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comment by _refugee_
_refugee_  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 4, 2017

Well, here's a weird story.

My brother, home for the holidays from Portland, and I went to our local Goodwill donation site to drop stuff off for our family. We've done this frequently over the years, though him obviously less so since, you know, Portland. He's two years older than me. We're both in our twenties.

There were two guys there at the site to help us unload. They were large, and about as appealing as you'd expect of them, them being humans employed by Goodwill to perform menial labor, not really talk to people, and certainly not to count out change accurately or show you where housewares are with a smile. It went basically fine until the end.

OK, it went basically fine if I ignore how every time I tried to pick up anything and take it to the shed they took it out of my hands before I got three steps out, while mostly letting my brother lift and walk any things he pleased. Don't you know that women can't carry things? Including pillows. But hey, not having to carry things is not something one usually gripes over.

But then as we walked back to my car, the larger, more sadly-straggly-bearded lump asked me: "'Zzat your dad, helping?"

I was puzzled. Quite, in fact. I scoped the whole parking lot for some man anywhere who might be mistaken for my dad. My first thought was that there must be some brown-haired, older man in a car just down the lot or something who I hadn't seen, who looked vaguely like me.

"What?" I asked.

"Is he your dad?" the troll said. This time he gestured towards my brother. "You know, your dad, or, or, or something?"

"Uuhhh, that's my brother," I said to him. He had a gap in his front teeth and his eyes were cinched in the middle by his cheekfat. And, at 300 pounds, employed at Goodwill, and (I did the mental math) quite probably living in his parents' basement, trying to hit on me.


My bro and I talked about it as we drove off. We agreed it was weird, gross, yuck, just inappropriate. The funny thing was that I had kind of shrugged it off by the time we got around the block. Because gross men hit on woman all the time. Because I've been asked that before, repeatedly. Because "it just happens."

My brother went home, got drunk, peeved, and then he emailed the head of HR for our area Goodwill. That head's a she, by the way, which encouraged him as well. At least when you tell a woman about a guy hitting on you she doesn't try to say you're being too sensitive, or that you're arrogant.

She got back to him at 6 am the next day. And now he's talking to someone in their Risk Management this week. He's keeping me posted and I'm at least curious. Could be a lawsuit, I guess. I bet all it'd take to get a lawyer interested in a story like this would be Goodwill, ignoring that email. (Not that I'd go to one. I told you. I'd written it off.)


It's weird. I'm interested to see how it progresses and also agree that that employee shouldn't be hitting on chicks half his age while he's on the clock at his job.

But I can't help but notice, and think it's funny, that this is happening because my brother saw and got pissed off and escalated the situation - so in a way, I'm weirdly voiceless, and a guy's standing up for me because another guy was disgusting, and while this is about women and gender and stuff like that, our MCs so far are 3/4 men. And certainly, I guess, is the hero.


Hey, don't they say that if you're white and see a black person get discriminated against it's your job to speak up because you have the power, because you're the majority, because you have the privilege? That could be the angle here. That probably is.

But still. It's weird.

At least he's not getting me kicked out of bars for calling the bartender pregnant anymore, I guess.

goobster  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I read through the whole thread, and all of your responses, and I see one thing that has not been mentioned: Agency.

You had no agency in "cheeks" asking if the man with you was your dad.

You have no agency in the actions your brother is taking on your behalf.

Rest assured, Cheeks will lose his job. I have friends who are in both Management and Training at Goodwill, and one strike is enough to put you on the black list. They aren't hiring the cream of the crop at Goodwill. They are giving people an opportunity to pull themselves out of whatever hole they are in, by providing free job training, counseling, and other services people need to get back on their feet. So they have a very quick fuse. If you cause any sort of problem, you are out. There is always another person waiting behind you for the opportunity, and Goodwill needs to get people through the system and trained so they become productive employees, as opposed to unproductive trainees.

This man will now lose access to that opportunity permanently, because there was a claim made against him.

Goodwill will do the right thing and talk to your brother about the experience, and will do most of this verbally instead of in a written format, because it is a discovery process.

However all of these actions and activities are being taken on your behalf, because your brother has robbed you of your agency in this situation.

You chose to simply ignore Cheek's request. That was you taking the action you felt was appropriate to the situation.

