Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Surviving the Jungle

I work in a pretty male-oriented field.
This has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

I was at a 2 day conference recently. All of our major clients and partners were at the event, and our company was there too, invited by one of our major vendors. We were all put up at a 5 star hotel.
In the morning, during coffee break, this one guy walks up to me and starts talking to me about what I initially thought was work. What countries am I handling? Do I travel to those places? Oh good, we should travel together.
*warning bells*
While traveling with clients is pretty usual in my line of work, something sounded off. I said we could plan our schedules later on and left it on a pretty non-committal note.

In the evening, there was a dinner party, and the men were all out on the prowl! They all gor drunk ( FYI, I didn't! I don't get drunk when I'm on the job). After a while, the decent guys left the party and the coyotes took reign. I tried to leave but there was this one guy from the vendor who stopped me as I was about to leave.

"Where are you going Sonia? Don't leave so early, the party is just about to begin!"
I didn't want to create a scene so thought I'd stick around for a few more minutes until I could get away.
A couple of girls from my marketing team were around so we stuck together, wondering when we could leave without anyone noticing. We were sitting at a table together, chatting, when the guy from the morning walks up to me, all drunk and sits next to me and starts chit-chatting.

I haven't seen you in ages... it's a shame we meet only during events... we should really do something about that... don't tell me I should start (doing my line of work) to see you more often... which floor at you on... the view from my room is amaazing...

I jump up and excuse myself to go to the restroom.
"I'll walk with you!"

I somehow slip away and leave him behind only to be besieged by another drunk dude who wants me to dance with him. I got rid of that guy when the guy who initially stopped me from leaving starts talking to me and his room also had an awesome view apparently! This guy was sober btw. He doesn't drink cos he's a pious muslim. Pfft! Married with 2 kids and trying to get me to check out the view from his room! Creep!

In college, if a guy said something nasty, I could react! I'd cut him to pieces with words and if that didn't work (sometimes that just spurred them on! weirdos!) I could report him and he'd be done with it (never had to do that, but threatening to do it usually worked!).

I can't do that anymore! I have to continue dealing with people who behave this way! Even when they make these horrible advances, I have to deal with it politely. This is not easy! Diplomacy does not come naturally to me! The leo in me wants punch them in their faces and kick them in their balls! But I swallow my anger and try to get away.

Why is it than people behave this way and get away with it? There's nothing I can do to stop it other than quit my job! And what difference would that make? I'd get another job and face the same thing with other men!

I want a break from the creeps! I don't have the energy to ward them off nicely anymore! I'll snap sometime soon and then what'll happen?
How does one handle stuff like this?!


~~d0Ryy~~ said...

I exactly know what you mean! To top it all - I end up feeling guilty that I was rude, did not /should have handled it differently...

Saaketh said...

Tell them you are gay ;)
"ohhh I'd love to but my gf is waiting for me and I can't keep her waiting anymore",
"ahhhh wish I met you before I met my new gf",
"wow!! I should book that room with my gf next time"

Not sure how safe it is in dxb though :-)

Anonymous said...

Its unrealistic to expect them to behave as we want. A person can have any number of vices like this. Forgetit. Relax.

Sonia said...

Dory: why would you feel guilty?! Please! If those bastards are being unprofessional, you have no reason to feel guilty about warding them off!

Saaketh: If only they were concerned about my preferences, sexual or otherwise!

Anon: I don't think it is "unrealistic" to expect people I do business with to behave in a professional manner. What they are doing is akin to sexual harassment, and you're saying that's ok?

Anonymous said...

Man will always remain a lecher. No amount of education or morals can set them right. I abhor such men and want to kick them hard. Such men must be taught a lesson. I wonder if they have any respect for their mother and daughter. They are worse than animals and should be declared wolves in the interest of society. I simply hate their kind and wish I could remain a kid forever.

APOO said...

Wanna come to Michigan? My bedroom has a beaaaatifool view! :P

Sonia said...

Apoo:Yeahhh, maybe you when you leave for the himalayas, i'll make a visit. :P

Haddock said...

or for that matter, why do people have to drink and make a fool of themselves ?