Archive for November, 2017

Was this harassment or not?

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

More than ten years ago when I was working at a hourly college job, my supervisor came up with this grand idea for a team outing. For every alcoholic drink we drank, we could charge an hour. I was the only one underage at the time and by that social outing, I had already decided that I wouldn’t ever drink. But I felt obligated to go, so I went. At the bar, my supervisor got upset when I refused to drink. “You can have juice,” he angrily said.

My coworkers didn’t notice. I got assigned the role of keyholder. But as the night wore on, I hated the idea. People became stupider and I wanted to go, but of course being an insecure college kid, I felt like I couldn’t leave.

By the end of the night, I was pissed and unhappy. And being a contemporary of that time, I went back to my apartment and promptly described the event on my blog.

And also at that time, everyone read each other’s blogs. My supervisor imed me and immediately asked me to modify it. That I could leave it up, but I had to remove the word “my supervisor”. It would get him fired, he said. After some consideration, I took it down, because I decided that it would hurt him.

My memory of the event and the events that happened consequently are fuzzy. This wasn’t sexual harassment. But it was coercion and I certainly felt powerless. I was also very insecure and lacking confidence. I didn’t know if people would punish me for having gone along with the idea. Plus with the fact that I didn’t drink, I was already super insecure about my personal belief and felt that most people wouldn’t accept that about me. And all of that kept me silent for years although in casual conversations here and there, I would openly talk about it.

To this though, I have always wondered what would happened if I did say something? That era is different from today. Blogs and journals were valid evidence of anything. They were only soulful laments of lonely people. But today in this day and age, it means something more.

This is what a blocked driveway is like

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

As a courtesy, I walked up to the car blocking my driveway and tapped on the window. This time though, I was holding so much stuff in my hands—my car keys and three bags (including a bag of laundry), so in that moment, I also accidentally tapped the window with my keys.

The woman in the driver’s seat leapt in surprise. Realizing that it was just me, she rolled down the window. I immediately said tiredly, “I am leaving in a few minutes.”

“You could have just told me! You almost broke my car!”

Stunned, I paused. But then as she rolled up the window, I yelled back, “But you’re blocking my driveway!”

As I stomped down to my car, I knew what was going to happen. I adjusted a few things in my garage and things in my car.
Then suddenly, I saw her back up. Initially, she was only blocking 50% of the driveway, but now she blocked the entire driveway. So I did the only thing that I could do: I drove out and pressed the horn. I knew that this passive aggressive thing was going to happen, but I wasn’t going to go out of my way to be nice. So as I blocked the sidewalk and she blocked my way out, I honked loudly. Pedestrians dressed in their Halloween wear, most likely partially drunk, sauntered by, yelling, “Everyone is just blocking the driveway tonight!”

I wanted to ram her car and she was suggesting me to do it. But I knew exactly what that would entail. So we were not moving. But after 30 seconds, she finally drove off and I followed her. But after about a mile, I gave up and drove to my destination, annoyed and irritated. And realizing that how my impatience has grown as a person who lives in a large city.