A Shoulder To Cry On

Sometimes people need a little help, even if they appear old enough to fight their own battles. We need a little push, because for whatever reasons, we are not strong enough to face that one battle.  Sometimes, we just need a shoulder to cry on.
I am going to recount a little incident that I heard about in office the other day. I am a little sad that I cannot help this girl in any way, because in this case, she refuses to be helped. Apparently, a senior member of her team misbehaved with her. She was very scared by this incident. While my company has very good escalation channels in all matters, this girl simply refused to approach the right people. Why? The fear of being judged or victimized, I assume. She simply approached the HR and asked for a roll-off from the project. Unfortunately, there was no other project that was looking to hire a new resource, so she ended up on the bench, sobbing uncontrollably at the slightest provocation.
There was no reason for this bright girl to be on bench. If anything, the guy who misbehaved should have been sacked. We have seen that happening before. I proudly work for a very woman-friendly company. But sadly, she lacked the courage. I cannot blame her. Most of us are too afraid to bring such incidents to light. How many women get groped in buses and local trains, but suffer in silence because they are too embarrassed by what is happening to them? And too afraid of the consequences of raising their voices in such scenarios. The same fear exists even if something of the sort happens in a corporate environment. The embarrassing thought that fingers will point at you saying you’re the one crap happened to.
I could not stand it. I offered to approach the relevant groups on her behalf. There was no way in hell I was planning to keep quiet about this. The girl just would not stop sobbing. A friend said “Chhod na, she’s old enough to fight her battles. If she doesn’t wanna do anything, then she’ll just see you as a meddler.” Perhaps he was right. Perhaps, I was pushing her too hard to do something she did not want to do. Yes, I would be annoyed too if someone kept nagging me for something. But I was only offering help.
So, there isn’t much I can do for her, though I want to. But I want her to know, I am still willing to help her with this issue. And if she needs a shoulder to sob on, I am always available.

6 thoughts on “A Shoulder To Cry On

  1. Rum-Punch Drunk October 27, 2013 / 8:14 AM

    Sometimes all you can do is let the person know that you are there to support them and hopefully at some point she will have the courage to make a formal complaint. We always have to be careful because if you complain on her behalf over such a serious issue, and she fails to support it or you, then it will look as if you are a meddler fighting for a cause that possibly didn't happen because she won't explain to anyone what took place. All the negative attention is that put on to you as a trouble-maker.


  2. Sreesha Divakaran October 27, 2013 / 10:42 AM

    Yup. If she doesn't come forward to fight her own case, people might just say I'm trying to pull something off cos I have something against the guy in question.


  3. nothingprofound October 27, 2013 / 4:09 PM

    Pity she won't stand up for herself. This kind of secrecy has protected men for centuries from the consequences of their actions. It's a sort of unwritten law which needs to be rewritten. Women get blamed for the unwanted and unsolicited sexual advances men make towards them.


  4. Sreesha Divakaran October 28, 2013 / 4:06 AM

    Not only do women get blamed by others, but they begin to question themselves if they led the man on. If it was something they said or something they wore. Most of them bury such incidents as a bad dream, simply cos they are too embarrassed by it.


  5. Abhra October 28, 2013 / 6:54 PM

    True – may be she had this fight with herself and yes, it makes us feel helpless. By the way, what happened to your blog background? It seems to be in complete disarray.


  6. Sreesha Divakaran October 28, 2013 / 7:02 PM

    Oh, does it?? It seems fine on my machine, I am not quite sure. Will check on my office machine tomorrow and try to fix it…


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