Harassment

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I’ve been out of the office and away from home for the past couple of days.  This has been a productive, busy, and exhausting trip.  I have been at our state capital lobbying for local concerns with a small group of people from our community.  Yesterday we had a series of short meetings with as many senators and representative as we could possibly meet in one day.  This busy day was followed by dinner at the executive mansion.  All in all, it was a productive day.

At an early hour, I left the group while they were still enjoying cocktails in the hotel lounge.  I was tired, and I just wanted to relax for a while and go to bed early for a change.  I was feeling satisfied from such an incredible day.  I’m a government junkie, and I love having the opportunity to speak directly to those who are in a position to make decisions and change policy.  I thought about the many changes in my life as I walked back to my room.  This past decade has been an incredible journey, and I was feeling immensely thankful for the opportunities to have a career that satisfies me even as it often exhausts and challenges me.

I went up to my room and washed off the traces of the day from my tired face, took out my contacts, and put on my ugly black glasses.  I had planned on firing up my laptop when I realized that I had left it out in my car.  I slipped on my shoes and headed out to the parking lot.  Just as I was leaving my room, a man came running down the hall.  “The Hawks are on.  I have to hurry.”  He was carrying a bag of chips that he must have run out to get at the vending machine down the hall.  Then he said, “What are you doing out here alone?”  I said that I was running out to get something from my car.  “Stop by my room on your way back.  Room 610.”

I was shocked!  Do women actually do such things?  Do men really say such things?  My face burned as I took the elevator down and walked to my car.  Just moments ago, I had been feeling strong and successful about a fantastic day, and now I was feeling something I couldn’t quite define.  I thought about it.  What was I feeling?   Offended?  Violated?  And sadly….I was also feeling kind of validated or a little thrilled.   I guess the old broad must not look so bad after all, and the fact that I even thought this pissed me off at myself.

Of course, I had no intention of stopping at room 610.  I was a bit apprehensive about walking back down the hall to my room, and this upset me, too.  Why are women so easily, and readily, victimized?  I felt like a victim!  I was afraid to pass down the hall.  I didn’t want another confrontation.  As I passed by his room, I saw something on the door of room 610.  It was a piece of paper sticking out of the door jam.  It said, “Lady in Black, PLEASE STOP AND KNOCK ON MY DOOR!  Matt.”  I just laughed and walked on down the hall.

I no longer felt victimized.  I was suddenly able to see him for what he was:  A pathetic man watching a hockey game, but hoping to get laid.  Sorry, buddy, but I’ve been around the block a time or two, and I am no man’s evening diversion.

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