Not so welcome memory!

I got talking to an old friend about when we were younger and she brought up a not so pleasant event from my past!

I left school at sixteen and went straight into full time work in a supermarket stacking shelves. The job description meant that I had to spend a fair bit of time in the warehouse retrieving stock for the shop floor. The warehouse workers were all male of various ages, at first I was a little intimidated by having to go down there alone but they soon became friendly joking around with me and I felt a little more at ease. After a while a few of them went past friendliness and began pestering me to go out with them, using flattery to help their cause. I politely refused their advances but unfortunately they continued, matters were made worse by my floor manager who decided to attempt his own advances. He would catch me in the lift standing so close that we were touching, he also had this annoying habit of tugging on my earlobes. When I protested against this he would say ‘I think you like it’. 

I made a complaint against his behavior and although it did stop his advances he then became hostile towards me. He would shout and swear at me on the shop floor for no reason, he even caused a customer to complain about his behavior towards me. I did eventually leave because of him, I couldn’t take his verbal abuse any longer and all because I refused his advances.

I did actually make the mistake of befriending one of the warehouse workers before I left, he seemed one of the nicer men. He would tell the others to back off and leave me alone. I thought he was funny and quite charming, also very good looking. He was younger than the rest and we did eventually go out a few times but I ended it, he began to want more than I was willing to give he was after all twenty six at the time.

Looking back I cringe at the memory. Most of these guys were the age I am now, married and had kids. Why the hell were they interested in a sixteen year old girl? and what was I thinking going out with a guy of that age? Nothing, is the answer to that question. At the time all I could think of was bragging about how an older guy was interested in me, absolutely anything could have happened to me and no-one would have known. I knew nothing about him and yet went out with him anyway.

Not one of my finer moments but then unfortunately at that age I didn’t really think about consequences 🙂

6 Comments Add yours

  1. I had similar experiences when I was 17. It’s an all too common story. I don’t know where you live, but we now have laws in Ontario, (mandatory for all businesses) that help to address these issues of harassment and bullying, of all kinds, in the workplace. My husband is actually trained in investigating these complaints. It’s tough work but very rewarding. The world is changing – albeit much too slowly.

    1. It really is horrible to go through, I live in London, England. I’m sure we have similar laws here but at the time no one really cared when I would complain, they would leave me alone for a few days and then start it up again. As for my manager he was a complete nightmare, I’m shy but tough. If I had been weaker who knows what would have happened on the many occasions he trapped me in that lift. I really do hope things are stricter these days, I would hate to think of a teenage girl having to put up with that treatment.

      1. Unfortunately it is still a man’s world, for the most part. It’s all about power. They want to let you know they have it and won’t hesitate to do whatever they want to keep it. That’s why the changes are so slow. They are happening, but at a snail’s pace.

  2. Very true Yvonne, hopefully we will overcome this in the near future. No one should have power over a person except themselves 🙂

  3. This is the exact reason I ‘scared’ my kids from early on about be aware of their personal safety. I got told off for doing it – but at least they know when not to enter a situation that could become harmful to them.

    1. I am the same with my own children Mandy, unfortunately I was a bit of a wayward teen and didn’t listen to a word my parents told me although my own experiences have taught me well and assist with the way I raise my own children 🙂

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