Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Danger: Unfair Generalizations Ahead

Jen's post made me think of a conversation I had with a friend/colleague the other day. He is actually the quality manager at my main supplier, and he's currently going in the midst of a situation with the hr assistant at work.

She is on a major power trip and has it in for him, and therefore all of his employees. So she went out onto the factory floor the other day and started berating one of his quality inspectors on the length of her finger nails, in front of the entire floor, while wearing a thin tank top that very (very) generously displayed her... assets. The inspector eventually lost her cool and made a remark about her falling out of her top if she bent over to inspect said nails and things went downhill from there. He (let's call him Q) was worried 'cause she's the sort to sneak around behind your back to try to make trouble. I said something about her trying some sort of harassment suit, and he starting reciting the law, chapter and verse, on harassment. Turns out a lady at a previous company, who was a friend of his, freaked out when she didn't get a promotion and sued the company, naming all of her male friends and a couple of female ones, as having been harassing her. He went through the deposition and the trial and ended up testifying for a couple of hours... so he's quite familiar with the laws on this matter.

Then he turns around and tells another story about another company he worked at before he was married. The admin was older, but very attractive and quite friendly, and also married. So he flirted back with her, at work. Then they started going to lunch now and then. Then she started showing up at the grocery store that he usually went to - on the other side of town from her house. And taking her kid to the park across the street from his house. And staring at his house whilst pushing her kid on the swings.

He did not get involved with her, but he didn't say anything to her about backing off 'cause 1) he was single and 2) she was pretty. She started pushing enough that he emailed her and asked her to back off. Then he forwarded this email to the boss and had a conversation with him along the lines of "don't do anything, just be aware." Her idea of backing off was putting a g-string in his pocket before their morning production meeting. Some days of this - him emailing her to back off, her pushing harder, him sending things to the boss, the boss finally telling her to back off and one fine day, the boss finds her in Q's office, sitting at his desk. He chases her out, goes to his office and finds that mysteriously, all emails from Q are missing. Q still had them, as well as her rather explicit emails and she ended up leaving the company that day.

My thought then was that one of the differences between most men and most women is that had she been male and he female, her showing up at the grocery store would have set off "STALKER ALERT!" warnings in his brain and the next day (or close to it), steps would have been taken to start distancing. He wasn't thinking "stalker," he was thinking "Nice rack. I could get some of that." and the situation escalated far further than it could have.

Another difference between the sexes - men will fight and then it's over. If it's between a couple of guys, and they end up with beer, they may very well end up best friends before it's over. Women, at least some of them, will then do their level best to completely f*ck your world. I know - I've watched it happen. That, however, is a story for another day - it's already too late to go to bed early.


threecollie said...

Glad my coworkers have four legs.

Floridacracker said...

Pretty accurate generalizations.

TROLL Y2K said...

I've been involved with 7 Sexual Harassment/Discrimination Suits professionally and have researched hundreds.

The very WORST thing that can happen is for someone like "Q" who THINKS they're an "expert" because they've testified ONCE or attended some seminars to open their big yap! Or engage in conduct that they THINK doesn't cross the line from a legal standpoint.

jennster said...

i love that my post made you think of this. lol. off to water my lawn (i kid, i kid)

Suldog said...

Yeah, I've always found that us guys tend to handle things more directly and quickly. The quicker you get to the beer, the better :-)