Former Blockbuster Employee Says Manager Made Her Strip For Chance Of Promotion

Chicago Now reports an Illinois woman is suing Blockbuster for sexual harassment because her manager allegedly twice demanded she show him her breasts in order to be considered for a promotion. He also demanded she sit on his lap for computer training.

He didn’t stop there. Other complaints the woman is levying:

- Perrier made numerous inappropriate comments such as “anytime you want three inches for three minutes…”

- Perrier took photos of plaintiff’s backside and refused to delete them.

After all that, the manager fired the employee. Could the allegations be any more creepy and disturbing? Way to train and supervise your managers, Blockbuster. Netflix just got even more appealing.

Chicago Now [via The Minimum Rage]
(Photo: medalian1)
(Thanks, Chris!)

Comments

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  1. GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark says:

    How long till Megan Fox brings charges against Michael Bay? He made her wash his car for a job.

  2. Scatter says:

    So?

    Most people that break the law are employed somewhere.

    • tbax929 says:

      @Scatter:
      So this should be ignored because other people who break the law have jobs? Huh?

      • ReaveT says:

        @tbax929 is just plain tbax929: No, I think he’s pointing out that it really isn’t Blockbuster’s fault that one of their managers was a douche.

        • mythago says:

          @ReaveT: Depends on their training program, their supervision of the manager, and their structure for dealing with asshole managers.

        • mythago says:

          @ReaveT: If a Blockbuster manager goes home from work and grabs his apartment building manager’s ass, Blockbuster is not responsible just because he works for them.

          That has nothing to do with whether Blockbuster is responsible if one of their managers asks one of his subordinate employees to flash her tits.

          This isn’t a difficult concept.

      • Scatter says:

        @tbax929 is just plain tbax929: @Skaperen:

        I’m sure this manager was let go as soon as upper management realized what was going on, but of course that won’t make news here.

    • Skaperen says:

      @Scatter: So?

      Fire them often enough and they will not be employable as managers or supervisors, anymore, and will only get minimum wage. Then maybe they will make an effort to do something about their own inappropriate behavior.

    • lmarconi says:

      @Scatter: Frankly, unless this guy had a history of situations like this, I don’t see why the dig at Blockbuster is necessary. Any corporation that employs thousands of people is going to employ a criminal by the law of statistics. It’s how they handle the situation afterwards that counts – you hope that the company is mature and responsible

      • RogerTheAlien says:

        @lmarconi: +1. I love Consumerist, but OPs and the editors seem to habitually pick on the same companies – companies that apparently can do nothing right(either factually or imagined – via Consumerist). This sort of harassment has happened at countless other companies. The fact that it happened at Blockbuster, a hated corporation here on Consumerist, seems to be the ONLY reason this was made into a story. Credibility of some of the posters here is dwindling, IMO.

        • lmarconi says:

          @RogerTheAlien: Agreed. I enjoy Consumerist but there’s this tendency for Consumerist posts lately to be too much about one in a thousand transactions at a company to go awry. Companies are going to make mistakes because they’re run by humans and humans are not infallible – and the whole brand shouldn’t suffer because one idiot that works for them did/said something stupid. What’s important is not that they make mistakes, it’s how the company chooses to deal with those mistakes and whether their policies are in the best interest of the consumer and the company.

          • Cyberxion101 says:

            @lmarconi: I would imagine that Consumerist posted it because it’s been reported in the news. You know, visibility equals fodder for the site and all that. I don’t think they’re picking on Blockbuster. No more than any other media.

  3. Brazell says:

    What exactly does a promotion at BlockBuster mean? Like, what are you promoted to?

    • Radi0logy says:

      @Brazell: It means you don’t have to go outside to the drop box and get the video’s in cold weather.

    • coren says:

      @Brazell: Making 50 cents more an hour, if it’s much like other crappy retail jobs

      • PLAAND88 says:

        @coren: @Brazell: From CSR to Shift Leader it’s like a $1.20/hour pay raise here, plus you’re pretty much guaranteed more hours, you get keys and manager codes for the computer.

        Shift Leader to Assistant Manager, you become salaried, have access to health and dental, paid vacation, an RRSP program and you get a fancy collared shirt.

        Probably not worth sexual abuse.

    • redskull says:

      @Brazell: Years ago in my city a White Castle-like burger joint opened up. The one time I went there they had exactly TWO employees working, manning the register, grill and everything else. One employee had a nametag that said “Manager,” and the other employee’s tag said “Assistant Manager.”

    • XTC46 says:

      @Brazell: Whyen I worked at blockbuster years ago, the bottom positions kinda sucked, but once you hit store manager level you pay got much better. Assistant managers were salaried (not great but not terrible), got good benefits, tuition reimburment, etc. Even as a CSR I had full medical / dental.

      And if you got to the reginal manager level the pay was very good, you got a company car, and more and it got better from there.

    • CappyCobra says:

      @Brazell: Well she was promoted. After all, they fired her. ;)

  4. temporaryscars says:

    Three inches? Hasn’t the guy suffered enough? He should get time served.

  5. Schildkrote says:

    Boy, what a great time for this to show up in the news. Now not only are they becoming even less convenient than Netflix or Redbox by closing a ton of their locations and not only are they apparently reinstating late fees (but only on video games? way to discriminate against a nice big chunk of your customer base), but they’re going to scare off whatever potential employees they might still have.

    I used to really like Blockbuster, too. Shame.

  6. Radi0logy says:

    Hahahah 3 inches, cmon dude, SELL yourself to her

  7. zzxx says:

    I smell collusion…….

    Pick a large company. Boyfriend and girlfriend get jobs there. Boyfriend harasses girlfriend. Girlfriend sues. Boyfriend admits harassment. Girlfriend collects and splits profits. You think it doesn’t happen? Guess what, you’re wrong. A couple in Brooklyn did that to Chase, McDonalds, and Kinko’s. What did them in was a judge for the Kinko’s case remembered them from a previous lawsuit.

    The kicker here is that this harassment is not criminal. So admitting to it will not lead to anything other than losing a lousy job. I am just waiting for the day when employees pair up, harass each other, and collect. The only thing that stops this is a person’s ethics. Seeing that corporations have flushed their ethics down the toilet…this is bound to happen

    • Porcelina says:

      @zzxx: Wow. Really? Because you know of ONE couple that did it, that means that sexual harassment doesn’t really happen?

      So I supposed because a few women have lied about being raped, that every women who actually does get raped should have to deal with no one taking their claims seriously.

      Pathetic.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        @Porcelina: Interesting theory, but it could also be this manager was a just a horny douche and took it upon himself to badger some poor woman. I’ve known retail managers who go on power trips, sometimes because they feel underpaid and overworked.

      • zzxx says:

        @Porcelina: I am not talking about rape. This is entirely different. In my experiences both of these crimes contain many fake instances. Can I assign a percentage? No. However, that percentage is significant enough to dilute the dread of real instances of the crime. This is no more than the boy who cried wolf.

        I was threatened with a sexual harassment suit after I gave a female employee a well-deserved bad review. I told her to bring it on. Nothing happened. After that day, in 1988, I never stay alone at work. As a matter of fact, another woman tried that tactic to me and my assistant in 1992. We then took action against her.

        The sum total of my experiences show that most accusations are false and most lawsuits are fake and are merely attempts at money extortion.

        All real victims of sexual harassment (and rape) should come down very hard on those who falsely claim such happenings. So should judges. But that ain’t happening.

        • GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark says:

          @zzxx: So did she bring it? I hope she didn’t use that routine from Sparky Polastri. Even with spirit fingers, she couldn’t expect good scores from the judges.

        • floraposte says:

          @zzxx: You’ve said yourself you have no idea how often this happens. Therefore you don’t know if the percentage dilutes real instances of the offense. It’s also important to note that threats to report aren’t the same thing as reports.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            @floraposte: Very good point on the threats to report vs. reports.

            There’s a difference when there isn’t any evidence to suggest something may be a hoax. If you’ve recently gotten a bad review, it’s not entirely unreasonable to suspect that a harassment complaint may be retaliation. If someone makes a harassment complaint without having any record to suggest an alterior motive other than to bring to light another person’s poor behavior – then it becomes more likely that this person is very well telling the truth.

            Remember, people. Creepy people like this have a hard time disgusing their creepiness. Other people will have noticed this as well, even if they haven’t said anything.

            • floraposte says:

              @pecan 3.14159265: Actually, creepy people are often very good at not looking creepy to people they don’t target. That’s why they can be very powerful people.

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                @floraposte: Stalkers are all creepy people, but not all creepy people are stalkers. I’ve known a lot of creepy people who didn’t target one person in particular – they were just creepy to everyone. Uggggh.

                Maybe my creep radar has always been more sensitive. I can spot creepy behavior a mile away.

                • floraposte says:

                  @pecan 3.14159265: You’ve got a logical fallacy there, though, because you don’t know about the creeps you don’t spot.

                  There’s plenty of sexual harassment by people considered not to be creepy by their colleagues and shareholders.

