Me Too: My Harassment Story
When I was 16, I applied to work at a local pizza place that my best friend worked. I didn’t get the job, despite her putting in a good word for me. She never would tell me why when I asked her. When I came out to her two years later, she revealed that it was because the manager thought I was gay, and he didn’t want to hire a gay guy. Fast forward to my first job after college, and I’m working in a “relaxed” corporate environment. Everyone jokes around and hangs out after work. I never knew a job could be this fun. And then, one day, a male coworker is joking around in front of everyone. He goes behind me, grabs my waist, and whispers something explicit into my ear. Everyone laughs. My manager laughs. I laugh. Inside, I’m so uncomfortable, but I don’t want to take it “too seriously.” I don’t ruin the “culture.” I don’t want to be that guy who spoiled the “fun.” So, I laughed and tried to I moved on. Now, years later, I work as an HR professional. I’m adamant about taking all forms of harassment seriously. I’m insistent that all harassment reported gets fully investigated. And, I’m persistent in my pursuit to create a workplace culture where everyone feels comfortable to come forward.