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I have always felt safe working at the hotel, one once has it crossed my mind that I was in danger. I knew that if I was behind the counter I was protected, right? Right? Well, I thought so too. I didn't realize, I wasn't protected from the words or hand gestures from guests. I've had a few older gentlemen come down and scream profanities or slam the desk, but that didn't bother me. I was behind the desk, I was fine. Until I wasn't.
Often, the hotel has guests that stay for a month at a time. Most often construction workers or insurance adjusters and the like. There are certain guests in the hotel I know to steer clear. From, although I have never had an issue with the construction workers before, and in fact I enjoyed conversing with them. They told many interesting. Stories about the work they have been doing. One specific worker was always more friendly than the others. I had always presumed that he just needed a friend. He had been there for over a month and was just lonely. He came to the front counter and talked to me often about all sorts of things. His work, his family, and even his favorite foods. The downside: I only ever talked to him when he was drunk. He came in every night stumbling around the hallways. I could always smell it on him when he got inside. I knew there wasn't any harm in this. Well, I thought I knew there wasn't any harm in this.
It wasn't until he started making more and more questionable remarks when I realized he was looking for more than just a friend. He started asking me how. Old I was, and if I was in school. Next, He started asking about my work. Schedule. I obviously didn't tell him, but I was very insure as to why he was asking me these things. It was a quiet sunday night when I realized what he wanted.
He approached the front desk, so I left the comfort of the back office to see if he needed help with anything. He asked me for a cup of coffee with two packets of sugar. "Of course!" I respond, happy to be doing my job. I watch him as he pours the sugar into the cup, well half of the sugar in the cup and the other half on my counter. His eyes were bloodshot, I knew he was drunk.
"What do I do with these?" He slurs, gesturing to the sugar packet.
"Oh, I can take them"I said while holding my hand out. He placed them in my hand, and he let his hand caress mine, seemingly touching every inch of skin I have. I threw packets away, feeling confused about what had just happened. I brushed it off as he was drunk. And didn't know. "Let me go grab a rag to clean up that sugar." I Spoke shakily, I escaped to the back and watched the cameras for a second, hoping he would leave. He didn't.
I eventually grab a rag and went back to the counter. I wiped all the sugar off and put the rag back in the bin. When I went back to the front, he gestured to the counter and said. "You missed a spot". Then his hand moved to another spot on the desk. "And here" then his hand crept up his chest and slid under his shirt, over his heart. "And here, If you know what I mean" I was in complete shock. On the inside, I was shaking. On the outside, I let out a nervous chuckle, hoping he would leave. I knew I had to bring up my fiance. I knew that if I told him I was engaged he would leave. Then, I thought of the absurdity in that statement. Even now, I am dumbfounded that in order to stop a grown man from harassing a young female., a boyfriend or husband or fiance has to be involved. Why do men respect other men who aren't even present before respecting a woman who is standing right in front of them?
After a beat of silence, he slurs, "how much more school do you have?" I was reluctant to respond, but I did anyway. "Well, I just started a month ago, so I have all four years left."
"How old are you?"
Before I could stop myself, "I'm 19".
"Damn, you're young." His eyes lit up like a christmas tree. I did not want to know what he was thinking, and I still don't. I knew I had to tell him I was engaged. It was the only way he would leave.
"Yeah, I look a lot older than I am. Me and my fiance both look much older". I saw the way his shoulder drooped a little bit lower. I saw the glisten in his eyes dim. His smirk faded away. I had crushed his hopes and dreams good.
"Oh you are going to be married? That's a big commitment". He looked at his coffee as he whispered.
"Yeah, but I am ready for it. I have known him since I was 8th Grade and he was a freshman, so we've been together a while." Why isn't he leaving. Stop asking me a questions.
"You've been having sex since you were 8th grade?" I was shocked. My jaw dropped. I felt shivers rake through my body.
"Absolutely not. No" all humor was dropped from my tone. I no longer had a smile on my face. How dare this grown adult try and question the sex life of a 13 years old. He immediately apologized and ended up sulking back to his room. I could not believe he said that to me. I still can't stomach the fact that even when I brought up my fiance he wouldn't leave, and it took him asking if I was having sex when I was 13.
In this moment, I felt like many other women who have had experiences similar to mine. I felt scared, vulnerable, small, and most importantly, I felt like a woman. I felt like this was my job as a woman. It was my job to entertain this man and his words. It was my job to make sure I stood there and endured his disgusting comments and gestures. After everything passed, I had thoughts that it was my fault. Did I lead him on? Did I say something to make him think I am available or even interested? I quickly stopped thinking those thoughts. I did nothing wrong. It was not my job to entertain him..
When my co-worker came in, I told her what had happened. I also asked her to walked me out to my car, because I don't feel safe knowing what his intentions were. Her response, "yeah, I'll walk you out. You know, he was drunk. He didn't mean it." A red flag flew directly in front of my face. I replied, "Being drunk doesn't give him an excuse. What he did was wrong and inappropriate." What kind of excuse is that? He was just drunk. He is just lonely. He just wants company. That is not my job. I am here to work. I am here to provide a better future for myself.
The excuses men get for their ridiculous behavior is exhausting. It makes me think that women are supposed to just take whatever gets thrown at them from men, and even women sometimes. When I told my other co-worker, she said the same thing. He was drunk. Just tell him to go back to his room." These excuses remind me of the many rape cases that are in the news, or the questions survivors are asked when they come forward. "Well what were you wearing?", or "Were you drinking?", or "Did you lead him on?" Women are often expected to be little puppets that men can control on any whim, and women are expected to be okay with it.
My experience is nothing compared to what other women have endured. I am grateful I had the safety of the desk to protect me. I am grateful I have a manager that took my situation seriously. I am grateful people believe me, even if they gave me excuses in favor of the man. My job as a woman is to look after myself, and always stay on high alert. When I'm walking alone to my car in the black of night, when I take a little bit too long looking at something in the grocery store and now, even when I am at work.
Have a nice day! 😘 how's your day? Is it good or nah? I am having a good time with my boyfriend right now. 😂😍 share ko lang! By the way, This is just a fiction, thanks for stopping by. ✨❤