(Previously on The Story of New Guy:
New Guy: Montage of New Guy saying "Giggle Nipple! Nice Shoes! Fine Tight Ass! Playboy!")
I'm working from home when I get this terse IM from Co-worker My Age:
"Where the F%$# are you?"
I know this was the day HR was to have gotten New Guy straightened out. As it turns out, New Guy has been walked out and the locks have been changed. HR isn't talking. I talk to HR about my concerns that the next company will have no idea how creepy New Guy is, and I get the HR answer: he didn't do anything illegal; there's nothing we can do. I give up and content myself with referring to him as "Creepy Fired Guy."
Day 14 (one week later)
One by one, we are each called into HR. Not surprisingly, it appears Creepy Fired Guy has written a letter claiming we sexually harassed him. The very sympathetic President of the Company is in on these meetings, otherwise, it might have been uncomfortable. (I'm serious. I mean it. She is one of the coolest people alive.) At any rate, I get the same treatment as everyone else: I have to go through my remembrance of the awkward first meeting, Hot Young Coworker suggesting I was staring at her boobs, my response, etc.
Then I am asked by HR:
"Do you feel that [Hot Young Co-worker] sexually harassed you?"
I laugh. Or at least, I think I'm laughing, until HR says:
"[Creepy Fired Guy] is very concerned that you were sexually harassed at this meeting as well, when [Hot Young Coworker] commented you were staring at her breasts, and this may have made you feel uncomfortable."
Okay. THEN I laughed. I laughed ... and stamped my feet from laughter, and laughed some more. I thought I was done laughing and I choked out, "No, I did not feel harassed."
HR continued, "He also says [Co-worker my age] harassed you."
"What?" I squawked, switching from laughter to outrage in a very bi-polar way.
She (HR) quoted from the letter. "Mrs. S_______ was working from home and she IM'ed [Co-worker my age] that she would have to come in. [Co-worker] IM'ed back, 'Well, shower up, Musty.'"
At this point I snorted so hard snot flew out of my nose, and I was forced to catch it in my hand mid-air in front of the very elegant and refined President of Our Company. Then, I really began to laugh.
She continued, "Mrs. S_____ came in and seemed to be very embarrassed."
(This is true. I played the mock outrage to the hilt, at the time. I shoved my upper body right into the seated co-worker's body and made her smell me until she had to lean back and almost fall over she was laughing so hard.)
HR continued, over my shrieks of laughter: "She said she had showered and sprayed on Febreeze and perfume."
"Okay, that is a lie," I gasped out. "I didn't shower, but I said that I had." Then the clarify that this was all in fun, I dramatized the sniffing scene with The Elegant and Refined and Old Money President of Our Company playing Co-worker's role. She understood then that I had not been harassed.
I then went back to my desk and laughed so hard it brought in [Hot Mom Co-Worker] and [Co-worker my age]. We had a moment. We just laughed and laughed. It was special.
The meeting did give me a chance to express my concerns about the secrecy aspect of our harassment policy. Since we had been told for a week not to discuss this with anyone, I felt I had done something so wrong just by encountering Creepy Fired Guy.
So, after everyone was interviewed we were given leave to talk to each other (and, again I extrapolate, to post it on my blog). And H.Y.C. who intially was told to take an on-line harassment course, was joined by the rest of the team demanding, "Hey! We need to take that course too. Why is she so special?" Now the whole company might need to take it, since you never know if my every-other-day shower schedule might be construed as sexual harassment. (I still need to pick up one of those diswasher Clean/Dirty magnets for my cube.)
Finally, Creepy Fired Guy (nee New Guy) has left such a pornographic collection of sexual solicitation emails on his hard drive that those who saw them just close their eyes and shudder when asked. This is such a major violation of our email policy it seems worth it to hire him back so we could fire him again.
Discussion Questions: What the HELL is wrong with this guy? I keep thinking he doesn't understand normal human interaction. And just imagine if he'd stayed. You know, he was out there all concerned that I was being harassed, bonding with me, sharing secrets ... Geh.