A Little More Gaslight #2

“Come in.”


A swirl of a red dress. Capped off by a pair of red shoes.


The owner has her face hidden in her hair. She won’t even make eye contact. 


An ominous portent indeed.


A thud as she falls into the armchair opposite.


“I wish…” Deep breath. “I wish…to report a case of sexual harassment.”


Perhaps you could take that to the sexual harassment officer instead of me. That’s where I’d go. By name and by nature.


“By whom.” Notepad flipped open, pencil ready and raised to take down the details. Hope she doesn’t see the eraser on the other end, he thinks.


She proffers a name.


He’s a good bloke. Everyone likes him even the ladies, he thinks to himself.


“We have a clear and transparent process for dealing with sexual harassment.” 
“I know,” she almost sobs. “


She pours out the details. The pen scratches its way across one page of the notebook, then another and another.  A box of tissues is pushed across. She reluctantly grabs one.


Looks like a misunderstanding here, he thinks. And if you were wearing anything like this…


“We’ll start the process immediately. I’ve got all the details I need. We’ll be in touch. Thanks for your time.”


He stands. She isn’t going anywhere.


“You’re not going to delay this? Leak my name? Leave me on my own to defend myself? Organise a commentator-led social media pile-on? “


“We have zero tolerance of sexual harassment,” he replies. You should’ve come to us beforehand, he thinks. Instead of waiting to play the victim.


A swirl of red and she’s gone.