I have no horse in this race, or have a position to defend in this situation. I'm just stating the facts in a way that might encourage you to take an active role - to regain your agency - in this situation.

I equate your brother taking action on your behalf as equally as demeaning to you as Cheeks' initial comment hitting on you. These are two men who have acted in their own interest, with you as the fulcrum.

Personally, I would not be happy in that place. I would feel used. That's my $0.02.

_refugee_  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I really appreciate this comment because I think it helps me to understand some of the feelings I described from the very first post I made.

goobster  ·  503 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for hearing my thought, and not getting wound up with my clumsy words. I'm glad you got something from my post.

steve  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  


Thanks - I just spit coke all over my desk...

cgod  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Read through the comments and it's a pretty dissatisfying thread. Not much gained from the dialog.

I used to wait tables at a place that was half restaurant and half gay bar (they liked to have a few token straight guys on staff). I know what it's like to be hit on. Techniques ran the gambit but I've dealt with more than enough stuff that was straight up lewd. It could be awkward but I can't say it ever really upset me. I was asked if I was gay a whole bunch of times, which most the time was what you would call a pick up line. Some times I felt bad giving the brush off, nice guy, not being sleazy, just interested, and lord knows I've been given the brush off enough times.

Bachlorette parties are worse, way worse. It's not pick up time, I've have them devolve into straight up sexual assault. Really bold grabbing of dicks and ass. Not often but It happens. I don't know if males had some kind of public ritual that included dick straws, vibrators and what not sitting out on a resturant table if people would be so cool about it. Once again I didn't let it ruffle my feathers, just hope the tip was good.

I'm a large man, even when I was a thinner better looking me I stood 6'2" and 200lbs. I can't be threatened by this stuff. Maybe it makes a significant difference.

It's far more upsetting to be called fat, stupid or ugly on the job (I've been called all three). I was referred to as the 'smug chubby' about ten times in a yelp review. I only let this kind of shit get under my skin for a moment, no profit in internalizing it. I'd rather get hit on or mildly sexually assaulted.

I met my wife on the job, I asked her out on the job. I would have asked her out a lot sooner but I knew she had a boyfriend. When she finally shook him I took my chance and she said yes, it's a whole cute story that I won't go into now. I've asked quite a few women out when I was at work. I never did it cold (not that there is anything wrong with saying "Hey, I get off shift in 5 minutes, wanna grab a drink with me next door to a person you just met), they were people whom I had pleasant exchanges with in the past. I never expected that any woman would say yes, but I wasn't afraid to see if they might be interested in having a drink, or going to show, or grabbing a bite to eat with me. It never upset me if they politely declined or even if I got shot down. This is how people met before the internet, your generation doesn't get to redefine everything down to swipes.

If a person can't take the brush off with grace, that's a problem. There were more than a few times when I was bartending that I've had to tell a guy "the lady isn't interested, leave her alone or get the fuck out." Few things I admire more than a lady who can do this kind of thing for themselves but direct action isn't for everyone.

People who work at goodwill are for the most part broken. I work near a goodwill drop off trailer, I can see their trailer with their shitty broken hopeful propaganda emblazoned on the side right out the front window of my shop down the block. The immigrants who work for goodwill are largely normal, intelligent and capable people who just need a leg up while they find their place in their new home. The natives are just fucked. I call the main native who works the trailer "Mr. Dirty Shirt." You would not believe how dirty his shit is. I have never worked in the yard all day and gotten this dirty. I could climb in my chimney and not get this dirty. If you work at goodwill You are fucked in one of or in more than one of three ways, you are physically broken, you are mentally or you are socially broken. Your life is shit, it will probably always be shit, you will probably never know a lovers touch who you respect, you will never own anything of significant monetary value and all your happiness will be transient, waiting for the next explosion of the one of the three reasons you are working at goodwill to step forward and take primacy in your daily existence.

To be uncomfortable by the behavior of a good will employee is like the discomfort one experiences when exposed to cold weather. Despite the fact that it's unpleasant, it's some force of nature shit. There is no other path for a fair number of Goodwill employee's. They aren't working there because they need an employee, they are working there because an otherwise unemployable person needs work (and the CEO makes about 1mil a year, it's good reason to preserve the system).

