Auntyji says… Arre wah wah wah... where do these bosses emerge from? Do they not read the papers, hear the news...? Are they living in the land of Neanderthals?
I am first going by your comment, “I don’t like it.” So, what now? You don’t like it but are putting up with it? Why? Ask yourself.
Here’s one possible reason: You are terrified about his reaction. What if you bring it up and he lashes out at you, makes a joke or a spectacle, creates a scene, calls in a few of your pals and colleagues and makes you look like it was you, not him, who got it ever so wrong!
What if he says, “What’s wrong with you?! Adibaa, you are my next big star and I am not afraid of giving impetus to a woman who deserves every bit of it, but what you’re accussing me of is… Jeeesusss!”
That’s pretty much one scenario from hell, leaving you and everyone in the office wondering if you really got it wrong.
The what ifs
The other reason could be: What will people say? What if I am left alone, what if... so many what ifs. And the biggest... what if I lose my job?
Let me start at the end. Actually to chuck you out, after he has been tooting you as the next best thing since sliced bread is a bit hard to do. Chuck you out, how? On the basis of what?
It’s not that easy any more but yes, he can create an environment where all the kudos become kaddoos and the bouquets become brickbats and you have a fall from grace onto your face and you are stumped! You get resentful, people talk behind your back, you hate it, you quit, job done! Who is the loser? Only you!
With proof in tow
So now what to do?! Are you sure he’s hitting on you? How? Make a list. Make a list of his heavy compliments and kindness that come to you, out of turn. Make a list of comments which are personal in form or are directed only to you.
And fix a time with him. I would suggest don’t bring up the harassment line yet, you know why, because this is the first time you are even conversing, are going to set a boundary. You have been a bit slow in doing it so far, let’s try now.
So tell him what you don’t like... the compliments, the picking out, too much attention. Just tell him, very simply that you feel it’s a bit personal and now people are beginning to notice and you don’t want office to gossip.
Give him some room to improve himself. This may scare him enough to stop his behaviour and set himself right, but it may transform into another kind of behaviour, so be ready. Curt, rude, he may even start ignoring you. No sweat, work harder and stay put at your job.
The thing is Adiba, if you don’t confront him now, he will continue this odd behaviour. And that is not a very good place to be, is it? People will soon calling you names. All your hard work will get labelled as being a “teacher’s pet,” a “suck up” and that is no good a place to be.
Nor will any one come to your aid when you need them, so you need to intervene now. No woman today needs to put up with this sort of rubbish, so why you?
I get you want to keep your job, but let’s say all goes well and he gets feels threatened and backs off, all good. But sooner than later, you will have to look for a new supervisor, just to be able to work without the negativity, na? So theek hai, you have your job and your effort will shine, why worry?
This way or that
But like I said above, things may flip and he may have a mild attack. Be ready with these words: Sexual harassment in the workplace. Gear up for the big one because this could then go viral.
This is your right, don’t let the long, arduous political and personal battle of many women across the country go waste, I urge you. To help yourself, back your claim – you will need the word of your friends, so Adiba, confide in a few right away. Tell them you don’t like it and you plan to ask him to stop it. This will tell you their position on this matter as well as act as a cushion to fall on, just in case.
Very difficult step, but in fact I say, well done girl. Just get ready for some alley talk and be as cool as a cucumber. You can do it Adiba, because you have figured one thing out – you “don’t like it.” Now, go tell him that.
To protect the author's privacy, the person in the photo is a model.
Have you ever faced sexual harassment at work? How did you react? Leave a comment below or start a discussion on Facebook.