Work is not a pick up joint.
In fact work and sex operate in spheres so far apart in my mind that even having the two in the one sentence seems almost risque. And yet, what do I find tonight but that someone from work tried to pick me up? Even worse, a quite old
and somewhat prominent
person from work tried to pick me up. How did it happen? Let's see...
It's seven o'clock this evening (Saturday). I've finished my shift and I'm walking down the long corridor that connects the staff room to the outside world. He (balding, fat and in his late forties - I've never had an actual conversation with him before) was just behind me and walks briskly to catch up. "Finished your shift?" he asks innocently as we walk. I suspect nothing. I answer his question. He asks if I'm going out anywhere tonight. I say that I'm so tired that I'll probably just go home and sleep. He replies "that sounds like a good idea" but sounds disappointed. I wonder briefly if this guy is just trying to get a handle on what the younger generation do for fun.
Short pause. "I'm finishing soon as well," he states, slowly and with emphasis. "Any plans?" I ask out of bored politeness. "Well, I might just go back to my place," he starts, pausing to turn and give me a significant look. "Maybe watch some videos..." he pauses again, and this time the look is a filthy smirk. Alarm bells start going off in my brain. "On the other hand, I might go out as well." Another pause, another look. "Maybe to a club.... in Commercial Road maybe...." (Commercial Road being a mecca of gay clubs situated about fifteen minutes' walk from my house) "...to check out the men... I think you'd like it."
Suddenly a hundred thoughts flashed through my brian. This guy was seriously attempting to seduce me! And he thought that because he's in a position of power I'd go along with it. What's more, something about his lecherous tone of voice leads me to believe that he assumed he'd stumbled on some poor lost lamb, confused and uncertain and ripe to be exploited. I'm not out to everyone at work, so this whole venture was based on a risky presumption of his, but if I had been out I don't think he would have been interested.
Anyway, I'm instantly offended on so many levels (my thoughts primarily being "what kind of low standards does he think I have?") that I feel almost nauseous, and yet I find the whole thing utterly hysterical. Luckily right at that moment the corridor finishes and I manage to force out a strangled, overly cheerful "Have a nice night!" before sharply turning away. Once he's out of eyesight, I double back and tell my friend Nicola, who's still working, all about it.
A couple of hours have passed, and I'm still shocked, but I'm not sure what else. Should I be outraged that he would attempt something like this, or pity the man his obvious shortcomings? More importantly, how can I go back to work and keep a straight face?