Title Harassed by Postdoc
When I started my PhD I thought I had joined a project with a professor. Instead, I was shelled off to do editing for his post doc’s journal papers. This post doc was not American and English was his second language. I was told to meet with him and told he was brilliant. The first few times I met with him it was fine. We had normal professional interactions. Then one meeting he decided to place his hand on my upper thigh. I didn’t know what to do. I was a 22 year old first year PhD student. I was already extremely anxious about my position in the program and my ability to succeed. I thought that it was my mistake, that I had smiled too much when speaking to him. I didn’t say anything. The next time we met he tried to kiss me. I froze. I was absolutely horrified. I blamed myself again and was left feeling embarrassed and ashamed. After that I didn’t respond to any of his emails. I avoided him at all costs. I didn’t even go into the building that he was in for fear of seeing him. That building was my department building. He emailed me repeatedly after that asking where I was and I didn’t respond to any. He found me on both Facebook and Linked In and messaged me asking where I was and if I was OK. I didn’t respond to any. It took me over a year to truest realize what impact he had on my grad school experience. He triggered an ongoing episode of feeling like I did not belong on that campus or in that program. Looking back, I would have tried to report him for harassment.