Reluctant to Say, "Me Too"

By
Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565
http://activerain.com/droplet/57W6

I have been following the accounts of women who have been subjected to various forms of sexual harassment in their work places these past several days.  My Facebook is loaded with friends who have posted, “ME TOO.”

 

While I always knew in some form these kinds of incidents were happening, I didn’t realize it was occurring to the extent it was.  I’m probably going to get a little blow-back for my thoughts on this, but I wish to preface my thoughts by telling you about my own experience in this regard.

 

In 1965, I was a young bride, who had returned to work as an insurance policy rater and typist a couple months after having given birth to a son.  My husband was working 5 hours each evening at the local DMV while going to college full time.  We needed the security of my job.  Late one afternoon, while serving my turn cleaning the coffee station prior to the end of the day, I found 4 of our male employees, including the Vice President of Claims sitting at the circular table in the room near the coffee pot.  As I walked an almost full pot of very hot coffee over to the table, I hoped to refill their cups prior to cleaning up the machine.  It was then the vice president decided to put his hand up my skirt while smiling at the other men.  The experience in my head was one where I instantly saw a threat to my job, coupled together with reaction.  My reaction prevailed in the form of pouring the hot coffee into the vice president’s lap.  I put the empty pot down on the table in front of him, and quickly walked into the president’s office, and told him what had just occurred.  I told him if I was going to be fired for it, to please let me know.  The president smiled slightly, and did not threaten me with the loss of my job.  I suspect the vice president had an interesting discussion with his wife that evening about the injury to his upper thighs and other sensitive areas.

I have worked all years since that incident without any further incident.  I have been fortunate to work with wonderful men, who demonstrated respect for women in the workplace - Amazing bosses, supervising brokers, and co-workers.  I am grateful to all of them, especially in light of horror stories being reported in the media these past few weeks.

My advice to women who are enduring this kind of harassment in the work place - QUIT!  No job is worth it.  If you feel you must report it on the way out the door, then do so.  Perhaps, you will be encouraged to stay.  The good news is there are other jobs out there.  You do not need to endure continued abuse!

Looking back, I have one additional suggestion.  Leave the coffee pot full.  Mayhem isn’t exactly a perfect answer either!  And, my coffee pot incident has made me reluctant to say, “Me too.”

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 01/12/2018 01:00 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
California Sacramento County
Groups:
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me too
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Rainmaker
3,227,461
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Myrl

The issue has been here for a long time . . . . the difference is people are will to take about it.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Oct 31, 2017 08:11 PM #26
Rainmaker
1,910,611
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Awesome that he got the coffee in his lap. I'm sure he had no problem at all explaining to his wife. Those guys are usually very good at covering their tracks.

Nov 01, 2017 07:56 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,089,182
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Good for you. I'm betting he never did that to anyone else again.

Nov 04, 2017 03:59 AM #28
Rainmaker
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Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Myrl... loved how you stood up for yourself. If more women did that we wouldn't be seeing/hearing of harrassment today to the extent that we are. I spent almost 20 years in the corporate world and can't recall anyone trying to harrass me... I suspect I'm one of the lucky few as I began in the corporate world at a time when women in that field were the exception rather than the rule. 

Nov 04, 2017 05:05 AM #29
Ambassador
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Nov 04, 2017 07:17 PM #30
Rainmaker
3,240,698
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning @Myrl Jeffcoat ,

I'm so glad you told your story and Kathy Streib featured it. There is no room for brazen overtures experienced by woman and men. It's not right and needs to be called out. The word NO is powerful and can be illustrated even with a pot of coffee!

Nov 05, 2017 04:57 AM #31
Rainmaker
2,576,944
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Good for you on sooo many levels!  Glad I didnt miss this one!

Nov 05, 2017 05:56 AM #32
Rainmaker
2,783,288
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Myrl. Your story is chilling and I'm glad you did what you did. Never should anyone have to take it. Choice allows for your solution or others.

Nov 05, 2017 06:27 AM #33
Rainmaker
2,781,230
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Myrl -- had it not been for Kathy Streib and her weekly Ah-ha moment post, I might have missed this and that would have been a shame.    

Nov 05, 2017 06:31 AM #34
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Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Myrl

Thank you for sharing your experience that must still haunt you! That was the perfect response! These sorts of stories sicken me!! There is far to much of this, for women as well as men; no one should have to be subjected to this sort of harassment and to live in fear of the repurcussions if they report it!

Jeff

Nov 05, 2017 07:06 PM #35
Rainmaker
258,885
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

Good for you!  Hope he still has a few "scars" if you know what I mean. 

Nov 06, 2017 08:29 AM #36
Rainmaker
125,257
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

I am infuriated when I hear of men doing anything close to or exceeding this. I am glad you did what you did. I am unhappy to know that there are women out there that feel like they can't do exactly what you did for fear of losing their jobs. Every person, whether male or female, should respect every other person. Thank you for spreading the word about this horrible problem. 

Nov 06, 2017 01:35 PM #37
Ambassador
1,907,633
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
PK Real Estate Utah South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Myrl, Saw this on Kathy's weekly AH-HA post. Most of us are / were afraid to speak up because of the fear it instills, especially when turned against us. I am glad that women and men are finally telling their stories, it's about time those types are held accountable for their unscrupulous actions! Thank you for writing this important post, perhaps most will come forward.

Nov 06, 2017 04:15 PM #38
Rainer
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Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Good for you Myrl!  You wrote this so well that I could envision the entire scene.  I LOVE it!!

Having worked in the male dominated, automotive industry for most of my adult life, I am happy to report that while I did run into my share of "situations" most of the men that I worked with were amazing, respectful and professional.

I believe that women play a part in setting boundaries and what we allow will continue. There's a lot of mixed signals out there.

Nov 07, 2017 05:07 AM #39
Rainmaker
274,494
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Myrl,

You handled it perfect. The coffee stopped the assault immediately and the boss probably handled the rest. Was that in the 70's?  I don't know what makes some men think it is OK to do that. I was in the workplace from 1966 on and I worked with some rough types early on. They would have clocked someone who did something like that. 

They were respectful rednecks!  At IBM in the 70's we had mandatory classes on sexual harrassment and how to treat co-workers.  In real estate everyone has been real nice.   

Nov 10, 2017 06:17 PM #40
Rainmaker
1,246,596
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

I just admire you Myrl,

great job! Since if you would let him do it, it would never stop....

Nov 11, 2017 03:31 PM #41
Rainmaker
1,246,596
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

And I'm absolutely shocked that this blog post is not featured. We have to fix it.

Nov 11, 2017 03:32 PM #42
Rainmaker
2,036,434
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I want to thank everyone for your amazing comments.  I had become busy after posting this, and I am slow to respond.  I appreciate your contribution to this discussion.

Nov 13, 2017 05:22 PM #43
Rainmaker
3,990,800
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Myrl.  Roy Kelley re-blogged your post and I had to stop by and say good for you.  There's no excuse for this type of behavior.

Jan 12, 2018 04:55 AM #44
Rainmaker
2,270,902
Rebecca Gaujot
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Myrl, I had a similar incident happen to me while working for the House Armed Service Committee on Capital Hill. I was asked why I didn't attend the after work parties. My reply was .. "well, the first time I went to one an old Congressman or Senator (forget which) patted be on the butt. My time after  5pm is my time and I choose not to attend these parties."  I was not fired.

Jan 12, 2018 08:15 PM #45
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Myrl Jeffcoat

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