                  • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                    @floraposte: Okay, I’ll agree to that. The people who aren’t creepy in general, but still get complained about are simply douchebags. And then there are the people who do it, but you’re not entirely sure if they know A friend of mine has a boss who gives her compliments on what she’s wearing all the time…almost every day, and very specific compliments, like he notices when she wears a particular color often or when she gets an inch taken off her hair, or wears a new pair of shoes. We’ve talked about it, and we’re not sure whether he’s just being friendly, or if he’s being inappropriate. Otherwise, she says he’s a nice guy, but the fact that he notices these things in such intense detail..we’re just not sure what to make of that.

                    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

                      @pecan 3.14159265: He might just be very detail oriented.. I wouldn’t tell her not to be cautious around him, but if he’s not saying anything innaproprate while he’s complimenting her, then I wouldn’t think much of it.

                      My boss compliments me when I wear certian colors, or if I wear a new top, but she’s a woman.. so.. *shrug*

                    • Coelacanth says:

                      @pecan 3.14159265: Some people, especially some very intelligent people, have extremely sharp memories. Also, there’re plenty of detail-oriented people whose social skills are a little off. Sometimes people mistake that for creepiness. (New shoes, really??? – I can’t tell you the number of times female coworkers gab about a new outfit/accessory!)

                      I usually draw the line when somebody who continually tries to be close to someone despite it being clear the other person isn’t interested. Nobody’s a mind-reader.

                      I worry that some people’s “creep-dar” cause way too many false positives.

        • ExtraCelestial says:

          @zzxx: The sum total of my experiences show that most accusations are false and most lawsuits are fake and are merely attempts at money extortion.

          Good grief

        • pwillow1 says:

          @zzxx: Sexual harassment and rape are on the continuum of sexual aggression. At one end of the continuum is harassment and at the other end is rape. So yeah, they ARE related and quite similar.

          There doesn’t have to be a “sex for promotion” situation for behavior to be considered sexual harassment. Behavior and comments which contribute to a “hostile workplace” have been determined by the courts to be sexual harassment.

          Someone close to me was “counseled” because a coworker (not a subordinate) had complained about sexual harassment by him and another man in their office. In his case, I could see her point, though I believe his comments were not made in order to demean her. I had warned this person that some of his statements could be considered inappropriate and might embarrass his female coworkers. This person had several sisters and felt comfortable discussing certain subjects with women. That’s what got him into trouble. His statements, and those of his coworker, contributed to what this woman felt was a hostile workplace. Both of the accused men were shocked that what they had said had offended and embarrassed this woman. But their appreciation of this situation were quite different from hers. She considered it harassment for her male coworkers (both of whom were married and expecting babies) to make comments related to sex, menstruation and pregnancy. And her comments and nonverbal cues to them that these subjects made her uncomfortable were ignored or overlooked.

          I find it interesting that you feel you’re capable of determining what is “real” sexual harassment and rape. What you, as a man, consider a “false claim” may in fact rise to the level of sexual harassment. What you may consider an innocent comment can be perceived by a reasonable woman to be threatening or embarrassing and could make her perceive her workplace as a hostile one. These may not be “false claims.” They may be legitimate ones.

          • pop top says:

            Hey guys, one time this similar thing happened to me/someone I know/someone in my area so everything that was true for that situation is automatically true for every situation remotely similar to it. Forget things like evidence or studies or facts; this shit was real.

            • katstermonster says:

              @squinko: Ummm my best friend’s cousin’s sister-in-law’s nephew had the opposite thing happen to him. You are so clearly wrong, why are you such an ignorant schmuck???!!!

              @TinkishDelight: I’m an engineer and I work with engineers….they’re a different breed. I don’t get creeped out anymore because a lot of the time they don’t realize they’re being creepy – they’re just trying to make conversation.

              • katstermonster says:

                @katstermonster: (Not to say that an engineer can’t actually be creepy. They can be. But they make for a lot of false positives, heh.)

                • VisionFromAfar says:

                  @katstermonster: As an engineer, I resemble…>< RESENT that!

                  • katstermonster says:

                    @VisionFromAfar: I’m an engineer, too. :) I make it my JOB to be socially awkward.

                    @zzxx: Did you even read the article? It discussed actual SCIENTIFIC STUDIES, not surveys of the infamously biased population. Surveys are FAR from foolproof, especially when people (you come to mind!) have no actual knowledge of crime statistics. They think, “Oh, my friend got accused of rape and he didn’t do it! That must be high on the list!” Just how stupid are you?

              • ExtraCelestial says:

                @katstermonster: I’m in environmental so I often PREFER the weirdo engineers to the socially awkward scientists now that I’ve had a chance to get used to their neurosis. I draw the line though, at straightening random stacks of paper on my desk. I don’t care how much you fidget and stare.

          • floraposte says:

            @pwillow1: Yes, definitely people can make co-workers and subordinates uncomfortable without realizing it. I do hope her comment was specific and clear, though–”Please don’t talk about that around me, it makes me feel uncomfortable.” Sometimes people rely on the indirect and then feel they’re being ignored, when the problem is that they didn’t actually state their meaning.

            • pwillow1 says:

              @floraposte: I really don’t know if this woman’s discomfort was expressed directly and verbally to her male coworkers. She blushed and this was acknowledged by her male coworkers who commented on it. But it didn’t seem to occur to them that she might be blushing from embarrassment and their conversational topic might be the cause of this. (*sigh* Clueless!)

              The complaint she made came up as a result of a talk with her manager about job performance. She had been avoiding certain tasks of her job and had inquired if another employee could assume them, and that’s when it came out that she was avoiding interacting with these two coworkers because she was so uncomfortable. She didn’t storm into the manager’s office threatening “lawsuit.” She was trying to cope with the situation by avoiding the coworkers who made her uncomfortable, and this had caused problems with her job performance.

              She had confided in an older female coworker about her discomfort and had been advised to ignore her feelings.

              This situation didn’t end in a formal complaint or lawsuit, it was averted by the supervisor talking to the people involved, and apologies on the part of the two men. One of them was genuinely surprised and contrite and felt badly that she had been avoiding him because of what they had said. I think the other one was annoyed and blamed her.

              Unfortunately as a result, this woman was perceived by other coworkers to be a troublemaker or “too sensitive” because of this episode, and other comments were made (on the order of “Uh-oh, everybody shaddup, we can’t talk about this around her!”) She transferred to another department.

              • floraposte says:

                @pwillow1: Yeah, these situations are just fraught with difficulty, and sometimes there’s no good way out of it. I do think sometimes people overlook that direct request approach, though; and as you note, sometimes this happens because the offenders had no idea they were bugging anybody, so all the heavy sighs in the world aren’t going to make somebody stop if they don’t know what it is they’re doing.

      • waltja26 says:

        @Porcelina:

        What is pathetic is how people seemingly must jump to one extreme conclusion or another.

        Its always either, one couple committed fraud so every instance is fraud, or because people actually do get harassed, so we must stone everyone accused. I believe zzxx’s point was: LET’S NOT JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS! Fraud exists. Harassment exists. Hopefully this case will be judged on its merits.

        Either way, what does Blockbuster have to do with the managers actions? I am sure they do not promote harassment, and if the manager is guilty of harassment, it was his personal choice to be a creep. I guess it is the fault of our law system if suing Blockbuster is her only avenue of recourse.

        • katstermonster says:

          @waltja26: I would agree with you, had zzxx’s first sentence not been “I smell collusion…….” Going around accusing every person filing a lawsuit or pressing charges of collusion means that the real crimes don’t get reported or prosecuted, for fear of being accused of making it up. Great job there, ace.

      • pot_roast says:

        @Porcelina: Uh, actually, real claims are being taken less seriously because of the number of false claims. *That* is what’s pathetic.. the false claimers.

        What is also too bad is that sexual harrassment claims are very often used as a convenient revenge tool.

    • ratnerstar says:

      @zzxx: Wow, two other, unrelated people once defrauded some different companies with fake sexual harassment lawsuits in another place? That’s some compelling evidence for suspecting collusion here!

    • GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark says:

      @zzxx: So does that mean all missing children aren’t actually missing, because of BalloonBoi and DoucheDad?

      Besides, I’m guessing even at Blockbuster, you don’t just start the job as a manager/someone in a leadership position all the time. But I could be wrong.

      • zzxx says:

        @GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark:
        Now we bring missing children into this……..

        How many people think that for many missing children you have to find the ex-wife (or husband) and the child will be just fine.

        I am tired of my tax revenue being used to mediate disputes between ex-spouses.

        BTW, all three missing children cases that I was near were of the “find the ex-spouse” variety. One was a classmate of mine that was taken from the school yard during lunch (in 1972). Massive searches turned up nothing. As a third grader I knew that this kid was the only one with divorced parents and that mom lived on Long Island and dad lived in Miami. I predicted that this kid would be found fine in Miami and he was.

        This does not diminish the severity of the real crimes but as I said before there are so many fake crimes that the anguish and veracity of the real crime is diluted.

        Think about it – How many times have wives / husbands called the police on each other charging domestic violence when none happened just to use that to screw the other partner or gain a bargaining chip in divorce or child custody proceedings?

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      @zzxx: FYI- It takes more than 3 details to smell much of anything.

    • Rachacha says:

      @zzxx: The court documents indicate that the woman was married, not to the manager.

