Am I being Sexually Harassed?

Where is the line between ‘just a bit of a joke’ and sexual harassment? When are we allowed to finally admit that something is making us feel uncomfortable, or that we feel threatened, without appearing ‘party-poopers’ or ‘milksops’ who do not know ‘how to take a joke’?

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Seriously, can someone explain it to me please?

Yesterday, something happened at the office, which made me feel quite uncomfortable and which I did not like one bit. Someone behaved quite inappropriately towards me and the way he talked was also vulgar and out of place. This person works in my same department, however I rarely see him (thankfully), as he is in another building. He is also married and knows I have a partner whom I have a home with. Moreover, his wife herself also works in our same department too! (In a third building). Could this make his flirting and overt sexual advances any more inappropriate!??

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Anyways, after this episode, I talked to my director and she kind of said it was quite out of place, but to take no notice of it. Fine. This morning, at 7.30am (I was still half asleep), the same guy came over to my office, he closed the door after him, came right up in my face, and tried to kiss me. Now, how’s that for ‘a joke’?

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I was quite firm at that point and even raised my voice a bit, yet he went out slowly after I had signed for something, and continued to talk to me with a weird smile on his face, as though nothing untoward had happened… wow wtf. Is it just me? Am I a stick in the mud? Was it just a joke or does this guy seriously think I would have kissed him??

And before someone points any fingers, no I was not wearing anything skimpy or revealing – NOT THAT THAT GIVES ANYONE THE RIGHT TO TRY TO FEEL ME UP!

Now I’m feeling really uncomfortable. Somewhere where I generally spend 6-9 hours of my time every day no longer feels safe, and this is totally unfair. I don’t want to escalate it because first of all, this guy knows ‘people’ and wont get fired or moved for sure, and secondly because if I said anything, I would be the one appearing in a bad light, because I would be a ‘bitch’ who didn’t know how to ‘take a joke’…

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Heh… I just hope this guy does’nt come over to our building again and that I won’t see him again any time soon…

Scan Malta – SERIOUSLY, THIS is your Policy?

Like many other Maltese, I find myself constrained to buying my various IT stuff and gadgets from the 5/6 limited outlets present in Malta, and that’s fine (I prefer to get my stuff from abroad most of the time anyways). The problem arises when said outlets have totally CRAPPY policies which actually go against Maltese law.

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This morning a random courier called me on my personal mobile to ask about a delivery to be done at my working place. I knew nothing of this delivery, had not requested the material myself, and did not have anything to do with it since my work has nothing to do with requisitions or procurement. What I wanted to know was how on earth a delivery guy got hold of my personal mobile number to make this call, since it was obvious that he knew I worked here and so someone had obviously leaked it. What’s more, the number was combined with the name of the person who HAD made the requisition, who was definitely not me, and who claimed not to have given anyone my mobile number, since she did not even know it herself. So, why were Scan Computers Malta using my personal details in relation to material ordered by the Ministry I work for??

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I asked the guy at reception to notify me when the courier got here, in order for me to ask him how he had gotten hold of my mobile number without me having given it out. When he arrived, he showed me his timesheet which basically was a list of places where he had to deliver stuff. He called the Scan store and told me to call them myself since they were the ones who could tell me more about the purchase order.

Long story short, when I called Scan it transpired that since once months ago I had personally purchased something and then had it delivered by courier to my place of work, they had then combined the mobile number with the address and saved it, and me, as being the person and number responsible for ALL PURCHASES consigned to this address… SERIOUSLY? So had I been living in a block of flats and another tenant made an order to be delivered to those premises, they would have called me too??? What if the minister had purchased something, would I have been responsible of that as well?? As far as I know, client records everywhere are client-based, that is based on your name + mobile number, not ADDRESS-based!! What about DATA PROTECTION?? Is it legal to give my personal mobile number (which has nothing to do with the ministry but is totally my own) to all and sundry??

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Needless to say, I gave the Scan-person a piece of my mind. She replied that this was their policy and that no one had complained before, which I find VERY hard to believe. Apparently however THIS time round they had encountered someone who DID know Data Protection law, since actually that is my job, so unlike any blandly ignorant Cettina on the street, I DID know my rights as a Maltese citizen, and I DO know that divulging personal data without a person’s knowledge and consent is ILLEGAL.

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I got Scan to delete my stuff from their records and gave them reception’s contact number instead, however the fact remains that their policy is against the law.

If you gave your data to Scan, beware of how they use it. It’s not as safe as you may think.

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