Cubicle Confessions: I Was Sexually Harassed At Work

October 9, 2013  |  

Source: Shutterstock

Cubicle Confessions is a new MN Business column bringing you real-life office horror stories from MadameNoire readers. This week’s topic is sexual harassment in the workplace. Have you ever been sexually harassed at work?

Janet: Yes but after I put him in a choke hold and threatened to tell his wife he didnt f !!!with me nomore!!!!

Michelle: Yes but I guess I was too young and dumb to notice. My manager (20 plus years ago – first job out of college – a hotel) used to follow me around while grabbing himself. And another employee at the same place of business (apparently an ex con) used to regularly threaten me for not consenting to date his trifling behind. #youngandstupid

Peta: I always seem to get harassed by the security guards at the buildings where I work… From obvious sexual stares to getting asked for dates, etc…Also a maintenance worker at a job I worked at asked me if I was on a diet and told me not to loose anymore weight because he liked the way my thighs looked in my pants.

Stacy: It’s happened to me twice on the same job. The first time, it was a female who touched my butt. I reported her and the company simply didn’t know what to do because it was same sex oriented. I wasn’t pleased with the response, so I went to the Sheriff’s Dept to report it. My eyes were opened to the ignorance of the world that very day. I was treated like I had done something wrong. They investigated, but nothing was done. They wanted to know about my sexual preferences. I told them no matter what they were, no means no…..I didn’t want to be grabbed, end of story. The second time, it was a male co-worker. He was one of those men who always jokes around with the ladies. Other women allowed this mess, I don’t. He was a nasty old dude. He didn’t touch me, but he said some really foul crap to me and he got to close. I go upstairs to report him, and my boss had my back. She told me to have my boyfriend handle it if it didn’t go according to plan. The outcome was very different the second time, though. The company sent him home for a few days without pay and he had the report in his file. he actually apologized to me. I asked him if he would want a man to talk to his wife the way he spoke to me, and he said ‘no’. I really wanted to get thuggish, but I didn’t want to lose my job. People are quick to think something is wrong with the ‘out cry’ employee. I don’t like that mentality at all. If someone had reported that person, perhaps it would stop.

Celeste: My boss wanted to hook up for a long term affair. I declined and almost lost my job because I said no. Come to find out, he started hooking up with another coworker. It appears that this is something he does regularly.

Ashley: Story of my life. It’s always an old man like old enough to be my grandfather. I interviewed, dude followed me to the elevator and just kept saying mmm mmm mmm and staring at me. I told him to walk ahead of me because I knew what he was going to do and he just stood there, then asked me to lunch. I said no sir; he said don’t call me sir it makes me feel old. I looked at him and said you are and walked off the other direction. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even socialize with my coworkers. If I talk to a young guy, the old dudes expect me to talk to them too and they always take it overboard. Gross.

Tineke: Yes on two different jobs…in both cases I went to HR. The first time they said he’s just a touchy kind of person. I told them that he could touch on her…give me my check so I can go. The last time I was laid off a week later and they asked me to sign a paper saying I wouldn’t sue or I wouldn’t get me severance pay. Wow. ..HR sux. ..they r not on the employee’s side.

Denise: A student of mine, grabbed my thigh as I walked in the class. My boss handled the issue quickly and he was reprimanded and removed from my class.

La-Shawn: A co-worker shared a “dream” he had with the two of us in bed together. Freaked me out. To make matters worse, my male supervisor at the time hollered out to me from his office while the co-worker was already in there. He told me ‘He wanted to apologize to you.’ I was furious. It was awkward enough being around him at all. I felt like my supervisor didn’t get it–I didn’t want any kind of communications with someone who had crossed the line and violated me. That’s like asking a woman who’s been raped to allow her attacker to hug her and tell her ‘sorry.’

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  • Jacara Fatin

    I would love to know how this became a conversation about my boyfriend and what he did wrong or right when someone sexually harassed me in the workplace. Isn’t that the title of the article and isn’t that what the people of MN wanted to hear about? That is why I commented on this forum to share my story. Why waste time trying to dissect the whys and should’ve/could’ve/would’ve’s?…it happened a month ago, we are well and don’t even talk/think about the situation anymore. Its old news and I just wanted to comment because something similar happened to me and move on. But you people want to try to tear him about because he wanted to defend his girlfriend. I didn’t say he came with a gun ready to the place up (he didn’t and wouldn’t). I said I told him because management wouldn’t do anything about it and he knew I was uncomfortable and wanted to tell the man to stop. Point blank period. I give y’all an inch and you take 20 miles. I just don’t see the reason for all of that….

    • Morelow

      There are too many black women out here that can hardly wait to send their man on a suicide mission over some bullshyte. You knew exactly what your bf was going to do, if you told him about your problems at work. But you told him anyway. Why? Because you were upset? Boohoo baby. There are millions of women out there going through the same stuff that you went through, because some guy thinks that he can sneak in a pet name or two. Those women don’t act like children and go stomping off to tell their boyfriends. They don’t quit their jobs. They deal. I know because I see it everyday in the workplace. And soon enough, the perpetrator knows to shut it down, because now her entire demeanor has changed and he knows that she is serious.

      What did you do? You quit. You sent your boyfriend (someones son) on what could’ve been a suicide mission, in a society where it’s all too easy for a brotha to go down in a hail of bullets for no reason…You failed to protect him.