    • Tim says:

      @zzxx: You are SO RIGHT. One time, someone set fire to his own house to collect homeowner’s insurance. Therefore, I “smell” insurance fraud in every arson case!

      Oh, and government have faked things before and hidden the evidence. So John F. Kennedy’s murder, the moon landing, 9/11, Pearl Harbor … it all “smells” like conspiracy!

      The woman said she was sexually harassed at work, and you suspect collusion right off the bat? I hope you never work for anything remotely related to the legal field.

      • zzxx says:

        @TCama: Think about it….You are right.

        Many house fires are set by homeowners because in the bottom line end one whose house burns to the ground is made more than whole in the end. Let me tell you my inlaws house burned to the ground. They lost everything. However, none of their possesions were of much sentimental value. They had no sentimental furniture because they emigrated here in 1959. They were wearing their wedding rings and had all of the rest of their jewelry in a safe deposit box. They lost their family pictures which my father in law pointed out that they did not look at in 4 years. When it was all said and done their new house was better than their old house. The old house was built in 1970 with 5 small bedrooms, now they have three large ones. The bathrooms were tiny now they are large. They had separate living room and den, now they have one great room. They had two garages, now they have three. And there are many more things like that. During the rebuild of the house they were put up in the Huntington Hilton. They had free breakfasts and free happy hours for 5 months. They also had no utility bills for 5 months. Let me tell you that as a volunteer firefighter I have seen many planned arsons. Suburban authorities do not have the manpower to investigate all cases and all of these cases go unprosecuted. I believe that an insurance company should rebuild a house to the floor plan it was before the fire. Like me, I own 8 suits. I fit into two of them. If my house were to burn I would get eight spanking new suits and I would fit into all of them (until I get larger). I would tweak the newly built house to make it what I want (like a larger dining room and a third garage). I would also relocate the back entrance of the house.

        Getting back to the sexual harassment, even if evidence exists, that is not proof that there was no collusion. A good collusionist couple will make sure that evidence exists. To thwart this I would make sexual harassment a crime so that if there is collusion one of them would go to jail. Corporate America is so open to this kind of lawsuit.

        All the other topics you bring up – research and draw your own conclusions. As a World Trade Center survivor myself I feel that something not kosher is behind what happened and you cannot rely on the mass media to tell the full story.

        • GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark says:

          @zzxx: OMG! PLEASEEEEEEEEE tell me you are not a “Truth”er(the name alone is a logical fallacy)!

          Actually, tell me you are. Because then, I will know to ignore you completely. Also tell Alex I said hello and “tubal cain”.

          • katstermonster says:

            @GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark: Nope. It looks like he’s a truther. That’s my cue to exit this thread as well.

            • GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark says:

              @katstermonster: If it’s true, count me as well. He’ll just pull logical fallacy after logical fallacy, and use other cases or lack of evidence to “prove” he’s right.

              In the immortal words of Yakko: “Goodnight Everybody!”

            • ExtraCelestial says:

              @katstermonster: @GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark:Mm yeah I checked out a while ago when my eyes started to glaze over. His lack of awareness is painful to watch.

              @pecan 3.14159265:
              I agree with Kimaroo. I mean, I wouldn’t let my guard down, but he could just be very detailed. When I first started working at my current job with engineers it was really jarring to have men notice and comment the tiniest of changes I made in my personal appearance. Then when I noticed they also comment when I move my scanner or trash can and freak out if the mail bin is in a different place I realized engineers are just weirdos. Harmless, non-creepy, detail obsessed weirdos. Some people are just like that.

          • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

            @GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark: @katstermonster: He lost me at “you cannot rely on the mass media to tell the full story.” Actually, he lost me before that, but that line suddenly explained why he immediately saw collusion everywhere.

            Consipracy Theorist FTL.

            • zzxx says:

              @RecordStoreToughGuy_IsBeing(pur)SuedByAMonster: I am not a truther. Someone else brought up 9/11, JFK, and Pearl Harbor. I just responded to that. I am just a skeptic, and a cynic. Many people who are neither don’t want to admit to themselves that people / organizations are as lousy as I described. Face it…people are more and more mercenary than ever. People and corporations are less and less honorable. Therefore every claim (lawsuit / domestic violence / house fire) should be fully investigated. The punishment for filing false claims should be extreme. Our justice system funded by our taxes is heavily misused.

              I am just wondering how many people who make a false statement to the police actually get convicted of that. A person doing that for domestic violence should go to jail (get a record, maybe lose their jobs) because misusing our justice system is a crime against all people. This goes for all fake sexual harassments, racial discrimination, rape, etc… crimes that have notoriously large percentages of fake claims. Add to that insurance fraud and disability fraud. We all pay.

              • katstermonster says:

                @zzxx: Re: the “notoriously large percentages” of rape claims. You have no freaking idea what you’re talking about.

                [www.slate.com]

                • zzxx says:

                  @katstermonster: Survey people and ask them what crime has the highest percentage of fake reports………Here is what you will always see at the top of the list…rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, police brutality.

                  Insurance fraud is way up. People are torching their Hummers everywhere. Fake disability is skyrocketing. The victims have to be treated with skepticism only to keep them honest. Otherwise the system will run amok, if it already didn’t so.

                  • pop top says:

                    @zzxx: How is asking random people their opinion about what crime has the most fraudulent reports in any way scientific? Please post some statistics from accredited, non-biased sources to support your claims.

                    • korybing says:

                      @squinko: I knew a guy in high school who claimed to be a volunteer firefighter but was making it up because he wanted people to think he was cool. Therefore I am forever skeptical of anyone who claims they are a volunteer firefighter.

                      Seriously though, I understand your argument to take everything with a grain of salt (hell, I usually don’t believe anything I read until I’ve read it from several different sources, especially if I found that information on the internet), but the way you’re presenting your argument it’s coming off that you’re claiming everybody everywhere is always lying all the time, which simply isn’t true, and, I suspect, the main reason you’re getting a lot of people riled over it.

                    • katstermonster says:

                      @squinko: THANK YOU. My point exactly. In fact, the point the article makes is that the studies have varying degrees of bias and error, but the “most scientific” ones agree that the false rape claim is much lower than people actually think.

                  • Barbobaggins says:

                    @zzxx:

                    What people believe is true doesn’t actually make it so, if all your friends claimed the earth was flat would you believe it? The actual instance of false rape reports according to most police organizations (many state police, FBI, and the UK) is around 1.9-4%. That’s about the same number of false car theft reports. The statistic that 40% are false because they don’t go to trial is due to rape being considered a difficult one to bring to prosecute as many people still question the veracity of the victim (for example: if she didn’t want to sleep with him she wouldn’t have visited his apartment, she most have just regretted it or was jealous). Please consider before using rape as an example of a highly probable false report consider the sheer number of victims (1 of 6 women, 1 of 33 men, their friends and families) who could be deeply offended by your insinuation and remember that less than fifty percent of rapes actually ever get reported because of other people’s inherent skepticism of their claims. False insurance claims and counterclaims only really hurt people materially, rape and claiming that rape accusations tend to be false directly and only hurts people.

                    • katstermonster says:

                      @Barbobaggins: You, sir or madam, get a heart. I posted an article about false reporting statistics above, but our pal zzxx decided he was too good to read it.

                      And as someone whose friend was raped in my apartment (I was drunk/asleep in another room, and yes, I am positive she was raped in the fullest sense of the word) but didn’t want to report it because of embarrassment/shame, I have to say that rape NOT being reported is a much bigger issue than rape falsely being reported. But I don’t just say that because of my personal experience. I say that because the statistics support me as well.

                    • RandomZero says:

                      @katstermonster: That’s the point that really gets me about his claims. Going by the numbers I’ve seen, for every false report, there’s six victims out there scared nobody will believe them. And yet the false reports are the big problem?

              • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

                @zzxx: I feel that something not kosher is behind what happened and you cannot rely on the mass media to tell the full story.

                That’s what I based my assessment on. In my experience, everyone who says that wears tinfoil hats.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @zzxx: Okay, now that you claim to have only seen parental kidnapping, fake sexual harassment, arson, AND been in the WTC, I hereby declare you either making stuff up (complete with appeals to authority — I’m a volunteer firefighter, I know these things) or the shadiest man alive who apparently only interacts with the shadiest possible people.

          • zzxx says:

            @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): When I was in grade school I say a classmate get pursuaded off the school yard. Apparently it was his uncle but I found that our later.

            I was the victim of a fake sexual harassment case. I never harassed anyone.

            I was in Tower 2 working for MSDW on Tuesday 9/11/01. The DW part of the company ‘fell off’.

            I do volunteer for a fire company in Orange County, NY and did so since 1999.

            I am glad to say that I never did anything as unethical as was described in this thread.

            I had many episodes of seeing shadiness around me. And as you get older you accumulate more. However, these episodes are mostly remembered from news items, like the collusionary harassment. I work with and interact with many nice people who would never do this crap. I am just saying that there are more and more dishonest people out there. Dishonesty is getting too accepted. Ethics are not being taught anymore. Selfishness is.

            I’m a volunteer firefighter not because I want authority. I have time on my hands (no kids no pets) and I decided to do something good for my community. Also, several of my friends volunteer too.

            • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

              @zzxx: I’m an attorney, I’ve worked in the legal system (though at present I am home with my spawn and teaching part time) and I just have never seen this level of shadiness or false claims.

              Perhaps you live in a shady part of the country. Your experience has not been my experience, even when I was directly involved in the legal end of it.

              • pop top says:

                @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Clearly your experiences are the wrong ones…

              • zzxx says:

                @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): I work in NYC. Its probably the shadiest part of the country. You’ll be amazed and the crap I see. I can tell that we are shadier than the rest of the country because my company got merged and now I deal with many people not from NYC I can feel that they are different. I just can’t put my finger on why.

                • pop top says:

                  @zzxx: I love it. You really don’t understand that your personal experiences and things you’ve overheard at some point are not 100% factual for every similar situation. Either provide statistics to back up your claims or stop acting like you know anything about anything whatsoever.

          • GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark says:

            @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Well, again, not to side with you know who, but I don’t consider myself “shady”, and I have met a variety of interesting people in my life, live in an interesting state, and travel enough to come across interesting things. I’m like Forrest Gump, only slightly fatter, and less runny. I think it was here on Consumerist someone declared I was making things up. Just saying.

    • Excited_Utterance says:

      @zzxx: Re: collusion – dictionaries are free on the internet. I suggest you consult one!

      • GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark says:

        @Excited_Utterance: I hate to agree with zzxx, but Collusion is defined as:

        An agreement, usually secretive, which occurs between two or more persons …to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically by defrauding…

        I’m sure someone can quote the law/figure of how often someone who decides they “know better” is wrong when they try to point out the “mistake” of another.

        • Excited_Utterance says:

          @GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark: That’s true, I assume the figure is quite high.

          I was merely drawing distinctions in my head that don’t actually exist in the “real world.” Thanks for pointing out that I should take my own advice!

          At any rate, my silly aside was entirely beside the point. So many regrets today and it’s only just past noon? Sigh.

    • katstermonster says:

      @zzxx: I mean, you only set sexual harrassment issues back about 40 years. No big deal.

    • soundreasoning says:

      @zzxx: Wow I agree totally with Eyebrows McGee. I have rarely heard such a poor inference made based on the information than zzxx just made about collusion. I am totally flabbergasted. Seeing shady things does not equate to shady things happening in any particular instance. The logic is so faulty there’s almost nothing to say, except you’re theory is totally unfounded, even the whiff of actual collusion is unfounded, and as such I hope you don’t do something where too many people rely on you, because I think they may be screwed. I’m not saying its not possible just that you brought it up with no reason beyond “it has happened before.” Wow.

    • Smashville says:

      @zzxx: Yawn. Obvious troll is obvious.

      Cliff Notes of this thread:

      zzxx: It’s false because one time in 1992, I had a false one filed on me.
      Everyone else: So if you knew someone burnt their own house down, all arsons would be false?
      zzxx: All arsons are false! I knew someone in 1979 that burnt their own house down.
      Everyone else: So if children are found, they’re never really kidnapped?
      zzxx: I knew someone that was kidnapped once in 1972 and he actually did get candy and got to pet the puppy. There’s no such thing as kidnapping.
      Everyone else: So I guess you believe 9/11 didn’t happen either.
      zzxx: It didn’t happen. I was in the WTC and I went home at 3 pm…and it was still standing. In fact, I still live next door to it and it’s still there.
      Everyone else: So…North Carolina?
      zzxx: North Carolina doesn’t exist. I drove south in 1987 and went straight from Virginia to Tennessee and to Georgia. There is no such thing as the Carolinas. They are false.

      • katstermonster says:

        @Smashville_now with Monster Energy: Comment of the Day/Week/Month!!! Bravo. That was incredible.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Smashville_now with Monster Energy: Well, what it really means is that zzxx lives in an alternate Fringe universe.

      • zzxx says:

        @Smashville_now with Monster Energy: I guess what my arguments boil down to is the fact that the US is being hindered by BS. That is why we are losing any standing we have in the world. People are so clever at devising ways to work the system and corporations spend great amounts of time and effort into defending against this BS. People should earn an honest living. Instead they augment their income by filing fake lawsuits, never at the perpetrator of the harassment but at the company. You do this often enough and there will be no company to employ people. It will all be outsourced. Lawsuits by employees is one of the never-mentioned reasons why companies outsource to foreign countries. We already know that pay overseas is a fraction of what it is here. So if we don’t play nice (no harassing, no fake lawsuits) more jobs will go away. Already companies locate a minimum number of employees in the US and a minimum in urban areas where lawsuits (both fake and real) are more prevalent.

        I did witness a parental kidnapping.

        I did survive 9/11.

        I am a volunteer firefighter / emt.

        I saw and heard of plenty of crap in my years. I also saw many good things. Like many people my cynicism is running high.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @zzxx: Well, then, here’s the problem with your argument: A robust legal system encourages investment and employment. Yes, the incentives can become misaligned and yes, the system can be cumbersome. But corporations vastly prefer countries with such robust systems.

          And high-lawsuit counties tend to be rural ones, not urban ones.

          • zzxx says:

            @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Not to belabor this….but I think that corporations prefer countries where workers are repressed and cheap. I think that European workers have it best, then the US. I many countries a civil court system is not available to the public. That is optimum for a corporation. They simply have to pay off a few politicians and strongmen, never face a civil suit, win every dispute with a worker, forget about environmental laws, etc…

            A robust legal system may attract employment and investment but I think that a properly corrupted one where there are scant laws is even better. Corporations adopted China, India, and Russia so that they can form these countries in their own ways. There are few remedies for workers and corporations are well taken care of if they pay the big guys off.

            The US has the most robust and known legal system on the planet yet many good jobs are going away. The only jobs staying here are jobs that must stay here. Heck, they even outsourced the voice on the speaker when you drive up to McDonalds.

            • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

              @zzxx: “I many countries a civil court system is not available to the public. That is optimum for a corporation. They simply have to pay off a few politicians and strongmen, never face a civil suit, win every dispute with a worker, forget about environmental laws, etc…”

              In fact it is not optimum … because what happens is that the “strongmen” and political regime can just appropriate the corporation at any time.

              The NYSE has the most stringent listing requirements of any stock exchange … but companies fight to be on it.

            • Englishee Teacher says:

              @zzxx: So because I was sexually harassed twice at work (one was technically a sexual assault) I should argue that 100% of all sexual harassment claims are legitimate?

              and anyone who claims that almost every woman they know files fake harassment complaints clearly has an exaggeration problem or lives in an asylum somewhere.

      • CrowMignon says:

        @Smashville_now with Monster Energy: Yeah, I got troll too. With a hint of paranoid Walter Mitty. Persistent one though. Sad.

    • H3ion says:

      @zzxx: Oh come on. Sorry I’m late getting to this one but I just got online and this is unadulterated bullshit. Most kidnappings are kidnappings, whether it’s a parent committing the act or a stranger. Most rapes are rapes. In fact the problem seems to be that too many rapes are not reported. That is true of most sexually-related crimes.

      How many murders would you guess are the result of collusion? Sure, there’s arson for insurance money. And when it’s found out, or when the insurance company suspect it, the perp is out both his money and the house he burned down. Sure, there’s collusion among thieves, but that doesn’t make the rest of the reported crimes wrongly reported.

      Fact is, some things reported as sexual harassment really are not, or are stupid beyond belief, but most have some basis. The very fact that Congress felt it necessary to pass a law meant that at least a majority of our elected representatives and the President thought there was enough smoke to indicate a fire.

      One of the crazy stories regarding sexual harassment, of which I have personal knowledge, happened in a medical practice in London. A female transcriptionist was wearing six inch platform shoes and was having difficulty operating the foot pedals on the dictating equipment. The radiologist on duty told her “Your heels are too high.” That was the only thing he said. She filed a complaint for sexual harassment with the Employment Tribunal which promptly told her to pound sand, but the very fact that she (and a solicitor) thought she had a valid claim is saying something.

      • zzxx says:

        @H3ion: This is not BS as you say. You are right almost completely.

        Kidnappings are kidnappings.

        Most rapes are rapes. What if 10% are fake? That’s a lot of crap entering our justice system.

        Murders are unofficially classified by the authorities. A true random murderer is extremely rare. Most murders are lovers triangles, drug related, robberies, business deals gone bad, gang related, and revenge. If you are honest, don’t flash cash, don’t mess around with someones woman, don’t do drugs, and don’t join a gang you will probably never be murdered. You best chance of being murdered will be by a drunk driver.

        You even cited me an example of a fake sexual harassment case. Every male that I know came under that threat. Most females I know used that threat. I am just saying that sexual harassment is used way too often simply for revenge or some extra money. Of course congress passed that law. I would be surprised if it wasn’t passed unanimously. Its a great law. We do need a law specifically written to punish people who bring up false charges.

