Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Speaking Out and Eating Out

I had dinner with a woman I used to work with last night. We weren't very close when we worked together but I went to a few concerts with her and over the years we have gotten together once in a while for lunch (I don't think she has too many close friends).

She spent the better part of 4 hours talking about a sexual harassment problem she is having at work (and 2 of her brothers died in the last year) so it wasn't a jolly, laughin' drinkin' fun time.

She is extremely upset because she overheard one guy say to another (across the hall in another cubicle) "I bet you could make her scream" and a few days later she overheard these two guys and a few others talking about their favorite positions (again, across the hall in another cube). I have so many guy friends that it probably wouldn't even phase me to overhear that. Guys talk that locker room trash all the time. Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do ... oh sorry ... this is serious stuff ... right?

She is so sensitive and traumatized by this that she's been losing sleep over it, doesn't want to go to work, can't make it in on time, and has been sending out resumes even though she really likes the job. She complained to management who said they have a zero tolerance policy for this kind of stuff so they had a little chat with the trash talking boys. Now my friend feels that these guys are shunning her. She wants to file a lawsuit but I honestly don't think she has a very good case.

These guys had always been polite to her and never said anything directly to her or even in the same room as her. They didn't know she was still in the office when they made these comments. I told her I think she would be wasting her money on a lawyer and if she was that uncomfortable about it she should start looking for a new job. Would you be offended, complain to management, talk to the guys yourself, laugh it off, or do nothing?

I'm not saying it's right but I don't think it's worth giving up a good job. She may be uncomfortable about it but I don't think she has a case for sexual harassment. Ya know, guys will be guys - they try to act like tough sexual animals around each other and brag about their stamina and sexual prowess. I didn't want to tell her she is overreacting. I felt bad for her but I really think she is sacrificing a great job because of a couple of guys talkin' smack.

I only had one cocktail but I wanted many (especially after the first 2 hours). We split an appetizer of pumpkin ravioli with some sort of reduced vinegar drizzle, I had an entree of rosemary chicken, asparagus and garlic potatoes and we split an amazing dessert of white chocolate, cream, fresh strawberry piece of heaven. I didn't stuff myself and the portions were very small so I don't think it was THAT bad although when you're trying to lose weight any dinner out is over the limit. Restaurants do not skimp on butter, oil and other fats to make their food taste amazing.

It wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have a work lunch at the very same restaurant today. The portions were twice as big and 1/3 of the price on the lunch menu. Why do restaurants charge so much more for dinner. I can understand a few extra dollars but this place had $7-12 lunch dishes and $18-30 dinner entrees. I always feel ripped off - I hate that. I did much better calorie-wise with the lunch. I had a delicious chicken, spinach, tomato and green bean dish (no cocktail, no appetizer and no dessert).

I'm hoping to get through the rest of the week without having to eat out again. It is so much harder to control how many calories I consume when I'm at a restaurant. I try to make good choices (I really wanted a cheesy pasta dinner) but it isn't easy.

I'm looking forward to winter so I can hibernate (actually, I love winter and can't wait to get out and play in the snow). I wonder how much weight a bear loses by hibernating through the winter. Maybe I need to sleep the weight off. Hey, maybe that is the next new diet craze ... they put you to sleep for a few months, feed you through a tube, put you on a machine that exercises your body and you'll wake up thin. I bet people would do it. They'll put you to sleep and you can LOSE 30 POUNDS IN 30 DAYS. It will be all the rage, the celebrities will be flocking to the sleeping spa. Just dream of your new body and wake up with it. Hmmmm ... wouldn't it be nice.

I want to get a good solid week of healthy eating in before facing the big bird next week. I'm determined to get through the weekend without regaining. Wish me luck.


  1. Oh my gosh...that food sounds so good!

    Dinner conversation? Not so much.

    I can understand why she feels uncomfortable...poor thing. But you're are disgusting sex pigs.

  2. ooo I WISH I could sleep off the pounds. I love love love to sleep.

    That sounds like a tough situation your friend is in, but at the same time, I tend to agree with you. while the work place is a place you need to be careful what yo usay because people can interpret it any which way, you are right, guys will be guys sometimes and you are not used to that mindset, I guess I could see why shed be offended.

  3. I agree with the previous commenter - that sounds like a delicious meal!! This is Erin from Our Wicked Weighs - hello! I'm so glad you came by our blog - I do hope you stop by again!

    And tell that woman to chill - seriously!! :-) She needs to loosen up and get a grip on reality, lol.

  4. Your meal sounds delish. Honestly, I think your friend should maybe consider some kind of grief counseling, she may have taken what the guys were saying out of context. I had an employee come to me years ago with the "I can make her scream" comment and they were talking about putting a fake bug on her desk...nothing sexual. It sounds like she is in a bad place and needs some time to re evaluate. I hope she can talk to someone professional and save your nights out for lighter conversation.

  5. I must be a horrible person (or just used to being friends with mostly guys) because I keep thinking, "what's the big deal?". I would have just probably done up to them and told them that they were grossing me out and asked them to stop then brushed it off. I think a lawyer is a bit much but then again, I don't walk in her shoes.

    And uh, I am jealous of your meal!

  6. PS I finally got your feed to work in my reader so now I can keep up!

  7. Oh dear, your friend sounds like she's dealing with a lot. But I have to agree that from what you said, it sounds like her own issues are more of a problem than the workplace environment. I think the suggestion that she get some grief counseling or supportive therapy is a good idea.

    If the guys were talking in their own cube about sex, and management took her complaint seriously and made them stop, and now she's offended that they're not being super nice to her? That seems a bit unreasonable to me. So now she wants to sue because they're 'shunning' her?

    It just seems unrealistic to expect people who don't even know you're around to censor their speech to suit your sensitivities.

    It's funny, because in a lot of ways I'm a big ol' feminist, but I don't think that sex talk at the office is automatically 'harassment' if it's not done in a harassing way. To treat an occasional private dirty conversation as though it's a climate of constant sexual harassment sort of trivializes an issue that's a very real problem in a lot of work environments.

    Just my 2 cents!


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