19 September 2007

Of Armorless Knights and Warm Hands...

Well, this week sucks swampwater... even more so than yesterday.

Today, I get to work, and I've blown off most of the crap from yesterday. I can take a little teasing, and I'm more than willing to give what I get. There is, however, a line.

I come out of the restroom to find the YM(Yard Manager) waiting on me with the 4 from up front who were making crude jokes yesterday.

YM: There you are.
Me: Where did you think I was?
YM: Didn't know, figured you were out appreciating another driver.
*cue raucous laughter from everyone else*
VBPA(Vicious Bitch Purchasing Agent): No, she's just in there cleaning up from the last one.
*more laughter*
Me: What in the hell is wrong with you people? Why would you say stuff like that?
YM: Well, 'coz it's so much fun.
Me: Really? Well, it's not.
YM: Well, we thought you might be out... it IS Driver Appreciation Week after all.
Me: What would make you think that?
YM: Well, that's what AYSG(Aggravating Young Sales Guy) said.

By now, I'm fuming. Really, enough is fucking enough.

Me: Really? *turn to AYSG* Now I AM going to pop you in the nose.
AYSG: What???! *innocent face* What did I do?

I just shake my head and walk back to my office.

*memories of junior high/high school bullshit well up* when I was 16 I was seeing a guy from school. I happened to be out walking with my walkman headset on, listening to the cars, minding my own. I walk through town, past the bank where all the hoodrats hung out. There was one there who was 2 years younger than me (in my brother's grade) and as I walked past him, he started calling me a slut and a bitch. I kept on walking, pretending I didn't hear him. I got home and my bf called. I told him what had happened. He told me it would be taken care of. Apparently, he cruised into town, got my brother, found the little bitch, and made it very clear to him that I was NOT a slut or a bitch and that I would not be talked to that way. I never was again; even when we broke up a couple years later. He made a huge effort to be extremely polite to me.

I have dealt with this for more years than I care to remember. I'm sorry I'm a curvy person; I'm sorry I'm one of the few single women working here that is not living with someone; I'm sorry that I drive a truck and none of you do. This does not make me a whore.

For 5 years at a previous company, I dealt with the same shit. If I passed someone in Wal-mart and said "hi" to them, I was fucking them. OMG. It was horrid. I would deliver to places and have to read about myself on the bathroom walls. I used to joke about it that if I really were getting as much action as everyone said, I'd be a much happier person.

*more memories of bullshit at work* Captain Crazy found out who wrote the stuff on the walls. He found out who was saying stuff and "chatted" with them. At 6'5", he was very persuasive. He held me while I cried and patted my hair. He was my shining armorless knight. Dear God, I STILL miss having someone on my side.

Truth be told, I would have guessed it more from outside truck drivers (who, btw, have heard some of these conversations when waiting in the office for paperwork) and I have heard it from other drivers on the road. They were promptly put in their place. In the 3 years I have worked here between the driving and the office, with the exception of Big Papa, I have not heard ANYTHING like that from our drivers, or even rumors of any of them saying anything like that. Ever. Don't get me wrong; they cut up just like everyone else, but I was a driver. They never would have said anything out of line to me because it was expected that our drivers be professional. And they are.

So by now, I'm back to my desk, and I'm furious, and humiliated. My boss had stepped out with the GM this morning, so he missed all the fun. I'm not overly emotional or a crier by nature, but this dregged up all the stupid shit I had to deal with before. I just worked on paperwork and went to the bathroom a few times to get through the worst. This is a multi-million dollar company. They have 100 employees. We deal with the public all the time. I am astounded that they do this shit. It's family owned and run, so it's a more laid-back atmosphere. As always, it has its good and bad points. The boss gets back and after about an hour and a half he notices I'm not my cheery self from this morning.

This prompts 3 different conversations wanting to know what was wrong (nothing), is it work-related (yes, but I'll deal with it) and is it anything he can help with (no, I'm used to it, it will end). He wants to make sure this isn't going to escalate into something huge. (My mood is pretty dark; I am very foul by now.) I tell him I've got it under control, nothing will get out of hand. I think he has a rough idea by now what's going on, because people are now having whispered conversations around me.

So he leaves early for the day, and here I sit in charge... I don't give a flying fuck if I ever come back here. So I'll be in tomorrow, because I need the health insurance for the kids and the money for the child support.


I have talked to the HR guy, who is aware silly stuff goes on, but didn't realize this was happening. He was very surprised too by the people who were normally very cordial and well-mannered who were joining in the ribbing. I told him that it has lightened up considerably. VBPA came up to me at lunch asking if they had upset me. I told her I was not in the mood to talk of it and to let it go. She apologized and left.

Big Papa came in shortly after that. He said "Hello Miss B." I looked at him and called him a shortened nickname of his real name. He looked at me and said that wasn't his name. I told him that Driver Appreciation Representative wasn't mine, but apparently he had no issue with calling me that all week. He got very quiet, and walked up to me and apologized. I believe he got the point. He was very cordial after that moment.

Oh yea, on top of all this... Mr Monthly visited again. (He's pretty much the only guy I can count on to be around regularly, and quite frankly, if I never see him again, my world won't end.) That's another thing I miss about Captain Crazy. He had warm hands. And I would sit wrapped in his arms and he would put his warm hands on my crampy, sore belly, and it would all be ok.

So in half an hour, I'm going to meet one of my best friends, have dinner, catch up on all the gossip, and I believe I'm going to have a couple beers. I'm not a drinker by nature, but this has been a fucked up week.

*raises beer* Here's to armorless knights and warm hands... may you all find some. Every woman should have them.

miss b


George said...

They sound like a bunch of heartless, hypocritical, haters typical of offices everywhere. I don't know why people do that to others. It is harrassment in no uncertain terms. The company I work for has a harrassment policy in place and if somebody is caught (by senior management) harrassing any body (whether is be sexual, or based on colour, race, anything physical about you) they are fired on the spot. If you have been harrassed in any way you can take your complaint to your boss, the HR director or anybody in senior management and they will investigate.

A couple of weeks ago they fired 3 assemblers in the plant for picking on another employee.

Take it as high up the ladder as necessary so that it won't happen again ... to you ar anybody else

Tater said...

I'm with George, I'd be damned if I'd put up with any of that shit, or put up with anyone in my command doing that to one of my female troops.

Type up a formal complaint (always in writing--makes it impossible to ignore) and turn it in to the HR guy. Make sure in the title it says "Sexual Harassment Complaint", trust me, you'll only have to do it once...

Miss B said...

thanks fellas... it's good to have the support. I did talk to HR, and they are in the process of implementing a full-scale sexual harrassment policy, as well as a seminar.

It's been much better the last two days... and THANKFULLY driver appreciation week is over. :)