“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”
This saying does not perfectly linkup with any other matter than it does with the issue of work place harassment. Female workers easily become aware of the “known devils” at their offices but some such characters act differently. They play the role of father figures and hence their tactics are not easy to notice or question. Let’s try to expose them here.
Female interns being naïve, mostly fall prey to such people. A person belonging to this category usually calls the interns with titles like Mera Bacha/Mera Baita/Baiti (My Daughters) and repeatedly puts his hand over their heads like some guardian, close relative or elder. In order to win over their trust he even advises them to beware of ill-natured men around them.
A few days later, girls start accepting this person as their mentor. He initiates his tactics through furtive glances. While calling any female intern as Baiti (My Daughter) he looks at her in a lewd manner. All this while, he maintains a serious look on his face and pretends to be a thorough professional.
A few days later he starts the second phase. He gives internees little tasks and upon completion, says shabaash (‘Good job’) and pats their shoulders and even sometimes moves his hand down their backs. At times, he touches their hands while handing over any document. He basically takes every opportunity to make physical contact with the female interns. He obviously derives pleasure from these touches but still somehow manages to maintain the image of a respectable elder. It seems that most of the girls don’t even realize his true motives.
All of this happens in the office, in front of everyone but nobody wants to confront such people. Others at the office are usually of the view that the female Internees are mature and strong enough to notice such advances and stop them.
With the passage of time he narrows down his selection and marks either the most immature or the most destitute girl among interns. He promises to do something for their hiring and gets their contact numbers.
In order to get even closer, he uses his influence at the office and manages to get interns some undue benefits. Unfortunately, a few of the interns use the situation to their favour, believing that there is nothing wrong in making small compromises for bigger gains.
Female interns/employees in any organization need to be wary of such wolves in sheep’s clothing. They must closely observe the behaviour of anyone who gets too chummy with them. They must not trust anyone blindly, not even those who act as father figures. But there is no need to be paranoid either. Girls must be confident and experienced enough so that no one ever exploits them with such devious methods.