        Insurance fraud is way up. In most cases this is the only stealing that a person may do in their lives. A moral person may never steal a bottle of booze from the liquor store but will inflate a claim because they justify that theft by saying that they have been paying excessive premiums and now it is their turn to get the money back. You even say that people burn their house down for money but get in trouble when found out. The problem is that especially in suburban areas there are not enough fire marshals to check out every fire. Like I said before many people profit from their house burning down and even plan the day it would happen. If you think I am wrong I see something that I would never have dreamt of happening, people abandoning their homes, even if they can afford the payments. That goes so counter to what one would consider ethical.

        I just wanted to say that honesty and ethics are down the tubes (look at my very first post) and is costing our nation dearly. This country is in such bad shape now. The stuff I see now would have been inconceivable in my mind 5 years ago.

        I am amazed at the response of my first post. My previous paragraph sums up my viewpoint.

        • mythago says:

          @zzxx: Really? Most of the women you personally know have maliciously threatened a sexual-harassment lawsuit in order to get an advantage at work? Did it ever occur to you that with your attitude, any woman who was genuinely harassed would probably rather eat glass than tell you about it?

          So your argument is that you decided to make up paranoid shit about an alleged harassment victim in order to make a larger point about how America is going to hell in a handbasket. Gee, that was persuasive.

  8. Jesse says:

    I don’t think it’s right to pin the incident on Blockbuster unless they knew about it and didn’t do anything.

    Sexual harassment like this can happen in any organization.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @Jesse: The law disagrees. Funnily enough, management is considered to represent the company.
      But I’m sure you’ll be as understanding when your daughter’s groped, photographed and harassed. Boys WILL be boys, suck it up little girly!

      • ExtraCelestial says:

        @Trai_Dep: Pshaw! Everyone knows that an employer’s obligation to provide a safe environment for their employees only extends to wet floors.

      • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

        @Trai_Dep: Maybe so, but if nobody reports the incidents to higher-ups, then the corp really can’t take any action beyond the standard catch-all “harassment is bad, mmmkay?” training. Can’t blame the organization for not taking action on something it didn’t know was happening.

      • coren says:

        @Trai_Dep: I don’t think their point was this was at all ok, or that there was no obligation for Blockbuster to act. However, manager of one store is certainly not the highest up the chain goes, and it gives Blockbuster an easy out if she never went over his head with this

    • Tim says:

      @Jesse: I don’t know if Trai_Dep is exactly right on this, but it’s definitely very hard for an employer to avoid culpability for sexual harassment if it came from management. I’m pretty sure there are ways that Blockbuster can escape culpability, though.

      • tbax929 says:

        @TCama:
        Trai_Deep is right on this.

        • Tim says:

          @tbax929 is just plain tbax929: Yeah, you may be right. But it definitely helps if the company does everything in its power to prevent it. Zero-tolerance policy, sexual harassment seminars, making it super-easy to report complaints, maybe even surveillance of back rooms and/or surveillance of company computers …

          Point is, any time a company can distance itself from these things and say “We did everything we could to stop this” will significantly reduce its responsibility and/or damages should it be found liable.

          • teke367 says:

            @TCama: I understand that Blockbuster is/may be held responsible, since they are the company. I do think it’s a little unfair to say “Way to train and supervise your managers, Blockbuster. Netflix just got even more appealing.” I mean, I don’t think anybody is accusing the manager of not knowing he couldn’t do that, he just did it anyway.

            Now, if the woman had made complaints to corporate before, and they did nothing, then sure, they are in the wrong morally as well.

          • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

            @TCama: Exactly. They may still be ultimately responsible for the actions of their managers, but any evidence they can provide that they made a good-faith effort to prevent this type of behavior gives them more ammunition to limit their liability. If they can do all this and can also prove they were never made aware of the situation, then it’s an even stronger position for them to be in.

    • tonberryqueen says:

      @Jesse: Companies are, generally, legally responsible for the actions of their employees in the workplace. I work for a tiny non-profit, and we’re still insured for a few million in possible lawsuits brought on by the actions of employees.

      The company is responsible for keeping tabs on its managers.

  9. AthronofEryndor says:

    A creepy manager being creepy? Not a big deal.

    Upper management NOT doing anything after being informed the creepy manager was being creepy? Very big deal.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @AthronofEryndor: Creepy manager being creepy is kind a big deal because it can affect your mental state. Most creepy people are just weird and may make you a little uncomfortable, but sometimes it goes past that and you start wondering about them – cause they know where you live (employment records) and they know what car you drive, and they know what time you leave work…

      • merely_a_muse says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Thank you! Ugh, I can’t believe that someone actually wrote “creepy manager being creepy isn’t a big deal”. Yeah, it is. It is because they are your supervisor, because you’re expected to listen to what they say & do the things they tell you & it is so uncomfortable & confusing.

        I wonder how old the girl in this case was. The first time a “creepy manager was being creepy” at me I was only 17 & was so weirded out and confused that I didn’t know what to do about it. He was fired (unrelated) within a few weeks of his creepiest actions so I never dealt with it with upper management but I can understand how not knowing the proper way to report it can really stunt your judgement as to whether you should.

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      @AthronofEryndor: Not a big deal to whom?

      And if you think that this is the first time he has tried this or that this behavior won’t escalate (if it hasn’t already) you are mistaken.

    • Rachacha says:

      @AthronofEryndor: The incident was never reported to regional or corporate management, at least not according to the court documents. The woman never asked for the phone number for the regional manager until after she presumed she had been fired, at which poing the manager informed her that she was no longer an employee and refused to provide the number.

      Only an assistant manager was made aware of the problem, and when he began to suggest to the store manager that what he was doing was innappropriate he was apparently fired.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @AthronofEryndor: I have to ask. Are you a guy? If so, it explains why you may not think creepy people are a big deal.

      • oneandone says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: @merely_a_muse: I interpreted AthronofEryndor’s comment a little differently (maybe giving them too much benefit of the doubt):

        Creepy manager being creepy isn’t a concern for consumers or people who weren’t immediately involved, assuming that the report of creepiness/sexual harrassment was taken seriously and that justice is now running its course. It’s an unfortunate and often preventable situation, but it does occur, and there are mechanisms in place for dealing with it.

        If upper management didn’t do anything – if the mechanisms aren’t in place in Blockbuster or aren’t working – that has ramifications for many more people not directly impacted by this incident. I would agree that’s a very big deal.

  10. Trai_Dep says:

    Pictures or it didn’t happen?

  11. halcyondays says:

    Three inches? That’s pathetic.

    • floraposte says:

      @halcyondays: I love that the guys are all lording it over on the size and keeping their mouths shut about the duration.

      • Radi0logy says:

        @floraposte: Well, we hate to tell you girls this, but 3 minutes is all we need. The rest is for your sake. So its no surprise that a misogynist wouldn’t even give her the benefit of that doubt.

        • floraposte says:

          @Radi0logy: Depending on what’s going on, we may be happy to get it over with as well, but then we’re also not the ones wishing for length. I just thought it was funny that only the one claim got the attention.

          • Radi0logy says:

            @floraposte: “but then we’re also not the ones wishing for length”

            Yeah. Right.
            Women can’t get enough of the stubby, undersized wieners.

            • floraposte says:

              @Radi0logy: Most women aren’t that focused on the wieners to begin with. They’re not actually the main anatomy for giving most women thrills. Why men think sending women pictures of them is a good idea ([www.whywomenhatemen.blogspot.com]) is a puzzle indeed.

            • korybing says:

              @Radi0logy: It’s not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean, baby.

              • Radi0logy says:

                @korybing: I love when girls try to convince guys that “size doesn’t matter”. Its straight-up bullshit, the girls know it, the guys know it, and the undersized wee-wee’s know it. Girls laud honesty but they just cannot be honest about this.

                • korybing says:

                  @Radi0logy: Okay fine, I’m lying. You obviously won’t take any girl’s word on it, so I’ll just say what you want to hear rather than try to convince you that honestly there are many girls out there that don’t care about size, especially if the guy knows what he’s doing. All girls are lying scumbags and there are never any exceptions to anything ever. All girls want 12 inch peeners (or bigger!), the bigger the better! I sure love the feel of something that can’t physically fit inside of me without hurting me for days afterwards, it’s marvelous! I’ll take the big-dicked jerkwad abusive jock with an IQ of 40 over the nice guy who appreciates me as something more than a hole with breasts because awww, his weiner isn’t longer than my forearm so that’s a dealbreaker, sorry nice guy!

                  • Radi0logy says:

                    @korybing: Oh come on, no need to go to the most extreme.

                    I’m simply positing that, the majority of women, offered two nearly identical men, both nice, gainfully employed, able to dress themselves and with relatively marketable skills and “niceness”, the only difference between being one sporting 2 and a half inches, the other with a more reasonable 6 to 7, the vast majority of those women will pick the man that is more endowed.

                    Ergo, size matters, ergo, women cannot be honest about this fact.

                    • floraposte says:

                      @Radi0logy: I’m sure size matters to some women, but it doesn’t matter as much to them as it does to men. And for most women, it doesn’t even matter for the reason men apparently still believe it would.

                    • utensil42 says:

                      @Radi0logy: Eh. I’m a woman, and yes, there is a point where size matters. There is such thing as being too small or too large. These cut-offs vary by individual women. But, within the middle of the bell curve, no, size does not matter if you know what you’re doing.

