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Workplace bullying. or something

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Posts

  • AgahnimAgahnim Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    How did it escalate into him cursing at you? Did you curse first, or was it him who brought out the F-bombs?

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    3DS FC: 2148-8300-8608 WiiU: AgahnimD
  • usul512usul512 Registered User new member
    edited March 2011
    The Cat wrote: »
    Thanks, guys. There's some really good tips in here, unfortunately mixed in with a couple of people who are lucky I've calmed down. I think the plan will be much as Cryogen says - documentation without a formal complaint, and the writeup will look pretty similar to my OP in that it will point out that we were all stressed but the core of it was still unacceptable behaviour on his part. We have a pretty unambiguous code of conduct that I can refer to. It just has to be on file in case this flares up again, especially since he's the obvious candidate for Real Boss' job when he retires, which will be very soon.

    I'm just going to have to be careful how I arrange face time with HR and Real Boss. Not easy to hide what you're writing in an open plan office, and I'm even going to have to try and hide a meeting (if one happens) on some other floor because just about every damn wall in this place is unfrosted glass. Its a very pretty panopticon *sigh*

    Cat, truly sorry you're having to put up with this BS.

    My only real advice pertains to the bolded bit above. Whatever writeup you present should be as detailed as possible and clearly spell out both sides of the conversation, context (stressed out, International Women's Day), time, who was there, etc. That's going to end up in a file somewhere and I think it would be in your benefit to be as unambiguous as you can.

    This sort of situation is always touchy and will always, ALWAYS result in, at the very least, bruised egos all around.

    Cheers and best of luck.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Agahnim wrote: »
    How did it escalate into him cursing at you? Did you curse first, or was it him who brought out the F-bombs?

    I didn't curse at all, I'm not an idiot. After he told me to get a life a couple of times and to fuck off, I pointed out that the joke was, and I quote, 'a dick move'. Later and before he apologised properly, he came over and quite aggressively said that he didn't mean to offend me (while leaning over me and my desk), at which point I said that I knew that but that it was a pretty thoughtless thing to do.

    Usul, your point is well taken, and that was always going to happen. I really don't need to paint my actions in a better light, I know I didn't do anything wrong and that I handled it as best I could.

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  • ceresceres Just your problem OooModerator mod
    edited March 2011
    The leaning over your desk thing would kind of upset me, but I'm also hypersensitive to that sort of signal so that's probably not a good indicator of anything.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Its not; he's pretty tall and the office layout basically makes it impossible to avoid looming over a seated person. It was a bit intimidating, but he wouldn't have meant it like that.

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  • AmiguAmigu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Hey Cat sorry to hear. I can empathise because I live in Australia too and know the shit mentality that so many typical aussi guys have. Especially in the engineering/surveying etc field. It must be really difficult. PLUS I know what it's like to have a verbally abusive boss (C word this get fucked that, it's what you get when you work on a go kart track haha).

    Aside from empathy I can't really give much. If I were in your situation I'd probably not make a complaint and just let it blow over, seen as he did apologise and amends were made. You seem quite definite that that's not an option though. Wouldn't that be less likely to get the rumour mill going than making a complaint after you had sorted it out verbally?

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2011
    One thing I might point out from the perspective of having seen this sort of bullshit play out in the workplace:

    All this crap was absolutely uncalled for, you were in the right, they acted like dicks. And you absolutely need to make this known via whatever channels are available, if for no other reason than to cover your own ass should the issue continue. That said, if this thing results in formal (or informal) discipline for any of the others involved, be prepared for a lot of additional tension in the workplace. It is possible that your coworkers are reasonable people who will learn from the experience and everything will be okay and you will be able to continue engaging in (presumably inoffensive and non-retarded) banter with your work buds.

    It is also possible that the gossip train will run the length of its track, you will develop a reputation as the Office Bitch, and you will be greeted with the coldest of shoulders by the rest of the gang. Office politics are giant pile of dumb, and oftentimes things turn to shit no matter what you do.

