I recently started a new job. It’s been years since my last stint in an office, and I am out of practice dealing with the nasty, subsurface shit. Specifically, there is a middle-aged woman who thinks that my body is an acceptable topic of conversation. I am six feet tall, and her witty greeting the first time we met was ‘You’re tall!’ Unfortunately, this is a typical dumbfuck thing for people to blurt out when they meet me, so I made a mental note that she was an unimaginative cretin and assumed it would end there. But since then, we have bumped into each other twice and both times she has commented on my height or my body. The last time was in front of a coworker, which was fucking humiliating. How does anyone think it’s ok to pull me forward when I’m making tea and point out my leg length to someone? I just fucking met her. We’re not tight, and even if we were that’s just not cool to do at work. Why doesn’t she just comment on my slamming tits while she’s at it? She could circulate a memo.
I’m sure she can claim these things are fine, because they’re supposedly complimentary, but the nasty fake smile plastered on her face betrays that she thinks she was dealt a shit hand in life and probably gets a bit of pleasure from making me squirm.
I need to know how to approach this. I’m not shy about saying something, I just don’t know what to say without sounding like the cunt I am during my hours outside of work. I come to you because you seem like the kind of woman capable of being professional and a badass bitch at the same time.
There are several ways to handle this. Is she administrative or executive? What’s the human resources situation?
If she’s an executive and HR is corporate, you could own the bitch with a simple email. Then again, you’re new and she’s probably somebody’s secretary, so better just to handle it in the break room.
Don’t say anything yet. Try a kill-her-with-kindness routine for a week or so. Find out about her kids, husbands, and/or cats. Learn her weaknesses like she’s trying to learn yours. Remember, she’s testing you. She’s trying to assert dominance. This is all just Lord of the Flies bullshit.
Get a little bit more familiar with the internal politics of the office and a natural course of action will become clear. Once you know the lay of the land, you’ll be able to act instead of react. Until then, letting her know she’s making you squirm gets you nothing.
At the end of the day, the long legs and slammin’ tits belong to you, so no matter what happens, you win.