very professional to me.
I started ignoring his messages and then this creepy person came up with another idea. He started asking about official matters on WhatsApp, whether I completed this or that work etc. Not able to avoid this, I replied to his messages. But one fine day, I decided to completely ignore his messages whatever happened. I thought of talking to him face-to-face.
As I had expected he called me to his cabin and questioned me as to why I was not responding to his messages. I said it’s just unprofessional, I didn’t feel good about him texting me and asking all my personal information. For which he gave me a very astounding reply that I should get used to replying to him just because he likes talking to me. I left the cabin without replying anything to him, because he had a huge ego which he felt shouldn’t be hurt.
The situation became worse when he complained about me to my Team Leader (TL) and the senior lady official that I was not performing enough. They started cornering me and expecting too much from me. Unable to bear the pressure, I wrote my resignation letter and gave it to my MD. He just put a big line across my words in the letter and said he is not going to accept it.
There were many other instances as well when I felt completely helpless about what was happening around me. I shared this with one of my male college cum friend but he wasn’t of much help. I guess some people are born that way. So, I thought to be patient and try it the next time. When the MD was out at a different state where he has another branch of our office, I wrote my second resignation letter. Some black sheep in our office notified about this to my senior lady official and she instantly called me.
She reprimanded me by saying that my performance was already low and MD was not at all happy about this. Then she enquired about my resignation letter for which I replied, “Yes, I have written one and I will hand it over to MD.” She loudly said that he would definitely get upset and tell her to tear my resignation letter. I mean, what was happening?
With no help from anyone in the office, I quit my job. It’s not just only about the egoistic MD but also about the people around me who were in higher positions but didn’t come forward to help me. They sidelined me to be in his good books and also for the fear of losing their own jobs if they supported me.
This experience left a big wound in me, and also created an inability to put trust in someone. It really haunts me when I think of someone trying to invade my personal space and bully me. So, let’s just help each other and make the world a better place to live for everyone.
Image source: pixabay
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