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To stop meeting this client (sexual harassment)

(8 Posts)
namechange4this123 Sat 04-Jul-15 10:22:54

Name changed for this

As part of my work, I met a new client yesterday. It was a hot day, and I was dressed fairly casually, and not covered up, due to the heat.

As we sat on the sofa discussing the work I would be doing, he continued to move closer and closer to me, until he was touching me. I had to put my notes in between our bodies to prevent them touching. He also put his hand on my leg and arm a couple of times, and I had to brush it away.

I asked him to move further away twice, and he just looked blankly at me and did not move. Eventually I moved to the adjacent sofa because I felt so uncomfortable. He is from abroad, and his English is not good, so it is possible he did not understand me when I asked him to move further away. It is also possible that due to cultural differences he did not believe what he was doing was inappropriate.

We were the only people in the room, but there were other colleagues and clients in neighbouring rooms, with doors open, so if I ever felt like I was in genuine danger I could have called for help and would have been heard.

At the end of the meeting, we arranged another, but I am tempted just to cancel and tell him I am unable to continue to work for him.

sparklyDMs Sat 04-Jul-15 10:29:04

Can you talk to your line manager? Would it be possible to ensure that there is always a colleague in meetings with you? Also, maybe only use meeting rooms with table and chairs to formalise the meeting and provide a barrier?
However, I'd also find it uncomfortable so I would consider asking another (male) colleague to take it on..

ConcreteElephant Sat 04-Jul-15 10:29:18

I would not be happy to work with someone who treated me in this way.

If his English or appreciation of non-verbal communication (you moved sofas to distance yourself from him) are not good enough for him to understand that you are uncomfortable with his behaviour then I don't think that bodes well for an effective working relationship.

LadyCuntingtonThe3rd Sat 04-Jul-15 10:30:39

YANBU. Cancel it. You will never be able to have strict business relationship with this man without you being disgusted at his actions.

I also don't think his nationality has anything to do with it. You came to talk business, talk fucking business. Person who thinks about sex during business meeting is unreliable.

FriendlyLadybird Sat 04-Jul-15 10:43:37

Ewww. Yes, cancel the meeting and don't work with him again, and (depending on your position in the company) tell seneior executives why. When I was young, I am pleased to say that the agency I worked for sacked a prominent client because one client representative was sexually harrassing me.

Hissy Sat 04-Jul-15 12:56:00

Report this creep, get him reassigned to someone else, or hopefully your company will sack him as a client.

You are absolutely entitled to tell anyone to stop touching you and to shout if needed. I feel terrible for you that you felt you couldn't protect yourself against him. Him touching your leg etc? Ending the meeting there and then would be absolutely acceptable.

BabyFeets Sat 04-Jul-15 13:06:45

Yes cancel it, please don't go meet with him again. He is totally inappropriate are creepy. You should tell your manager too

weeblueberry Sat 04-Jul-15 13:21:37

If his English was good enough to be having a proper work meeting without a translator he damn well understood what you meant when you told him you were uncomfortable. I agree with everyone else that you MUST tell your line manager and have no more meetings with this person. Hell if I were your manager I'd probably stop doing business with him entirely...

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