Ooof. I just witnessed a rough interaction.
I was sitting at a communal table at a busy Starbucks and a man and woman, both in their mid 20’s, entered. Without buying a drink, they sat down next to me and across from each other. He pulled out and set in front of him a yellow pad, which I never saw him write on. There was a moment of awkwardness as they settled in their seats and then he dove in.
"Have you ever had sexual relations with one of your employees?"
"No!" She responded, clearly caught completely off guard. He asked her a few more questions. I gathered from the exchange that she's a manager at a corporate restaurant.
Then he pulled out of his nylon briefcase legal sized color photocopies of screen shots of a text exchange between Jose and...
"Is this you?" He asked her, pointing to one side of the thread.
"I guess so." She mumbled.
"Is this you?" He asked again, this time pointing to a photo of a pale and feminine neck with a hickie highly visible.
I don't know what this man's job title is, but he did not have the emotional maturity or sensitivity to handle this conversation. He sounded like a salesman, and not nearly intelligent enough to be a lawyer.
And WTF, Jose?!
How are people supposed to trust or be vulnerable or release into intimacy when there's the possibility of your fling being blown up larger than life and thrust at you in a Starbucks by a little snit in ill fitting slack? I’m sure there are many things about this that are driven by policy and procedure- namely ones to stymie corporate risk of litigation. I have no doubt that this same occurrence has been paralleled thousands of times, many to the support of relief of the victim of what we know as "sexual harassment". And in that case, not as many times as it should have been. I just happened to witness an incredibly dehumanizing result of such organization.
Yes, I assure you that I'd be having the same reaction if the gender roles were reversed.
And yes, this situation actually occurred because of a lack of intimacy.
If Jose and the redhead both felt seen and considered and empowered in their exchange you can be sure this scene wouldn't be playing out in front of me.
"Are you ready to go back to work?" He asked her.
"No." She said, with seething tension. "I don't want to see any of those people right now."
"Yeah, ok." He said. "Take a few minutes."