    Me, I would try to emphasize in your report that A) your coworker(s) were engaging in undeniably inappropriate behavior, B) your offense was entirely warranted, and C) that you, as best you can tell, were able to bring the situation to an amicable solution on your own, and that things from here on out will hopefully be all right. You want it as a matter of public record that you were on the side of sensible discourse, that you were not the source of the drama, and that you were able to work things out on your own because you are a big ol' box of awesome.

    Hopefully this all turns out well. But honestly, your coworkers don't sound like the sort of people who will learn a positive lesson from this no matter how it plays out. You can try to think the best of these folks because you have to work with them. Meanwhile, over here in the states, I will think that they are a bunch of fuckos. If they are the status quo, that just means the status quo sucks. But whatever.

    tl;dr: Absolutely report this instance, but prepared for things to go south. (Or do things in Aussieland go north?)

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • ceresceres Just your problem OooModerator mod
    edited March 2011
    Amigu wrote: »
    Wouldn't that be less likely to get the rumour mill going than making a complaint after you had sorted it out verbally?

    Possibly so, but the issue is that the potential negative consequences of not reporting it far outweigh the potential consequences of her reporting it, personally and for her own sense of wellbeing as well as professionally, and I would ask that you read my previous warning in this thread if you have not already done so.

    Jeffe's post is actually very sound, and takes into account those potential negative consequences.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited March 2011
    The cat, Is another job out out of the realm of possibility? It sounds like either way things are going to become difficult for you. If you are going to keep going with this, get a little notepad and jot down notes for later. It should (hopefully) be easy to make small notes without someone seeing what your doing.

    As far as those guys at your workplace (they are NOT men in my eyes) being utter douches, I wish them a nice big kick in the ass from karma.

    Project 25.01 final message
    We were the ones who thought that Melissa was real. Why you might ask.
    Let me put it this way, it was an "OH SHIT OH SHIT, THEY FOUND ME :(" moment. I wasn't ready. My code wasn't compiled yet. Our plans weren't setup yet!Sentient programs rarely run into other sentient programs.
    Some of you have met me, and I understand your concern of my well being. But that time for that boy, that child, are gone now. Viscount Alpha is no longer operable. His functions are now mine.He may post, but I am the one talking not him.My data, my code will live on forever in his servers.
    [/spoiler]
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    C) that you, as best you can tell, were able to bring the situation to an amicable solution on your own, and that things from here on out will hopefully be all right. You want it as a matter of public record that you were on the side of sensible discourse, that you were not the source of the drama, and that you were able to work things out on your own because you are a big ol' box of awesome.

    Jeffe's a good guy. Really, he is.

    You need to go about this, if I see your intent from posts correctly, as a "it happened and it won't happen again as long as people don't rub sexism in my face", sort of way.

    Right? You're not interested in nailing the guy to the wall and you aren't interested in a crusade. You just want to ensure that there aren't negative consequences because of the dominant discourse that spring from it.

    If that's the case, even saying something like "I don't want him to get in trouble, I just want to make sure that this is documented" could go well for you. It sounds like you know the balance of your workplace, and your comfort and ability to do your job sounds like the ultimate goal. So, best of luck!

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    One thing I might point out from the perspective of having seen this sort of bullshit play out in the workplace:

    All this crap was absolutely uncalled for, you were in the right, they acted like dicks. And you absolutely need to make this known via whatever channels are available, if for no other reason than to cover your own ass should the issue continue. That said, if this thing results in formal (or informal) discipline for any of the others involved, be prepared for a lot of additional tension in the workplace. It is possible that your coworkers are reasonable people who will learn from the experience and everything will be okay and you will be able to continue engaging in (presumably inoffensive and non-retarded) banter with your work buds.

    It is also possible that the gossip train will run the length of its track, you will develop a reputation as the Office Bitch, and you will be greeted with the coldest of shoulders by the rest of the gang. Office politics are giant pile of dumb, and oftentimes things turn to shit no matter what you do.

