Melie sat down behind her desk again, facing the tall strapping man from Georgia. She let him ramble on for a few minutes, and then she carefully explained that rubbing one’s hand—repeatedly— over a chosen employee’s bent-over buttocks, even if performed with the most altruistic of motives, was not within the parameters of Axis Mundi Medical Center’s policy or procedure.
“Why don’t I just show you what I did?” suggested Dr. Tamis, as he stood up and started circling around the desk toward Melie.
She threw him a look that she hoped like hell was “askance” and waved him down. “No,” she said calmly, “that’s quite all right. Just tell me in words.”
She wondered. Would he have grasped her by the back of the neck, pulled her roughly toward him, and kissed her passionately, his tongue slipping insidiously between her teeth? Or given her only the polite goodbye peck on the cheek, the same he claimed to have administered to his aide? She reached for a Kleenex and patted her face dry.
The doctor shrugged. “Do you mind explaining to me what sexual harassment is exactly, Melie?”
She did her best: words, looks, pictures, gestures, molestation, anything uncomfortable, threatening, hostile—as perceived by the victim.
“You know how it is. It’s hard for GYN’s sometimes to draw the line.”
She took a minute to ponder this admission, and then asked, “How do you mean, Dr. Tamis?”
Dr. Tamis cleared his throat. “Our patients come in very upset …”
She swallowed the bile rising in her throat and said,“Keisha Anne Woods is not a patient.”
“Staff too.” He looked wistfully out the window for a moment. Melie thought she saw a smirk on his face.
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