My First Encounter with Sexual Harrasment

How can I forget those lingering eyes, and their malicious intent.Even after several years,  I can still feel his insidious presence. A victim cowering under the gaze of its  prey. How can a man, be driven onwards by such animalistic lust without his conscience bending out of shape? 
It was my first real job and I was beside myself with excitement. Hail the road to being an independent woman!  I was about to be a personal assistant to a very prominent businessman in Harare. The salary was great, big luxurious office and young at my prime, I was about to catapult to another level of financial stability. Life was good. Simba my old school mate had connected me with this job.
” He really needs a P.A asap and I thought of you” he had said to me.
“Omg Simba, so the job is mine? What about the interview and all that?” I inquired
” He is my uncle, don’t worry about that. Go to his office and introduce yourself. He knows you are coming” He assured me.
Everything was too good to be true. Honestly sometimes when I look back I cock my head to the side at the sheer naïveté of how the situation was managed. I was chauffeur driven, picked from home in the morning and dropped off at home after work. I could call the car for personal missions. The boss took me out for lunch everyday at expensive places.
” Its a tradition of mine that I enjoy lunch with my personal assistant” he had casually said
End of the month when I received my first payslip I was shocked. I stared at it thinking maybe I had mistaken. But oh no, the figures glared back at me. Five times more than we had initially agreed.The face of the God of Israel was shinning down on me. I hadn’t signed the contract of employment yet. ” Human Resources are still drafting it” they said. I never raised an eyebrow to the generosity and lavish kindness. I didn’t know that in life things do not come that easy. There is always a price to pay. Oh how I enjoyed the long romantic walks to the shopping malls, bank and beauty parlors. I was backstrocking in the prodigal pool, living lavida loca.
It wasn’t long to my rude awakening. I remember that morning after I read out his schedule to him. He had sat there looking at me long and hard while I stood there awkwardly waiting for his response. If he was cyclops my body would have been perforated with holes. The subtle hints ship had sailed. He was going in, raw and hard. 
” Pandichakubatira ndichaita kunge imbwa yapinda mubutcher (The day I am going to have you, I will go crazy like a dog in a butchery).” He breathed
I froze as it all dawned on me. He startled me with ruptured boisterous laughter. He laughed and laughed while poor me stood there not knowing what to say. “Now scurry on to your little daily tasks” he said dismissively.
In my office my mind was hurricane Katrina. The gifts, the generous salary, chauffer, expensive lunch….oh my gosh. Stupid stupid stupid me! I had to sign the contract of employment, I didn’t want to lose my job and so I decided to put a stop to the uncessary extravagances. No more chauffer, I would carry on with the aid of public transport, eat from the staff canteen and keep it professional. That afternoon I politely turned him down for lunch. For the first time I ate from the staff canteen. I uncomfortably endured the glances from colleagues. Yes, I was the scarlet woman. 
” Trouble in paradise?” Laura the receptionist teased.
“What? No-” she cut me off immediately
” He gone done eaten the orange and now he is throwing the peels away” she said bitterly 
I studied Laura, Laura who once upon a time was in my position. She had come to gloat. She had secretly been jealous from what I heard she was P.A until she was demoted. She had been the dog’s meat. The orange metaphor made sense. She had given in to this man and jus like that he had disposed of her. ” I never….” I stopped my self mid sentence. I wanted to explain that I never slept with him, I am not a home wrecker…but what was the point. I had been seen frolicking going to luncheons with him, the chauffeur and all that. To them I was his meat. I didn’t blame them.  I had unashamedly enjoyed all these extravagances right before them. It only translated to the obvious but not so obvious. Sleeping with the boss.

He knew I was warding him off and so he came on to me stronger. “Can you look for my charger under my desk?” He asked me one afternoon. As I knelt down on all fours I could feel his eyes violating me, searing through my clothes and devouring me. I gingerly stood up and my eyes met with his. He looked hungry and demonic. He was the devils incarnate. He reached for my boob and I slapped his hand before it reached its destination. ” You are fired” he calmly said. “We have no contract with you, leave the premises immediately” he looked at me like I was nothing.
I walked home in tears. The abrupt unfair dismissal? I didn’t see that coming. Wow, may karma hit him with the thunder of a thousand gods, may he never find happiness, may his gold diminish to nothing, may he carry the burden of the withered hand. I cursed him all the way home.
I wrote this experience for the young unsuspecting girls. Never accept gifts from your boss, unregistered salary increments or extracurricular activities. Make sure you sign a contract of employment before you even begin to work. Stand firm, hold your ground and report sexual harrasment of any sort to Human Resources as soon as possible. Hope you learnt something. God bless.

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  1. Sexual harassment is every where, boss to subordinate, staff to staff, So called platonic friendship…. The men who do this obviously feel they have more power than the woman and so they harass. Some sexually harass by describing explicit sex scenes with a previous lover or may imaginative, it’s all to get the lady to have sex with them. I’m glad you weren’t raped.
    That’s where it ends.

    1. True that Deb, sexual harrasment is all around us…surely that man could have raped me if he wanted to. We thank God I came out it safely!

  2. “If he was cyclops my body would have been perforated with holes.” That is such a disgusting and deplorable way to treat a woman, and I’m sorry you had to experience it. Not that a work relationship is appropriate, but he could have at least had the decency to approach you as a gentleman. Apparently though. his position of power has filled his head with fantasies in regards of how women can and should be treated. I’m a man, and I LOVE women but I would never, in my lifetime be so disrespectful. Ughhh, sorry again you had to go through that.

    1. I really wish there were more men like you out there. Its sad that so many women have to deal with this constantly! But we all to learn as go and through other people’s experience as well and celebrate the little victories when we escape unscathed. Thank you for reading 🙂

  3. Oh my goodness! Thank God you’re safe! I admire your boldness to write such experience. I had a similar experience when I was looking for a job but it didn’t pushed through as well. Let’s keep safe! 🙂

  4. Ugh I’m sorry you had to go through this. I’ve been through it and it’s the most uncomfortable thing ever. It made me change how I wore my hair and how I dress.
    If a guy compliments something I’m wearing, I’ll never wear it again. The situations I went through freaked me out that much.

  5. That is an eye opener to all the youngsters who reach to have anything for the sake of job! Obviously it’s important but to secure oneself of devilish intentions should be of a higher priority!!

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