Real Life

Real life: “I finally had something to show for the two years of mistreatment”

Woman mistreated by boss rigs work raffle
Happy woman with Easter bunny ears

Picture posed by model

A year ago I worked for an advertising company. It was very much a boys’ club. There were only three women in an office of 20 and as the receptionist I copped the brunt of their bad behaviour.

There were a lot of jokes that in most companies would have been seen as sexual harassment but where I worked it was the norm.

To dare challenge any of them would have been an instant firing and I knew I’d never have the money to go up against these men in a legal case.

I was unhappy there but I was constantly on the lookout for new jobs and had to put up with it until I found something new.

Every year the office did a huge Easter charity raffle in conjunction with a client function. The prize was always something very grand. The year before it had been a trip to the Maldives and this year it was a new car.

I had been driving around in my old heap of junk for the previous six years and was desperate for an upgrade but my wage wouldn’t allow it.

I was put in charge of distributing the tickets to all the clients and collecting the money so I hatched a plan.

One night I stayed back late and scanned all the tickets and sent them out to the clients. When they were returned to the office I kept them aside in my desk drawer.

After a month of collecting the tickets, I waited until a few people were around and made it obvious that this year I would be purchasing a ticket. With fingers crossed, I exaggeratedly proclaimed my excitement as I put $100 into the tin where the money was being kept.

The day before the draw I stayed back late. As the last of the men left the office, they yelled out an inappropriate comment and it was then I knew I was going ahead with my plan.

I shredded all the scanned tickets and put them in the bin for the cleaners that night. On all the original tickets, I painstakingly filled out all my details. The next night at the function I could barely contain my nerves. My hands were sweating and I was filled with regret at my decision but it was too late to back out.

Finally the time arrived for the managing director to draw the winner. He beckoned for me to bring over the box with the tickets in it and microphone in hand he yelled out to one of our biggest clients to come and draw it out.

The next minute or two was a blur but my name was called out and as I was already nervous, I’m sure my shock and disbelief at winning looked real.

There was a moment of sheer terror when the usual jeers that it was “rigged” and should be redrawn were yelled out. That’s when I thought the client may dip his hands in again and it would be all over for me. However, people clapped and patted me on the back and congratulated me.

I quickly removed the box and gave it to one of the caterers to put in the skip to destroy any evidence of my deception. After the evidence had been destroyed I beamed, I finally had something to show for the two years of mistreatment.

It was only a couple of months later that I finally found a new job that I loved and where I was appreciated. To this day I still feel guilty about rigging the draw but not so guilty that I don’t enjoy driving around in my lovely new car.

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