Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sexual Harassment at Work (a personal account)

Out of all the articles we read for this week the one of sexual harassment and masculinity really got to me on a personal level. I myself work in a hotel in the Food and Beverage department to be specific. The past few months have been somewhat of a stressful time for me because of some unfortunate things that have happened. So this is kind of an outlet for me so I can get some feelings of my chest without having to deal with my supervisors or anyone else from work. Anyone who reads this thanks for taking the time to do so. So here goes...
This article really hit home for me for a few reasons. I have been working at my job now for 2 and 1/2 years. When I first started I was known as the outspoken one that didn't always get along with management because I was so quick to express my opinions, which I would like to add were damn good opinions. They pretty much just pertained to fairness with shifts, treatment, and discipline towards co-workers. After about a year and 1/2 I began taking a step back from my opinionated self because in all honesty its hard arguing with supervisors on a weekly basis, and to be quite frank I have bills to pay and need my job. I quickly noticed the more positive response from my supervisors (who are male might I add), and now I am much more "liked" probably because I am now less of a threat. But I just thought, "whatever, at least my bills are paid and I have decent shifts". Even though deep down I knew (and still know) I am treated this way because I am more submissive than before, but it really did just get to hard to be the "black sheep" of the staff. Even my co-workers who are my friends noticed the change. But unfortunately this has become even more of a problem. Recently a position opened up for head chef...and a new employee in the kitchen (who is male) wanted it. But considering he has flat out hit on all the female servers, including myself, I thought no way he would get it. WRONG!! He got the position, then on top of that I caught him making fun of myself and another female employee stating to the rest of the kitchen staff (who are also male, and who I thought were my friends) that he quote "can't believe we made it through the night with 2 women working the bar". I about flipped! I said to myself "screw this, I'm going to my manager". And I did, the next day, first to a female supervisor, who is fairly new, but she's a woman, so I thought automatic support. Then her and I went to my F & B director ( a male) and he was ohh so concerned. He said he would take care of it and if anything further happened this would be going straight to human resources. That was about 3 weeks ago. But guess what, that head chef just got supervisor of the quarter, nominated by the GM of our hotel (a male) and my F & B director. I can't believe it... I feel so betrayed by the supervisors and management who are suppose to be protecting us is a sense. And I should also add he is an obvious "ogler" and everyone knows it..and jokes about it like its no big deal!! I don't understand how pointing out who the "cuter" staff members are is anything laughable. And its apparent that the kitchen staff is beginning to take part in the joking as well, even though before he came along they never said those types of things. On page 217 in our article at the bottom of the page there is an example from another workplace where it describes how after taking a sexual harassment seminar it seemed liked the males bonded with one another and the females bonded with one another. I feel like that is a mirror image of what has occurred in my work place. All my female co-workers who know I spoke up for us are thankful and can't believe I actually said something, but WTF (don't want to use bad language here), my freaking manager who knows what happened nominates the guy for his sexist and disgusting displays of masculinity. I've been pretty upset about it all and really don't even know what to do. Unfortunately I guess I'm just suppose to be some submissive employee again or else..I don't know. But I do know that this article was hard to read just because I can unfortunately relate more than I would like to be able to. And it's hard to be upset about something you really feel you can't do anything about, especially when I am stuck there 5 days a week :(

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