It's lame that your brother decided to white knight you. You seem like a more than capable person who can take care of her own business. Don't know that I added anything to the conversation but after starting to comment twice and aborting I decided to just get it off my chest.

thenewgreen  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Perhaps you can paint the picture better for me, because I don't really understand how he was hitting on you by asking if someone was your dad? That seems like an odd way to try to win the affection of someone you find attractive. But then, I'm old and have been out of the "game" a long time. I definitely don't see where there is a potential lawsuit. What am I missing?

Honest question, what if this troll with his cheekfat were actually a really attractive and articulate man/woman that were more to your liking, would them asking if the person you were with was your father still disturb you as much?

Again, this is likely a case of me not getting it cause I've never had to experience it. I'm not ever hit on and I never do the hitting either. -strange term. "Hit on," -doesn't sound very appealing, does it?

Regardless of my lack of understanding, I'm sorry to hear you had a crappy experience at Goodwill. They seem to be an organization dedicated to supporting the underprivileged and families with special needs. Bummer they hired someone that made you feel that way.

_refugee_  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So, he was trying to determine my relationship to my brother.

Can I ask you, if you were interacting with a guy and a girl you'd just met, what are the circumstances in which you'd want to know what their relationship was? You'd want to know if you wanted to know if the girl was single or not. You'd want to know if that guy was her boyfriend because you wouldn't want to try to hit on someone in front of their boyfriend. And let's drill down even more and get real specific: when would you ask the girl what her relationship to the dude was? Why? Cuz he didn't turn to both of us and go, "Oh, you related?" That's ok, if awkward, small talk. But he ignored my brother, and he asked me.

If I were alone, it'd be "Hey, you got a boyfriend?" But because I was with a guy, who might be that boyfriend, (who might get an attitude if he thought GW was hitting on his girl in front of him, or whatever) the inquiry went a little subtler.

Maybe you're saying, "If you look really similar, I could see a stranger asking if you were related!"

Yes, but then why did he say "Dad" instead of "brother", which would be the obvious choice if he thinks we're related due to how close in age we are?

I'm just throwing this out there, how many times has a stranger asked you how you know the person you're hanging out with as an attempt to start a conversation? I'm willing to bet the answer is "never."

It's certainly a fucking awkward choice for small talk, though I guess if you want you can suggest that the guy simply is socially awkward (after all, we'll never know) and his remark was totally innocent, if completely weird. Then why wouldn't he ask both people a question both could answer? If we're going back to "he's fucking awkward," that's fine, again there's no way we'll ever know, but what percentage of the population is that fucking awkward?

Is he that fucking awkward, and also so bad at guessing people's ages that he could legitimately mistake a guy two years my senior, who doesn't have gray hair or a beard or wrinkles or any of the marks of even middle age, for my father? I mean, even if he is bad at ages how young could he possibly think I was - 16? - even then, to have a 16 year old kid you're going to be like, 36. Minimum.

He wanted to know if my brother was my boyfriend. But if he said "Is he your boyfriend," it would be even more stunningly obvious that he was trying to hit on me. He probably knew it would be inappropriate. So instead he blurted out the next platonic role a male might have in my life, "father."


It's a potential lawsuit because if the employee has a history of customer complaints/acting inappropriately, and Goodwill has been informed of incidents like this and knowingly ignored them, they're liable for his pattern of behavior which starts to look more like sexual harassment with every additional woman he's sexually awkward to. It's a potential lawsuit if he's got a history of this pattern of behavior, as evidenced by background checks or similar, and Goodwill hired him and put him in a situation to continue it anyway.

It's a potential lawsuit because employers are liable for the behavior of their employees, particularly when they're on the job, and definitely absolutely if they've been alerted to that behavior before, or time and time again.

If a customer feels an employee behaved inappropriately towards them, I guess the most correct option is to raise to management and let them decide. It seems that's what they're doing here.

I feel like if I were an employer, I'd want to know if a customer felt uncomfortable. If it was spurious I could dismiss it. if it was small, maybe I wouldn't address it right away - but I'd at least have a little heads up there might be a problem down the line.


