A/N: Just a short one. I'm sure it will be more than the one chapter, but they will be separate-yet-related. No idea on ETA for new chapters - they will be posted as situational inspiration strikes. I love Eric & Pam - they're my favorite non-ship pair (or friend-ship, har har), and I feel as though there are things they can get on each other's cases about besides Sookie. (Though I'm sure that will come up) The timeline placement of most of them will be helter-skelter. For example, this one could take place any time after the Great Revelation.
(And of course, the usual disclaimer. I do not own or claim any rights to the Southern Vampire Series. I just make mudpies here.)
I try very diligently to understand the plight of the common man. However, the most common of them continually try to "cop a feel" as I am dressed provocatively per my job requirements. I find myself injuring these men and women, and my Master insists it is bad for business. How should I deal with these offenses in a manner which will allow me to retain the goodwill of my Master and remain unincarcerated? Provocative Pam in Louisiana
Dear Provocative Pam,
If your dress code makes you uncomfortable, do speak to your boss. Also, sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable. Every employee, no matter what the occupation, is entitled to a sexual harassment-free workplace. While you should avoid "injuring" someone at all costs (I will allow for self-defense should an altercation occur), there should also be protective measures in your workplace to prevent unwanted harassment of employees. If your boss is uncooperative, please report him to the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce, and definitely look into professional representation if you are demoted, pay is withheld, or you are unlawfully terminated. Make sure to record the dates of the offenses and the conversations you have with your employer to assist your case. I wish you luck!
"I require a sexual harassment-free workplace."
Eric looked up quizzically from a pile of invoices that Bruce had left for him. "What?"
"Dear Abby says that I am entitled to a sexual harassment-free workplace."
He met her gaze and they shared a stare. She did not acquiesce, and he leaned forward a little, the chair creaking, and folded his hands together on his blotter. "Dear Abby says so, does she?"
Pam slapped the folded newspaper in front of him, and pointed to the column. "She does."
He glanced down without actually reading the material and tried to school his face away from a smile. His child was not amused, and so he felt his amusement might be taken in the wrong light. It seemed that pointing out to her that Dear Abby knew, as he'd heard said, "diddly shit" about his business would not go over well. Or even, perhaps, "like a lead balloon".
Licking his lips, he picked up the folded over newsprint and with a glance up at her, looking grim and committed, he read the column in question.
"Dear Abby also seems to feel that asking for a gift in a wedding invitation is rude. Should I make sure to adhere to that as well?"
"As Sheriff, should you enter a marital arrangement, gifts from your minions would be an unspoken requirement. Yes, mentioning it would be rude. Besides, they should know better," she informed him flatly.
He risked half a grin, and laid the paper back down and refolded his hands.
"Pam. Does the dress code offend you?"
"How would you suggest we deal with this problem?"
"Master, I do not wish to be bad for business. However, I will not tolerate unwanted sexual harrassment."
"Perhaps I should not have been so glib about you being bad for business, it was a joke."
"I fear part of our human employee turnover is also due to this issue."
"Our employee turnover is due to unrealistic expectations and a high mortality rate," he deadpanned.
"This is true," she admitted, and she shifted her weight in a move that proved no matter how long it had been since their humanity, vampires still retained some instinctual tics. He smiled as she appeared to consider something. "Perhaps we should have a...meeting."
"Yes. We should address our sexual harassment policy."
"I have a sign on the wall that says "no biting on the premises" - beyond that, this is a bar, Pam. Unwanted sexual harassment is the reason we're in business."
"I believe our employee retention will improve if they know they will not be fired for rebuffing unwanted advances."
He sighed and put two fingers to his forehead. And then he smiled, ever so slightly. "Monday night. Gather the herd. I think I have just the thing."
Come Monday evening, she was exceedingly pleased to have wrangled every employee - the vampiric among them looked bored, while the humans seemed overly nervous. She suspected they thought the vampires meant to eat them all. The thought made her smile.
Eric entered the room, and the murmur was silenced. "Everyone, I've called you here tonight for a special presentation. Pam has informed me we have not discussed our sexual harassment policy, and I have a special guest to speak to you. I, alas, must attend to business elsewhere, but I assure you, I have discussed this policy in depth with our guest." With a wink at Pam, he opened the door to exit, and ushered in a man dressed as a panda.
He blew a kiss to Pam as the panda waved to everyone with a paw and greeted them in cheerful tones. An assistant passed out brightly-colored workbooks to confused employees, and Pam clenched her teeth, realizing that no matter how long they knew each other, she still seemed to forget her Master's sick sense of humor. As several of her co-workers, both human and vampire, risked a glance backwards at her, projecting their ire at her role in their torture, she forced a predatory smile. He would not win this. She did not know how she would get back at him, but she would.
Revenge served cold was a specialty of theirs, and they were nothing if not traditionalists.