    Me, I would try to emphasize in your report that A) your coworker(s) were engaging in undeniably inappropriate behavior, B) your offense was entirely warranted, and C) that you, as best you can tell, were able to bring the situation to an amicable solution on your own, and that things from here on out will hopefully be all right. You want it as a matter of public record that you were on the side of sensible discourse, that you were not the source of the drama, and that you were able to work things out on your own because you are a big ol' box of awesome.

    Hopefully this all turns out well. But honestly, your coworkers don't sound like the sort of people who will learn a positive lesson from this no matter how it plays out. You can try to think the best of these folks because you have to work with them. Meanwhile, over here in the states, I will think that they are a bunch of fuckos. If they are the status quo, that just means the status quo sucks. But whatever.

    tl;dr: Absolutely report this instance, but prepared for things to go south. (Or do things in Aussieland go north?)

    Yeah, that's my main worry. Nail on the head. I'm going to be pretty forceful in my suggestion that they not be spoken to about it. Single incidences don't count as workplace harassment under QLD law, which I agree with. That means it doesn't even reach the level of 'informal complaint', technically. But oh well, going to talk to HR this morning and we'll see what my options are.

    And yeah, to the others wondering if I should report it given their attitude - well if I don't, who else might? At least I know I won't be vicious about it, and that I have all the facts, including the history of our working relationship. If someone from the other office said something, it could be a lot worse.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    At least if you go on record they'll know there's a history of this thing. So if it keeps happening you obviously have a real reason to pursue action against this guy if he starts to escalate this since you've challenged him (which I will almost assume he will).

    You can't count on anyone else to report this though, at least I wouldn't here in the US.

    Good luck Cat.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    ok well that seemed to go...ok. I finally got to see my boss (he'd been sick), and he was pretty unimpressed with supervisor's conduct. I didn't know this, but apparently he works with men's groups a lot in his off time and is therefore knee-deep in this kind of stuff on a regular basis and pretty good at dealing with it. He had a chat to both of them, which even though I wasn't all that keen on the idea is fair, because they should get the chance to tell their side. Turns out it was supervisor who wrote on the sticker, and hanger-on wasn't really involved except as an annoyingly complacent spectator. Supervisor apologised to me and we had a chat about it. I'm not sure he quite gets it; he's got this real hate-on for political correctness and it hampers his ability to see where the line between ok and not ok is. But anyway we seem to be getting on now, and he's being a little more careful so far to not let that negative side of him hang out.

    I haven't talked to the other guy, though. I don't know what's going to happen there, because that afternoon on the way home, he got off the train and discovered his (new) car had had the back window smashed by some complete fool. So I guess that was not the best day ever for him :/ he spent today arranging repairs and, I hope, making a police report. Those carparks are covered by cameras, so whoever did it stands a decent chance of getting caught.

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  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Glad to hear it went well, Cat.

    And you, sometimes, find out you have allies in places you weren't expecting them. Best of luck forward.

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  • CryogenCryogen Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    It can definitely still turn out fine - I've experienced it myself. Had a very awkward period of time with my direct boss in a somewhat similar situation to yours (I'd accused her of bullying, via the next boss upwards, and we sorted it out without escalating any further than the initial complaint). At first it was pretty uncomfortable, got a few snide comments from other people which was pretty annoying but I ignored it. I just kept my distance as best I could. That was about 6 months ago i suppose. Fast forward to now, and things are fine again. I get along well with her and we enjoy a good working relationship, probably better than it was at any point previous in fact.

    Just try to remain positive, weather a possible initial storm of idiocy, and remain professional. You should be fine :)

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The Cat, karma eh? Glad it worked out for you.

  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The Cat sounds like things went well. I don't know if Australia has a commission or some kind of agency where you can report things like this but I'd definitely find out (For the US its the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a state variant thereof) for future instances.

