At an employee appreciation picnic, the Original Poster (OP) finds herself and her female colleagues subjected to their wealthy white male boss’s inappropriate “jokes” and sexist comments. Despite years of loyalty to the company, this becomes OP’s breaking point, leading to a revelation and a brewing confrontation. Will she finally stand up to the man who’s made her work life unbearable?
A Day in the Sun
The employee appreciation picnic is in full swing, with about 85 people gathered, including eight women seated at one table. It’s meant to be a cheerful event that includes entertainment, games, activities, and a delicious selection of food, drinks, and concessions.
The President’s Arrival
OP observes as her wealthy white male boss, the president of the commercial construction and development company, approaches their table. There’s a noticeable tension in the air as the older gentleman is known to say outlandish and offensive remarks on a regular basis.
Trying to Bring Sunshine
With a wide grin, the boss announces he’s joining the women’s table to bring some “sunshine.” He comments that the table looked like it was filled with “crabby old women,” immediately setting a tone.
The Good Old Days
The boss launches into his perspective on “the good old days.” OP can’t believe her ears as he reminisces about times when “women knew their place.” He yearns for a day when America will return to a place where men and women have universally agreed-upon roles in society.
A Disturbing Inquiry
The boss genuinely wonders aloud why not many women or minorities apply for jobs at the company. He’s oblivious to the possible reasons, including his own behavior, which has gained quite a reputation.
The Fall of the American Family
OP’s boss, left unchecked, continues with a claim that the American family started to crumble when women began working outside the home. It’s an idea the women at the table find not just old-fashioned but offensive.
Women, Vehicles, and TVs
OP hears her boss’s theory that women only started working to keep up with their neighbors. He cites two-vehicle families and color TVs as the culprits. If women wanted less, he argues, men wouldn’t have to work so hard to please them.
Keeping Up the Pretense
Despite the discomfort of many at the table, the boss goes on and on, enjoying his captive audience. His “jokes” are clearly more than just off-color humor, but revealing of his deep-seated beliefs and values.
A Long Overdue Decision
After enduring 13 long years under this tyrant’s leadership, OP feels a surge of determination. It’s clear she can’t continue working in this environment. She feels suffocated, disrespected, and undervalued.
Looking for New Opportunities
OP decides she can’t continue to support someone who holds such views and vows to look for a new job as soon as she gets home. She starts considering her options in her head as the boss drones on.
The Unexpected Revelation
As the event continues, another employee confidentially shares with OP that there have been numerous complaints against the boss, but they’ve always been brushed under the rug. Several colleagues approach OP, sharing her frustration.
Forming a Plan
Together, they discuss the possibility of reporting the boss’s behavior to higher-ups or the media. There’s power in numbers. OP and her allies decide they’ll confront the boss about his behavior. They hope to create a safer, more inclusive environment for everyone.
After sleeping on the thought, OP reconsiders; after all, what good will it do? Her boss will unlikely change his mind or behavior at his advanced stage in life. Should she proceed with the confrontation or just look for another job?
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her story online for feedback and advice. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Old guy I work with invited the married national sales manager to his hotel room in front of many new hires. Some people are unbelievable.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Some men like to re-write history to take women out of it, and they do it every generation. This sexist fool will always devalue you because you are a woman.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. It’s the national law. You have a case against him.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “I don’t get people like this. Does he think eight women would agree with him, or does he not care, or does he just want to hear himself talk?”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.