Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let's talk about sexual harassment...

There have been a couple of times I've mentioned my previous job - the one I had before the one I'm at now. However, I don't think I've ever gone into detail.

The summers of '06 and '07 I worked for my step-dad's construction company in their summer student internship program - aka - I became a construction worker laborer.
Everyone always asks what I could have done. I guess I shouldn't be too offended, I'm probably one of the girlyest girls you'll ever meet. But believe it or not, they had me tearing down drywall, pouring new cement, cleaning up after the carpenters - you name it, I did it. Basically I was their bitch.

The first summer was a pretty cushy job, I was inside most of the time working in air conditioned office buildings helping one carpenter. I learned a lot and worked hard. I learned how to 'demo' a room, lay rebar, and tear up carpet squares.

The second summer was a different. I had decided I wasn't going back to school and this was going to be an indefinite job since I didn't really have a plan. I was working for a different construction manager, in an outside facility, and it was hard. It felt more like 'real' construction work. We had our own trailer we ate lunch in every day and everyone kind of kept their heads down and did their job. That was fine with me, I just wanted to put in my hours and get home. Until about mid September, I started getting sexually harassed by one of the fore mans of another company. He was an older man, scraggly beard and smoked like a chimney, he was disgusting. But none the less, I feared walking by his trailer in the morning and lock myself in the porta potty after he would say lued things to me.

I first reported it to my foreman, then the project manager and then my own step-dad. I got the same response from all three, "That's just how he is, don't take it to heart." "Oh, you're gonna get that at any job you work at when you're the only female." "Don't worry about it." I was twenty years old at the time and knew that what was happening wasn't right. I wish I would have gone further to the top of the company with my complaints but I was scared. I thought making a bigger fuss would cause him to be more relentless with his sexual teasing and cornering me. I had finally had it one day, I called my mother in law during my lunch break, standing outside the gate of the construction site, crying. I felt like all my complaints were either falling on deaf ears or people just thought I was trying to make an excuse to not work there. I was lonely, ashamed and felt like I had no other option but to keep working at a place where nobody cared that this was happening to me.

Thankfully, that same day, Bryan's aunt contacted me and said she had a position opening in one of the clinics she manages and thought I would be an excellent candidate.

So, I gave my notice, said goodbyes to the few friends I had made, and kissed construction goodbye. I currently still work for the same company - that in my mind, saved me. I miss it sometimes, working in the sunshine, union laborer's wages, and getting off at 2:30 in the afternoon. But I know that I would have drowned if I had stayed.

In no situation is sexual harassment EVER tolerable.
There is nothing wrong with you, and you should go as high as you need to to get someone to listen to you.

I'm so sorry if this is something you've gone through or going through in your life. If you'd like to talk or need some advice, please email me at

This was a hard one, it definitely brought back tough memories, but I think it's important to talk about the painful stuff. Helps us heal.

Thanks for listening ladies <3

If you want to check out my other Let's talk about it posts please click HERE


  1. Thats so scary to think of. I have had issues in the past with older men saying things to me but never at work. I usually just scream at them and belittle them as much as I can, at work I couldn't do that. I would probably cry.

  2. you are a beautiful spirit, and i'm so happy you got out of that awful situation. there is NO amount of money, freedom, etc. worth suffering through what you did. i'm so proud to call you a friend!

  3. I'm glad you were able to get out and thanks for sharing! I never dealt with this, but did have a different negative experience that was similar while I was in High School that I'm still working through (although this last year I've been feeling a lot better).

  4. This is so true Amanda, and so great of you to post about this topic! It happens all the time, and it should NOT be tolerated! EVER!

  5. This is SO TRUE. Ryan worked for the carpenter's union before he got laid off.. and i knew a few of the gals that worked with him.. I had told them how i thought it was disgusting the way the guys would treat me if I came to visit Ryan.. and they finally started sharing how THEY were treated... ON THE JOB. I could not believe it! good for you for speaking up & getting OUT of there!! :)

  6. I'm so sorry Amanda! I had no idea. No one should have to endure that. I think sometimes some woman don't even realize when they are being sexually harassed, its such a grey area. I am glad that you are at a wonderful job now and don't have to deal with that are amazing and don't deserve that! No one does. It's too bad that it has to happen. =/