I had the opportunity to have my very first work experience during my third year in the university.
I was lucky to be among the few paid interns in my class; others grudgingly worked just so they could earn points for their semester GPA.
I worked at a pharmaceutical company for six months and throughout this time, I donned a lab coat from morning till evening.
What is more, all members of staff in the laboratory area were required to remove all jewelry and nail polish, wear a white hat that covered every inch of hair with white shoes and gloves.
Compliance to these rules was not negotiable.
But for my shoes and socks, I could be mistaken for a white garment church member.
My point is, this wasn’t the ideal environment to show off your fashion sense or structural assets.
But I was somehow fished out through the shapeless hat and unflattering lab coat.
One day, I was in the store (A place where samples of manufactured drugs were kept for reference purposes. I can’t remember what it was actually called) when one of my bosses (as interns, we reported to many people) came in to see what was happening.
This room doubled as an unofficial meeting point for interns.
As was characteristic of him, he barked out orders and everyone scrambled out.
As I was about leaving, he stood in front of me and looked into my eyes (everyone had gone out and we were alone).
Then he grabbed my face firmly with one hand and said with a bedroom voice, “How much are those legs?”
Chicken legs or turkey legs?
What is this man talking about?
In all my history of attractiveness, my legs had never played a part as far as I knew.
I was even more stunned by his pricing; he sounded like he was at a grocery store, asking for the price of an item that he was confident that he could buy.
It took minutes to come to terms with the fact that I was being harassed.
I was shocked, scared and confused.
This was a man that would raise his voice at any opportunity and was reputed as having zero tolerance for nonsense.
He repeated himself about twice in between smiles.
All the while, I had a confused smile on my face because it was all too sudden and I didn’t know what to do; the scenario was reminiscent of being greeted by a bosom friend or close family, only that this man was nothing close to one and his grip was getting painful.
The awkwardness lasted a few minutes.
Scared as I was, I knew nothing more was going to happen; considering the fairly central location of the store and the easy access everyone had to it.
Thankfully, nothing more happened indeed.
He let go of my face and left.
Even though he tried to make it happen, I avoided being alone with him until I rounded up my internship.
As it was, I wasn’t his only victim and his highhandedness was just a front.
Perhaps the bigger irony was that this married man was very vocal about his contempt for female adultery.
I sometimes wonder if he still practices his exotic brand of hypocrisy.