On a crowded NYC subway, two professional women were on their Friday evening commute home from jobs at an unidentified bank. As they dished about the goings on of the work week, loud enough for anyone within earshot and beyond to hear, the younger of the two started telling her friend and co-worker the following story, “Oh, I needed change for a $20, so I went into Dan’s office and started waving my $20 bill in front of him. He had no clue what I was doing. Then I said, ‘C’mon Dan shake it for me, shake it for me.'”
“He looked so nervous and scared,” she recalled with great bravado and an even bigger Cheshire cat smile plastered on her face. “Then I stuck the $20 in his shirt.”
And on that disturbing note, the young woman’s story ended, but not before she let out a big, proud belly laugh. Her listening friend/co-worker offered no comment and quickly changed the subject.
Sadly, this is a true story, witnessed and overheard by a WYSK staffer. As she listened to the story teller prattle on, she was dumbfounded that this young woman was completely clueless as to how inappropriate her behavior towards her male co-worker was, coupled with the fact that she was clearly proud of what she had done and void of any self-awareness and/or reservations about sharing all the details of her story on public transportation for strangers to hear and scrutinize.
Did she skip over the sexual harassment chapter of her bank’s training manual or did her’s come without one? Does she not know that making a co-worker or any other person feel “nervous and scared” for her own enjoyment and entertainment is not a good thing? Is she that self-absorbed? Is she from another planet?
Even if this woman was good friends with her co-worker Dan, this was a dangerous game to play. Imagine if the subway story teller was a young guy, rather than a young woman, and co-worker “Dan” was a “Danielle”. Our guess is that reactions would be somewhere in the neighborhood of: “how disgusting”, “lawsuit”, “that guy should be fired”, etc. And we’re fairly certain this woman would go marching down to HR, and rightfully so, if Dan or any other male co-worker ever shoved a $20 bill in her blouse under the innocent guise of “I was just asking her for some change.” So the real story, as it actually unfolded with the woman behaving badly, should be met with this same level of disdain, otherwise it feeds right into the proverbial double standard.
Behavior like this moves humankind backwards, so let’s hold each other up to higher standards ladies.
This true story is part of WYSK’s ongoing Facebook series – Women Riding The Rails… Baffling Tales From The NYC Subway – where we share the bewildering and bizarre, women-centric things that are seen and heard on the subway on any given day.