Monday, 13 August 2007
Misssy M Career Casebook: The Boss That Looked Like Barry Gibb
Starting a new job has made me think about past experiences vis-à-vis the workplace. I’ve already done the naked German work place experience. So, now it’s time to do the Sexually Harassed by a Boss who looked like Barry Gibb post.
I never really knew much about sexual harassment before I actually started to work in the production company owned by Barry Gibb lookalikey. If I had been asked to describe sexual harassment I probably would have thought it would involve a boss forcing himself on you, a bit of flashing or a wee grab of the boobs; something physical like that. But of course sexual harassment takes many forms, and perhaps it’s the non-physical type that can be the most insidious as it’s not exactly provable, tangible or obvious.
For seven years I was one of the targets of Barry. Given that I have seven years' worth of stories, there’s too much to fit into a blog. So, what follows are little vignettes of hideousness ending with the straw that broke the camel’s back and made me take up the offer of teaching at college.
No 1: The Time I Co-Presented a Live Show
So I’m producing a live news magazine show that is broadcast at a major industry Expo. I've everything to prove having only been in the job a month. The co-anchor pulls out two days before the Expo and Barry insists I fill in. As well as script and produce the bloody thing.
I have, at this point, no presenting experience and I’m pretty sure I was total shit. The makeshift “studio” in the Expo is right next to outside doors and it is freeeezing. And like most girls and, I believe, blokes when it gets cold nipples protrude slightly. I am not immune to this. For some reason I am not wearing a jacket whilst on air and Barry is making a fucking nuisance of himself in the control gallery (i.e: I am as useful technically as a chocolate toaster, but I own the company so I will hang out in the gallery doing fuck all in order to impress young ladies)
He spots the nipples on the screen.
His day is made.
I never ever hear the end of how “Misssy gets sexually aroused whilst on camera”. For the next six years he will tell this story over and over again to everybody he ever meets. Usually in my presence.
No2. The Night out on the Day after I tell him I am Pregnant.
As if telling him I was pregnant wasn’t hideous enough:
“Meeester and I are expecting a baby”, I say.
“Fucking hell, I thought you were into your career! This is way out of the blue”
The next night a range of us are out for some kind of work's do. Barry is pissed and is sitting next to me, as he always seems to be on these occasions, no matter how hard I try to engineer otherwise.
The following conversation can be heard by everyone, including those not even in our party.
“Fuck, I can’t believe you’re pregnant”
“That’s fucking it for you”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re finished. After this you’ll be a mum, you’ll be past it”
“You won’t be a shag anymore, you’ll be a frump. Seen it happen a million times”
And so on……..
The Straw that Breaks the Camel’s Back
It is the Christmas Party.
6pm: For the seventh year running Barry has organised the tables so that I am sat next to him. Apparently I have not gone "frumpy" enough to be demoted from the position of “Person I’d Most Like to Abuse my Power Over”.
Oh, and this year’s a special one as Barry’s wife has finally found out he’s a womanising dirty bastard and has filed for divorce. Barry is drinking heavily.
8pm: Dinner is over, I run to find my friends and try and leave Barry’s, no doubt suggestive, conversation behind me.
I am up dancing with one of these friends and all of a sudden I feel a looseness to my dress, which is a spaghetti strap number that ties at the back. Barry has pulled the string. Thankfully, I am in time to catch it and not see the whole ensemble fall to the floor revealing entire naked body except for Bridget Jones pants.
10pm: Barry drinks some more. He is really bloody pissed and is seen in tears in front of other target of sexual harassment declaring how sad he is since wife left him two weeks before their Silver Wedding anniversary. Boo Bloody Hoo!
11pm: I am sitting with a bunch of my work mates when Barry stumbles over and tries to hold court. Everyone can’t tell him to fuck off since he’s the boss. We all humour him except for Delightful New Start who loudly, innocently and drunkenly asks, “Who’s the wanker?”
I practically clap with delight. Delightful New Start is now my favourite person.
11.30pm: I am thinking of going home. A taxi is called, but it will be twenty minutes so I rejoin group. Barry reappears. He is now talking to Delightful New Start who is more than a little pissed, as he has just stopped being a student and can’t believe his luck at the free bar.
This is the part of the conversation I have no option but to hear,
“…except for Misssy. Hey Misssy, I bet you’re one” shouts Barry across the table, gate-crashing into any conversation I might have been having with someone a lot nicer.
“Bet I’m what?”
“A screamer, a moaner. C’mon you are, aren’t you?” *************************************
I wake up next morning and promptly write out my notice.