        • WraithSama says:

          @Radi0logy:
          Really? I almost wish I could get it over with in 3 minutes. I’ve had girlfriends, and an ex-wife, complain that I last to long. Funny, because I always thought girls liked a guy with stamina. It’s even worse if I have to wear a condom, I can last upwards of half an hour.

          TMI??

      • katstermonster says:

        @floraposte: Hahahahahaha THANK YOU.

    • DoubleEcho says:

      @halcyondays: She could also be trying to zing him in a way. I’m not saying that the events didn’t happen, or that they weren’t serious. But it’d be a great way to get back at the manager.

      • Radi0logy says:

        @DoubleEcho: “But it’d be a great way to get back at the manager”

        As it is something that is EASILY disprovable if false, I’m sure her lawyer warned her strongly against doing that. It could seriously hurt her case.

    • stanner says:

      @halcyondays: To be fair,was he measuring length or width?

  12. Cant_stop_the_rock says:

    Glad to see you’ve already determined that he did it.

  13. theSuperman says:

    Im hoping to not get disemvoweled with this one.
    Its cases like this where its hard to actually prove what she is saying. Like if she has dirty text messages or emails from him that prove it, or surveillance tape, then its a open and shut case. But how can this guy adequately defend himself if none of this ever happened? Its just a he-said she-said case. Lets just say shes pissed she did not get the promotion, so she goes and sues Blockbuster for harassment that never existed. The guy will lose his job and be humiliated.

    With that said, if this harassment did happen, then I hope she has proof to win the case.

    • floraposte says:

      @theSuperman: I don’t think anybody believes that complaints are always justified. However, her making a complaint doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be fired, either.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @theSuperman: The article brings up the fact that the alleged creep took photos of the woman’s backside. I wonder, even if he deleted those photos off his camera or camera phone, is there a way of getting them back?

      • Rachacha says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: In reading the court documents, it sounds as if the woman bent over to pick up some video tapes (while wearing her uniform slacks) when the manager took the photographs. While it is creepy, and may be embarassing to the woman, it does not seem like they were nude or racy photos in any way, and likely will not personally identify the woman if they were to get out in public.

        • Rachacha says:

          @Rachacha: I should add, that just because the photos are not racy does not make the situation right in any way, just that even if authorities could not determine the status of the photos, it is unlikely that the woman would have to worry that the photos could be spread and lead to an embarassing situation in the future.

    • calquist says:

      @theSuperman: I agree. And most companies won’t even take a chance to hear the other party out. When the BF worked at Steak n Shake, there was a girl who would give bjs in the back room to other employees. When the manager approached her and said it had to stop, she cried sexual harassment to the higher ups and the manager was instantly fired.

      • floraposte says:

        @calquist: That’s why you document, document, document, and cc:, cc:, cc:. There are never any guarantees, but if you’ve got records of noting this employee’s behavior and lodging the issues with higher-ups, it’s a lot harder for a company just to wash their hands of the issue by canning you.

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      @theSuperman: You can’t prove a negative no matter the situation.

    • redskull says:

      @theSuperman: The way it’s supposed to work is the burden of proof lies with the accuser. Whether that happens in practice, I have no idea.

    • katstermonster says:

      @theSuperman: We’re all too distracted by zzxx above, stirring up conspiracy theories. :-D Your point is absolutely right…it’s very hard to prove/disprove things like date rape (I say that to distinguish from violent rape, which leaves physical evidence) and sexual harrassment. It’s all about documentation, especially when the behavior is ongoing. Just writing down when something happened and exactly what happened goes a long way to establishing integrity.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @katstermonster: Date rape can leave evidence, especially if traces of any incapacitating drugs were left in the body. And of course, the evidence left behind by rape itself.

        • katstermonster says:

          @pecan 3.14159265: Sorry, you’re right. I meant more of the gray-area situations where rape occurs in a non-violent fashion, or when consent wasn’t explicitly give, but was assumed, etc. The he-said, she-said ones.

        • floraposte says:

          @pecan 3.14159265: I think kastermonster is talking about the kind of situation where what’s at issue is consent, not the sexual contact. Most of the time there’s no malign drugging involved (and it’s tough to prove that somebody ingested a substance against her will as well). Willingly taken alcohol can further fuzzy the picture as well as the perception.

          • henneko says:

            @floraposte: “Willingly taken alcohol can further fuzzy the picture as well as the perception.”

            I think the government tends to consider drunk and/or drugged people as incapable of giving consent, even if they got that way on their own.

            • floraposte says:

              @henneko: Certainly their companions should.

            • katstermonster says:

              @henneko: I’ve always wondered, and no one has been able to answer me…what happens when both people are drunk? Generally this means that if anyone is going to be accused of rape, it’s the male, which seems unfair to me. Certainly both individuals can initiate and feel equally guilty about it afterwards, but the guy seems to always be the butt of it. There’s no good solution to this.

  14. Alarm Bell says:

    Re: the last line about Netflix just got more appealing:

    Netflix has been the only appealing choice for ages. Blockbuster, which charges the same rate per DVD, that Netflix charges for a month of unlimited DVDs, is horribly out of date. And their sanitized, “family values” puritanical movie selection, is all the more reason to go Netflix.

    That said, yes, the manager is very creepy and gross.

  15. SWBLOOPERS says:

    I happens the other way as well.

    1) I’m a former Blockbuster Manager.

    2) One of clerks would try to give me uninvited shoulder rubs, in spite of instructions not to.

    3) She would miss shifts and then when I would call to find out her status, she complained to her father I was calling her constantly and wouldn’t leave her alone, prompting her father to state, “Stop calling her, or would you like me to come down there and explain it to you personally?”

    4) If I attempted to fire her for poor performance, she threatened to bring my up on charges, based on the above.

    5) I fired her.

    6) She brought me up on charges.

    7) After a long investigation, I was found innocent because I had always worked hard to keep my reputation clean.

    8) I lost my store anyway.

    • Tim says:

      @SWBLOOPERS: Answer: complain to your superiors about both the uninvited shoulder rubs (which could be considered sexual assault), the threats to falsely accuse you of sexual harassment and the threats of harm from her father.

      If your superiors don’t do anything about it, contact the authorities to get actions taken against the company. If they don’t respond to your complaints, they’re responsible for sexual assault, harassment and possibly sexual harassment.

    • floraposte says:

      @SWBLOOPERS: I’m sorry that happened to you. It sounds like you didn’t get much support from management above you even before you lost your store, since they should have been involved in documentation of her inappropriate behavior and poor work.

      • AstroPig7 says:

        @floraposte: I suspect that the larger a company is, the more likely it will cave in to someone claiming harassment, regardless of the truth. A hit like that to their reputation can be drastic.

        • floraposte says:

          @AstroPig7: I don’t think it’s size per se so much as job position and field. A corporate manager is a very different thing from a retail manager, who’s often got all the impotence of an hourly employee and none of the possibility of overtime. The retail model also means they’re fairly isolated from the management with actual power.

    • tbax929 says:

      @SWBLOOPERS:
      When she started inappropriately touching you, you should have filed a complaint.

    • mythago says:

      @SWBLOOPERS: If there was an actual connection between 1-7 and 8, then you should talk to a lawyer, because you may have a claim for sexual harassment and wrongful discharge.

  16. pot_roast says:

    If she thinks you’re cute, it’s flirting.

    If not, it’s sexual harrassment.

    • tbax929 says:

      @pot_roast:
      If it’s unwanted, it’s sexual harrassment. FTFY.

    • oneandone says:

      @pot_roast: Let’s try a better definition: Unwanted or unreciprocated sexual attention
      and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. (From the EEOC)

      That said, your (tongue in cheek? sarcastic? mean-spirited? misogynistic?) comment is partly right in that there’s some subjectiveness in sexual harrassment. The same comment from 2 different colleagues can leave me feeling fine with one and harrassed from another. You may consider that unfair, but I think it’s part of learning how to be an adult.

      I do think that people who feel uncomfortable with situations or comments in their workplace have a responsibility to make that known – and it’s hard to convey that without crossing into victim-blaming. Workplaces need to make it safe to report sexual & other harrassment, and workers need to take advantage of those systems.

    • pop top says:

      @pot_roast: I’ll probably get disemvowled for this but you are an idiot. Not only are you posting an over-used, cliched joke, but you are showing just how ignorant you are about sexual harassment in general.

    • katstermonster says:

      @pot_roast: Ted Bundy was cute. I guess those girls just wanted him to kill them?

      (Gross exaggeration on my part. But I think it was called for.)

    • hhkim515 says:

      @pot_roast: flirting is sexual harassment if its unwarranted and unwelcome. hostile work environment

    • zzxx says:

      @pot_roast: If she needs money its sexual harassment. Remember that we all pay for this crap in the form of higher prices and inefficient cover-your-ass workplaces.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @zzxx: So because a very small amount of people file false claims, the real victims are all liars and everyone should immediately dismiss them?

    • mythago says:

      @pot_roast: You’re not really doing a good job of keeping up your “just the facts, folks” pretense, friend.

      But we’ll keep it in mind if a 6’6″, cute bodybuilder gay guy becomes your boss and tells you that you should wear tighter pants to work.

