The last time I worked a corporate job, I was in my early twenties. I was an intern trying to gain some experience but I quit the job barely three months after I got it. The married men in the company preyed on the interns like hungry animals to the point that I felt uncomfortable going to the office. After I quit my job, I swore that I would never go back to a corporate job and worked as a freelancer for almost four years.
However, business dwindled and money became tight which forced me to look for a corporate job. It wasn’t easy finding a job nor did I expect it would be. I had been sending job applications with no luck for almost a year then I came across a job ad that seemed like it was meant for me. As I read through the requirements, I felt a rush of excitement and before I could finish reading, I started drafting my application letter. I sent the email and the waiting game began.
Somehow, I felt like this was the one. I was right. They called me for an interview a few days later and I got a call that I had got the job the day after the interview. It was a good job with a good salary and it felt like a dream come true.
“Congratulations.” My friend said as I briefed her on my first day at work.
“Thanks. I had a great day. My coworkers are so nice. One of them even took me for lunch.”
“Really? On the first day?”
“Yes. He’s so nice.”
“Is he married?”
“I don’t know but I didn’t see a ring.”
“You know those married men like the new girls.”
“Anyway, I’m happy for you.”
It had been so long that I had almost forgotten about my experience in the corporate world until my friend reminded me. I tried to keep my mind off such negative thoughts since I tend to overthink things and make rush decisions. However, nothing seemed amiss with the new job so far. In my previous job, the men would make blatant sexual remarks about our bodies in front of the whole office. We were like pieces of meat to them.
The men at the new job seemed respectful. Still, I couldn’t let my guard down. For the next month, everything went well. I got to know my coworkers well and found out who was married and who wasn’t. Trust the office girls to fill you in on everyone’s business.
“Nick flirts with everyone.” One of my coworkers said.
“What about Francis?”
“He’s a good guy but he’s married.”
Francis was the guy who had taken me to lunch the day I joined the company. He had been very respectful and genuinely wanted to get to know me. Additionally, he always passed by my desk to say hi. When I found out that he was married, I respected him even more.
We became good friends in a short period of time and I got to know a lot about him. He had a side hustle selling kitchen equipment and I bought some stuff from him to support his business.
“Finally I got your number.” He texted me after I paid for my items through M-PESA.
“Did you want my number? You could have just asked me.”
“You know I don’t like to force issues.”
I didn’t think it was strange that he went through his M-PESA messages to get my number. On the contrary, it was exactly who Francis was. He was too respectful to ask for my number like a young boy.
However, I started getting a series of texts from Francis in the evening. Again, there was nothing wrong with this but I didn’t expect him to be texting me in the evening, especially since he was married.
“Good evening, Grace.” He started.
“I just wanted to tell you that you’re so beautiful.”
“Did you fall from heaven because you’re an angel?”
“I want to feel your body against mine.”
“I want to kiss you all over your beautiful body.”
I didn’t reply to any of his texts because I didn’t know whether it was a setup or not. Additionally, I didn’t know how to reply to such texts coming from a married coworker.
When I got to the office the next day, Francis acted as if he didn’t know what had happened last night. He had also deleted all the texts so I knew that he knew exactly what I was talking about.
“You sent me inappropriate texts last night.” I confronted him.
“Honestly, I don’t remember.”
“Okay but if you do it again I will tell the HR.”
I wasn’t going to quit my job again just because a married man couldn’t control himself. I knew the right steps to take and I was going to if it got to that point.
However, it seems like Francis didn’t take me seriously because that same night, he started sexting me again. It happened several other nights despite my constant warnings until I reached my limits.
“Francis has been sending me inappropriate messages on WhatsApp for a few weeks and it’s making my life miserable.” I wrote an email to HR accompanied by screenshots of the messages.
We were both called for a meeting by HR and Francis admitted to sending me the messages. I broke down in tears since I finally felt like I was getting justice for everything I had experienced in the corporate world. Francis wasn’t fired but he was given a warning about his conduct.
From that day, he stopped sending me any kind of messages or even greeting me in the morning. He acted as if he didn’t know me which I was fine with. At least I wasn’t getting harassed and I could work in peace.
Word got around that I had told HR what had happened to me and no one wanted to associate with me anymore. I had to quit since I had no friends and going to work was becoming a nightmare.
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