Work Life

I Was Harassed By My Boss And I Was Helpless!

When there’s power play, do you resist or fight back?

Author Viji Hari’s book Behind Closed Cubicles deals with work place sexual harassment with short stories inspired by real life people. This is a summary of one of the short stories featured in the book, titled “Medical Musings”.

It was Anna’s childhood dream to work in Dubai. Her dream of working in the beautiful city had come true, despite being of surprising means. Standing on the top Burj Khalifa, Anna recalled how certain events in her life led her to the place she was in right now. Anna hailed from Kerala with a dream to become a leading nurse, much like her aunt. Having taken education loans and topping the class, Anna was sent to work in one of the leading hospitals in South India. Fortunately for her, she also had two other classmates in the same hospital.

Anna was gaining recognition and rewards for her services in the hospital. She worked with an enigmatic doctor, Vivek, who was known for his surgical skills. It was an honor working with Dr.Vivek because one could learn so much from him. Anna’s good remarks did not go unnoticed by Dr.Vivek. Every time he praised Anna, it always ended with a pat on the shoulder. When Anna was transferred to the surgical ward, the inappropriate touching increased as she was constantly under close proximity with Dr. Vivek. Once, Dr. Vivek had pulled her closer to demonstrate a technique, in front of the whole surgical ward.

Anna was in tears. She felt powerless before Dr. Vivek because he was her boss. He could determine how her career went. Once, when Anna was alone, Dr. Vivek had pulled her into a long embrace in the pretext of congratulating her for a job well done. Emboldened by her silence, Dr. Vivek often called Anna to his cabin to “discuss work”. Anna couldn’t take it anymore.

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