Honest answer: I hate getting hit on, especially by strangers, certainly by strangers who work at Goodwill, and definitely by people who I am forced to interact with repeatedly in the future (who I can't avoid because I have to go to the places they work) regardless of how I receive their advances.

Don't hit on someone who will be forced to interact with you in the future because they go to your establishment for business purposes. You're just making it fucking awkward for everyone. It's rude.

Again, I'll reiterate what I said to flag: this is a weird experience for me because I am so not a part of what is occurring as a direct result to how I was treated. On the other hand, if I were alone and went to that Goodwill and the guy asked me if I had a boyfriend, I wouldn't want to go back there for quite a while without someone else along. Because it would feel weird and I wouldn't like that attention.

I don't mind talking to strangers. But when a stranger hits on me, someone I've never talked to in my whole life before, I feel gross. When someone who doesn't know you hits on you, it's not a compliment - they literally don't know a thing about you, let alone whether those things interest them. Think about it. "Hey, it's me, a total stranger who felt so compelled by the symmetry of your features and the size of your bod that I couldn't leave you alone to do whatever you're out in the world doing without intruding upon it and making my attraction to you known!"

Now, there's flirting. If you're cute and you're subtle and there's a reason for your interaction, you can flirt with a stranger. But that reason should be something like "She dropped all her groceries and I stopped to pick them up" or "He grabbed the last Coke Zero right when I reached for it!" and flirting is done with no intention. A flirt understands he will probably never see you again, and that's life, but in this moment you're kind of cute so he wants to make you smile. He doesn't care if you have a boyfriend because he's not trying to date some stranger he ran into in the produce section at Acme. He has a life. He has a way to meet women. Or she, whatever.

Too long, and full of fucks, and ranty. But as a woman, I know a guy hitting on me when it happens. And the thing I know just as well as "getting hit on" is "guys telling me I wasn't getting hit on because the person wasn't literally telling me he wanted to date me."

Conversation has two levels; Text, subtext. The text of his question was "Is that your dad?" The subtext was, "Are you single? I'm interested."

steve  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Honest answer: I hate getting hit on, especially by strangers

Wait... but I was TOTALLY hitting on you in Philly that time we met...

(I kid... I kid...)

Bummer about the whole situation.

oyster  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So I deal with this stuff a lot, probably since I was 13 and there's a lot of subtle things men do that make other men think well wait crap that seems harmless, what if I did that and it was misread. The thing is you wouldn't. There's making small talk and then there's making one comment out of nowhere plus body language plus ignoring the woman's obvious body language. What I've realized as I've grown is that they aren't ignoring the body language at all. You wouldn't continue to stare at a woman who looked extremely uncomfortable but some men would because making that woman feel small is their goal. Then there's the difference between looking and leering which often times men think well it's only leering if the guys unattractive. Except no, looking = friendly, possibly flirty and thinking the woman looks interesting or attractive while leering = wondering what the woman asshole tastes like, it's weirdly violating.

A lot of the time we brush off the uncomfortable feeling, try and laugh it off then carry on with our days. I've been doing that since I was very young and I hate thinking about it. I hate when it happens to other woman who remind me of younger me.

Here's an example: a guy at the bar wouldn't stop trying to get me to do a shot with him the other night even after I said no I have no idea who you are go away multiple times and keep in mind I've transitioned from polite to bitchy in these encounters. It was easy for me to be bitchy because I'm friends with a lot of people at the bar however if I wasn't I would have felt very uncomfortable. Now any guy who has ever offered a girl a drink in a bar is remembering that and relating to this guy so they're thinking whoa whoa whoa slow down, what if people thought that about me ? Well would you ever argue with a woman who said no first off ? If so would you say something like are you sure once while smiling or would you get more aggressive in how you were looking and start whining for her to just do the shot with you multiple times ?

I wrote this all out because I think since other woman get it so quickly we expect the same of men. I've realized we really can't though because men can't just understand how woman experience life if we don't fully explain it so when somebody seems open to understanding I like to take that opportunity.

_refugee_  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

in this subthread: 95% men telling women that surely, the woman's wrong (and if she's wrong, exactly how terrible it's going to be for the man as a result, with the implication of oh how bad she should feel)

You know what I have learned from lots of years dating and not dating lots of guys? A whole lot of them will say whatever they think is needed in order to get the girl they're talking to to go home with them. I've had guys hit on me by telling me they're not hitting on me.

