Update 3 PM: CREEPY DAD WILL PAY MY INCREASED FEE TILL END OF SEMESTER! BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
The father of a boy I tutor asked me out on a date.
He is married. He asked me out when I was in his home. Where he lives with his wife. After I was finished teaching his kid.
Now, imposing yourself on the female hired help has long been a beloved recreational pastime of rich dudes. I supposed I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve had many an employer creep on me in my day, though, to be fair, what most of them do is just hover around, checking me out and making excuses to talk to me, which makes me a little nervous and also embarrasses the hell out of me if he’s doing it in front of his children (last time, this boy actually said, “Dad would you please leave us alone?” I wanted to die.).
If this happened in an office job, I could deal with it in a more direct fashion, since it’s a textbook case of sexual harassment. Buuuut…I’m an independent contractor.
Getting out of it required some quick thinking. The default face-saving rejection is to mention a fictitious boyfriend, but in this case, creepy Dad almost certainly would have backtracked or acted offended and assured me that he “didn’t mean it like that,” or something. Likewise, I couldn’t be honest and tell him that I found the offer pretty fucking offensive, given that he was making it in front of a wall full of his family photos.
“No, thanks,” I said, giving him a fake smile of appropriately dim wattage.
A man who was not an idiot or an entitled asshole would have accepted that and backed off (but then, if he had the tact or decorum god gave a goat, he wouldn’t have hit on me in the first place).
Dad of the Year here actually asked me (get this): “Are you sure?”
The next time a man asks me “Are you sure?” “Why not?” or pressures me to reverse my decision or explain myself to him is going to get punched in the eye with my phone. A nice hard-shelled cell phone to the eye socket. For feminism.
The elevator arrived, deus ex machina-like, and delivered me from the awkward predicament.
I stewed about it for a week, very annoyed and exasperated about being put in such a situation. Now I can’t be comfortable with dad around. And dad’s always around. He’s there every week! I might as well be teaching him!
What to do, what to do…?
I almost wished that I had the Surgeon around for consultation. He always gave me good advice about how to deal with people. He was an expert at manipulating situations.
I tried to imagine what he would advise, and I came up with two things: 1) shake dad down, and/or 2) be a completely aggressive, unapologetic, massive dickhead and scare the shit out of dad. No scruples. Make shit up. Say I recorded dad with my cell phone. Say that if dad fires me, I’ll tell everyone that he tried to kiss me.
(That’s what the Surgeon always told me when I complained to him about my old boss, the Dean of my program: “Don’t be intimidated by him. If you tell people he tried to kiss you in his office one day, he’ll be up to his neck in bureaucratic horseshit for the next twelve months.”
“But he never tried to kiss me!”
This was met with a sigh and a contemptuous eyeroll. Then he said, “Remember this moment, kid. This sort of thinking is the reason why you are smart and beautiful, but poor. You don’t understand how the world works. Fuck this guy. You don’t owe him, or your school, jack shit. He’s using you. If he gets in your way, land on him like an avalanche.”
“Surgeon, he’s my boss, and I’m on a scholarship.”
“I’m your boss.”)
Anyway, getting back to dad, here. You might not believe it, given that I make a living as a professional sadist, but in regular life I am actually pretty bad at being a massive dickhead. I just don’t think that I could pull off option #2. And even if I did pull it off, I would feel guilty about it.
That left #1.
I politely informed dad that from now on, my hourly fee has increased by $75. That increase is his “I-fucked-up” tax (I didn’t say that to him, but we both know what it is).
I’m waiting to hear back from him, but I think he’ll pay. He’s a lawyer, so presumably he’s a smart guy when he doesn’t have a boner in his pants. There is the hint of a threat in my request. I’d never act on it…but he doesn’t know that.
I’ll update as soon as I get his response.
Something else just occurred to me: what if his kid overheard dad asking me out? That would be fucked up, wouldn’t it? Gee, creepy dad, that was just so irresponsible.