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MENTAL HEALTH

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HAULS

MEN MADE ME TERRIFIED OF MEN

I've only ever had one job, and unfortunately that one job has put me off ever getting another. This job I had was in a factory, I was based in the office side but I still had had to go into the factory, and what can you find in a glass making factory? Men, lots of men.

So, this one man in particular, he was the kind of life and soul of all the men- everyone knew him, his story, what he was doing, he was very outgoing and lively, and for my first few weeks this man had been very friendly/nice to me, spoke to me a lot any tried to make me feel comfortable in the factory with all of the other men. So as time went on he became one of my 'friends,' at work, I was aware he was in his 50's, and I was told he had a wife and kids, seems all sweet right?


And then he started to wolf whistle at me when I walked through the factory, the whistling then turned into shouting 'sexy,' or 'hiya gorgeous.' at me across the factory floor, which you can imagine, made me feel so uncomfortable.  So I started to keep away from him more, but in doing that it seemed to make him find me more. The cat calling and whistling and winking and comments such as 'ooo I love you in that red lipstick, my favorite,' and 'look at this metal pole, it's almost as big as my pole,' became more and more weird and a daily thing.

This man was old enough to be my grandad, and when I reported the goings on to my boss he simply said 'I'll tell him,' and I don't know if he ever did because things got worse.
The last thing that happened was the worst, I had to go and deliver a message to him in the factory and then bring him back to the office to see someone, so I did that. But on the journey back to the office we had to go upstairs, and obviously, he was all 'ladies first,' so I said thanks and started walking up, he quickly followed, but what happened next really shocked me. I suddenly felt a slap on my ass, and I froze and turned around, only to see him behind and he followed with 'Uh you've got a banging arse.' I really didn't know what to say or do, so I just turned back around and got upstairs and out of his way asap.

I went back to my office and sat and teared up, I felt scared and uncomfortable, I felt unsafe because all my brain was thinking was, 'what might he do next?' I sat for hours thinking about it, about what to do, if to tell anyone, and finally I plucked up the courage to tell the director of the company. I had major anxiety going to his office, and as soon as I started to talk I just teared up, and I did eventually tell him. His response was a little better than what I got from my boss, but still not enough. He said, 'well, that's not appropriate at all, I'm not having that, you're a young girl, I'll definitely go and have a word with him.' (I was seventeen.)
And I think the director did really tell him, because after that the man never bothered me again, in fact he kind of avoided any eye contact with me.

I had no idea that things would only get worse, and start all over again but with another man in the factory, who funnily enough was best friends with the previous. This second man was newly married, 26 and had a baby girl.

He started messaging me on Facebook whilst we were at work, but it was constant messaging that didn't stop, he would send messages until I replied to him, I tried telling him I didn't want to talk because it was weird and wrong, but again he continued to harass me and say otherwise.
He eventually learnt where my office was, (I had my own,) and he started to come in every day without fail, asking how I was and what I was doing, why I wasn't replying to him on Facebook, why I thought it was wrong etc. This went on for a couple of weeks, and then things stepped up, he started to come in and ask what underwear I had on, (and asking to see it.) It became a daily thing, everyday at their 11:15 break I would hear footsteps up the staircase and my heart sunk because I knew it was him coming.

All of this went on, and no I didn't tell anyone because after the response I got last time, I thought there was no point, nobody took any real action and I started to wonder if I could take it outside of work and to the police. But suddenly it started to die down, he only paid a visit to my office twice a week, so I thought oh okay, I'll just try and forget it all and eventually he will stop completely. Wrong.
It was a Thursday 11:15 break time for the factory workers, but this time he came upstairs and shut the door behind him, he was looking out of the windows and slowly and sneakily made his way around to behind my desk and behind my chair, I tried to just ignore it, as if he wasn't there almost and just kept tapping away on my computer.
But you can't ignore it when this man suddenly grabs you by the wrist and forces your hand down his pants, and he didn't let go so I couldn't get out of there, so I just said 'no,' and no again, and again, and again, and he kept saying, why, why, yes, yes.

And then thank God someone else came up the stairs so he very quickly let go of my wrist and stood next to the doorway. I was shaking like a leaf, had broken out into a sweat and my mind was going crazy. He left, and I knew I HAD to report this to someone at work, but I felt so embarrassed by it that I didn't want to tell another man,  I could NOT confide in the same thing that made me that way. So I went to the accounts manager who was a 40 year old woman, she had a husband, kids, so I thought she was the most trustworthy.

Again, as soon as I started to speak, 'I've got something to tell you, and I'm really scared and embarrassed,' I broke down into tears and she got a real shock. I was in there for about two hours, I very slowly got the story out and she was horrified, which I expected from another woman. She passed my story on to the manager, who then arranged a 'meeting,' between me, the offender and himself. We sat down at the board room table and he simply made the man apologize to me and promise to keep away from me unless it was work related.

Obviously, I was very unhappy and unsatisfied with how both situations were handled, especially the second one. I think that man should have been sacked, there and then, end of. Because there's like laws against that stuff isn't there? I could have taken it to the Police, and yet he didn't even lose his job over it. Nobody cared, nobody took me seriously.

I quit my job there a week after.

I am now terrified of men when I'm alone, I get anxiety whenever a man looks at me, I feel very unsafe when I wear high heels or lipstick or anything slightly revealing, I feel like I cannot be 'sexy,' in any way shape or form, because If I am I'll attract the same kind of trouble. I feel like I can't look at any men, talk to them, even in public if I'm being served by them in a shop. I am extremely conscious wearing skinny jeans that show my bum in fear someone will sexually harass me again, I never want to wear red lipstick again as long as I live.

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