And everyone gets so hung up on informing the woman that surely, she was wrong, she's overreacting, she's misconstruing, that the real problem, which is that she felt really uncomfortable, (uncomfortable at best) gets completely glossed over.

It's real funny too that the woman goes "That was uncomfortable, I didn't like that" and prepares to dismiss the interaction for the most part but when a dude is involved, he goes "That was uncomfortable, his behavior was inappropriate, and I'm reporting it immediately to management."

oyster  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Dude, society even does that to rape and sexual assault victims. The fact that our culture makes woman feel bad for somehow ruining mens lives by reporting things men do is ridiculous. Then of course the cherry on top is the well why don't woman report things ? My favourite has to be that you're getting a man fired due to your brother's actions. Damn woman and our mind control powers.

Quatrarius  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

am i able to question you without losing my woman card because i gotta say i really do need this card

AnSionnachRua  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is living up to the American reputation of suing for everything.

thenewgreen  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I couldn't agree more.

Edit: to be very clear, in no way do I think _refugee_ is wrong for being annoyed, pissed or disgusted by unwarranted flirtations, or being unwantingly "hit on." However, I do think we are way too litigious as a society and that which can be sorted out socially, ought to be.

flagamuffin  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

alternate reading: an ugly person talked to you, now you're getting them fired

i wasn't there, but that's the angle your story sells. i imagine there's more to it, because you're a nice person and wouldn't go to great lengths unless there was some reason to

oyster  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  


A MAN emailed goodwill while a WOMAN did not yet here you are telling a WOMAN she's getting a guy fired ? How exactly ? Are her bothers actions her responsibility ? Is he not a free thinking person capable of making his own choices, and typing his emails ? Did you type this comment or did your mother ?

flagamuffin  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

my MOTHER typed this COMMENT as a matter of FACT ?

_refugee_  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So, I actually haven't talked to a single person employed by Goodwill. This experience is interesting and somewhat surreal for me because, although I'm the "victim" here, or the target, or at least the person around whom everything happened, I'm an absolute bystander to the escalation. They haven't even asked to speak to me.

I'd be shocked if the guy lost his job from this. It's pretty hard to fire someone for cause. A one-off like this might be a verbal or written warning, but unless he has a history of customer complaints or other issues at work against him, he's not going nowhere.

kleinbl00  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It's pretty hard to fire someone for cause.

It's super-easy to terminate their contract for no reason, though. Especially as Goodwill primarily employs the disabled. Barring that, it's incredibly easy to make a disciplinary mark that prevents someone from ever being promoted or, in this case, ever be in a customer-facing position ever again.

_refugee_  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ look at me, the person in the situation who is literally not responsible for any of this happening, and doesn't have the magic ability to read men's minds and stop them from saying (or typing and emailing) whatever they want to, to whomever they want.

At the end of the day, Goodwill doesn't care about me so much as they care about their disgruntled customer. As evidenced by the fact that Risk Management told my brother they'd like to call and discuss this with him further. Ain't nobody ask for me. I could be fiction for all they know.

GW sees ruffled feathers; they'll soothe ruffled feathers. If they were worried about the law or the paper, I think they'd first at least ascertain my existence. I feel like if they were going to fire the guy, even, it would be due diligence to get my version - not fire a guy based on another guy recounting what the first guy said to the other guy's sister.

And if they're going to fire him for "no cause" aka really hearsay, which means going through the trouble and expense of hiring someone new and burning the time to train them, AKA impacting their bottom line and all that corporate shit, well fuck. They'll fire anyone for any reason then.

I haven't seen any headlines about Goodwill being trigger happy, have you?

kleinbl00  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That discussion you linked to last time? Remember my response?

    The only person who can do anything about your brother's behavior is you.

I wasn't there. I don't want to be there. But I also know that the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace is not known for its compassion and I know that people who unload rags for Goodwill are hanging on for dear life.

It sounds like you wouldn't have done anything. Great. I wouldn't have either. Occasionally the folx at Goodwill act weird around my kid. I presume this is because they aren't firing on all cylinders. Might not be my most charitable assessment but I'll suspect people of stupid more often than I'll suspect them of mean.

