While I’ve noticed construction workers have gotten more polite the older I get, I can’t say the same for all male CEO’s I’ve worked with. There may not be Canadian Club drinking or Lucky Strike smoking going on in the office, but Mad Men still exist in present day corporate America.
I was in Vegas at a business convention the first time one of my boss’s asked me to have sex (yes, he bluntly asked me “Are we gonna have sex or what?”) I was stunned, disgusted and at the same time not surprised. I say stunned because it hit me like a bebe gun but deep down not surprised because he creeped me out on a previous business trip by checking out my body just before going into the hotel pool. When I told him no, he flatly asked “why not?” as if he asked me to type a letter for him and I refused. I told him the obvious – you’re married, I have a boyfriend, you’re my boss. I didn’t tell him the rest of my thoughts – you’re 20 years older than me and you’re gross. Like a lion pursuing his prey, he didn’t give up easily. He tried a different tactic though – I had left my briefcase with him earlier and so I should go up to his room to get it (and no, I wasn’t doing any work later that night). I told him I could get it in the morning and called it a night.
I didn’t tell his wife and there was no one to report him to – he was the CEO. I didn’t get fired so I was just stuck with living the cliche what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. He later moved on to a more willing victim – his secretary – who as a single mom of 3 suddenly became the owner of a new Cadillac and the winner of a trip to Hawaii. My only redress is the IRS investigated him for tax fraud and sentenced him to federal prison. That’ll do me.
More than ten years later, I took a job as an assistant to a CEO. No longer a hot young thang in my 30’s, the idea of my boss having a case of the touchy-feelys didn’t cross my mind. Even his wife interviewed me which I assumed was more to assess my not a sexy blonde in her 20’s attributes. I was a safe bet.
While not as blunt (at first) as the previous perv, his arrogance was equally overwhelming. My duties included organizing office supplies in storage closets and on the occasions he joined me to go over the inventory, I sensed all was not right in the state of office-dom. Slight inappropriate touching happened – and I tried to pretend it was not an overture to all out creepiness. I am disappointed in myself that I questioned my own intuition. I had plans to leave the job but didn’t want to lose it before I was ready. I finally did quit and on that day he offered to take me to lunch – I assumed a public place was safe. But words cannot be seen and when he asked to kiss me, it reaffirmed my decision to leave (I said no, by the way).
I feel like I was thrown into a time machine and ended up the 1950’s after my experiences. These two bozos know how they are supposed to behave – they are just too arrogant to care. And while both are married and know it’s wrong, they just want to push the boundaries like rebellious teenage boys. Maybe they’re bored, maybe they have an over the top sense of entitlement – I do know they have absolutely no respect for women.