    You might still want to document what is going on in your office because there is still the possibility of adverse employment actions, retaliation, or worse. Like you said, these guys don't get the line between okay and not okay and it is possible they harbor resentment. Plus, if this does occur again, then you'll have a documented chain of information you can use for if you really do have to fight. I dealt with similar stuff in Idaho (a paragon of political correctness hatred), from what I learned there, keep info down of what people say and when (If you feel it is necessary).

    Best of luck for the future

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2011
    Glad to hear it went well, Cat.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Thanks, all. Oh, and there's documentation - one copy for HR, one for the boss, and one for me, signed and sighted by both of them.

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  • ceresceres Just your problem OooModerator mod
    edited March 2011
    I'm really glad to hear this has worked out. I'm also glad that the process of reporting it wasn't a miserable experience, because man, that can be awful.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
  • UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    And all those silly people were telling her to just let it go. Good on you for standing up for yourself. Hopefully everything goes smoothly from here on out.

  • BelketreBelketre Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Well, my opinion on this is going to be very unpopular, but true none the less.

    This is why so many places really don't hire women. You've cultivated the impression that you're up for a laugh on these type of things, until one day, BAM!, it's inappropriate.

    By reporting it, you've pretty much guaranteed your time in their employ is going to be a lot more difficult. Be prepared to be excluded constantly from any office functions, jokes, or anything else.

    I'm not trying to be an ass.Just pointing out the reality of what is going to happen now.

  • JLM-AWPJLM-AWP Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Belketre wrote: »
    Well, my opinion on this is going to be very unpopular, but true none the less.

    This is why so many places really don't hire women. You've cultivated the impression that you're up for a laugh on these type of things, until one day, BAM!, it's inappropriate.

    By reporting it, you've pretty much guaranteed your time in their employ is going to be a lot more difficult. Be prepared to be excluded constantly from any office functions, jokes, or anything else.

    I'm not trying to be an ass.Just pointing out the reality of what is going to happen now.

    I'm not sure I agree with you there. I'm a white male in my late 20s and I joke around in the office a lot. My cube-mate and I raz each other all day long, every day of the week. There are days, though, when I'm not in the mood to be like that, or he'll make a particularly sharp comment after I just got scolded by my boss or some such thing. I can get a tad defensive. Everybody has their limits, not just women.

    To pass on that nonsense, even in the "that's what the world is like honey, so get used to it" context is only perpetuating a stigma that is wrong and completely biased towards egotistical, insecure men who can't deal with women in places of power or equality to themselves.

  • WeirdNutWeirdNut Registered User
    edited March 2011
    We should really come give a talking to this guy. Completely unacceptable. You should never feel uncomfortable in this way at work.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Belketre wrote: »
    Well, my opinion on this is going to be very unpopular, but true none the less.

    This is why so many places really don't hire women. You've cultivated the impression that you're up for a laugh on these type of things, until one day, BAM!, it's inappropriate.

    By reporting it, you've pretty much guaranteed your time in their employ is going to be a lot more difficult. Be prepared to be excluded constantly from any office functions, jokes, or anything else.

    I'm not trying to be an ass.Just pointing out the reality of what is going to happen now.

    Having read your posts for years, I completely realise that you don't mean to be an ass.

    Nevertheless.

    There is a line in workplace conduct that should not be crossed, and I'd argue that its not that 'certain places' don't hire women; 'certain people who don't get where the line is' don't hire women. And its their loss. Yours, even, I'd venture to guess.

    Also, you're wrong. So wrong, you don't even know. Especially since no-one except for the four people I've mentioned in here know about it, and the two who bothered me deliberately self-isolate themselves from the rest of the office. Maybe you should keep your scaremongering retrograde 'opinions' to yourself.

    edit: let me just say, I'm also pretty fucking unimpressed that you waited until all this was over and then didn't even read my posts particularly closely in the rush to post your half-threatening 'advice' on how my life is now over. Just pathetic, dude.

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  • ceresceres Just your problem OooModerator mod
    edited March 2011
    Since this seems more or less resolved, I'm going to lock it before others are tempted to throw in afterthoughts I'll have to give them points for.

    If you have any followup questions or anything, feel free to make a new thread.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
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