“Two new girls are going to join us” announced my colleague even before the interviews for new trainees in his project wrapped up. What if he was wrong, I asked. Turned out much to the chagrin of his teammates, his lecherous boss was infamous for favouring pretty faces over qualifications. True to his reputation, that day too two new girls became trainees in our company.
As the #MeToo movement gained momentum and lots of skeletons started tumbling out of the closet my mind kept going back to this creepy boss. He had power and authority and was adored by newbies for the onsite opportunities he frequently got them.
My colleagues/friends advised me to steer clear of his way at all times.“Don’t look at him directly”, “mind your dress when he’s around” and such similar ‘helpful’ pointers made me roll my eyes in disdain. I heard stories of him screwing up careers of women who didn’t fall in line with him. Surprisingly, I also observed girls fluttering their eyelashes and turning to mushy pulp in his presence.
What if I’m ever transferred to his project, I often wondered. Would I tolerate his perverse attitude to climb up the corporate ladder? Was letting my self-respect fade out for the sake of my career aspirations an option at all? Should I carry a pepper spray to work daily, just in case?
Incidentally, before the misfortune to work with him struck me I took a post-maternity career break. Although my well-laid defensive tactics remained untested and futile, I lauded myself for my strong not-buckling attitude. He might be a scum but my actions were my choice and responsibility, right?
Men or women in power often misuse their position to exploit and curb people working for/under them. They may seek whatever but giving in to their demands is an individual preference. After picking a side, right or wrong, one has to own up the consequences too. Better or worse, your actions are yours alone.
‘What if’ holds promise and hope as well as sadness and regret. Our way of seeing things makes all the difference!
Agree with me? Please do share your thoughts.