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January 31st, 2006

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For some time now, the bus driver makes remarks at me. It started with calling me names I hated (later on I found out the reason he had for this name, which was a lot simpler with the connotations I had in mind for it). It continued with him making passes at me, since I am the last one on the bus.

I tried to react politely. To simply react to every offer he makes with a polite refusal. I thought it worked.

Then came the embarrassing event, where he honked the horn at me, while I was standing in front of the bus talking to a guy. The noise was horrible. I jumped. When I looked up, I saw him signaling to me to get on the bus. The bus did not leave until 5 minutes later.

Coming on the bus, I told him that there was no need to honk at me. Passengers came to me, to ask why he honked at me. I felt sleazy. The kind of girl that macho drivers honk at, as she walks along the road. I felt as if the whole bus thinks I have an affair with the bus driver.

I felt sexually harassed, but when I said that, I got laughed at.

The next time I went on the same bus, I caught the bus driver before he went on the bus, without the presence of the rest of the regular passengers. I told him I want to make something clear: I do not enjoy him flirting with me, and it is not acceptable that he honks his horn at me. He played dumb. "what do you mean by honk?", he asked, "What is flirting?". My verbal skills fell to fourth language skills. "You. peeeeeeep. honk.". Could not even make a sentence without miming it. "And my name is not Delilah!"

I think I finally managed to come through with the message.

The next time I went on the same bus, he honked the minute I set foot on the bus. I gazed at him, amazed. He claimed that it happened "by mistake". I burst. This time, I did not go to the side. I just said loudly (over his voice, shouting at me that it was by mistake), that the next time, I will be filing a sexual harassment complaint. He continued shouting at me for quite some time after that.

I do hope this is the end of it. I hope that mentioning the words "sexual harassment" in public will end this "special" treatment" I get on this bus, because not only do I prefer reading to talking to the driver, I am also very uncomfortable with it.

Another thought that comes into mind is: how firm was I? I tried to be polite, I did not say anything rude to him for weeks. I just avoided him and rejected his specific offers. People are taught to be polite, to lie white lies, to go around and not confront. But then there is always the possibility of him claiming that "he did not understand he was begin rejected". Or, in other words, "כשאת אומרת לא, למה את מתכוונת"?.
Current Mood:
annoyed annoyed
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