Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sexual Harassment & Holding Power over Women in the Copier Industry

June, 2012.

Why do I blog?  To read what I write.

My intent from the beginning was to record observations of world and refer back over time for my own amusement and pleasure.

Since March of 2008, I have been here bloviating about  innocuous and mundane subjects like melting wax, copier crime, and selling MpS.

In or around, I really do not remember, 2009, I started sprinkling(quite literally) pictures of scantily clad, young woman into my posts. I am not ashamed of any one of the pictures I posted, MY intent was clear.  

I am not a sexist.

The reasons for the images were:

- Spice up the site - why does this industry need to project such a boring image?
- Get the blood rolling - passion is human

And the most important reason:

- I liked the pictures.  Period.  

My intent was to stir it up a bit, not to hurt anyone.  I do not regard women as 'things'.  I do not support the abuse of women and I do not consider women second class citizens.  

I do not condone the use of power over women.  Men in power, using that power to seduce women is disgusting - a whimp'd out way to live.  Bond never bedded Money Penny.

Let me say that again, this way:  What President Clinton did to or with Monica was an abuse of power and sexual harassment.  He was her boss.  He used is 'charm' and  implicit power over his employee to receive personal gratification from that employee.

This type of activity is rampant in our little industry.  AND YOU KNOW I'M RIGHT. 

Before you go all "Morality-Marge" on me, I am NOT talking about two sales reps hooking up in Cancun, during club.  Nor am I illustrating any judgement on two co-workers hooking up; it happens.

This isn't about that.

I did not remove images because too many women complained.  I did not edit the past to 'clean up' my image or to be considered legitimate - F that.  No really, the Leopard stays.

This is about men in the Copier, Imaging and MPS industry, OUR INDUSTRY,  leveraging authority over women as a means to have sex.  This is about how those low-life, knuckle-dragging, cro-magnon, MEN forced me to remove pictures off my little blog. 

And loosely associated, but not that far behind, is the influence and pure unprofessional attitude that somehow a female sales person is expected to tolerate unwanted pawing from a male prospect or client.  Guys who act this way are cock-suckers.

Don't you dare fool yourself into believing this is about two consenting adults or the incredibly naive view that "she knows what she's was doing" - fuck you.

So here it is, from me to you, in DOTC Style - I am calling BULLSHIT.  

Those responsible for the obliteration of each DOTC image are the MEN in our niche who have in the past and are right, this very second, leveraging their power as Area Vice President, Owner or Manager, over a female subordinate.

Strap in - Get Pissed.

And up until a few weeks ago, I had not considered the DOTC pictures one way or another.  As a matter of fact, I lost all connection to any of the images late 2011 - I was completely neutral which is why removal was so easy.

I will say this, it took a long time to go through all posts so I am sure I missed a few - oh well.

While the pics were there, I received many comments; both good and questionable - but never had anyone ever blatantly come at me.

So the pictures stayed.

Forward to May of 2012.  At the Transform Conference, I was witness to two separate instances of standard, image industry, male to female repulsiveness - had my buddies been in the same room, noses would have gotten popped; two male industry participants, slipping arms around my girl.  I was right there.

Those events tumbled into my consciousness stirring up all sorts of remembered images and stories.

Anecdotes about owners hiring and bedding college co-eds
Vice Presidents, inviting admins to the islands - firing those who rebuff
Sales managers who expect more than funnel reports, late Friday evenings
Prospects submitting unwanted sexting
Male worker bullying the female dispatcher for explaining how to settle a customer situation

Sadly, there is more; there is always more.  

I started to recall victim's co-workers looking the other way.  Exec's "high-fiving" at the strip club and the HR department that took the report but did nothing.

The longer I thought about it, the sicker I became.  This was nuts.  The copier industry - our industry - is both a great place to make a living and a haunt for the biggest scumbags on the planet.

I ain't kidding.

So, what to do...what to do...I've taken the pictures down - some may consider this a 'small win'.

I'm not one to be satiated with 'small wins' - this is what I want to do: Are you under the leverage of a boss who is molesting you at work?  

Are you afraid?

Have you gone 'through the channels' with no results?

I say splatter his name all over the DOTC realm attached to the moniker of his company or employer - maybe throw in some choice photo's.

Slander? Naw, no names and all fiction...
...so okay, that isn't such a good idea.

But if you do fall into one of the above situations - go here for some ideas.

If you are under this type of shitty cloud, know you aren't the first, you are not alone.  Reach out but also within.  Cut through the haze and envision 12 months from now...are you two going to be together?  Really?

Of course my advice is to quit. Not next week, not in 30 days, now.  I know you shouldn't have to be the one to acquiesce - and I shouldn't be the one to edit my images.

But the world is what it is, we are what we do. Everyone.

Today.

If you haven't crossed the Rubicon, and are under some slime-dog's pressure - stay the course, keep saying "No" and tell somebody.

I can't stand in your heels - I've never had to ask, "..does this tie make me look too sexxxy?", I've never worried my co-workers might think I 'slept my way into the better territory...', my empathy can only go as far as these words.

And this small effort on my part will likely fade into yesterday - but I want to do more.  A word to the men out there - the real men.

Stop egging these ass-wipes on.  Stop high-fiving in the restroom.  I know there are guys who step up and object to this already, my days for passivity are over.

I swear, if I ever get real data, real names, and corroborated evidence on a real situation - DOTC will torch the Twitter stream up, burn Google Circles, Stumble, Plurk, Plaxo, and whatever else is out there at the time - Hell, I may even re-light MySpace.

I'll crowd-source every group I can to the point of getting banned from LinkedIn and fill all the imaging BBS on the planet - with his name, email, company, public record - all of it.

No, I am not neutral on this...go ahead, make me Bad...


UPDATE, 2017

I recently read an article regarding an unusual sexual harassment case against Ricoh.  Interesting note, back in 2012, I was approached by a Ricoh executive who tearfully expressed distress over my blog pictures.  The content was fine and needed, but the pictures reminded of this person of past struggles with harassment.

I was moved to delete the images that night.


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