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Like Chris Rock, I’ve been slapped in the face while doing my job.
While watching the live feed of The Academy Awards, I was busy scrolling on my phone for photos from the red carpet when I heard Chris Rock making another joke.
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Rock was picking on Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head, suggesting she had shaved it for a GI Jane sequel. The joke wasn’t particularly hilarious, and I dismissed it; just another female celebrity having their appearance used for a cheap laugh. It’s unfortunately standard and almost white noise to me at this point.
The next thing I noticed was an unusual silence. I looked up from my phone in time to see Will Smith slap Chris Rock round the face and storm off the stage.
The audio went in and out as the camera focused on Will Smith angrily shouting at the host as he sat back in his seat.
Was that a planned sketch? Did I miss what was funny about a colleague slapping another in their workplace?
For the rest of the afternoon I scrolled, trying to avoid the endless memes and mentions of Will Smith assaulting Chris Rock live at The Oscars.
Every time I saw that slap, over and over, I visibly cringed. It reminded me of the time a work colleague slapped me in my workplace.
Yep. Six years ago I was slapped in the face by the ‘office bully’ while in the middle of a crowded work function.
The woman who assaulted me was known around our department for being aggressive and argumentative.
She seemed to enjoy making people uncomfortable and shocking an audience with her harsh words and demeaning tone.
On the evening she assaulted me, we'd been having an office party with food and drinks.
She had spent the work event confronting colleagues, slurring her words and gesturing her hands wildly as she gave unsolicited advice and tried to embarrass people by loudly sharing office gossip.