Harassing Your Harasser

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 12, 2017

Back in middle school, I had a growth spurt that made me the tallest girl in my grade, and taller than most of the boys. Despite being about as curvy as a broom, I got some unwanted attention.

One day, I was at my locker and suddenly felt an arm around my waist. This short guy I’d never seen before, so short the top of his head was below my shoulder, was trying to lead me away.

This kid was calling me “babe” and talking about introducing “his girl” to “his boys,” but didn’t even tell me his name when I asked. I pried his hand off my hip and hurried off to class.

Every locker break after that, he’d show up and put his arm around me, trying to chat me up, without ever asking me anything about myself. No matter how many times I told him to go away, twisted his fingers, pinched him, or shoved him, his arm was glued to my waist until locker break was over.

I never did figure out his name. He had the same haircut as half the boys in my grade, and I didn’t really trust my teachers.

One day I’d had enough.

I had just opened my locker and taken my backpack and books out when he showed up again. He was expecting me to shove him away; he was not expecting me to put my arm behind him and frog-march him into my locker. I nearly got the door shut all the way before he began flailing and ran out.

Nobody ever said anything to me about it, even though there were plenty of witnesses. I never got in trouble. I never saw the little pest again, either.

I felt guilty until I learned what “sexual harassment” was a few years later.

Karma Tastes Like Nachos

, , , , , | Right | June 16, 2017

I’m at a famous taco-themed restaurant and have just beaten the dinner rush. A boy and girl come in and get in the end of the line and immediately start moaning and complaining about how long it is taking.

The employees are fairly efficient, so they get to the front of line in just a few minutes. They order, and then stand over to the side and start complaining some more about how long it is taking.

Maybe ten minutes after they walked in, they get their food and turn to get a table. The guy is carrying the tray, and he ends up tripping on his own feet, and splatters the tray, with an open bowl of nachos, all over the girl. Karma!

Transcending A**-Holes

, , , | Boulder, CO, USA | Hopeless | July 4, 2016

(I am a sales associate in a major department store. I am folding clothes and keeping an eye on the three customers that are in my section. One is a trans woman, who is holding some lacy underwear in her hand while shopping for more items, and the other two are a mother and daughter shopping together. I can hear the mother and daughter snickering.)

Daughter: “Oh, my god, mom, do you see that transvestite?”

Mother: “Where?”

Daughter: “Over there. It’s carrying a bunch of underwear.”

Mother: “Oh! NOW I see it! What a freak! Has it deluded itself into thinking that putting on lacy underwear will make it attractive?”

(At this point it is obvious that the trans customer has overheard and is visibly uncomfortable, but she keeps shopping.)

Daughter: “What I don’t understand is why he thinks any of that will fit him. He’s a MAN. It’s not made for him. Where’s does his d**k go? He should probably just stick to men’s clothing because he’s a MAN.”

Mother: “I just hope he doesn’t plan on using that fitting room. I’ll complain. I don’t trust freaks like that.”

(At this point, I am quite angered by their conversation. I call my manager and ask for permission for what I am about to do. She gives me approval, and I approach them.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ladies, but I am afraid that I have to ask you to pay for your merchandise and leave.”

Mother: “What?! Why?!”

Me: “Here at [Department Store], we want all of our guests to feel comfortable and safe while shopping in our stores. The way you are referring to another guest has clearly hurt her, and, to be honest, it has deeply offended me and made me uncomfortable as well. I have to ask you to pay for your items and leave.”

Mother: “How DARE you. We are paying customers and that tranny is the one who should be kicked out for being a FREAK.”

Me: “Ma’am, please refrain from using offensive or derogatory language in the store. That woman over there is doing absolutely nothing to you. She is shopping. You, on the other hand, are bullying another customer in an attempt to make her feel bad and leave. Out of respect for that customer and our store policy, I have to ask you to leave.”

Mother: “Well, fine! If you don’t want us to buy all of this clothing from you! You’ll lose a really big sale AND a loyal customer!”

Me: “With all due respect, ma’am, we have no interest in having bigots as ‘loyal’ customers.”

(The mother fumes and leaves. The trans woman finishes her shopping, and comes up to me to pay.)

Me: “Hello! Did you find everything you were looking for?”

Customer: “That and more. Thank you for standing up for me. You have no idea how rare that is.”

Me: “It’s no problem. I have many friends who are trans and I could tell she was bothering you. I’m sorry you have to put up with that.”

Customer: “Oh, it’s okay. When there are people out there like you to help, it can make a big difference. Thank you for making my day better.”

Me: “You’re welcome! Please, have a good rest of your day, and don’t let the haters get you down! Keep doing your thing!”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry, I will!”

(That customer came back a few times after that and always asked me for fashion advice and bought her items from me. I was happy to give her a safe place to shop.)

 

Rock Solid Justice

, | USA | Hopeless | July 1, 2016

(I get to my car in the parking lot to find a huge dent in the hood, presumably caused by the large rock resting on it. I’m shocked, as the parking lot is located in a nice neighborhood. I’m about to call my husband to tell him what happened when an employee from a store near the lot approaches me.)

Employee: “I was waiting for the owner to come back. I just wanted to say that I’m sorry about what happened to your car. I saw the rock fly up from behind that fence, but I didn’t see who did it. I just heard them. Later, a group of loud teenagers came into the shop, and I recognized their voices. I knew they were the ones who caused the damage to your car, but I didn’t have any substantial proof. So I spit in their food. I know it won’t pay for the damage, but I figured a little justice was due.”

(That may not have been there best way to handle the situation, but it did make me feel better!)

Working Out That Attitude

, , | Australia | Hopeless | June 28, 2016

(A new member has recently joined my gym, and it’s obvious from the start that he’s incredibly socially awkward, tending to strike up conversations with the other members while they’re trying to work out. I don’t mind him, because even though he’s slightly inappropriate, he’s very sweet and it’s obvious he’s just being friendly. One day he stops showing up.)

Me: “Hey, [Receptionist], I’ve noticed [New Member] hasn’t been going to his regular classes.

Receptionist: “Oh, yeah, he hasn’t been in for a few weeks.” *quietly* “Are you asking because he was making you feel uncomfortable? We’ve got a lot of complaints about him, and I’m sorry if that’s the case. Nobody should be made to feel like that.”

Me: *a bit agitated at her* “Yeah, I’m sorry, too. I hope he didn’t leave just because everyone here gave him a hard time for being friendly.”

Receptionist: “Uh… sorry?”

Me: “I mean, I agree; nobody should be made to feel like they’re not welcome just because they’re a little odd. It’s obvious coming here to get fit was a big deal to him, and considering how socially awkward he is I think it’s really great he’s taken this step.”

Receptionist: *sheepishly* “Oh… uh, yeah.”

Me: “I’m so glad you think so, too.”

(Luckily he came back the following week, and with a bit of time and encouragement he started to catch on to social cues a bit better. Shows how far a little self confidence can get you!)

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