  • Jacara Fatin

    I worked at a car dealership for a few months on the weekend to make some extra money on the side. My very first day, one of the salesmen told me he like how my thighs looked in my skirt and he wishes he could take me in the bathroom. That wasn’t it, over the next few months I was there he would grab my hands and rub them telling me he wished I wasn’t in a relationship, wink at me when he walked by, call me baby and other pet names. Sit by the desk and just stare at me. I was really uncomfortable and reported this to the manager and they wouldn’t fire him because he was the top salesman. I made the mistake of telling my boyfriend and he almost killed the man. He came up to the dealership on a weekday and was almost arrested smh. The man was fired, but then another guy kept saying things to me that weren’t appreciated. I quit last month.

    • Tyrone Mahem

      How much education does your boyfriend have?
      How much money does your boyfriend make?

      • Jacara Fatin

        Tyrone. Please don’t try it with me about my man. Thanks for checking on who won’t tolerate ignorance from you.

        • Tyrone Mahem

          My point is, women go through life complaining about how tough they got it. But they grab hold of a brother who doesn’t have the credentials to ever move ahead. Why give away your most valuable assets and gain nothing valuable in return. Do I sound like your momma?

          • Jacara Fatin

            Um. No you don’t. I don’t complain about how I have anything tough because I am college educated, have a great job and can do for myself. My man adds to my accomplishments with his own. So I’m not giving away anything that I don’t receive in double from him. My whole family and friends recognize that. End of story.

            Goodbye Tyrone.

    • GuestwithacapG

      I don’t think it was a mistake telling your boyfriend if your superiors refused to
      do anything about it. Some things are worth going to jail for.

      • Morelow


      • jacob

        Someone harassing your girlfriend is worth going to jail and ruining your future? Let alone a girl that you probably wont be with in the future anyways. Hello that is called stupidity, there are police for a reason give them a call

        • GuestwithacapG

          Sounds like you have a vagina. You wouldn’t fight for your woman? I feel bad for her.

          • jacob

            The only women i would ever fight for is my mother or my wife. Not a girlfriend that your with for the moment. What do i look like? captian save a ho3

          • jacob

            You sound like your from the ghetto, you are use to having boyfriends in prison.

          • Jacara Fatin

            Please don’t bother with any of these losers.. There are boring me to death with their so called clever
            comebacks and trying to belittle you for having an opposing opinion. Let whatever is said be said. Who cares anymore? I’m done with
            this conversation all together. They don’t have to stick up for their
            imaginary bfs/gfs if they don’t want to 🙂

        • Jacara Fatin

          Another wrong one. We’ve been together for three years, are getting married in December and I am moving with him when he gets stationed for the Army. Again, don’t try it with me. Hello Jacob, get your facts right.

      • Jacara Fatin

        Thanks Guest. But i do want to point out something.

        He didn’t go up there to fight the man. He went up there to tell him to stop speaking to me like that and making me feel uncomfortable. From police reports and witnesses, my bf didn’t say anything in a loud manner, but did tell him what he came up there to say. The man got defensive and said a few disrespectful things and swung on my boyfriend. And my boyfriend SWUNG BACK. The man’s bosses fired him because he was being aggressive and violent FIRST.

        The cops were called by a customer who didn’t know what was going on, and when the police came and THE DEALERSHIP manager told the police what happened, they didn’t arrest my boyfriend because he was not in the wrong. No charges ended up being pressed and the police did leave. The man was terminated.

        So, to everyone who keeps saying he’s an idiot. Hush it on up. He defended him. If someone swung on you, I would hope you would defend yourselves as well.

    • Morelow

      I bet you’re one of those idiot girls that keeps getting her bf in fights over your little immature arse. A caring GF would try her best to keep her bf out of prison. What if he’s killed over your inability to solve your problems the adult way? what then? Just go get a new bf? Go to the bf store and get a new one? Idiot girl.

      • Jacara Fatin

        …………..and I bet you’re a single arse who doesn’t have a man. I can fight my own battles. But when a man sees that his woman is being disrespected constantly in a workplace by a man, yes he will defend me. Sorry your vibrator can’t do that for you 🙂

        He and I have been together for 3 years, hes not “new”. Mind your business and worry about yourself. Thanks.

        • enlightenment

          Hey stop entertaining these trolls. They’re just looking for an argument and youre giving it to em.

          • Jacara Fatin

            I’ve realized there is no point in arguing about this since they just keep ripping everything (but the point of why I commented in the first place) apart. I’m done with this conversation, I said what I needed to say.

            Thank you by the way.

        • Morelow

          No dummy. You got it backwards. You see, this is how I know that you’re young and dumb. If you know that your man is a hot head, why would you….ya know what, screw it. keep being dumb. Your guy is obviously a young idiot like yourself. Like attracts like. I didn’t mean to knock your hustle, ghetto queen………Keep ya head up.

  • get real

    Question should be “How many of you hookup with your boss”. Black women are notorious for low key hooking up with these white bosses

    • ddrhoward

      You sound slow….Shut up! You’ve watched two seasons of Scandal and now black women are known for sleeping with their white bosses. What’s wrong? Did your white boss steal your woman? No, scratch that. He probably didn’t have to steal her, I’m sure after dealing with you, she ran to him.

    • Superfox Mackin

      You probably have too #girlbye

    • Tyrone Mahem

      Regardless of colour, women DO like to use their sexuality in the workplace to move ahead and win benefits. When men push for delivery of the goods, the gals claim harassment. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

  • Regret

    My very first job. My manager called me into his office and I’m thinking that I’m in deep deep trouble or something. Turns out he wanted to pull me aside to ask me to send him naked pictures…What?!

    I thought about what I could do: report him etc. But I knew it would just create a hostile environment for me. In the end, I decided to just leave. Which worked out in the end because I got an even better paying job. But now that I’m older, I intend to stand my ground if this ever happens to me again.