Today, a client was deposed in a sexual harassment case. The defense attorney is named Ray. Ray is a good bit older than I am.
Here are some excerpts from the exchanges:
Ray: Look – I am neutral here. My job is only to find out the facts about what you say happened – good, bad, and ugly. This isn’t formal. I have no dog in this fight.
Me: Ray, who is paying you to be here?
Ray: Well, the company is but I’m still neutral.
Me: If this goes to litigation, who is representing them, then?
Me: Okay. I’m cool with your asking her questions, but let’s refrain from telling her you’re neutral.
Ray: Ok. Ok. Ok. I mean, ok! Can I still interview her?
Me (channeling Rocky Balboa to Clubber Lang): Go for it.
And so it began. Then, we got to some of the issues leading up to the harassment.
Client: So he hit me on Facebook with this nasty message.
Ray: He HIT you?!!!
Me: Off the record. Ray, you’re kidding, right?
After we sorted out what urban lingo like “hit me on Facebook” meant, we learned of the defendant’s habits in the bathroom.
Client: He also told everyone he was on a laxative called “Smooth Move” to lose weight. He told me he took his daily blow-outs at the BP near work, and he would call the BP just before he needed to have a movement, ask to speak to the manager, and tell the manager, “Hey I was just there, and your bathrooms are a wreck!” That way they’d be nice and clean, and he could relax in comfort with a magazine and–let me quote him directly–“SHIT. IT. OUUUUUT!”
Ray: Now, none of this sounds like it’s sexual…
Client: Well you haven’t let me get to the part where he told me he’d fuck me so hard I’d leave my husband.
Ray: Anything else specific?
Client: He also told me that if I’d let him get with me he’d hurt me.
Ray: Now, did you take this to mean that he was talking about the size of his…. um….. manhood?
Client: Well, I think he was being sexual when he told me his dick was so big he’d split me in half.
Me: I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I’d categorize that as “sexual” in nature.
Then we discussed whether this fine gentleman bothered anyone else at the workplace.
Ray: Was there anyone else whom he harassed or targeted, so to speak?
Client: Yeah. Marta. She’s Cuban, but he calls her “Mexico” for some damned reason.
Ray: Did you witness any exchanges with Marta?
Client: Well, I heard him tell Marta that if he fucked her, and they made a baby, the baby would be beautiful because it would have good hair and be light-skinned.
Ray: Do you think he said that, implying that a Mexican and black mixed race child would have attributes from both races and therefore would have lighter skin and straighter hair than someone with two black parents?
Client: No, I think he was more implying he wanted Marta and him to have sex.
Don’t you wish you got to hear such playful banter at your place of employment?