Friday, October 12, 2018

For those who don't believe, Number Three

I am 28
I am in grad school and I work for a finance professor. I really like Prof S. He's brilliant and funny and nice.

I like him in the way I like all brilliant, funny, and nice men my mother's age.

He's a nice guy who is my mother's age. As in, he is OLD.

And he is married.

But even if he weren't married, he would be OLD.

He calls me to tell me I can't work for him anymore.

"My wife doesn't like me working with nubile young women," he says.

I am confused.

Since when am I nubile? Have I been nubile around him? I am a bespectacled, slightly-chubby, ordinary-looking woman who gets her hair cut at SuperCuts (grad school, remember?) and who wears baggy jeans and sweatshirts. Is that nubile?

He paid $20/hour. I needed the money.

I am 33
After I return from the Peace Corps, I go back to Austin to look for work. I use the placement office at the business school and run into Prof S. He needs some work done and hires me. I am grateful. I work at his school office and at his house. I am careful to look not nubile in both places. I have met his wife. I don't want to offend her or prompt her to ask Prof S to fire me.

I use Prof S as a reference. He talks to the people who hire me in Miami.

Me: What did they ask? Do I know Black Scholes? Can I calculate an NPV?

Prof S: If you come to work on time.

Me: I am a top graduate - a 4.0 GPA - of a top business program and they asked you if I come to work on time?

Prof S: Yes.

I start my new job. My new boss got his MBA at Chicago, where Prof S also teaches. Turns out my new boss had a class with Prof S. Small world!

There is a problem with one of my paychecks from Prof S. I call him to straighten it out.

Prof S: How are you liking Miami?

Me: I love it!

Prof S: I've never been to Miami.

Me: Well, you and Mrs Prof S need to visit. It's a great city.

Prof S: I would like to visit.

Me: I have a spare bedroom. You guys are welcome to stay.

Prof S: Mrs Prof S can't come.

Me: Oh....

Prof S: Are you dating anyone?

Me: Nope. Out of practice.

Prof S: I could come and we could practice sex together me.

Me: What?

Prof S: You and me. We could practice sex together.

Me: Stop! STOP! You are a married man! Do not talk to me like this!

I tell my boss immediately. "Can you believe he talked to me like that?"

My boss cannot believe it. But - he believes me.

Monday, October 8, 2018

For those who don't believe, Number Two

I am 22
I am in my first job out of college. I have traveled to the Albuquerque office to give a training session about a new product. I am 22 and a woman. The people in the office are almost all men and range in age from early 20s to early 60s.

I am sitting at a desk making a phone call.

I feel hands on my neck.

Let me say that again.

I am AT WORK in an office where I do not know anyone. And I feel hands on my neck.

I feel hands on my neck and I freeze. The hands stroke my neck and shoulders. The hands gently squeeze my neck and shoulders.

I remove the phone from my ear and my arm freezes. I stop speaking. I stop speaking from shock. I stop speaking because I don't even know the words to say.

I am 22
I am still at the Albuquerque office. A group of us are at lunch, including the neck massager.

He asks, "Would you like to have dinner tonight?"

I don't know what to say. No, of course I don't want to have dinner with you, you creepy old man! I don't want to have dinner with a stranger. I don't want to spend my after-work hours with someone from work. And I especially don't want to have dinner with an old man like you!

But - I don't know what to say.

And - I have to protect a man's ego, don't I? I can't shame him! Because men's feelings are more important than women's feelings.

I think desperately. What do I say? How do I get out of this?

Can I say he's too old for me?

No! That would be rude.

So I say, "I think I might be too young for you."

His friends laugh and his face turns red.

The then-me was horrified and concerned.

The now-me thinks, "That's what you get, asshole, for preying on a young woman at work."