Secretarial: Groper Greg

FOR THE first time in my life the phrase "he makes my skin crawl" makes more than metaphorical sense to me. For when Dirty Boss Greg enters the room, I feel as though a colony of maggots has somehow made its way beneath the surface and is making merry between my shoulderblades. Every muscle is poised to dodge the wandering fingers, and each one twitches with tension when I can feel him within five paces.

No one who is doing so inadvertently manages to brush his hand across a colleague's breast six times in five days. Greg has done it three times while handing me folders, once in the lift, once while taking a cup of coffee from me and once while expressing concern about a non- existent stain. Each time, he pauses, smirks and attempts to meet my eyes.

I know. I should complain. But to whom? No point in complaining to personnel, because I'm not an employee of the company. No point in complaining to my agency, because all they will do is make a note not to send the complaining temp to work for the same boss again. I can't drop out, because I won't work again for another fortnight if I do, and principles tend to crumble in the face of an impending rent bill. And anyway, it's not for ever. He'll be doing it to some other poor woman soon.

So all I can do is count the days. But Greg - Mr Marshall, as I have taken to calling him - isn't content to keep things as they are. Every day, he gets bolder: sucking suggestively on his pen, squeezing into crowded lifts behind me and grinding his crotch against my buttocks, dropping things on the floor so he can look up my skirt: the sort of games the boys at school gave up on some time before we reached the sixth form, only he's larger and more powerful than those boys ever were. Greg's world is the world of the Loaded reader, where women are there for one thing only and boys are, after all, only being boys.

Finally, I lose my rag. Over by the filing cabinets, slightly hidden from the rest of the room, I'm bending down when I suddenly feel a slap on my buttocks and jerk my head around to see him standing over me with a huge "Go on then" smirk on his face. I can't keep my rage in any longer. Raising my voice as loud as I can, I say, "Mr Marshall, I'm not here for you to feel up at every opportunity. If you ever touch me in that way again, I'm going straight to personnel to complain."

Not a pin drops around me. Everyone stops, and looks. He colours, mumbles something about my not being able to take a joke. "No," I say. "This isn't a joke. It's not funny. You're invading my personal space and it makes me very uncomfortable." And I stalk away across the floor, triumphant, as a rumble of gossip begins.

Half an hour later, I'm standing by the lift when a voice hisses in my ear. "Don't you ever even think of trying that again," snarls Greg Marshall. "I can crush you like a bug, you little bitch." And I find out another harsh reality: that though hell for women is an office peopled by leery gropers, hell hath no fury like a groper scorned.

Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

music
Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

radio
Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

    Monique Roffey interview

    The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
    DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
    Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

    How we met

    Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

    Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

    Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
    Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

    Who does your club need in the transfer window?

    Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month