Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm Not Comfortable with Office Flirtation

It has been almost three years since I last worked in an office. Even though I am currently strapped of cash thanks to a year-long unemployment, I don't miss the hostile office environment, if I am perfectly frank. As anyone who has seen ever been confined to the flimsy walls of a cubicle knows, that which makes an office intolerable is not so much the workload if not having to interact with other people, such as the co-workers.

Don't get me wrong. I have had in the past the pleasure of getting to know some very wonderful, hard-working and respectful individuals when I once had a job of my own. However, not all co-workers are built alike, and the ones who are alike form a binding alliance that rivals even the most unbreakable of high school cliques. It is with that in mind that I not-very-fondly remember the women who would shamelessly flirt with the FedEx guy. And by "flirt," I mean "addressed him with a colorful, lascivious language what would surely be grounds to garner him a lawsuit."

We didn't even know his name because we always referred to him as "FedEx," not the FedEx guy. For all I know, his name could have been Charles Esteban Frédérick Huntington-Smith the third.

I was one of the first people FedEx saw whenever he came in the afternoon, thereby making me "the lucky one" in my co-workers' eyes. The waiting room was divided by a door, a sliding glass window and some very thin walls. My cubicle was located behind the receptionist's desk so I always had a clear view of this tiny sliding window and heard every single noise that happened in the waiting room, including doors slamming, chairs scraping and clients coughing.

Whenever FedEx would come around 4 p.m. and pick up the mountain of packages and envelopes that needed to be shipped out, these ladies would scurry from their desks to entrap greet and coyly chat up their handsome distraction. FedEx didn't seemingly mind when they would block his path and tease him with their innuendos and overt sexual comments. I refrained from participating in their sexual harassment flirtatious banter, often by blushing, shaking my head in disbelief and burying my face deeper into my files.



(I won't repeat what they would say, but I was certain that had a guy  treated them in the same manner, they would have slapped him with a sexual predator form in a heartbeat.)

One afternoon, after the girls had their routine flirtation with him, FedEx picked up his work and bade us good-bye. Barely seconds after he had slid the window shut, my co-workers began talking about how they would totally bang FedEx if given the chance.

Then, for added measure, they asked me if I would do the same. Being a nineteen-year-old prude who was relatively unsure of the world of adult relationships, I said that no, I wouldn't.




In reality, it was more around the lines of "I'm not really comfortable talking about this and it's not really your business to know who I would or wouldn't bang," but since neither of my co-workers could read my mind and take a hint, one of them gave me a wry laugh and said:




Yes, I did have a vague understanding of what they had meant, and I wished that they had kept me out of it because I had forgotten to listen for the sound of a closing door that let me know when people had left the office.

Remember how I had mentioned that I could hear everything that goes on the other side of the little window? One should logically conclude that whoever is outside can hear what we say as clearly as a bell.

The window slid back open.



He said this while directly locking his eyes with mine.





 I could have died of shame. I had never talked about FedEx with my co-workers until that very day, and it just so happened to be THE DAY when he hung around a few seconds longer in our office.

And the best part? My co-workers were beside themselves with laughter. Never in my life have I hated working with other people as much as I did that day. It almost makes me glad that I'm unemployed.

Almost.

Barb the French Bean

58 comments:

  1. Yikes, I've had that happen to me on several occasions. It's usually when I'm insulting someone's odd sense in fashion.

    Ah, well. Anyway, you don't want to get caught up with those FedEx guys. It's UPS that's the real deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heh. I guess I'll have to send some stuff via UPS to find out!

      Delete
  2. OOH, that is a GOOD one. I have a hard time being one of the "office gang" too. My life is outside of work, and this is the place I come to earn my paycheck. I'm not interested in being anyone's friend, or going to your baby shower (which is sad to me is at work).

    My biggest problem is the 50+ year olds who still act like the high school mean girls. I simply can't be nice to women who I actively see seeking out targets, and treating other women like crap. I immediately become the defender of the defenseless. I have zero tolerance for bullies. It's especially sad that these are grown adults, who have such low self-esteem they have to victimize at such an advanced age. I could go on and on, but I kind of already have. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Believe me, I really appreciate you going on and on. :D

      Delete
  3. Hahhaha I'm sorry, that sounds embarrassing/funny. Also, sounds like you coulda had a shot with him if you were interested..

