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Don’t Be A Boob; Be Sweet, Instead

, , , , , | Working | April 16, 2021

This happened over ten years ago. I worked in a call centre. We had a coworker whose son used to be the Operations Manager at our call centre. Why is he no longer the Ops Manager, and in fact no longer employed there at all?

[Son] was not liked at all. He was smug, superior, and dismissive of everyone at or below his level in the call centre. His mother used the fact that her son was the Ops Manager to bully people. If you scored well when you were having a call monitored, you could earn a bonus. She scared all the supervisors into always giving her the bonus, even on days when she didn’t really deserve it.

One day, [Son] needed to speak to one of our supervisors. He called out to her, “[Supervisor #1].” She ignored him. He called out again, “[SUPERVISOR #1].” She continued to ignore him.

[Supervisor #1] had an ample chest, and when she crossed her arms, they tended to rest on top of her chest, so seeing her arms crossed, [Son] took his pencil and turned it around with the eraser end out and poked [Supervisor #1] in the side of her chest just under her arms. “[SUPERVISOR #1]!” 

Up until that point, the company had never made us watch anti-workplace harassment videos, which included a segment on how to recognize sexual harassment and what to do if there’s sexual harassment in your workplace. Because of what [Son] did to [Supervisor #1], we all then had to spend one day watching that series of videos and signing forms stating we understood what we just watched and agreeing to abide by the anti-harassment rules. [Son] was, of course, fired for sexual harassment.

Since her son was fired, [Coworker #1] had far less power, but she was still d***ed intimidating and some supervisors remained afraid of her and gave her high marks anyway, whether she earned them or not. She was bitter about [Son] being fired like that and made it clear all the time.

One day in my phone cubicle section, where a group of people on the phones would be managed under one supervisor, I got to sit with a really lovely lady we’ll call [Coworker #2]. She was funny, intelligent, and really nice. She had brought a bag of hard candies to work and went up and down our cubicle section, laying a piece of sanitary, individually-wrapped candy at every station so that every person would start their shift with a little bit of happiness. She made sure to give a piece of candy to our supervisor, [Supervisor #2], too. She then went to her locker to go put the candy away and get ready for work.

It was just me and [Supervisor #2] when [Coworker #1] walked up, and I saw she would be in our section. I secretly groaned. [Coworker #1] picked up the piece of candy at her desk and her eyes grew wide. She then suddenly barked out, “Who did this?!” waving the candy menacingly. I gave her an “I don’t know” face and looked away. There was no one else at our section yet and [Coworker #2] was still back at her locker, so [Coworker #1] marched up to [Supervisor #2].

Coworker #1: “Who did this?!”

Supervisor #2: “Who did what, [Coworker #1]?”

Coworker #1: “Who put candy at my desk?!”

Supervisor #2: “I don’t know, [Coworker #1]. I wasn’t here when it happened.”

He knew better than to say anything or [Coworker #1] would go on a rampage after [Coworker #2].

Me: “There’s a piece of candy at every desk. I don’t think someone was trying to bother you.”

[Coworker #1] narrowed her eyes at me and then ignored me.

Coworker #1: *To [Supervisor #2]* “This had better not happen again! Do you hear me?!”

She then threw the candy away in the trashcan under [Supervisor #2]’s desk and went off to the bathroom, out of sight. In that time, [Coworker #2] came back to the section and my face was nearly splitting in half from trying to hide my laughter. She asked what was so funny and I filled her in entirely on [Coworker #1]’s reaction. [Coworker #2] got this evil, Grinch-like smile on her face, took the piece of candy she meant to keep for herself, placed it on [Coworker #1]’s desk where the original piece had been placed, and waited, schooling her expression to be everyday-bored like most of us had while working there.

More people had begun to show up in our section, so it wasn’t really obvious who put the candy back on [Coworker #1]’s desk. When [Coworker #1] came back, her eyes popped out of her head so widely I’m surprised they didn’t push her glasses off of her face. She picked up the new candy piece, SHAKING WITH RAGE. She marched right up to [Supervisor #2] and began barking at him louder while waving the candy right in his face.

Coworker #1: “You know what this is, [Supervisor #2]? Do you know. What. This. Is?!”

Supervisor #2: “No, [Coworker #1]. What is it?”

Coworker #1: “This!” *Shakes it more violently* “This is sexual harassment!

[Coworker #2] and I were about to DIE but we kept our faces straight as best we could. [Coworker #1] had so focused her anger on [Supervisor #2] that she didn’t even notice us anyway.

Supervisor #2: “No, [Coworker #1], this is not sexual harassment; it’s a piece of candy.”

Coworker #1: “No! It is sexual harassment!”

[Supervisor #2] had had enough by this point.

Supervisor #2: “You either need to sit down, [Coworker #1], or you can go home and we will mark you as a no-show, but this stops now.”

She finally shut up, sat down, and got ready to work, but she grumbled the whole rest of the day.

[Coworker #2] and I had the best break time ever that day, secretly snickering about all that.

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