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“Do you know what a woman wants? She wants you to treat her like a human. And stop using cusswords that demean her!” I finally roared!
“Psst! Tina, are you carrying one?” asked Lily coyly
“Pad?” I hollered back.
She gave an abashed look and shook her head hesitantly.
“Come over,” I said, snapping my fingers.
She stole an awkward glance at Lucky as she walked past him. I pulled out and placed an entire pack of it on display from my handbag.
“Here, help yourself,” I said to Lily.
Lucky, whose cubicle was beside me, scoffed at us and smirked. I raised my eyebrows and barked, “What’s so funny? I have a razor too, you want one?”
He moved his hand across his stubble sheepishly and got back to work. The three of us were working on a presentation and were advised to sit beside each other for the ease of communication.
“Coffee?” I asked the two as I got up to get one for me.
They agreed. I went to the coffee vending machine, filled three cups with froth till the brim, placed them on a tray and walked back. Looking at Lily’s face, I knew she was in pain and desperately needed a warm cup of coffee.
I bent to place the tray on my desk when my shirt button popped open revealing a bit of my cleavage. Lucky gaped at it as though he had found a treasure. I hit him on the head with a roll of paper and sat down to have my coffee.
“How much more time before we finalise on the points we’ll be presenting before the superiors?” He enquired.
“What’s the hurry?” I asked inquisitively.
“Oops… sorry… India just lost a wicket,” he tried explaining the reason for the abrupt utterance of a cuss word.
“It’s a day-night match, so I was just checking if I could leave a little early.”
“When Lily is staying back despite feeling low, why can’t you?” I asked him.
“You girls are brilliant… I’ll support you both online.” He winked. I wasn’t happy with his attitude but kept mum and resumed working.
He took his bag and got up to leave that’s when Aarav came to his cubicle with a long face.
“What happened? She too dumped you?” Lucky mocked him. He rubbed both his shoulders and gave Aarav a warm hug.
“Come along, cheer up, I’ll teach you the art of winning a woman’s heart.” He put his hand on Aarav’s shoulder and took out his phone from his pocket and sat down again.
The two got themselves glued on to the screen whispering and giggling. Their animated conversation acted as a distraction. I lost my cool and went towards them only to find them watching an obscene video. Their faces turned red as they realised my presence.
“So, you have time for this shit but not the presentation!” I exclaimed.
Lucky tried calming me down but, I wasn’t in a mood to stop. I had had enough of his filthy behaviour.
“You mock a woman on periods, ogle at the other as if she is an alien, use foul language! And then, you claim to be someone who knows the way to a woman’s heart?” Lily tried to stop me. I shoved her aside.
“Do you know what a woman wants? She wants you to treat her like a human. Stop using cuss words that demean her and the sacred relationships. Don’t treat her like an object to satiate your ‘urges.’ Stop blaming the hormones for your lecherous behaviour!” I would have continued but was interrupted by someone from the HR department. So, I narrated my ordeal to them.
The next morning I found out that Lucky was being served a warning mail for his ludicrous behaviour.
I don’t know whether my words had or would have any effect on his behaviour. Nonetheless, I had decided not to remain silent ever against such rotten behaviour.
Sexual harassment and gender-biased behaviour are common problems at workplaces. I believe these can be curbed with three ways:
A version of this was earlier published here.
Picture credits: Still from Dice Media’s series Adulting on YouTube
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