I began working in a university straight out of college. I worked in a department that was run by a chairman (who was a doctor and teacher). Within less than a year he started to take interest in me (on both a working and personal basis). At first I was very happy that he seemed to like my work ethic and skills. His office was adjacent to the main office that I worked in. I also had other co-workers that worked in the main office.
About a year into my job, he really started to give me alot of attention. He would ask me to do specific projects for him that required work on a very close basis. I was happy to do this work because it was something I liked. He eventually offered me an extra job (project) that he paid me directly for. It was in addition to my regular job – I accepted it. Once I accepted that extra job things changed drastically. He bought a laptop for me and told me that I had to come to his house once a week (after hours) to work on this project. His wife was there and she was under the impression that he viewed me as a daughter (they have one daughter and one son). He even told her about how he felt so strongly towards me and just wanted to help me.
Before long, he was asking me about my personal life to the point where it became very uncomfortable. He would follow me into the breakroom, mailroom, etc. and would ask me 1-3 times a day to meet him in his office to talk about the “nature of our relationship”. Sometimes he would tell me to meet him in a library or classroom so as not to be so obvious in front of the office. Other employees would comment about his bizarre behavior. It was obvious to many people who worked there – but they had no idea how bad it really was.
He emailed me about how close he felt to me and how much he cared. He wanted me to show him the affection he showed me. When I did not show him affection or talk to him about personal matters, he would claim that he couldn’t work with me as it was uncomfortable for him feeling strongly about me but knowing I did not feel the same. I have over 30 emails and letters (including poems and ‘love notes’). In some of these emails he asked me about my sexual life, saying that it made him happy if he knew I was having sex or dating. He even gave me money to buy perfume because his wife didn’t think mine was “becoming” on me. After months of dealing with this, I couldn’t take much more. It was becoming progressively worse and whenever I avoided him or told him I was uncomfortable he would persist even more.
Every day was a nightmare – I would dread coming to work and did not know what to do because he was still my direct supervisor for the extra project. Plus, he has been in the university for 30+ years and I did not know who to even go to about this. I mentioned it to some of my co-workers and others, but they did not know what to tell me.
After many attempts on his part to make me open up and show him affection, he decided to spell things out more clearly. He wrote up a sheet that outlined the two choices I had: professional or personal – and gave me this sheet at work. He told me to look it over and decide. On this sheet there were the pluses and minuses of both choices – even going so far as to give me ‘points’ if I acted a certain way towards him. The more personal, the more points. The less personal, the less he would teach me and offer me in regards to the job. I didn’t need more than 2 seconds to know what I wanted: professional.
When I told him this he was shocked and then decided that my project with him would have to end sooner than expected. He even told the office that I was no longer going to be spending so much time working on the project.
I showed the administrator what he had given me and broke down and told her what else he had been doing. A formal complaint was filed with the university and he was given the highest penalty – but since he is part of a union he was able to appeal the sentence and got a suspension instead. I lost part of my job and it never was replaced.
And I failed to mention that he never denied doing any of these things, his defense was that he was trying to help me. I don’t think I would feel so strongly about this if he hadn’t lied in his defense and both him and the university claimed that neither party was responsible because they weren’t my employers (well then – who was?)
People need to start filing complaints in serious matters such as these. Institutions deter you because they make it so difficult on the victim that the person would rather leave than go through the headache. I don’t care what they do to me at this point, they’ve pulled out all my history since I was a child to avoid the subject of what happened in those several months working for him. I plan to pursue this to the fullest.

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