Source: www.madamenoire.comSEXUAL HARASSMENT IN HIGH PLACES!!!
Randies beware!!! We are taking back the workplace!! We at aproko.com are putting you on blast with your shady behaviour. Readers, we will be running a weekly series on sexual harassment taking place at work, church, mosque or wherever it is taking place.
For the next couple of weeks, the libido we will be putting in check is that of a popular DMD of a popular, publicly quoted bank whose initials form the name of a popular holiday destination, a city in South America. We will be bringing you text messages and voice notes supplied by Miss X, his victim, a lawyer in the bank. We will also be bringing you comments and analysis from our own "textual psychologists", who are long time friends and contributors of the blog, popular comedians, Miss Tasha and Original Amebo. Stay tuned for the first instalment next week.
This was the opening sequence for what became a nationally syndicated weekly series (with weekly columns in City People, Encomium and This Day Style) I had no inkling it was going to get that far or even come to this at all. But it turned out that there were many victims of sexual harassment and this just became a public interest story that was discussed on TV stations, blogs and twitter. I had become an anonymous, national sensation and RIO, the national villain. In fact, human rights advocates wanted me to reveal myself so they could take up my case free of charge to force a policy change. But I am getting ahead of myself.
When I was done pushing RIO, I ran into my madam's office, as she was about to question my madness, I pushed the play button on the iphone and slammed it on her table. RIO's voice came floating out into the office. I had recorded both the Dubai conversation and the honey and vinegar conversation. Ms. O sat in stunned silence as she took in what RIO was saying. When the recordings ended, I opened the messages on the phone and handed the phone back to her for her to read. Several invitations to Wheatbaker Hotel. Several offers for trips, from Ghana to Luxemborg. Several stalker texts from 'where are you?' to 'I can see you walking through the gate' to 'why are you not picking my calls?'. Several threats to ruin me and/or my reputation at Cityfields because I was ignoring him. Several recantations of the previous texts and cajolements. Several texts about my body and what it does to him, just to name a few. You name it, RIO has sent it
Ms. O was dumbfounded. I have never seen her so shocked. When she finally found her voice all she kept saying was "so you were the girl you told me about. RIO???? If ever there was anyone capable of such, RIO wouldn't be my first suspect!!! RIO???" I went on to tell her what had happened and I told her that I was going to make sure RIO never did this again even if it may cost me my job.
Ms. O chastised me for not coming to her with this when it first started. She began to wonder aloud if there wasn't more to the resignation of some female staff that had left over the years, who probably resigned because no one would believe them. She supported my name and shame initiative and went on to assure me that she would ensure she saves my job at Cityfields, come what may.
Upon her assurance, I called One and told her my plan. Later in the evening, we met with Sandra Tagbo, an old school mate of One. She ran a very popular and influential blog called 'aproko.com' known for its scandalous but verifiable gist. Aproko.com was credited for several breaking news and the exposure of several conspiracies and was even a source for several online newsprints. Sandra took my story and ran with it, releasing snippets of text messages and constituting a panel of popular comedians to poke fun at the text messages, all done with utmost respect for the subject matter.
Before long twitter-ville was awash with speculations of who it could be and there were hot and fierce debates. Shortly thereafter, the series was syndicated by City People, then Encomium, then This Day Style. It was discussed on TV by women-interest groups and human rights lawyers. Comedians were writing and making jokes on it at public events, radio stations also crafted programmes around it. The matter had been blown wide open!!!!
The rumour mills at Cityfields and in the banking industry were rife. Everyone knew the aggressor was RIO but who was Miss X??? There were so many speculations as to the identity of the girl who made RIO break rank. Was she a current or ex staff? Several names were bandied about, mine inclusive. I never paid any mind to it. My work here was done. I never heard a peep out of RIO. Ms. O took the matter to the MD who, terrified by Ms. O and cowed by calls from Human Rights lawyers to make mince meat of both the organisation where such abuse took place and the aggressor, called me in for an official apology from the Organisation and instituted new whistle-blower regulations and sexual harassment policies for Cityfields. The same went for the banking industry and other smart industries. No one wanted this level of embarrassment.
RIO's wife, a well known Lagos socialite, was scandalized and forced her husband to consider a relocation. After a closed door meeting, the bank was informed that RIO would remain the DMD of Cityfields, but due to family exigencies, would be relocating to Abuja where he would head the Abuja branch. He needed a fresh start and I guess his scandalized wife needed one too. I knew RIO would not be fired. He was too important to the bank.
I was never invited to a disciplinary panel for the part I played and my name was never publicly revealed in the bank or in any news print that carried the story. All I know is, I have my life back and never again would I let anyone take it from me for any reason. I thank God that he turned a losing situation to a win-win one.
Author's note: This is clearly my own idealistic conclusion of the harassment saga. In most cases, it is the victim that is forced to leave the job, even with outspoken victims, that's why I tried to draw the parallel with the IB situation and Ms. Okenla's experience. Sexual harassment is usually fraught with pitfalls for the victim and while there hasn't been any discernible policy change, social media is at the forefront of the charge to making persons accountable for their wrongs. The court of public opinion has its seat of power in social media and we must not take our responsibilities lightly.
Thank you all for following and enjoying the series.