Monday, February 13, 2012

Employers Who Harass Employees on Valentine's Day Suck

I'm so happy not to have to work at a law firm anymore, or any corporation for that matter.  There was so much harassment and pressure to conform to suit the egos of men it was just overwhelming.  Imagine the nerve you'd have to have as an administrative manager at a law firm to be a man and have a rose placed at female employees desks on Valentine's Day.

In 2004 I once came into work to find what I considered to be harassment of a rose and card from the law firm's management at my desk.  Of course, I couldn't complain of such a thing, that I didn't want anything on Valentine's Day from my employer.  If they want to do other kinds of things like serve fruit and bagels in the lunch room, that's one thing, but placing something so personal at one's desk is just plain harassment.  In my view, this employer's gesture was masking a middle aged man in management who required a lot of attention looking for ways to lawfully sexually harass women in the workplace.  

A few months after the Valentine's incident, support staff employees at the same law firm, then Preston, Gates & Ellis LLP (affiliated with Bill Gates' father and the Jack Abramoff/Michael Scanlon scandal)  were asked to attend a mandatory sexual harassment training meeting with an outside consultant.  The blond lady consultant, who had probably left corporate America because she was an outed whore who'd sleep around, began to talk about sex while also inferring about how much she liked it.  The consultant talked freely with the staff asking them to fantasize of witnessing two people having sex on the conference room table asking what they'd do if they saw such a thing.  

Three Free Passes To Ask Another Out? 

After the trash sex talk, the consultant concluded by granting people permission to ask one another out on dates, stating that the law grants "three free passes" prior to it being considered unlawful harassment.  In other words, the consultant was saying if employees wanted to ask one another out on a date, they should feel free and that the person responding to the invitation should be polite in responding.  The consultant was basically making the receiver of such an invitation a potential problem for possibly overreacting to such an invitation while making any person's inquiry perfectly normal.

In my view, the consultant was used as a means of stirring up sexual fantasies of young male employees, then letting everyone know the law of the "three free passes" to ask out fellow employees for dates.  It was clear during the meeting that the person who would reject such an invitation was projected as a kind of potential villain claiming that person must be polite and respectful.  In effect, the meeting was a form of social engineering laying the groundwork for the kind of social environment the law firm was seeking for its staff.

A few weeks later I was called into a meeting with my supervisor.  I walked into her partially closed door office to find one of the male copy support people massaging her shoulders. Coincidentally, his last name was "Love".  I realized by that time these management people were too involved in sexual politics being way over the top in so many ways.  The same supervisor repeatedly asked for my charitable donations for her young son's fund raising events.  You'd think once a year would be enough, but my supervisor came back a few months later selling something else.

Shortly after I left this law firm, I sent a complaint letter to corporate in Seattle about my experiences and the undue pressure I was placed under by management to conform. I'm so happy not to have to work in these highly political environments any longer where men seek to dominate as described herein and throughout this blog.  Imagine the nerve of a man to arrange to have a rose delivered to all female employees at their desks on Valentine's Day.  Such a large assuming ego!