In my last blog I mentioned how I recently started a job at a statewide domestic violence coalition and questioned the lack of available data on how many men abuse and who these men are. Well, this week I got to meet one of “these men” when he came into my office uninvited and began reprimanding me and barking orders. Let me back this up…
The office I work in has a great deal of security. The front door is locked at all times, we have a security system and video monitor that can be checked from the hall where my office is located, and visitors must ring the bell before gaining access to the building. So, you can imagine my surprise when a man I’ve never seen before appears in the doorway of my office asking, “do you work here”?
My initial thought was, he must be IT. Having worked in many predominantly female non-profits, most of the men I encounter are either IT or UPS. But then he took a step into my office and another, and began to angrily state that he had been calling the office for the last hour, “don’t you people answer the phone, what kind of place doesn’t answer the phone, I’ve been calling here for an hour.” NO BOUNDARIES.
At that point I stood up. You see, when in danger, I run. I don’t wait around. I have also been known to scream at the top of my lungs while running, but in this case I was in an office (my office) and this crazy man was blocking the only exit out. Screaming and running weren’t an option. He then demanded the list of approved anger management programs. ENTITLEMENT.
The sarcastic side of my brain couldn’t help but internally respond, ‘no shit Sherlock, you definitely need anger management’, but the protective side began to freak out, questioning if this was seriously happening. Was there really a crazy abuser in my office demanding a list of programs for “anger management,” a narcissist’s way of saying ‘domestic violence offender treatment’? At that point I looked at his waist because he had a weird belt on and I needed to know if he had a gun. He did not, it was an abnormally large cell phone in a sideways clip.
Also at that point, my colleague came in to my office followed by another colleague. They took command of the situation and moved him out of my office and into the hall. He proceeded to angrily demand the list of them and once again yell about the phone not being answered. ASSHOLE. My colleague told him she’d be happy to help and that he could wait in the lobby. Everyone worked together to get the list and him outside, and the door to the office locked as fast as possible.
I am in no way sharing this story to garner sympathy. I write it to recognize the strengths of my colleagues and all those working at domestic violence programs throughout our state and the nation. I write it to highlight, with just this one man, his level of entitlement and complete lack of boundaries in coming into my office unannounced demanding I do something for him immediately. And, I write it for the women who have to live with assholes like this guy, day in and day out, beaten down physically, emotionally, and mentally. One thing became very clear yesterday, I know who “these men” are…