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Don't Be Silent DC has been inactive since March 2008 and has not been accepting entries since. If you are in the DC area and have a harassment story to share, please go to HollaBack DC. If you are outside the DC area and want to submit your story, go to Stop Street Harassment. Thank you.

As of 3/1/08, I will no longer be working on this blog. Please read this post for more details.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Short But Never Sweet (10/24/07)

I haven't had too many instances of harassment lately, but the few I did annoyed me.

Monday after tae kwon do, a group of Metro workers (clad in fluorescent vests) came onto the train platform. One of them, a short troll of a man with pitted and weathered skin, approached me. I've been using my headphones a lot lately, and it's deterred many of these losers from trying to approach me or talk to me. Unfortunately I didn't pull them out of my bag in time, and...

"Would you like to work for Metro?" he asked me, then snickered. His buddies thought this was so funny. I knew he wasn't sincerely asking me to work for Metro because 1) it was 8 at night and 2) this fool couldn't think of any other reason to approach me sincerely.

"Hell no!" I said, not trying to hide my annoyance.
This got a rise out of his group.
"Why not? You'll get to ride for free!" More snickering.
"I don't care!" I yelled. "Look, you picked the wrong person to start a conversation with because I'm not in the mood to be bothered with anybody."
I finally found my headphones, put them on, and Troll Man walked away, but not without a gross smirk. On the job, people...on the job! These men have no shame.

And yesterday afternoon, at the corner of N and 31st, I stopped to wait for this dreadlocked fool in a white car to turn right. He acted like he was turning right, but instead did a left and did a circle in the intersection. I shook my head in disbelief. This fool thought my shaking my head at him was a signal for him to talk to me.

"'Ey, boo! Boo, can I talk to you?" I cannot stand being called "boo," "boo-boo," or any other made-up word by some man who needs to get Hooked on Phonics. I ignored him and headed towards my destination. I turned around to make sure he wasn't trying to follow me, and the fool was halfway down the street---he didn't even wait for a response.

It reminds me of walking down U towards Adams Morgan a year or so ago. Some teenaged boy was coming towards me.

"Girl, can I talk to you?" he asked...but kept walking. Stuff like that and the car story make me think that these men are conditioned to act like idiots. They don't care about the response just as long as "can I talk to you?" comes out of their mouths. (rolls eyes)


Cristina said...

Thought I'd share my metro incident. I was running to catch the metro train but the doors closed before I could get on. It happened to be one of the last cars so the driver saw me. He then opens the door. I say thank you. When he sees me get off, he asks for my number (which I did not give).

I tell this story to a coworker who used to be an attorney for WMATA. He says first, the driver was wrong for opening the doors for me, and second, he definitely could not have ask for my number while clearly on the job. Bottom line, employees can get disciplined for such behavior but it's usually unreported.

So if it really bugs and you must do something, definitely get a name and report the harrasser. I didn't as I did get on the metro and asking for my number was not as nearly as offensive as your experience or other experiences I've had.

Golden Silence said...

This was unfortunately a situation I could not report. Granted, I had the time, date and station all down, but this clown and his buddies all looked identical, and without his name I wouldn't be able to narrow him down.

There was another instance when a Metro employee did act inappropriately with me. It was similar to the "Stunned Into Silence" post a contributor sent. He was bragging with his co-worker about how he wanted to "hit that" (while pointing at me). I went up to him to get his name from his badge (and his fool friend said "peekaboo" as I did), but it was a defeat. I got the runaround from Metro, had four different people call me back to have me relay the story, and acted like they couldn't narrow him down because I only got his first initial and he had a common last name. Come on, the time, date and metro station couldn't have narrowed it down? I think it's a simple case of protecting their own.