Of all the times I’ve felt as though I’ve been taken advantage of, and put into a vulnerable position as a woman, Mr Manager is the worst for several reasons. He was hired at very short notice by my Mad Hatter of a boss (another story for another day). The first warning signs that he might be dodgy came across in his dopey the interview. My rather dopey colleague had asked Mr Manager which animal he’d be, and his answer was a Lion and involved some rather suspect comments about dominating women. It turned out I was right to be wary…
Within a few weeks he and the Mad Hatter (both in their mid 40s) recruited a young, generically attractive, shallow member of the team. They came out of the interview saying they’d found someone perfect for the role, and that I’d ‘love the way she dresses’. Which I didn’t at all. Quite simply she was a Tart.
The next month or so mainly consisted of Mr Manager never being at his desk, or when he was, Tart would be squatting (yes…squatting), down next to it and talking to him. He’d often turn up late or not show up at all for important meetings, armed with a load of unbelievable excuses. Here are some of my favourites:
I mean, what the actual fuck?! All fairly transparent excuses when he came in looking hungover and smelling of stale cider. He never came into work before 11, and sometimes being near him would make me feel nauseous, as he chain smoked and sweated alcohol.
He instigated several highly inappropriate conversations with me. Talking about things which wouldn’t be appropriate in any workplace, let alone between a manager and a junior member of staff. On several occasions he’d talk about colleagues who he fancied, asking many of them on dates, regardless of whether or not they were single. His behaviour was escalating week by week. At several points he wheeled his chair round to my desk to ask me questions about whether or not I was dating someone, and asking for all the details.
There were three specific times when I thought of reporting him for inappropriate behaviour. One instance where he was sitting next to me, and touched my leg which had just been freshly tattooed, using it as a way to bring up the fact he was now dating a tattoo model (apparently), he then showed me a picture of her, in the nude.
At this point I must introduce the concept of Mrs Married, as the other two instances of inappropriate behaviour, occurred after ‘The Incident’.
I was quite good friends with Mrs Married. She was closer in age to Mr Manager than me, was married to someone quite a bit older than herself, who earned a lot of money, whom she had 3 children with. She often talked about how she was bored in her marriage, that her sex life was non-existent, and that she’d had a flirtation with someone else’s husband whilst on holiday with her own, she was trying to come up with a way to organise a meeting with Mr Flirtation when she noticed Mr Manager.
She started by telling me that she had this theory, that if a man has thick legs, it means he has a thick cock- I nearly vomited when she said this considering how repulsive Mr Manager was.
She started to strut past him whenever he was at his desk, like she was on some sort of catwalk for desperate housewives.
She started to email me asking if he was at his desk so she could time the strutting.
She soon realised that he wasn’t at his desk a lot because he was always out smoking. So she took up smoking, just to spend time with him! How fucking pathetic can you get.
The afternoon of ‘The Incident’, both Mr Manager and Mrs Married could not be found for several hours. As Mrs Married worked on another team, they grew quite worried about her as she’d left her handbag behind, and had a reputation for having emotional episodes. When we realised they were both missing together, it didn’t take long to put two and two together. But I was in denial that they’d have the audacity to do something untoward during work hours…
They both reappeared within 10 minutes of each other. I was immediately suspicious as Mrs Married was flushed a horrifically bright red. As was Mr Manager, but then he always had that alcoholic crimson tint. I took Mrs Married to one side and asked her if she was ok. She rather excitedly told me that they’d been for a drink (yes, an alcoholic one….) and that they’d snogged (what a word to use for two people of their age). This sat really uncomfortably with me. Little did I know, it was about to get worse…
The next day I was pulled to the side by an excitable Mrs Married, who showed me a text message from Mr Manager saying
“What are you doing for lunch? I’d like to eat you for lunch ;)”
At that point, once I’d swallowed down the vomit which was coming up, I asked her if she was absolutely ‘sure’ that it was just a drink and a snog. At that point she said that they’d gone to the top floor of the building where they hold weddings, at that time it was under renovation. And there, in an abandoned office she’d given him a blowjob….
Again I had to suppress vomit. Which was incredibly difficult to do as she then showed me that she’d put on stockings and suspenders just for him. She explained that they hadn’t slept together as she was on her period but now it was done they were planning to fuck that lunchtime.
That lunchtime, I went out for lunch with a friend who Mr Manager had tried to seduce by the lifts earlier that day. While we were out, I got a text from Mrs Married saying ‘he’s just texted saying that you’ve gone out so now’s our moment!’
On my return, I was again privy to all of the sordid details. They’d ‘made the beast with two backs’ as Shakespeare would put it, but this time in the private toilet in a senior member of staff’s office.
After this, there was emotional turmoil as Mr Manager then proceeded to completely cool off from Mrs Married. She got increasingly jealous of Tart, claiming that she can’t be prettier because Mr Manager had said Tart has a hairy back (how did he know…)
I decided as they weren’t continuing, I wouldn’t say anything. A few weeks went past, in which the two more inappropriate incidents occurred:
1. Mr Manager used my computer to print something, when he was ready to go to the printer, he took hold of my ID badge which was around my neck but his hand brushed against my nether-regions. I suspected he did this on purpose. I flinched and shuddered, I don’t know if he noticed.
2. Mr Manager crept up behind me while I was at the printer, lightly took hold of my hair from behind and said “If I pulled your hair would you tell your Daddy”.
I mean seriously, what the actual fuck?! That’s straight out of some weird schoolgirl porn. I was really quite shaken up by that.
The Mad Hatter returned from leave, within a few minutes of arrival, Mr Manager took him out (probably for a drink) for a long talk. On their return, they said that they needed help with an IT issue, took me into a meeting room with just the two of them.
Mr Manager sat there and accused me of being obsessed with sex.
He said that he’d been told that 90% of my conversation was about sex.
Dopey Colleague and Tart had made an allegiance against me to support this accusation.
Mrs Married had also contributed to these comments against me.
I was completely shocked, and really upset. It was blatantly an attempt to discredit me, in case I was thinking of reporting them to the Mad Hatter.
The whole situation was completely inappropriate, two middle aged men accusing a junior member of staff in her 20’s of being obsessed with sex.
And to have the complainant doing the interrogating.
I didn’t know what to do and had to leave work straight after it happened.
The next few days were awful, the allegiance against me were spreading rumours. I had no choice but to go to a step above the Mad Hatter, who investigated and found enough evidence to realise I was telling the truth. Mr Manager then resigned very suddenly.
Mrs Married then confronted me. Accusing me of having made the whole thing up. Saying she couldn’t believe that I’d ruined his life, and that she was going to be fired and ‘blacklisted’ from work, and I will have ruined her life and she has three kids…despite the fact that she had repeatedly said before that she didn’t need to work as her husband was loaded. A foolish thing to do as she was due to leave anyway, she ended up leaving a bit earlier than planned.
Gossip of the departures spread throughout the office (mainly perpetuated by the Mad Hatter himself). I was relieved that it was all over. But less than 2 weeks later, it turned out that Mr Manager had found himself another job, across the road!!!
As the Mad Hatter said: “That man has more front than Blackpool pier.”
The scars from this scorning are deep, and are not anywhere near healing, despite a year having gone past.