  17. fitzhume says:

    Reading her complaint… she showed him her boos twice and let him take pictures off her ass, hoping to get promoted. She didn’t seem to have aproblem with it until it didn’t actually get her promoted. (Actually she didn’t appear to complain until after she was fired).

  18. jurisenpai says:

    I don’t think most men (hetero, at least) know how bad sexual harassment has to be for a typical woman to report it.

    I’m ok-looking, young, and female. This means I get guys hooting at me through windows (the guy painting my building today), leaning out their car windows to compliment my ass, grabbing my ass on public transportation, talking about me as if I wasn’t there, following me on streets asking my name, etc.

    I have only reported sexual harassment twice: once in high school when guys were calling me an “ugly f*cking dyke” in front of kindergartners on a daily basis and once in the workplace when my (married, much older) UPS driver put the moves on me and kissed me (also married and very pissed).

    It takes a lot to make a woman go through the trauma of reporting harassment to superiors and having to relive it over and over again; I can’t imagine that very many women report false claims. I know there are unscrupulous people that do it, but please think of the women that put up with shit like this on a daily basis.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @jurisenpai: That’s horrible! I’ve been whistled at, I’ve been yelled at, and I’ve been leered at. All by hispanic men. Don’t read into it, it was what it was.

      I’ve never told my parents this, but when I was younger (15/16ish?) we moved and the hispanic guys who were moving our stuff were speaking Spanish and one guy in particular was saying all sorts of extremely disgusting things about me. I know what he was saying because I was taking Spanish in school, had been reading some Spanish textbooks, and could reasonably deduct most of what they he was saying, plus some very simple things like “I love you” which was what confirmed the creepiness. The constant leering and following me into rooms also confirmed this. And then he started saying these things directly to me in Spanish because he didn’t think I understood.

      I didn’t think about it at the time, but in retrospect, I’m really glad there were other people around who didn’t seem to act this way. And I’m glad we moved again after that time so he didn’t know where we lived.

      • jurisenpai says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: I’m blonde, and there’s a guy I refer to as “The Creepy Mailman” who occasionally runs our work mail route. He’s Hispanic, and he leers inappropriately at any white chick with blonde hair, be it me or my much older, heavyset coworker. He also strokes our hands when we have to sign for something.

        He actually delivered a package to me at my apartment which scared the hell out of me. I made sure he knew my husband was at home, because I was creeped out.

    • webweazel says:

      @jurisenpai: Strangely enough, I have never encountered this type of crap from co-workers. I am female, also. I’m thin, pretty good looking, or at least average. I worked in the auto body field and in body shops for a total of 12 years. Almost all the guys I ever worked with were really nice and funny, and very welcoming and accepting. Around the shops, the blonde jokes would fly, and the cheesy woman jokes would fly, of course, but nothing out of the ordinary.

    • LightningUsagi says:

      @jurisenpai: Agreed…it’s almost worse to have to go thru the reporting process than just move on. Back in February, I was going thru a tough time, and the guy who sat next to me at work became my friendly ear and was helping me out a lot. Little did i know that he was about to break things off with another girl in the dept and try to fill the void with me. One Monday, he asked me into the breakroom with him while he got coffee, and I thought he just wanted to chat. But after the room cleared out, he made a few comments, slapped my butt, and then kissed me. I gave it some thought, and decided it was easier to be an adult and say no thanks and move on, than have to deal with all the HR crap, mutual friends, and the possibility of getting someone fired for being a pig. However, when a female manager started digging into the situation and then spread rumors about both that coworker and one of my male friends at work, I put my foot down and did file a harrassment complaint. Sometimes the rumors are worse than the act itself.

    • mythago says:

      @jurisenpai: They don’t want to think of the women that put up with this shit on a daily basis. It’s uncomfortable, and might lead them to have to think about their own behavior, and the work environment they tolerate or perhaps encourage. (Oh geez, you mean telling those rape jokes around Sally might have made her uncomfortable? Shit!)

      Sometimes I want to ask these bozos how they would react if their sister or daughter were treated this way, but I’m afraid the answer is going to be “it was all her fault”.

  19. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    Bullshit. The manager didn’t “make” her strip, he suggested it and she decided to do it, he didn’t hold a gun to her head.

  20. Pink Puppet says:

    Wow, the misogynists are out in full force today, aren’t they?

    • kexline says:

      @Pink Puppet: Huh? Oh, you’re asking a question. No, they’re not.

    • pop top says:

      @Pink Puppet: I knew when I saw that title of the article that there would be ignorant comments. The worst of the trolls come out especially for the articles about women’s issues and obesity. I skipped out of the most recent article about that poor female contractor from Halliburton who had to go through arbitration for her rape for that very reason.

      • Pink Puppet says:

        @kexline: Well, I was just trying to be optimistic in asking, you know. If the few troubling comments are the whole of epic fail in the commenting community, I’m a happy camper.

        @squinko: I usually do the same, too. Once in a while, though, the curiosity gets to me.

    • consumerwise says:

      @Pink Puppet: @Pink Puppet: It’s crazy isn’t it? It’s gotten so that I dread reading any kind of sexual harassment or rape story because all the angry losers come crawling out of their holes to declare the guy innocent and the victim a whore. What’s gotten into these guys?

      Stranger still, they won’t believe this story but they’ll believe an anonymous poster like SWBLOOPERS’s story that he got swindled.

      The collusion theory sounds more probable to me. Based on my own unfortunate experience with Blockbuster I’m almost certain they don’t hire the brightest bulbs in the country, or the most ethical people to be managers. Most of them look like they’re out on furlough.

      Blockbuster is going under anyway, doing the country a huge favor, so say thanks to NetFlix!

  21. not from around here says:

    I’ve been harassed – treated differently (worse) because of the fact I’m female. I’ve also worked with women who 1) ‘play’ their sexuality up to their male supervisors in order to get less sidework or a better section in the restaurant or 2) have falsely claimed harassment when fired for ineptitude.
    People, it rolls both ways. There really is no way to tell without evidence AND watching both parties to the complaint deal with other people in the same work environment.

    • mythago says:

      @not from around here: Er, that doesn’t “roll both ways”. In both of the situations you described, you were sexually harassed. When male supervisors treat women you ‘play up’ their sexuality better, you are being sexually harassed. I’m astonished that you don’t think to blame the supervisors, who apparently are grading female subordinates based on hotness.

  22. cete-of-badgers says:

    I love how some men always like to throw those pearls of wisdom out there about how they heard about this one case where the girl faked a lawsuit, so this lawsuit must be fake, or if only the guy were more attractive, the girl would be okay with it, right? Right? Try talking to any one of your attractive female friends, especially if they’ve had jobs in the service industry, before making such fallacious and sexist statements, you fucking douchenozzles.

    • temporaryscars says:

      @cete-of-badgers: I think people were just saying that the guy is innocent until proven guilty.

      • Pink Puppet says:

        @temporaryscars: Courtesy of pot_roast, “If she thinks you’re cute, it’s flirting.

        If not, it’s sexual harrassment.”

        If that’s code for innocent until proven guilty, I don’t believe we’re speaking the same language.

      • mythago says:

        @temporaryscars: No, that is not what people were “just saying”. They were making the argument that we can’t possibly know this guy did it, but we can absolutely know that the woman is lying, because women are greedy, hypocritical whores.

        Of course the allegations in the complaint are just allegations at this point – this is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal case where “innocent until proven guilty” applies.

    • consumerwise says:

      @cete-of-badgers: +1. Well said.

    • pop top says:

      @cete-of-badgers: A lot of men really don’t understand anything about this issue because they don’t experience these types of things like most women do. Men aren’t sexually harassed anywhere near the same level women are, both inside and outside of the workplace.

      To illustrate, when I was working at GameStop, an irate father called in because his teenager couldn’t trade in games for cash without a legal adult present (Michigan law), and he was mad because we made him get out of his truck to come in and show his ID. I wasn’t there when this occurred, but I did try to explain the situation to him and the relevant law when he interrupted me with this gem: “How about I come up there and throw semen in your face to teach you some respect?” I don’t think he would’ve said that to any of my male co-workers, but he said it to me because I was a young-sounding female that was saying something he didn’t like.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @squinko: Holy crap! What did you do after that?

        • pop top says:

          @pecan 3.14159265: I was so flustered and shocked I just hung up. I was pretty young at the time (19) and this was my first non-temp job, so I didn’t know what to do. I figured there wasn’t anything that could be done. If it happened to me now, I think I would dare the guy to do it, or at least laugh and make fun of him.

      • cete-of-badgers says:

        @squinko: Geezus, squinko, that Gamestop incident really sucks. Yes, combining an industry thing where “the customer is always right” or “always comes first” with sexism and the sense of entitlement you get from certain men, leads to this kind of stuff all the time. When I worked at a bar as an undergrad, my boss made weird, sexually suggestive comments all the time, and would just stare at me and the other young women while we were working. He barely spoke to the male bartenders, and generally left them alone.

