Don’t fall down the well.

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I am having this little dilemma with myself. I could go into a whole speech about actions and thoughts and whatever but the basic bottom line is as follows.

Earlier in my life career, there was a guy who, to put it bluntly, sexually harassed me in a rather blatant manner. Now, I know all about the sexual harassment that goes on under random guises of normalcy, and these things are ALL disgusting, but at least the guys in question have enough decency to be embarrassed about what they are doing and try to cover it up. This one didn’t. Should he be lauded for his honesty at least?

It has recently come to my attention that this individual is going to be involved with my place of employment in a professional capacity. I am not excited about this and my initial instinct was to contact the person responsible for making this arrangement, give them an earful in a nice sort of way, and explain why dealing with THIS PERSON is a bad idea.

But then I realized that:

(Have you noticed I like lists?)

1 – this incident was a long time ago, and he very well could have done teshuva since then

2 – even if he IS still the type of person to sexually harass, he is unlikely to do so on the job since he would simply be FIRED, and that would not be good for his career.

3 – the Torah forbids taking revenge. One of the classic examples is causing someone financial loss. (Hey! When people speak loshon hara in a vengeful sort of way, they are also creating a problem in this area. and then some…) So telling the person hiring this dude that he behaved inappropriately with me just to get him fired would CERTAINLY be a problem.

4 – how he behaved is not a reflection of me AT ALL. I don’t need to feel uncomfortable around him. At the time, I felt small, but it is he who was shrunken by his poor behavior.

Done with the list. It is so easy to start down a road where we don’t want to go just from not being aware of where I was standing. It is important to keep our eyes open all the time.

The moral of this story is, you guessed it. Don’t fall down the well.

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7 Responses to Don’t fall down the well.

  1. anonym00kie says:

    im impressed by your list/reaction. it defintiely isnt a reflection of you . he’s the one who has to worry now, if he steps out of line…

  2. jacob says:

    But what if he tries this shit with other people, they deserve a warning…esp. when it comes to sexual harassment. People usually do not change unless they get therapy or something.

  3. Ok, I was trying to simplify. He’s only around short term and as I am currently the only female employee, and I can take him, that particular point is not an issue, though it is a valid one in general.

  4. ari kinsberg says:

    what i though as i read your first 3 points:

    1) there are exceptions, but my general working assumption is that people really don’t change.

    2) plenty of people don’t see this as an impediment, as sexual harassment on the job does happen

    3) i did not read your post within the context of revenge. rather, at best you want to prevent an uncomfortable working environment; at worst you want to prevent something bad from happening to yourself or someone else

  5. Thanks for thinking so highly of me, but nope, at worst I wanted revenge. I was seething. Then I realized this falls under the “holding a grudge” category.

    I thought it through all the way here. The opportunity for him to step out of line here is really minuscule. And if he did anything, I would be the target. Which I can take. Nothing he ever said made me feel small, it just made him look like a jerk. And if he ever tried to touch me, which I doubt, I would break his hand. O:-)

  6. Wow, I’m all commenty. Ari K, I forgot to address your first 2 points.

    1 – My boss has integrity and if there was sexual harassment in the office, the one who dared would be gone within moments

    2 – People totally change. I have devoted my life to it. Now, maybe this dude hasn’t, but maybe he has. It’s been almost 10 years. If someone looked at me 10 years ago, they would hardly recognize me as the same person (B”H!) and I was a good kid too! (Ok, I had a little goth/punk thing going on, but I was good.) Hopefully perv has seen the light and mended his ways.

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