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well if it helps he could have still been a bit old for you. I find it kind of odd how women can talk about guys like that but like you said if a guy had said it they would have slapped his ass, and not in the way he wanted. But with a lawsuit. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figured that he is probably 32 years old now, which is still kinda pushing it for me. :P

      And, yeah, I find that double-standard very puzzling.

      Delete
    2. Happy birthday!

      Now that it's after midnight, and you've magically aged a whole year, 32 doesn't seem so old anymore, does it?

      I have to tease. I think it's a medical condition. ;)

      Delete
  5. O_o Well what do you expect it is a Miami Office! Nah I'm sure it happens everywhere.

    -Hanny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And probably happens to a lot of people more than they would like it to. --.--

      -Barb

      Delete
  6. I had similar experiences over the years.

    Back when I worked at Blockbuster, I wouldn't even notice when women flirted with me. My coworkers would have to point it out to me. I didn't like talking about relationship stuff with them either because, with one exception, I was apparently the only one with a normal Christian view of sexuality. "I wouldn't have sex with X because I'm not married to X" gets you some weird looks, let me tell you.

    More recently, just a couple years back, a coworker at the time said "Some of the guys are going to the strip club. You want to go?" and when I said "no," he looked like I hit him in the gut or something! "*gasp* Why not???" I probably should have told him that stripping is creepy as hell, because that's true, but I just shrugged and went back to counting down the tills. Still, awkward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. o_O

      That...was indeed quite awkward, Shep.

      Delete
  7. Hey, I know Charles Esteban Frédérick Huntington-Smith the Third. You weren't missing anything. Pretty bad bang.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads-up (albeit at your expense).

      Delete
  8. I sympathize in sooooo many ways!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good thing he wasn't the UPS Guy. Then, your co-workers would have wondered what brown could do for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably get my deliveries on time to cities all over the world?

      Delete
  10. What (The Writer, Rinser, Repeater) said.

    Anybody else think its typically French that they would stick a paper fish on someone's back as a joke? EVERY year? That can't even have been funny the first time.

    BTW, you're like the only other person I know who's watched that Ramen movie. I caught it on HBO once with my ex - not the highest hopes at first but it kinda grows on you coz its so damn funny that anybody would care about freaking make ramens that much. That movies been a running joke and a metaphor for all sorts of desperation since. I think she even pulled one on me when she broke up with me. "It's not you," she said, "it's Ramen."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regarding the paper fishes, I'm sure it's hilarious to les Frenchies who participate in the gag, not the victim. ;)

      Delete
  11. Oh you poor sweet thing. Sometimes I think we are all as bad as each other and it's tough that guys get the shitty end of the stick and aren't 'allowed' to be big fat ugly pig flirts. If chicks can do it. Or maybe no-one should and we should all be nice and if we like a guy leave post-its with cute funny one liners for him. It worked for me once :)

    Love Elle xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you there! More cute stuff, less harassment!

      Delete
  12. At 19, I thought 26 was ancient. I believed something magical happened at 21 that made you a full-blown adult. I am sure he understood. Or! Your comments sent him into a terrible depression that he has yet to recover from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They very possibly may have. o_O Crap.

      Delete
  13. Well, that was odd that the Fed Ex guy took umbrage to your comments instead of addressing all the women who were saying they wanted to "bang" him. I guess it was like one of those episodes of the Partridge family where David Cassidy chases after the one girl in 900,000 who doesn't think he's the cat's pajamas, just to try to figure out what's wrong with her that she is not drooling over him like he is Justin Bieber.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or maybe he really felt insulted that I thought he was too old for me (which he was and still is).

      Delete
  14. Oh no poor you. It's typical, this shit always happens, it's like the universe misbehaving and trying to get it's kicks! :)

    Universal Gibberish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still, the universe knows that these kicks always make for a more interesting tale to tell. ;)

      Delete
  15. I'm with Jimmy Fungus; why should you be embarrassed about saying he's too old when the other girls were yakking about wanting to bang him? I mean, he had to have heard that part as well, right?

    I still feel sorry for 19 year old you, though. At that age, that kind of crap is pretty mortifying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes! I was so petrified from that experience. I guess that the embarrassment was mostly due to the great coincidence that he just HAD to hear what I had to say that very moment. --.--

      Delete
  16. Oh, this made me squirm. Awful. I empathize, poor little bean.