    They'll fire anyone for any reason then.

Exactly this. "Say the wrong thing and you're on the street." I recognize that you feel no culpability in this situation but if you honestly feel that no harm was done to you, you have an obligation to tell your brother to inform Goodwill that you feel no harm was done to you.

I have a friend. He was a youth pastor at a Christian camp. Then an 11-year-old decided he was too disciplinarian so he told his mommy my buddy made him feel uncomfortable by talking about his penis. Now my buddy fixes HVAC for apartments. No hearing, no recourse, just "sorry, that's the end of that career." Let's hear it for at-will employment.

I get that you're a bystander in all this. Do you get that continuing to be one is not necessarily the most virtuous position to take?

_refugee_  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

His email expressed that he and I both felt uncomfortable after describing the bare facts of what happened. And yeah, I did feel uncomfortable when the guy in his 30s-40s, closer to my dad's age than mine, asked if my two-years-older brother was my dad. That was fucking weird, man. And my takeaway is that he was trying to hit on me, yes. I've said elsewhere that if similar happened when I was in my own I would not feel comfortable returning to that Goodwill alone. It's up to mgmt at Goodwill to decide what their tolerance is.

I'm not trying to be virtuous; I'm trying to be honest, and I'm trying to be me. Your friends' 11 year old, meanwhile, was being a vindictive bitch. How'd they turn out as parents?

Here's a story. There's a grocery store near me I've avoided for 10 years because when I was 16 a lifer bag boy took a shining to me such that if he sees me, like he did last month, he comes up to me, tries to start a conversation, and if I "was nice" and just "humored him" and talked back he would follow me around the store for my entire shopping expedition or until whatever manager responsible for him saw what was happening and sent the guy away from me and back to work. I don't want to talk to this person. He's just as creepy as the guy at Goodwill. Actually, creepier, because I know I'm not the only girl he focuses on like that. Mgmt there deals with that by being a little more attentive and pulling him off of the customers he fixates on, getting him away from them and back to work. Funny how it always happens to be the cute young female customers he wants to make friends with, though, not anybody else.

Acmecreep still works there. Yeah, I got to run into him like twice last month. Once he came up behind me and stood there for 15 minutes while I used the change machine. I can hear it now: "He was probably just on his break!" Yeah, that's a nice coincidence.

You know how you were a kid once and you played "Not touching you"? You'd all gang up on someone and get as close as possible and chant "Not touching you, not touching you, not touching you!" And then when the kid was like "STOP!" you all were like "We're not doing anything!" and fucking rioted with laughter? How do you go about telling the special 40 year old who's a lifetime bag/cart boy to leave you alone when technically he's not doing anything? Just standing there six inches behind you doing nothing. Just watching you. When you turn in his direction you can see him straighten up and try to catch your eye.

What I do is I go to different fucking Acmes. What a great solution, right. At least cartboy's not fired, I guess that makes me virtuous.

Better call that a/c man because your anecdote just got burned right back. Kind of feel like goodwill is more like acme than Jesus camp when it comes to retention methods but hell, what do I know?

kleinbl00  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The basic problem - set aside that in your estimation, this guy is extra creepy - is that flirting requires violating social code. Period. Full stop. By any HR manual you care to consult, there shall be no fraternization at school, work or church, between providers and clients, between friends and neighbors, and ugh oh god who wants to meet someone at a bar they're so sketchy.

Which means - set aside that in your estimation, this guy is extra creepy - that Western society effectively depends on people brave enough to risk a harassment charge in order to forward the development of relationships and families. I'm sure you've been through your fair share of cringe-worthy sexual harassment training at this point to know that the the gauge for "unwelcome attention" is "when the other person says it's unwelcome." But that's not what's happening here. The other person's brother is telling HR to tell you it's unwelcome.

Your bag boy example is of an establishment you've avoided for ten years rather than tell someone "could you leave me alone, please?" In your example at the goodwill, it didn't even get that far. This isn't a case of not taking a hint, this is a case of three sentences exchanged.

And yes. My friend's 11-year old was being a vindictive bitch. But just like you live in a world of creepy 300lb Goodwill loaders, we live in a world of vindictive 11-year-old bitches. You? I mean, your honor was insulted by a male of a lower caste and now your brother is demanding vengeance from his liege-lord. you might as well just put on the fuckin' niqab and be done with it.

