It Happened To Me: I Was Made A Real-Life Indecent Proposal

Suffice to say, mine was infinitely more budget than the Robert Redford/Demi Moore version.

Dec 19, 2012 at 11:00am | Leave a comment

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You're familiar with the film, right? Robert Redford offers Demi Moore the chance to earn a million dollars for a sexy night on his millionaire boner. She's broke and although it threatens to destroy their relationship she and partner Woody Harrelson agree to go through with it. Then Woody Harrelson makes cash from hustling basketball hoops in the ghetto or something. Hang on, that's White Men Can't Jump. Okay, whatever.

The bright and shiny new millennium had promised many things. Hoverboards, neon vaginas and pixel sized mobile phones powered by Moon Juice.

Although I received none of my promised futuristic gadgetry, in 2000 things were going well for me. I'd just moved in with my boyfriend and made a ton of friends at my workplace which was less a form of employment and more an excuse to dick about in a confined space.

When I was offered a promotion – which entailed moving to a different part of the building and to my own, remarkably small office – I said 'yes'. Just three weeks later the company director had offered me ten thousand pounds to 'spend the night with him'.

If you think this kind of thing doesn't really happen in real life then you have never dealt with a man who thinks it is reasonable and funny to refer to all the women on his workforce as 'my dollies'.

He was only a lawsuit away from stripping us to our underwear and chasing around the office dressed as a milkman. And if you think that sort of parochial, outdated sexism is the figment of a fevered feminist imagination then you need to revisit the sort of TV we all used to watch in the eighties.

He didn't ask me directly of course – the type of man who can afford to splash ten thousand pounds to shove his withered little dong into a paid fuck doesn't need to do his own dirty work.

It was my line manager who asked me, and the conversation went like this:

“What do you think of David?”

David was the Director, a rangy looking man in his fifties, married, with Just For Men hair and thick, meaty lips which always looked glossy and pouty.

He was always casting askew, sidelong glances at the women who worked in the office, and thought nothing of sitting on the edge of your desk and fingering your pen pot suggestively. 


“He seems nice,” I'd replied, the standard response when you literally couldn't give a shit.

“He likes you,” he'd said without looking at me.

“Good.”


“Would you sleep with him?”


“Fuck off!” Now that was out my mouth before I could stop it. That was a proper gut response.

“Would you sleep with him for a hundred pounds?” Now he was looking at me, and suddenly I was uncomfortable.

“No.”
“Five hundred?”


“No, absolutely not.”


“Ten grand.”


“How much?”

It was the next thing he said which shocked me the most and still does, ten years later: “Consider yourself lucky. That's more than he offered the other girls.”



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This is me looking cool in the '90s, SMOKING.

Now bear in mind here that I was a twenty three year old girl whose main interests were perfecting my liquid eyeliner application and being seen reading Nietzsche in public. I was flaky, suggestible and unsure of myself.

At the time I thought it was to my credit that I didn't slap him in the chops. Now though, I'm not so sure. When I asked him to elaborate he told me that David had form for offering vast amounts of cash in exchange for sex, usually to the female employees for whom working there was a hard won career or a very real necessity.

These were women with families to support, bills to pay or university courses to complete. Not desperate, just needy. For some of these women, this job was all that stood between them and the breadline.

Luckily for me at least, I fell into neither of those categories. For me the job was a transient, fickle thing, like a lusty but brief fling – handy, but hardly crucial.

I told him NO. A flat, definite response. He looked away for a moment, thinking. Then he said, “The thing is Daisy, if you say no to this, he can make things very difficult for you.”


“In what way?” I was getting angry now.

He looked awkward. He was right to look awkward. I was FUMING. “I just think you ought to think the offer over.”


I saw my manager for what he was then – a small man in a big man's suit, shifty and put upon.

“Tell him from me,” I repeated, “No Fucking Way.”

Three days later I came into work to find a post-it note stuck to my computer monitor. It had a single word written on it. 'Slut' I sighed and threw it in the bin. It was like dealing with children, I thought as I switched on my computer.

Then my phone rang. We had two types of ring tones, one for internal calls another for external. This was external. When I answered I had nothing at first, except the sound of traffic. Then a harsh voice barked 'Slut' and hung up. And that was how it started.

I received several silent phone calls a day, sometimes to my mobile but mainly to my work phone. I received no more post it notes on the computer, the last vestige of the office bully after all, but almost overnight my job changed shape and became almost unrecognisable.

All the menial, time consuming, fist bitingly boring tasks were handed over to me, regardless of my capabilities. Data entry? You betcha. Tedious figure checking? Of course. Entirely unnecessary spreadsheet updates? Yes, a hundred times yes.

The time I spent getting these tasks done meant that my actual responsibilities as described in my job role were getting overlooked. I was cautioned, then given an official warning. I wanted to complain but the channels were closed to me. I was given impossible targets and the unenviable task of re-filing the labyrinthine paperwork system we had.

In the end of course, I quit. Quietly and without fanfare, just as they hoped I would.

I was angry, but it was an impotent, bloated rage which did me no favours and made me look like I was trying to pass a pine cone through my spleen.

As far as I know he's still there. As far as I know he is still doing this. I wonder how many women have slept with him, for fear of their jobs or because the money was so desperately needed.

I'm lousy with money - it runs through my fingers like water. And even though I have bills to pay, a student loan to balance and credit cards so damaged they are unlikely to survive the night, I'm still saying it. No.

Daisy is tweeting her favourite Woody Harrelson films @KaikiCaitsith

Do you have an It Happened To Me story that you’d like to share? Please email Rebecca@xojane.com