A woman shouldn’t have to wonder if a man is hitting on her in a work setting if he asks her to grab lunch or a drink.
I never used to wonder that, until I had to.
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A man at a company I worked for asked me to lunch because he was newer to the organization and wanted to learn more about me and what I was doing.
I almost always say yes to grabbing a drink, coffee or lunch with people. I didn’t think much of it.
When it came time for lunch, we took his car and went to a sushi place that was a bit of a drive to get to. Apparently, he knew someone who worked there. I didn’t think much of it.
They sat us at a private table in the back. I didn’t think much of it.
He didn’t let me order but instead they gave us a custom preset meal for lunch. I didn’t think much of it.
He insisted on paying for it. I didn’t think much of it.
When it was time to leave we headed to his car. He pointed out the condos across the way. He told me he lived there. Asked if I wanted to check it out. And then it hit me.
I politely declined. But he kept insisting. I pretended I had a work meeting and I quickly texted my friend to call me and we didn’t hang up until I was back at the office.
It didn’t matter that I was a VP and he was a manager. It didn’t matter that I was married at the time with two kids. To him, it just didn’t matter.
I did as I would have told anyone to do. I brought it up to my higher ups. One person I informed told me I should feel flattered that “I still had it after having kids”.
I felt so uncomfortable anytime I was in the office and he was there. He tried several more times to grab a drink/meal again. He was persistent and I was very direct with a hard no, but it took several months for this to end, and only when he moved on to someone else.
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