Housecleaning Take Deux, Part Un – The Groper

I had the closest thing to a nervous breakdown about a week ago that I have had since 1999.  Life doesn’t shit on me much… but when it does, man, it seems to have diarrhea.  The watery, runny kind that seems to never end, with a green color and a putrid odor.  May was not a good month for me.  And that’s ironic, because it was supposed to be the best month.  It was the month I’d been looking forward to all year – or at least since the first extension in January.  But it got off to a rough start, as I’m sure you can see by reading back over the last few posts.  And it seems like it kept going.

Granted, some of that was my fault.  I made the mistake of assuming that things were clearer than they were, that problems were solved.   My enthusiasm for what was coming was enough to make me… er… overlook the fact that maybe things weren’t as great as I thought they were.  I mean, how could they not be?  I’d gotten a new car, my boyfriend was coming home, things were going well enough at my job – and the parts that weren’t I thought I had fixed.  They weren’t perfect, but even still, Botboy was coming home and things wouldn’t matter so much when he did.

But, of course, even the best laid plans fall through sometimes.  And it seems, sometimes, that once things start going south, they just stay that way… at least until I jump in and start to take control of them.  It’s like the Housecleaning I did after 3.0.  But this time there was more of it… perhaps it was just an indication that I didn’t take care of it as well as I thought the first time.  More than probably it was just an explosion of shit that came out all at once.  No matter what it was, though, it had to be taken care of.  And it needed to be done before June started.  I wasn’t going into another month with this fallout hanging over my head.

You may remember, a few posts back, about the guy at my work that was harassing me.  We’ll call him “The Groper” – Botboy gave him that name, I like it, it’s appropriate, considering he DID grope me on the office premises.  And we’d had exchanges such as this via text, during work hours:

This took place after another work dude had dropped him off at the airport:

Groper:  Awe, I didn’t get to kiss you goodbye.

Me:  That would have been awkward

Groper:  Lol.  How so?

Me:  You left from work, yes?  Even if I’d not been responsive, people would have talked and I would be sitting here, by myself, dealing with the fallout.

Groper:  LMAO that would have been EPIC!!!  …and you would’ve been responsive!

Me:  …I would not be so confident, sir.

 

This had been going on for awhile.  I was steamed… he knew I was in a relationship, he could not let it go, even after I posted “Noli Me Tangere, Caesaris Sum,” this continued and so I stopped talking to him almost completely.  I deleted him off of Facebook.  It was then that I received this:

Groper:  So I was looking for you on Facebook yesterday and I realize that you took me off so now that I know that there is definitely something wrong.  So I figured one of three things has happened:  1.  You got offended by what I said on Friday while I was at the airport.  2.  You told (Botboy) what I said and he became upset and told you not to associate with me.  3.  The one guy I thought I could trust with how I was feeling about you just shitted on me.  If it was either 1 or 2, I apologize.  If it was 3 then I hope you’d let me know know so I don’t trust this asshole ever again.

Now, yes, I’d told Botboy.  There had been death threats.  Botboy was not happy.  I’d also gotten offended.  And that’s why I’d deleted him from Facebook.  Between the groping and the lines that were getting crossed, I needed to create some distance.  But this… he was TELLING people at WORK.  That crossed the line even further.  And so, when he got back, I took him outside and I asked him who he told.  He told me.  I was livid, I told him that didn’t he understand that that one guy was going to talk to the others?  He said he hadn’t thought about that, apologized again, I thought it was done.  I wasn’t talking to him much after that, staying in my corner for the most part, waiting patiently for Botboy to come home – not to kill the guy, but just to prove to all of the other horny assholes in the building that this man was NOT a figment of my imagination.

Things were quiet.  Work had gotten back into its usual mode.  Things were almost normal… people were still looking at me funny, but that was nothing new.  It got a little worse once word got around that Botboy had done what he did.  But still, no one said much to me.  And then, as that part of the world collapsed, the work world did too.  Groper, it seems, had reached an entirely new low.  Pissed that I’d rejected him, I can only guess, anyway, he began to spread rumors himself.  People I had known maybe a total of two days were coming to me, repeating rumors, things that he’d said, and a little bit of homework put the origination point back at the Groper.

I’d had enough.  I was in the middle of the drama… Botboy had left me high and dry.  I’d been the victim of drama from several unwanted advances made by other people (that’s next week’s post).  My aunt was not feeling well – she had pneumonia, pretty serious pneumonia and I was 1000 miles away from all of that, unable to do anything.  I was trying to heal, I was trying to get my life situated.  And then I find out that work was no longer safe for me either?

My first inclination, really the right inclination, was to sit in my corner and mull it over.  I still had the text messages.  I’d kept them, not sure what to do with them, knowing that I could turn them in if I needed to.  I’d sat on them all this time, not sure if I wanted to.  The minute I started rocking the boat, I knew that the world there would change… at least for me.  Did I want that?  As long as things stayed reasonably under the radar, I could handle it.  But this time… this time it was too much.  Here were these new people, people I was trying to train, spouting things that people I didn’t even associate were saying about me… it had to be stopped.

It all had to stop, really… all this drama… and I could start here.  It was tangible.  I could fix this.  I could find the proper channels.  And so, I went to the one person there that was corporate.  A female (thankfully) who listened to what I had to say and said she’d talk to my supervisor.  I barely slept the next night.  I didn’t know what they would do.  I’d asked them to keep it confidential.  It’s a small company… the minute someone starts to talk, everyone knows about it.  And the informants were new – they were worried about being fired.  I was worried, I was afraid I’d get fired (even though there is a no-retaliation policy).  I was worried things would not be the same.

And I was right.  I came into work the next morning to find the woman I’d talked to and my manager in a meeting.  And I knew, the way I know things, that it was about what I’d said.  I got called into the office later in the day,  I read the texts to my boss.  He proposed a change.  They wouldn’t do anything to The Groper.  They couldn’t.  Unless I filed paperwork, which would launch an “official” investigation (what I didn’t want), he was safe.  He wouldn’t even be written up.  But, they proposed to give me an office so I could get out of the general population.  It was what I wanted.  I could go in there, close the door, be out of everyone’s way.  And if someone got out of line again, I could just go to them immediately and it would be taken care of.  It was a suitable solution.  I took it.

Last week, I got to move in.  I sit in there, headphones on, door closed.  There is no noise… I no longer want to kill anyone during PMS week.  I still want to rip The Groper’s head off when I see him strutting around the office like he’s king of the world (he doesn’t talk to me anymore at all… I can only assume that someone blabbed that I was talking myself – and that’s fine).  But I know that Karma will have her day eventually.  And in the meantime, I’m in that little room where the air conditioning doesn’t blow down on me all day like it did before, where no one can hear what I’m listening to when I want my music to be loud, and where, most importantly, no one can harass me anymore unless I leave that little room –which I don’t do very often.

I’ve been waiting for this since I started working there.  I have it.  Housecleaning Part I complete.

Onward to The Trifecta.

 

(To Be Continued)

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