FLASHERS AND HARASSERS©
It's probably easier to raise the consciousness of a sexual harasser than to lower the flag of a flasher. When threatened by the loss of a job, harassers learn very quickly that their sexual games of power and control are unacceptable. Unfortunately, fear of dismissal doesn't tend to deter flashers with equal effectiveness. Sadly, they are often the victims–powerless to control their urges. For them, extensive therapy may be a better alternative than unemployment.
The print shop supervisor called the human resources manager about 7:15 that morning. "Celia, this is Robby Stewart. Please get down here. My offset operator just punched out one of our accountants, and the guy's flat on his back!"
"Is he conscious?" Celia asked immediately.
"No, out cold," Robby answered.
"Did you call 911 for the paramedics?" Celia worried.
"Yes, that was the first thing I did, but I thought you would want to be on the scene when they arrived. I also called our volunteer emergency team to help out in the interim. I see them coming right now."
"Good thinking, Robby. What's the accountant's name?"
"And the puncher?"
"Thanks, I'll be right there," she said and gathered her note pad and purse.
"Phil," Celia said, "please pull Malcolm Johnston's and Dwayne Ambrose's files. Have them on my desk immediately. I have an emergency here." She flew out the door and down the three flights of stairs to the print shop.
Celia's mind raced. Nothing like this had ever happened. She'd heard of fights breaking out in manufacturing plants–but in an accounting firm? Nothing in her experience prepared her for what she was about to discover.
Celia arrived in the print shop just as the paramedics were wheeling Malcolm Johnston away on a gurney. He was conscious by this time and had an ice pack on his jaw. She asked to ride in the emergency vehicle with Malcolm, who lay on the gurney wincing. She held his hand and offered words of support. The hospital was less than five minutes away, and they were fortunate that this was Monday morning. Mondays are usually quiet in an emergency room, so Malcolm was seen immediately. X-rays and other tests revealed that nothing was broken, and a concussion was not likely.
Celia asked Malcolm for his car keys, license number, make, and model. Then she gave Malcolm cab fare and told him to go home and rest. She promised to arrange for someone to return his car that evening and told him to report to her office first thing the next morning.
When she returned to her office, the puncher, Dwayne Ambrose was waiting in the reception room. "Hello, Dwayne, I'm Celia Cronen. I'll be with you in just a moment. Just let me get settled." She motioned to Phil to join her in her office. She briefed Phil on the details and asked him to notify Malcolm's supervisor about the incident. Phil left her office and she began to quickly review the files.
Malcolm was single and forty-four years old. He had been with the company for nearly ten years. His performance record was excellent, and he held a good reputation among his co-workers. He was also a part-time minister.
Dwayne had been with the company six years. He began in the mail room and worked his way to the print shop. He also had excellent performance records and had been a model employee. He was married and had a one-year-old child.
"Dwayne, please come in," Celia smiled.
Although it had been nearly an hour and half since the incident, tension remained on Dwayne's face. "Dwayne, would you like to tell me what happened?" she began.
"It all started when my car broke down."
"When your car broke down?" she repeated.
"Yes. There's a whole group of us who start work at 7:30. Well, we all meet for breakfast about 6:45 or 7:00. We talk about sports . . . tell jokes . . . whatever seems interesting, you know."
"Sure," Celia commented.
"Well, that's how I got to know Malcolm. He's been with our group for several years now. About three months ago, my wife and I were having car problems–one of our cars went on the blink–so we were trying to jockey our schedules to arrange transportation. I happened to mention this problem at breakfast one morning, and Malcolm offered to drive me home that evening."
"Did you accept?" Celia asked.
"Sure. I thought it was a nice gesture, and I appreciated it. Malcolm had always seemed like a good guy. With him being a minister and all, I never would have thought he was a pervert."
"A pervert?" Celia interjected.
"You know, gay."
"What makes you think he's gay?" she asked innocently.
"Well, he made a pass at me on the way home."
"A pass?" Celia wasn't quite sure how this was accomplished, so she asked, "Could you be more specific, Dwayne?"
"Well, he started talking about how attractive he thought I was, and then he asked me when I thought my wife was going to be getting home . . . and said how much he'd like to be with me."
Celia was beginning to get uncomfortable at this point, but she kept her composure.
"I was totally shocked and couldn't wait to get out of the car," Dwayne continued. "I told him I wasn't interested–I was a happily married man. No thanks."
"So that's why you knocked him out the next day," she offered, hoping this story was ready to end and spare her further exposure.
"No. No. Like I said earlier, that all happened several months ago. You see, he started sending me these love letters. He talked about his feelings for me and used terms I had never heard of like `honey dipper' and `golden shower' to describe his sexual feelings."
"What the hell is a honey dipper and a golden shower?" Celia thought, but she was afraid to ask. So, instead she inquired, "Were these letters typed or handwritten?"
Read part 2 to learn discover what really drove Dwayne to commit an act of violence.
Excerpted from Outrageous Conduct: Bizarre Behavior at Work©