    ReplyDelete
  17. As a guy who was 26 recently, I couldn't imagine being with a 19 year old. That almost sounds creepy, even if it's kinda not. Also, if the FedEX guy was hit on constantly and never ONCE offered to show them his 'package', then he fails as a man. Period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry. I'm sure my co-workers made that joke for him at least one hundred times. :P

      Delete
  18. Wow! Embarrassing. I could see that happening to me as well. Just rotten luck, and super awesome sexual harassment coworkers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially the super awesome sexual harassment co-workers. Ugh.

      Delete
  19. Its always the quiet ones you need to worry about.. joks.

    Really though,I'm sure he would of heard the other 2 women going on about wanting to bang him, so you have nothing to be embarrassed about :) smile

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's easier to smile about it now that sufficient time has passed, give or take six years! Ha!

      Delete
  20. See now, as mean as those co-workers were, and as embarrassing as the situation was...

    Dude! He totally didn't care that they were all over him, and the only thing he noted was YOUR comment. If it had been me, I would have shoved that in the faces of the flirts. haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hm! Maybe I should have...although that may have created even more unnecessary strife among the staff. I tend to work better under drama-free conditions, anyway.

      Delete
  21. My recently ex'd husband is a FedEx guy.
    This answers a LOT of questions.

    (Oh and for the record, after you end up doing their laundry a few thousand times, those uniforms don't look seem sexy anymore. Just sayin')

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's amazing what a hostile environment the average workplace is for men. The way we get treated like a sex object is brutal. I hate being nothing more than an appetizing looking piece of meat. ;-)

    Jay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just remember that you, too, have rights to report any co-workers that are misbehaving and ill-treating you.

      Or you could just beat them off with a stick. Your call.

      Delete
  23. I really feel for you. What an awkward moment. It's not easy to die a thousand deaths and blink back alive. But I rather think he had more respect for you than he did for your co-workers. Self-respect trumps much so give yourself a pat on the back for being true to yourself. Hope you get a job soon. Really hope this occurrence isn't holding you back for it's not worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you for such a kind comment!

      This particular experience is not necessarily holding me back from finding a new job (other factors are involved), but I at least now know that I should pay no mind to what other people say.

      Delete
  24. Ah... but he was old compared to you at the time so he had no right to complain.

    Guy's a worse (I think... could be wrong) with talking about who they would or wouldn't bang and I've never liked being in those conversations either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would think that men use more colorful terms when they discuss the fairer sex, but I could be wrong. :P

      Delete
  25. I think in America people are a bit free and easy with their lawsuits. All this talk about it never happening the other way around is making me pretty astonished. I used to work as a receptionist in a place where a sixty year old man used to make the perviest comments - I would just laugh them off. I wouldn't even have dreamt of getting him in trouble/suing him for sexual harrassment. Apart from the horrendous comments he'd make (good-naturedly) he was a nice person with a wife and kids. He wasn't hurting me, only making me a bit uncomfortable. I'm not going to complain about the guy who keeps invading my personal space on the bus (uncomfortable) or the guy who won't take the hint and stop talking to me on the plane (uncomfortable) or the lady who talks right in my face with food in her mouth (uncomfortable) so why should he be any different?

    Here all of that falls under the label of 'banter' and is expected. It makes you bond with your co-workers even if you have nothing in common (which for me is usually the case). Would you never just play along?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally, I wouldn't play along because I am, to my inconvenience, still a bit of a prude in public. I only ever feel comfortable enough to discuss anything of sexual terms with people I know and trust, let alone joke about it.

      You also do bring up an excellent point that Americans can be rather uptight about these situations (meaning playful banter will result in a law suit). It actually seems to have become a go-to stereotype when describing us.

      "Oh, your scoop of ice cream fell off the cone? Sue the ice cream makers for not having provided you with a sturdier cone." :P

      I think it may be a deep-rooted perspective in our mentality and culture. In any case, your people sound more fun than mine!

      Delete

Apparently, leaving comments on this blog is a hit-or-miss game of Russian roulette: you are either lucky and can comment away, or you are required to log in when the settings are CLEARLY set to allow trouble-free commenting (sorry 'bout that, folks). If anything, the Facebook page is always a viable option. :) -Barb