        • pop top says:

          @cete-of-badgers: I have an acquaintance like that actually (ignores males, acts creepy around females). My group of friends has a favorite watering hole and he knows all the female servers/bartenders by name and hugs them all the time and talks with them, but he couldn’t be bothered to learn the names of the male workers, let alone talk to them. It can get really awkward at times because he’s very physically imposing (6’5″ and at least 250 lbs.) and is very touchy-feely.

          • Michael Belisle says:

            @squinko: I was so flustered and shocked I just hung up.

            I’d hold that you made the correct decision. At that point, the conversation is over. I see nothing that would have been gained by dignifying the threat with a response. Hanging up sends a pretty clear message.

            He couldn’t be bothered to learn the names of the male workers, let alone talk to them.

            One of these is not like the other.

            In Situation A, we have sexual harassment by a superior. This is commonly held to be unacceptable and illegal, but probably not that uncommon in an industry where cute, friendly women are hired because sex is incredibly effective at selling alcohol.

            In Situation B (as I read it), we have a man who, when he goes out, is friendly to women and doesn’t spend a lot of time meeting other men. Even if it would do him well to not be so narrowly-minded, this strikes me as normal male behavior.

            • pop top says:

              @Michael Belisle: You don’t know the guy I’m talking about whatsoever. I haven’t even gone into a quarter of his behavior. What he does is not normal, so don’t pretend to know what you’re talking about.

    • mythago says:

      @cete-of-badgers: Do you really think that any of these sullen fuckmuppets have a) female friends b) who will talk to them about harassment? (The ‘attractive’ doesn’t even matter.)

      • Michael Belisle says:

        @mythago: I can confirm that I am not generally the first person women come to when they need to unload their tales of harassment woe. Even so, I operate on the assumption that nearly 100% of the women in this country have had to deal with a fair amount of sexual harassment at some point in their lives.

        But you can’t blame men for not believing the stories when they’re told because, for the most part, these stories don’t get shared in the open with men* which leads to the incorrect assumption that sexual harassment is rare, a tendency to disbelieve, and think that it’s not that big of a deal.

        My point is do not condemn them, for most likely they know not what they do. Calling them “sullen fuckmuppets” doesn’t help anything. The dynamic behind this lack of communication here is practically a section in Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. (If I recall correctly, that section is “How Men React When Women Need to Talk”, Chapter 3, pp. 34-37.)

        ___
        * I assume that topics like these are on the agenda when women “go to the bathroom”.

        • mythago says:

          @Michael Belisle: The reason that men don’t believe women who tell them these stories is that for the most part, women don’t tell them these stories?

          They say that the human hand has difficulty describing a perfect circle, but apparently the human mind can develop perfectly circular logic.

          By the way, when women “go to the bathroom”, we’re going to the bathroom. Really, even with all that sugar and spice, sometimes we need to pee. Other mysterious behavior we’re engaging in might include re-applying makeup and brushing our hair.

          • Michael Belisle says:

            @mythago: Talking is a component of items 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 on the first Google result for women bathroom groups. The next two results are the International Center for Bathroom Excellence, which professes that “the ‘bathroom’ is a center for socializing excellence”, and Answerbag, where the top answer says “usually [women go to the bathroom in groups] because they have something they want to chat about”.

            I apologize for being so obtuse to believe something I read on the Internet. Clearly, they were just telling me what I want to hear, now that you have clarified that the women’s bathroom is always a den of silence.

            My argument about the naïvety of the doubting assholes* is more of a vicious self-reinforcing cycle than a perfect circle. Deciding who started it is a chicken and the egg problem.

            ___
            * To be clear, I’m only excusing the doubting. It’s their own fault for also being an asshole about it.

            • mythago says:

              @Michael Belisle: “Den of silence”? Boy, you don’t taken not being right all the time about everything gracefully, do you?

              You started off your description of the vicious cycle by saying “But you can’t blame the men”. You weren’t describing an unfortunate situation where men are ignorant because women, fearing that ignorance, say nothing; you were admonishing me not to pick on the poor doubters because hey, it’s not like women ever tell them anything.

              • Michael Belisle says:

                @mythago: Sometimes I take things gracefully, but mostly I try to inject snark whenever I can. This might be why people—both women and men—generally don’t share their problems with me (unless it’s a computer problem).

                That sounds like what I meant to be describing; your second situation sounds to me like the same thing from another perspective. I’m basically trying to say if they are ignorant, educate them instead of insulting them. The key quote from the aforementioned book is “The degree to which a man does not understand a woman is the degree to which he will resist her when she is talking about problems.”

  23. Michael Belisle says:

    Could the allegations that homeless people defecate in the aisles at Gibbons’ Markets be any more disturbing? Fairsley Foods just got a whole lot more appealing.

  24. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    @Smashville_now with Monster Energy: you, my friend, get a heart!

  25. vdragonmpc says:

    I had the fun of this from the other side. We watched my upper management boss have a very badly hidden ‘thing’ with our accountant. She dressed in a way to show off her upper body and rear.

    It was so bad that she rode with me to an awards event for the company owner and left her car at my house. She made an excuse and left with that manager early in the evening. They didnt pick her car up until 4am.

    Bear in mind the manager was a tool to everyone EXCEPT her. I had to get projects approved through him and explain corporate issues to him. He never seemed to have time for work only for her. They would sit in his office and hang out for hours.

    When it was brought to HRs attention that it was a hostile work environment the wagons circled and it never happened. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE was shocked that there was any behavior that could be interpreted that way by any employee at that company. We even had an ‘all hands meeting’ about rumors and how the CEO was disappointed that such a thing would even be possible.

    Funny that accountant left a short time later. Seems when all the special treatments dried up she wasnt happy. He turned into an even bigger jerk but it only cost him promotions. I left later and have heard stories but I saw this one up front. Its NOT fun working with people that cant keep it in their pants.

  26. Gracegottcha says:

    I had one of these managers as a 15-year-old girl. It had NOTHING to do with WHERE I worked and everything to do with the creepy divorced practically homeless manager of the major restaurant where I worked evenings after school. Don’t blame Blockbuster – unless they knew the guy was trouble.

  27. kmw2 says:

    @zzxx: Surveying people who really only remember what they want to remember is a ridiculous method of determining things. Why not try actual statistics instead?

  28. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    Being a male I got treated to a false accusation from another male co-worker. Shocked me silly because I never talked to the guy enough to even know his real name (he went by initials at work) or that he was gay. We worked in the same group for maybe 2 weeks than I moved to another unit. Funny thing was my girlfriend worked in the same group I did she sat about 2 cubes down from me. We tried to be professional at work, no kissing hugging no I love you nothing. I left the company and about 5 months later got served with papers. Turns out this guy got canned for absences and tried to pull the harassment card. He tried to say basically that I stood up in front of 15 other employees in our call center and ask him personal questions like if he had a boyfriend, if he liked rough sex and crap like that. Totally ludicrous stuff.

    We went to mediation and he was there with his mom, I walked in and recognized him only because of the description and picture the company lawyer showed me. He did not recognize me at all and actually tried to have small talk with me! During the mediation the company’s lawyer tore him apart, she actually made him cry. His lawyer actually came up to us after the meeting where the case was dismissed and admitted the guy was too embarrassed to admit to his mom that he got fired for attendance and made up the sexual harassment thing, I guess he remembered my name or something and put me down as the offender. Very surreal and scary experience.

  29. Parnassus says:

    I wonder why the case was closed. All the document says is: The EEOC is closing its file on this charge for the following reason: The Commission has ceased processing of this charge.

    That doesn’t say much but my guess is that it was dismissed because she sued that she was sexually discriminated against by Blockbuster. She claimed she was sexually harassed by a supervisor. She dealt with it by complaining to the assistant supervisor who agreed with her and was later fired. This suggests that she never spoke to anyone higher than the supervisor. She’s making the point that, yes, she complained about it, and the person she spoke to had less authority than the supervisor. He couldn’t fire the supervisor or discipline him. A report from him saying that a clerk said that the supervisor harassed her would probably be meaningless.

    She didn’t sue the supervisor. She sued management for not protecting her against a menace she apparently never told them about. And that was only after she was fired. I’m not saying it never happened. I’m only saying that if it did, unfortunately she seems to have handled it badly. She probably would have done better to try to sue or charge the supervisor rather than suing the company if she had not informed them of the problem.

    • Pamoya says:

      @Parnassus: Actually this is just standard procedure for how Title VII claims work. Before you can go to court, first you have to file a complaint with the EEOC (differs from state to state depending on whether there is a similar state agency, but never mind that). If you want to file a lawsuit you have to request the right to sue from the EEOC. For the lawsuit they have just attached the form from the EEOC indicating that she has the right to sue.

      • Parnassus says:

        @Pamoya: Thanks for the explanation. Now you’ve explained it, I can see that it says: This will be the only notice of dismissal and of your right to sue that we will sue you. Before reading that, I thought they were saying it was dismissed.

  30. P_Smith says:

    Lackluster Video lives down to its name again.

    No doubt they’re “taking it seriously” by making sure they’ve the photos of her rear and take a good look at them to see why she’s offended.

    And to any who think about blaming the victim for not quitting, kindly go look at the articles on the medical insurance industry and the economy. I’m sure she would have loved to quit.

  31. MIAMIFROST says:

    I HATE TED GINN! (copletely irrelevant but I had to vent)