I don't understand how it can be feminist to require a world so nerfed-out that you never have an uncomfortable conversation with a male.

oyster  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I avoid this Shwarma place since this one guy would spend the entire time asking me if I had a boyfriend yet or was married and telling me he wanted me to have his babies. That gets creepy by the time you get to the cash and the next time you come in. He stopped doing that to my sister when she came in holding her baby. I brushed that off sooo hard and just laughed yet I get uncomfortable thinking of going there.

oyster  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is complicated because she does feel there was harm done, it's just that it's an everyday thing that happens and she has figured out how to just brush it off so she can just move on with her life since there's no point in getting mad. As it builds up over the years you end up feeling like shit not for the way men treated you but for the way you let them by brushing all this stuff off. Then you see it happen to other young woman and you feel like shit for being a bystander and letting that culture continue so it could harm other young woman.

Edit: _refugee_ I realize I'm projecting a lot here so correct me if I'm wrong but I'm guessing I'm not far off.

_refugee_  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

see reply to klein; i think there is probably less projection than the maximum which you fear.

Trombone  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Pubski today.

I'm no social or psychological genius, so I just sincerely hope that you get a cathartic conclusion. As a guy, I'll take it as a lesson in self-awareness. Best wishes.

Devac  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't mean to 'dogpile' on you about the reading/interpretation, maybe there was some tone or body language component that made you think that he's hitting on you that can't be really conveyed via text. Perhaps that's something that was lacking from the description? That said, if being eager with help and chit-chat would constitute hitting on someone then I don't think that there was a single client in the bookstore where I was working whom I wasn't trying to seduce ;).

Funny story actually, the only situation where I got into trouble was caused by me not going along with stereotypes. I didn't assume that a woman wasn't buying a book about modern tank design for herself and was annoyed that I would dare to think she would have such a 'masculine' hobby. Almost immediately wanted to talk to 'someone more suited'.

_refugee_  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

See my response to thenewgreen; ask yourself, if you were trying to make small talk, why of all things would you ask a question of a woman which seeks to determine her relationship to the man she's with, as opposed to, I don't know, the weather? The holidays? How much you like their car, or chocolate, or anything else but?

Devac  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  


Look, I was neither attacking you nor defending him. If it matters, I still don't know what to think about it. Being a weirdo who usually can't understand why people get so uppity in response to my questions, let alone determine when someone is hitting on me, I tend to ask follow-up questions while leaning toward the assumption that I'm not the only one who is socially inept. If that's how you felt… OK. On the other hand, I feel like you've read too much into it.

That said, it comes from a biased and annoyed guy who was accused of being 'handsy' with a girl that I wasn't even the slightest bit interested with, just so she would not have to be paired with me during Waltz practice at school. Bygones be bygones, but just like you don't like being hit on I'm usually suspicious about any accusations. That's not about a gender by the way. My response would be pretty much the same if these were reversed.

I only hope that you are not mistaken. That's it from me.

_refugee_  ·  504 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Frankly I'm in the middle of it and don't know what to think about it.

I suspect men are hit on less than women. I think when you're not hit on a lot, it's much harder to recognize and also much easier to doubt another person's claim that they were getting hit on.

Honestly, I wouldn't be going around talking about how this dude possibly hit on me at Goodwill, in any capacity, except for my brother - first, obviously, his involvement. But beyond that, AKA a large part of why I'm confident in "He was hitting on me" territory, is because my brother was there, an observer who wasn't a participant in the conversation but saw the whole thing, and he independently came to the same conclusion about the guy's behavior as I did. I didn't get into the car and say, "Aw man, that guy just hit on me, did you see that??"

As for whether I'm mistaken - I don't think it matters as much as you think, what his intention was. The road to hell is paved with good ones. If I came up to you and got handsy with you because "You looked like you needed a hug and I wanted to make you feel better," that doesn't give me a free pass on intruding your personal space and touching you if you don't want me to do that.

You can always say I didn't intend to do that; it's real easy, in fact, especially afterwards. Kind of like "I'm sorry." You can say it all you want. It doesn't change your actions or the impact of them.