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Laid Out in the Office

There was a time in my life when I was too naive to know that some things are left better unsaid. I also mistakenly thought that my opinion could help others when the truth was that people tend to follow their passions, even to ruin. During this time I had an office friend or more of an acquaintance in which I sometimes chatted. Keep in mind that this was all quite long ago and much of the social aspects of this as appalling as they were, might not have been too rare at the time that this happened and I did not agree with it then, as I do not agree with it now. Overall this is the reason that I stay out of people's relationships and refer to HR instead for inter-office conflicts. Let's begin.

It was a long winter and I was working at a call center on the night shift. My co-worker, Molly* was goofy, but not the most beautiful. Maybe it was her unkempt hair or her oily complexion, but either way, her awkward attitude made her less than desirable or so I assumed. These days Molly would have been fired for sexual harassment, but in those days when social justice was lacking, Molly would openly hit on the new guy Clark. Most of the time she laid it on him when it was the end of our shift and he needed a ride home due to his license being suspended from his multiple DUIs. I would not describe him as a very appealing type, but I wasn't the one asking him out on the car ride home every day either like Molly, so I don't know what she saw in him my point.

Clark usually laughed off Molly, but it was not long before the laughter turned to annoyance and then to anger. He eventually stopped accepting rides home from Molly and went home with me instead. In the car ride home, he would vent to me his unhappiness that Molly did not get the hint that he wasn't interested and he often asked me to take her aside and explain to her that brushing her off was not him playing coy. I took his request to heart and made my best attempt to tell Molly that Clark was not in the space to consider a relationship with her. Molly, playing dumb, ignored all outside advice and carried on harassing Clark at any chance she could, thinking she could wear him down.

After a particularly bold attempt Molly made toward Clark on a smoke break, Clark told me in the car later that if Molly made a scene like that again, he would embarrass her. Feeling the heat of wanting to minimize conflict, I took Molly aside again in the office at the beginning of the next shift and told her as clearly as day that Clark did not like her and that she needed to stop trying to date him. I clearly explained that it would never happen between the two of them and that she had gone too far. Molly listened to me long enough to let me finish. As soon as I was done I watched her expression to see if any understanding had set in. She looked up and down and I could tell she was processing it all as much as she could. Then she stopped and looked right at me and set her body into a windmill-like move with her fists clenched tightly as she screamed like an animal and came toward me. Surprised I went to jump back only to find the wall directly behind me and Molly closing in. I held my hands up to push her back, but she still got a few good hits in before Clark tackled her to the ground.

Today I could say that I stood up for a male colleague who was being sexually harassed in the workplace. At the time though I felt like I was the idiot who got my face busted by the ugly girl at work for not knowing to keep my mouth shut. Oh, how times have changed, obviously for the better, but the context of this story goes from comedy when it took place to drama today. Doing the right thing is never easy and sometimes not very popular either. Have you ever stood up for someone and it took a turn toward disaster? Make a post in the Conspiracy Meow! forums to tell the world how you tried to help and what you would have done differently today.

  • Names have been changed to protect privacy.


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