I’m the only woman on an all-male crew. Most of the guys are good guys. One isn’t. When he jabs at me, I try to handle him in a way that doesn’t make it look like I can’t take a joke. Recently, he handed me a tube of coconut-scented body lotion and asked if I thought it smelled good. I said “Sure, whatever.” He sneered and asked, “Would you like to rub this all over me?” I didn’t know what to say because I felt like I’d walked into that one. Everyone snickered.
The next time a guy asks you if you’d like to rub oil on him, answer “on a scale of 0 to 10, that’s a negative 20” or simply “no.”
The rest of your crew may surprise you. Although they laughed at the situation, he may gross at least some of them out. You can find this out by turning to one of them and asking, “The next time this guy pushes me around I’d like to verbally flatten him.” My guess, he’ll answer “Go right ahead, it’ll be fun to watch.”
Further, you don’t need to take unwanted sexual overtures. Let your company’s Human Resources manager or General Manager know they’re employing a dinosaur whose stupid jokes could cost the company money.
© Dr. Lynne Curry is author of ”Beating the Workplace Bully” and ”Solutions” as well as owner of the management/HR consulting/training firm The Growth Company Inc. Follow her on Twitter @lynnecury10 or at www.bullywhisperer.com.