Asshattery in the work place…

Ok, my tolerance for bullshit is pretty low. It should be pretty clear by now that I have to work on maintaining emotional control, which I do admirably 9 times out of 10. I am also incredibly intelligent. I have my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a one of the more difficult fields of Engineering. I work in a professional environment. Supposedly.

I have about hit my tolerance level when it comes to dealing with the Good Ole Boys douchebaggery around here.

 Old boss: Young guy, kinda decent looking. Hit on me relentlessly. We had a teleconference in his office one day. After the meeting and it was just me and him left in the room he confided in me that he was super drunk, having just gotten in from lunch at a local bar. I was shockface for a minute but recovered with, “Man your day has been more fun than mine.” 

Old boss: “Yeah {he} had two Long Islands and two black and whites, definitely a little buzzed, didn’t get back to the office til 2:30p”.
Me: “Yep, your day, still better than mine”
Old boss: “Well you should come have a drink with me after work, what time you leaving?”
Me: “4p, but I can’t drink.”
Old boss:“Can’t, or won’t?”
Me: “Can’t, just started new meds. Can’t have alcohol.” I did state this in a manner that it would be assumed I was physically ill, not mentally ill.
Old boss:“Why would that matter?”
Me: “Because alcohol reduces the effectiveness of medication.”
Old boss:“Psh no it doesn’t, come have a drink with me after work.”
Me: “No, really, I can’t.”
Old boss: “Yes, you can, you just don’t want to and don’t want to tell me.”
Me: “You’re right, I don’t want to.But also, I can’t. “
Old boss:“I’ve been asking you for weeks to come out to lunch with us and you never do.”
Me: “I know (over exaggerated sigh) I’m such a pain in the ass.”
Old boss:“So, come out tonight.”
Me: “I don’t want to come out tonight.”
Old boss: “Man, you’re flat out rejecting me, don’t you think I”m cute? You’re gonna be bad for my ego.” (He is pretty cute btw).
Me: “I don’t believe in ego.”
{pause}
Old boss: “You should still come out tonight.  Tell you what, if you can’t drink, let me buy you dinner, and we’ll discuss it over food. Then maybe get a drink later.”
Me: “I’m gonna go to the gym actually. I need to run.”
Old boss:“Psh, I was a personal trainer before this I could train you (I don’t doubt this), then we could grab food after.”
Me: “Haha, Working out helps me clear my head, it’s something I usually do alone.”
Old boss:“Well you’ll definitely need food after working out.”

{Insert tiny snipped of conversation about how we both cook}.
Old boss:“Tell you what, we’ll go get dinner, I buy drinks, and I”ll make you breakfast in the morning? What do you like, pancakes? eggs?”
Me: “Um, I don’t eat eggs, and no?”
….and for the next ten minutes it was back and forth.
Finally I mentioned that oh btw the report he gave this morning to do would be done first thing in the morning and I had to go.
By the time I walked 50 feet to my office I had an e-mail:
Old boss:: U buy me dinner I make u breakfast …that sound like a great deal. I can work out with you I am a gym Nazi
Me: You’re persistent I’ll give ya that. I’m not going out tonight, haha.
Old boss:: If u wanna do dinner and no drink call me XXX XXX XXXX.

Gee, why don’t I think he wants to go out in order to discuss my engineering acuity? For the next few days my inbox would sporadically come up with more appeals to go out with him. Finally I told him, look I have a lot going on, ease off, I don’t want to deal with that for now. Kudos for me for not taking out this guys knees. Though to his … he did back off and office life returned to good natured joking around and fun. Eventually he got a better job and quit.

Enter New Boss. I am highly productive and efficient. New boss likes to micromanage things. He likes to change things just to exert his new found bossly power. Guess how well I’m interested in complying with bullshit demands? Zero. That’s how much. He was determined that I should switch my desk from my nice quiet office (with 3 other very decent guys) to the open desk area where he is which is noisy, filled with obnoxious people, and I actually heard of the other engineers scream at the other woman that works over there. I politely gave him a paragraph of perfect logical and well thought out reasons why this would hinder my productivity and make my performance at work less efficient. He said I still should just move. I said no. He then sent his boss over to talk to me. I told him the same thing. He told me to think about it but didn’t push. I didn’t hear anything more for a few days so naturally I assumed I won. Then on Monday he comes in and this is the conversation we had:

New Boss: So you ready to switch sides yet?
Me: No.
New Boss:Well come over, pick a spot and we can move your stuff over soon.
Me:No.
New Boss:I’m just going to take that as a ‘yes’. Women always mean ‘yes’ when they say ‘no’.
Me:(as he’s walking out the door) Or no means no.

Seriously? Who says shit like that in a professional environment? Who says that in any environment other than rapists and child molesters? This is not the 1950’s. Fuck this shit. I’m sick of it. I have yet to go to HR, but if he harasses me one more time, I’m done. I think I deserve a metal for not smashing his face into MY desk and wrapping the office phone cord around his neck. Furious. Grr.

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4 comments on “Asshattery in the work place…

  1. in our engineering dept of about 80 people, only 2 are women. there are a lot of casual sexist comments made and tbh when i first started there it surprised me. i wasn't surprised that other guys had sexist thoughts, but surprised that they were so comfortable articulating (perhaps that's too generous a word) them to a co-worker.working in engineering, and because it sounds like you are also very attractive, must certainly require a lot of self control not to snap at someone – you've done well so far, keep it up, but don't be afraid to go on record with your HR dept if hassled.

  2. This isn't my first engineering job, and while I expect a certain amount of having to prove myself, at my last job once it was established that I knew what I was doing, everyone was nice and respectful. I grew up with guys. My best friend currently is a guy, and I'm also not straight, so I'm used to buddying around as one of the guys. Most casual remarks just slide off my back or I joke back. Some things are just to blatant and invoke my fury. I'd probably have let New Bosses remark slide but he'd been bothering me for a while and his whole tone is condescending which I do not tolerate well. I'm currently looking for a new job. Hopefully that will pan out and I don't have to worry about this anymore.

  3. I agree completely! And these aren't young guys either. I don't like to cause trouble if I don't have to so I'm waiting to go to HR, but I am most definitely in search of a new job. If I was able to live unemployed for a while I would have just walked out.

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