I am going to tell you how dangerous working inside Canada really is. I am going to narrate three incidences that took place in situations where I consider myself “at the periphery” of a circle.

Once, I was in a business networking event when a very tall and fat male approached me and said, “Your face looks like you want to have babies”. This is how he introduced himself to me. I avoided him like hell throughout the networking session.

Another time, I was called for a virtual interview by two businessmen. They never showed up; and, they never replied to my email inquires about why they missed this meeting. I sat on my computer and waited for them for a very long while. Then I emailed them and waited for a reply. I received no answer at all. I eventually decided to remove them from my social networking account.

This is one of the freakiest thing that ever happened to me. I am a Muslim woman so I don’t allow for physical contact with men. I strongly believe that only my husband is allowed to touch me or kiss me in any way. I was at a business meeting where I met someone (an older White man) whom I got to know very briefly and formally. I have completed only one small project with him. Later when I approached him at a business event just to say hello, he leaned over and kissed me on my face, near my lips. I felt very violated and shocked! I did not expect this from him. I had rape trauma from before; and, I was really stressed that day so I couldn’t do anything to stop him. I felt extremely embarrassed that he kissed me in front of all these strangers. Inside my head, I said, “He don’t even know me that well; and, he is trying to kiss me. I don’t know what to say!” You know Canadian business organizations are very keen about things such as dietary requirements based on religious or personal beliefs and needs. But, things like someone not asking permission before kissing you are just neglected. I find this very bizarre. Now, I am just making sure that my resume is not handed over to him EVER.

Once I applied to a restaurant whose manager was a Muslim-Canadian man. He didn’t give me a job right away; but, asked me to keep in touch with him. Just a couple of days after this interview, he asked me to meet with him privately. I was totally shocked when I heard this. I mean I went there to get a job and not a date. I had to block him right away because I started feeling insecure about all this.

So all these things can happen to you even if you have not entered a given Canadian circle. I wonder how things are proceeding inside such circles. Read article “Harassment widespread in workplaces, finds Statistics Canada” to learn about what is going on in Canadian workplaces.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

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