Dear *#%&!!

Loose talk leads to harassment complaints at a Boulder research firm.

"With regard to the complaints brought by Karen Jenkins," Smith wrote, "I believe that they are exaggerated. I also believe that you did cause her some offense at some point, even though it was probably inadvertent."

Smith also reminded Cyrus that Boulder wasn't like Chicago and cautioned him that "remarks and conversations that would fit in well to a men's locker room [need] to be totally absent from any workplace...where women are present or within earshot."

Smith's solution to the dispute was to place Jenkins and Cyrus on different work schedules. But Jenkins protested that Cyrus was being offered "his choice of shifts," and complaints about his language continued from other female employees.

"It got pretty raunchy down there," says Laura Paschke. "Grant homed in on me as Karen's friend. When I complained about him, I was told that I was supposed to tell Grant to shut up. I really didn't think that was appropriate."

Cyrus was supposed to leave the building five minutes before Jenkins's shift started, but she claims that sometimes he was still on the premises when she arrived. "He would follow me up the hall and leer at me," she says. "It was very uncomfortable."

Cyrus left Quantum last November. He says he returned from a trip to Jamaica only to be told by Smith that "it wasn't a good idea" for him to go back to work at the company. "They were terrified of Karen bringing the business down with a lawsuit," Cyrus says now. "As a businessman, I can understand it. As a man, I was disgusted. But I wasn't going to fight it. There had been so many instances where I'd been misunderstood or misinterpreted." He adds, though, that he hasn't abandoned the idea of exploring legal options against the company himself.

Cyrus's departure should have put the matter to rest, but Jenkins continued to hear from him--first through a mutual acquaintance, who told her, "Grant says hello" ("I got extremely angry," Jenkins says), then through a letter sent last month, addressed to her and Paschke and signed "Cool Hand."

"This letter is not meant to harass or threaten, perhaps to insult a bit (which is valid)," Cyrus wrote. Although the women had been successful in "railroading" him, they would be "forever locked in your putrid, paranoid, insipid, bigoted and sick little world while I'm laying on the beaches of Jamaica and Barbados...I guess I should thank you two bitches...Good-bye and please don't call."

Jenkins's response: "Like I'm trying to call!"
"I just wanted some closure," Cyrus says. "People said to me, 'Don't do that, Grant. Why not just let it go?' But I had to write that, get it out. I knew she would explode. I can't pretend to be innocent there."

Last week a visibly shaken Jenkins went to Boulder County Court seeking a permanent restraining order prohibiting Cyrus from attempting to contact her in person, by phone, mail or through third parties. When Judge Carol Glowinsky granted her request, Jenkins beamed with relief and flashed her friend Paschke a thumbs-up.

Cyrus didn't bother to appear to contest the order. He says he has no intention of contacting Jenkins again. "Anybody can get a restraining order," he says. "It's a harassing technique more than anything else."

Although he's now working at another market-research job without any problems, he adds, "I'm ready to go home to Jamaica. I can't stand Boulder."

Jenkins says she just wants to get on with her life. "This has been a nightmare," she says. "But if I got just one more person to stand up and say, 'I'm not going to take this,' it's worth it to me."

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