No Means No, Don’t Touch Me Please

Working for big brands as a woman can be terrifying toxic

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As a teen, I had a part-time job working in a clothing store in the UK.

I hit puberty fast and by the time I was 16, I wore a DD cup bra. My female friends were jealous and my male friends and any man I came into contact with ignored my face and focused on my “big melons” as they would call them.

Anyway, back to the part-time job. The clothing store I worked for was a well-known, high-end store. I remember my first day, they handed me this low-cut tight top and pencil skirt with a high split at the back. I went to the changing room to change into my new uniform.

I remember the manager who was a tall, dark,handsome Italian and the assistant manager who was a Chinese woman. They pulled me into the office to explain my tasks for the day. I was quickly told that because of my looks, I should stand up front to “attract the men.”

I thought it was a sick joke at first. I was waiting for the laughter but it never came.

I was hurried over to the front of the store, it was terrifying and degrading. I felt sick and with butterflies in my stomach, I stood there holding the latest season brochure with a smile on my face.

Their plan worked and the men were drawn to the store like magnets to metal.

One Saturday afternoon, this blonde, middle-aged man walked into the store and brushed his shoulder against my breast. I thought it was an accident and ignored it.

The same man eventually asked for assistance from me, he spent thousands. When he was leaving he tapped my rear-end and whispered something in my ear. I quickly brushed him off and said “no!” He did it again. I pushed him away and went to report it to my boss. His response was shocking to me.

He said:

“What do you expect? You are a beautiful girl and men like that can easily get milked for their money. It’s normal, enjoy it.”

Over the next few weeks, it happened again and again, even my boss, the tall Italian touched me inappropriately several times. I said no over and over again, it kept happening. I reported it to upper managment, it happened again…

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